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Old 10-11-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
SomeCallMeTim
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Default Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

Hi Folks!

New to the forum here.

I've got a loose right ball-joint and I've purchased a Moog replacement lower control arm/BJ with a zerk (hopefully gets a longer life than the sealed BJs). Should I replace the lower control arm bushings with some Moog LCA bushings for compatibility? Or is using the existing LCA bushings good enough?

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

Without seeing the bushings, it's hard to say remotely.

!I! would due to the labor involved. But that's me.

The rear one looks like it's expensive, but not as big a pain to replace as the front one is - so if nothing else, do the front one and leave the rear one for later.

RwP
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Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:59 AM   #3
SomeCallMeTim
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

Thanks for the reply Ralph.

I forgot to mention that this is for the front right LCA. The moog LCA that I bought has the BJ pressed into the LCA, the front bushing in place, but does NOT come with the rear bushing.

My question is more along the lines of: can I just use the LCA rear bushing that is already on the car? Any chance of the new Moog LCA not being compatible with the original bushing?

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

Yah, that does make a difference :grins:

It's supposed to just fit, so I'd say yes.

OTOH, now would be a good time for JustIn Case (boy, I HATE that guy! He tends to cost me so much money!)

RwP
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335K miles on original motor and tranny (only motor work 2 x LIM replacement), Monroe SensaTrac struts front and back (new at approx. 300K miles), and Alero discs in back. LS fogs added with custom wiring. HID high beams, HIR low and halogen fogs. Raybestos Pro Grade front rotors and Bendix D747 ceramic pads on front.

Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

If it were my car I would go ahead and replace it since you are already there. Save yourself some time and money. replacing now means you only have to get the car aligned this time. replace it later and all of the parts have to come off again and that means another trip to the alignment shop.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

Two things - 1) There's no adjustment per se on the LCA on these cars, it may not need an alignment afterwards. 2) No, not all the parts have to come off - the rear LCA bushing bolts to the LCA, so it's very possible to replace it without removing the LCA ..I THINK. Haven't tried, maybe not, but it's worth remembering.

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335K miles on original motor and tranny (only motor work 2 x LIM replacement), Monroe SensaTrac struts front and back (new at approx. 300K miles), and Alero discs in back. LS fogs added with custom wiring. HID high beams, HIR low and halogen fogs. Raybestos Pro Grade front rotors and Bendix D747 ceramic pads on front.

Addendum: Rest in peace. Surge tank blew, motor overheated, I think she's lived a long and useful life.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

+1, GM doesn't even recommend an alignment after replacing the lower control arm. It can only go in one way without adjustment. You can have it checked, but it will probably be within the factory spec. Unless the bushing is torn up or dry rotted, I wouldn't even bother with replacing it. Even if you had to replace it later removing the lower control arm is extremely easy to do.

The first time I did it I took about a half hour, many many malibus later I was down to around 10 minutes to swap them out on the 4 cylinder. It is a little more time consuming with the V6 since the engine mount has to be loose on the side you are working on to jack the engine up and remove the bolts for the control arm. Even then it is still not hard to do.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
SomeCallMeTim
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

chevyguy-

Thanks for the response and the encouraging words... I have never swapped out an entire LCA (only pressed out/in BJs).

Two quick questions:
1. After removing the rear bushing bolt, does the bushing just slide off the LCA spindle? Or do I have to get a little rough with it?

2. Do you have to jack-up the LCA @ the BJ to get the BJ tip back into the knuckle?

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lower Control Arm replacement: replace bushing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeCallMeTim View Post
chevyguy-

Thanks for the response and the encouraging words... I have never swapped out an entire LCA (only pressed out/in BJs).

Two quick questions:
1. After removing the rear bushing bolt, does the bushing just slide off the LCA spindle? Or do I have to get a little rough with it?

2. Do you have to jack-up the LCA @ the BJ to get the BJ tip back into the knuckle?

Thanks so much!
I will first start off with a warning before doing this, watch where your hands are.

Moving on, there may be a little bit of a fight, but it won't be much. I generally encountered them just coming out. To make this easier remove the nut and bolt holding the ball joint stud to the steering knuckle. Use a pry bar through the opening in the control arm to the bottom of the engine cradle to pop it out of the knuckle. Then, get the knuckle out of the way while you are still prying. Without it being in the hole there will make the rest of the job much easier.

Getting the ball joint stud back into the knuckle doesn't require a jack. Pry the new control arm down and align the knuckle with the stud. Then, slowly let up on the control arm making sure it stays lined up. Once it is close you can grab ahold of the brake disc and move the suspension whichever way needed to get the ball joint in place. It will just fall into place, which is why I mentioned watching where your hands are. You may have to move the ball joint up or down a little to get the bolt to line up with the indent in the ball joint.

Sorry, I seem to have an inability to provide a quick answer today .
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09' Malibu LTZ with brick leather interior
4 cyl w/6 speed auto
Silver Ice Metallic paint

Mods: PTM bow ties, grill, washer nozzles, and fog light trim
-20% tint
-MTX600XD, 2 12" Infinity Kappa Perfect 12.1, 4 gauge stinger wire, Pioneer 7800MP CD player
-5000K HID headlights and 3000K fog lights
-White LED's in the switches and handles
-Blacklight overhead console LED's
-Painted and polished factory aluminum wheels


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