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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Everyone probably understands how to remove old bushings by burning or pressing the rubber components out (typically with rented ball joint tools), then using a hacksaw to *carefully* remove the remaining aluminum shells that are left behind. This works, but there is a risk of damaging the aluminum control arms if you are careless with your cutting tool - and it takes a pretty decent amount of time. There appear to be no existing ball joint sets that will work on the LCA large bushing, as you need a receiving tube that is at least 3" ID. The UCA are also oddly sized and have a flange, making them more challenging to remove with a typical C-clamp ball joint tool.

Alternatively, you could take your upper and lower control arms to a nearby machine shop and let them do this for your, but of course that will cost you for their time plus the drive, and if you're like me it will take you a few phone calls to even find such a place.

I opted for the "buy another tool" DIY program, so I figure I'd share the results here:

Harbor Freight 12 ton floor press, $106 with a coupon. Not amazing, but it works and will have plenty of uses on down the road. I "rented" a ball joint kit from the local auto store to use their selection of tubes. A selection of larger sockets (36mm worked for me) will be helpful for the various bushing sizes.

I was expecting the Lower Control Arm bushings to be the most challenging due to their sizes; but this was actually easy once I was able to orientate things correctly:

LCA "big" bushing: see photo


LCA "small" bushing: see photo - this one has a rubber lip on both sides, I did not need to cut anything as I had a sleeve from the ball joint kit that fit just fine. This bushing took the most effort and some WD40 to help it slip out.





UCA bushings: these were all the same size, and had a sleeve. Here I again used a sleeve from the ball joint kit with a 36mm socket to press the bushings out.


In my case, I bought brand new suspension arms mostly so I wouldn't have to have my Wagon down for several days (and use a rental to get around) while I putzed around with figuring out the bushing removal. I think this took all of about an hour, taking my time to experiment with angles and whatnot. For me, it was cheaper this way as I will be able to resell the spare suspension pieces and avoid downtime on my DD. I was also able to sell the brand new, unmolested bushings for a few bucks to offset the cost of the press - or around $60 and saving myself several hours with a torch and hacksaw.


This is not the only way, just showing that, for a C-note your bushing swap can be a LOT easier.

As an aside, I will also try to list the bushing sizes for anyone interested in cross-referencing or sourcing their own poly bushings - and I'll double check the OD sizes against the control arm openings over the next few days.

LCA "big" bushing: 2 7/8" OD (of the sleeve), approximately 2.720" long
LCA "little" bushing: ~2.1_" OD, 2.130" long

UCA bushings (both):
 

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I have the same tool, definitely had to get creative positioning them in the press.


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Where did you find stock replacement bushings?
He bought completely new lower control arms, which come with the bushings. He pressed them out so he could install Creative Steel bushings.
 

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Random, what made you decide to change the bushings? Just an upgrade or is there something we should like for with regard to wearing out?
As always, your write ups are off the charts. Thanks
 

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The factory upper FCABs wear out at low mileage (50k on average?) If you are lowered, the center of the bushing will sheer torsionally (my experience at least). You can replace with OEM bushings for approx. $150 (I shopped last July, this is just from memory).

Factor in that the LCA bolts loosen from impact vibration and need Nordlocks, makes the Creative Steel upgrade attractive. Catch them on a holiday sale for 10% off if you can.

In my case, the uppers had failed and lower bolts loosened, ruining both of my front tires. I have track coilovers and might as well go full stiff.

Random is, as usual, doing a great documentation job and in the process of going to coilovers himself, because racecar.
 

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Thanks. I have done two alignments and the fronts keep wearing out in the inside (34k not lowered). And now that it is cold, when I first start drive by and hit a bump (small and low speed even) I’m pretty sure the front tire is rubbing. I know the magnetic raise tiles to “warm up”, but some seems wrong. If I put the suspension in stiff it stops what I believe is rubbing in the fender well. Think these bushings may need to be addressed. Steering is stif and straight is what I don’t get.

As for members like Random and Tri-Texan - their write ups are legendary to say the least. I feel for the other forums that don’t have folks like this to pave the way for us that follow instructions better that writing them. The money and time they gave me over 3 years is reduculous!! I’m more of Denny’s menu kind of mechanic so their pictures added are priceless! Thanks Random as always!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like everyone answered your questions effectively.

Interestingly my take off 60k mile bushings are not torn or sheared although I was expecting it. I think they're just worn out.

The black poly is fantastically like stock but more precise. Very happy in that regard.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

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Everyone probably understands how to remove old bushings by burning or pressing the rubber components out (typically with rented ball joint tools), then using a hacksaw to *carefully* remove the remaining aluminum shells that are left behind. This works, but there is a risk of damaging the aluminum control arms if you are careless with your cutting tool - and it takes a pretty decent amount of time. There appear to be no existing ball joint sets that will work on the LCA large bushing, as you need a receiving tube that is at least 3" ID. The UCA are also oddly sized and have a flange, making them more challenging to remove with a typical C-clamp ball joint tool.

Alternatively, you could take your upper and lower control arms to a nearby machine shop and let them do this for your, but of course that will cost you for their time plus the drive, and if you're like me it will take you a few phone calls to even find such a place.

I opted for the "buy another tool" DIY program, so I figure I'd share the results here:

Harbor Freight 12 ton floor press, $106 with a coupon. Not amazing, but it works and will have plenty of uses on down the road. I "rented" a ball joint kit from the local auto store to use their selection of tubes. A selection of larger sockets (36mm worked for me) will be helpful for the various bushing sizes.

I was expecting the Lower Control Arm bushings to be the most challenging due to their sizes; but this was actually easy once I was able to orientate things correctly:

LCA "big" bushing: see photo


LCA "small" bushing: see photo - this one has a rubber lip on both sides, I did not need to cut anything as I had a sleeve from the ball joint kit that fit just fine. This bushing took the most effort and some WD40 to help it slip out.





UCA bushings: these were all the same size, and had a sleeve. Here I again used a sleeve from the ball joint kit with a 36mm socket to press the bushings out.


In my case, I bought brand new suspension arms mostly so I wouldn't have to have my Wagon down for several days (and use a rental to get around) while I putzed around with figuring out the bushing removal. I think this took all of about an hour, taking my time to experiment with angles and whatnot. For me, it was cheaper this way as I will be able to resell the spare suspension pieces and avoid downtime on my DD. I was also able to sell the brand new, unmolested bushings for a few bucks to offset the cost of the press - or around $60 and saving myself several hours with a torch and hacksaw.


This is not the only way, just showing that, for a C-note your bushing swap can be a LOT easier.

As an aside, I will also try to list the bushing sizes for anyone interested in cross-referencing or sourcing their own poly bushings - and I'll double check the OD sizes against the control arm openings over the next few days.

LCA "big" bushing: 2 7/8" OD (of the sleeve), approximately 2.720" long
LCA "little" bushing: ~2.1_" OD, 2.130" long

UCA bushings (both):
So I was going to do the same thing and buy a press also.. Then I found this kit https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-Press-Pull-Sleeve-Kit-Bush-Bearing-Removal-Insertion-Tool-Set-/332387781400?hash=item4d63db0b18 and it had Everything (even the largest one), and I don't have a press taking up more space in my garage.. Now when I get a shop all bets are off on how many tools will be in there.
 

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Thanks. I have done two alignments and the fronts keep wearing out in the inside (34k not lowered). And now that it is cold, when I first start drive by and hit a bump (small and low speed even) I’m pretty sure the front tire is rubbing. I know the magnetic raise tiles to “warm up”, but some seems wrong. If I put the suspension in stiff it stops what I believe is rubbing in the fender well. Think these bushings may need to be addressed. Steering is stif and straight is what I don’t get.

As for members like Random and Tri-Texan - their write ups are legendary to say the least. I feel for the other forums that don’t have folks like this to pave the way for us that follow instructions better that writing them. The money and time they gave me over 3 years is reduculous!! I’m more of Denny’s menu kind of mechanic so their pictures added are priceless! Thanks Random as always!
You should be able to check for signs of rubbing. I'm thinking it is your bushings after all though. Stiffening the suspension reduces the angular amplitude of the control arms and decreases the angular velocity, possibly eliminating the sound you're hearing otherwise.

The bottom line is that these front ends are effin archaic technology (in IFS realm) and you need to get under there and put eyes on LCA bolts, fender wells for rubbing, mag ride for leaks, upper control arm bushings for shear. Wouldn't hurt to torque the LCA bolts while under there.


Looks like everyone answered your questions effectively.

Interestingly my take off 60k mile bushings are not torn or sheared although I was expecting it. I think they're just worn out.

The black poly is fantastically like stock but more precise. Very happy in that regard.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Wish I had taken a pic of my OEM upper CA bushings...did you happen to? My OEM lowers seemed just fine.

Mine may have been sheared due to the stiff coilovers I'm on.

And thanks for letting me jump in on a question for you, just trying to ride your thread fame here :rolleyes:
 

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Helpful tip for the large LCA bushings. Credit goes to my friend who helped me press them out today. Probably took us 20 min total for all 4. The "receiver" under the bushing is from a truck leveling kit, as none of the receivers in the Autozone ball joint kit are large enough. He had some of his own press tools, but you probably could make something work with the Autozone kit.

 

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Helpful tip for the large LCA bushings. Credit goes to my friend who helped me press them out today. Probably took us 20 min total for all 4. The "receiver" under the bushing is from a truck leveling kit, as none of the receivers in the Autozone ball joint kit are large enough. He had some of his own press tools, but you probably could make something work with the Autozone kit.

I had fun setting it up too







_________________________________
Your source for lid modifications and reinforcements • custom badges • billet aluminum goods • go fast parts
www.0fx2gv.com
Check out 0FX2GV in the vendor section
 
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