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Guide to changing rear knuckle / lower arm (toe arm) bushing without a ball joint puller


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Couldn't find much about replacing the bushing on the knuckle, attached to the lower arm (toe arm) with a non polyurethane one, so I thought I'll pass on what I found by doing.

Technically speaking it's a rose joint (like a spherical bearing) but it doesn't make a difference in pressing it out / in. I cobbled together a bushing puller out of threaded bars and nuts, because I couldn't wait for a dedicated set to arrive. Knowing what I know now, time required will be around 3 hours per side start to finish. Someone else's video where I got my inspiration from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2rOfYK0GME

 

 

image.thumb.png.8f5ba465691a1ef9be70db17de58c9ff.png

 

Tools / materials you'll need:

  • jacks / stands etc for lifting up the car to take the rear wheel off
  • general socket / spanner set, 8mm, 19mm are the only ones you need if memory serves. Ratchet spanner recommended
  • something to go over the new ball joint to start pressing it in, I used a Halfords advanced impact socket 34mm
  • something to go over the new ball joint to continue pressing it in, I cut a piece off some scaffolding tube I had with a plate welded over one end. The key is to have 38mm OD and around 35mm ID to match the sleeve of the new bushing (the welded plate is not necessary if you have thick enough / more than one plate)
  • something to receive the old ball joint as you press / pull it out, I used a Halfords advanced 38mm (impact) and 1 1/2 socket (a lot deeper) https://www.halfords.com/tools/hand-tools/sockets-and-accessories/halfords-advanced-1--1%2F2in-ball-joint-socket-384016.html
  • your choice of bearing puller / ball joint press / threaded bar/bolts/nuts , I used M12 high tensile studs and nuts https://www.toolstation.com/passivated-chemical-stud/p93878 but a long bolt would probably work better than using a threaded bar with nuts on both sides - need at least 160mm
  • sandpaper / wire brushes to clean up rust and the knuckle/bushing sleeve surface
  • copper grease
  • decently sized hammer
  • grease for the threads of the puller

 

Part numbers:

  • FEBEST TAB-021Z, these were the only replacement non polyurethane bushings I could find https://shop.febest.eu/rear-knuckle-floating-bushing-tab-021z.html
  • Bolt 90119-12284 (81Nm, NOT 136lbft as you might find for "no.2 suspension arm", they must have changed the design / torque setting at some point. 81Nm for my 2000 model)
  • Nut 90179-12137

image.thumb.png.fca4698f6cba85969c04dc3528918556.png

 

Steps:

  1. Before you start, general reminder to apply penetrating fluid to the bolt/nut in question to soak overnight. And put your new bushes in the freezer overnight (not sure how much this actually helped, but every little helps on an interference fit?)
  2. Raise the car and take the wheel off (remember your chocks and to do it safely)
  3. Undo the bolt going through the bush by unwinding the bolt, the nut has "teeth" on it and bites into the knuckle
  4. Support the knuckle with your jack and remove the bolt. I wedged the lower arm out the way without undoing the other end of the lower arm 
  5. DIY a puller from an M12 stud (threaded bar), a load of washers, 2 nuts and a 38mm or 1 1/2 socket. Handily one end of the studs I got from toolstation was an 8mm hex head that I used to hold the bar still when needed. You won't need to do this if you are using a bolt.
  6. If you're using 2 nuts and not a bolt and a nut, you'll find you don't need to hold the stud still after tightening it initially. The tension should hold the stud still for you. If it doesn't use a double nut on one end to grip the threaded bar.
  7. As I tightened the nut there was a satisfying crack letting me know the interference bond between the knuckle and bushing was overcome, and it will begin to pull out
  8. At some point you'll find the 38mm socket isn't deep enough to pull the bushing out in its entirety, no biggie, switch to the 1 1/2 socket and resume winding
  9. Congrats! You got the old bushing out which is the easy part done! And now you've committed to seeing this through because you can't put it back together without putting the new one in 😄
  10. Clean up the edges / surface of the knuckle. I didn't do too much sanding / brushing on the mating surface, there was no rust and was shiny so I didn't want to scratch it
  11. Apply a small amount of copper grease to where the new bushing will slide into. This might be unnecessary or even wrong, but oh well, I've done it now and it's worked alright
  12. Put the new bush in the 34mm socket. It should fit snuggly in there with the centre rubber part in the 34mm hex hole, but the sleeve is in contact with the edge of the socket, and that's where the pressing force will be applied and not on its central part. I also put some masking tape over the rubber to keep copper grease off it, just in case
  13. Use the same M12 studs to pull the new bushing in. I put the 38mm socket on "backwards" to use as something to pull against on the other side of the knuckle, to pull the new pushing through
  14. The new bushing will most likely be wonky as it starts to go in. What I found work for me is to whack the end of the stud on the bushing side, to realign it to be close enough to straight
  15. Repeat tighten / loosen / hammer until it does go in straight. You'll know when it does because the nut becomes comparatively much easier to turn. Have patience, this step must have taken me at least half an hour of trial and error to get it aligned
  16. At some point the 34mm will bottom out with a bit of bushing left to go. Don't pull the bushing in by its central part which is what I did before I knew better, I might have ruined them? Switch to the 38mm OD tube to continue pushing on the sleeve and not the central part
  17. If you find you've bent the M12 stud, good that you bought a bag of 10 and there are spares! I needed 6 doing both sides of the car!
  18. Undo the nut often to check when it's fully home. Don't be lazy and end up pushing too far!
  19. Replace the bolt and nut, torque to 81Nm (I did this after raising the knuckle to normal ride height, but I don't think that's necessary given it's a rose joint that rotates anyway. The workshop manual also doesn't state this is necessary whereas it mentioned it for front damper lower bolt)
  20. Wheel back on, car back on the ground and reward yourself with a beer!


Photos:

  • OD of the new bushing:
    IMG_20210912_185117.thumb.jpg.d59239726b4176cf1a9820f41b314c0e.jpg
     
  • Test fit in the 34mm socket:
    IMG_20210912_194044.thumb.jpg.819e63329fcd9418b285911d47126cff.jpg
     
  • The home made 38mm puller insert:
    241928847_1253417431776261_812420889532893488_n.thumb.jpg.b209d49a558fd615d0ab4f6a3c2e05e9.jpg
     
  • Pulling the old bushing out:
    vlcsnap-2021-10-03-22h14m35s265.thumb.png.c5e9d44dfd65aefcb2a9fe201e4b639d.png
     
  • Nearly everything you need for this job:
    IMG_20210913_192816.thumb.jpg.2c44d47e919d888a4a0d32d8e47c0913.jpg
  • Old (left) vs new:
    IMG_20210913_211054.thumb.jpg.70ca8e1933a28ac6b8fe089db921efce.jpg
     
  • First stage of winding the new bushing in:
    vlcsnap-2021-10-03-22h10m38s962.thumb.png.62c790a8f958a4b882979703be93bafc.png

 

I might have forgotten small details here and there, any questions please ask. Good luck and remember to work safely!

 

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Good instructional topic and well put used the same method to remove and replace trailing arm bushings on my Mark 1

Expletive alert if you watch the u tube video make sure your grand kids are not in earshot.

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On 10/5/2021 at 5:26 PM, Howplum said:

A very helpful post Kyle. Will you be adding it under the "How to" heading as well?

Hi Howard, how do I do that? I'm new to the forum as you can see 🙃

 

Is it a tag to be added...?

 

EDIT: doesn't look like I can edit the opening post. Just saw I hadn't mentioned to grease the threads of the puller amongst the steps - it helps the threads survive when under a lot of force!

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