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Thread: Pressing out old suspension bushings with a hydraulic press. Technique?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Pressing out old suspension bushings with a hydraulic press. Technique?

    Hey all, so I am trying to press out the old bushings in the control arms with a 20 ton hydraulic press, and I'm struggling a bit. I've bathed them in penetrating oil, and seated either a 13mm socket(pushing on the center spacer), or a ~24mm socket(pushing on the outer metal casing), both with a carriage bolt thru the whole assembly to secure it, and in both instances, I'm not making progress. If you've ever experienced a hydraulic press under tension via rubber, it can actually be kinda dangerous; Ive had things shoot out of them at very high speeds. Can any of you detail how you got them out? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    This is the method I used and it is with the intention that I would be replacing the old bushings.
    1st I drilled a hole in the rubber. Then a bigger bit and a bigger one until the outer wall was thin as I wanted to go.
    I took a screwdriver to cut or at least get loose the outer wall in that location.
    I took and pressed in the center till it started coming out. I think weakening the outer wall and pressing in the center made it easier to break free.

    It definitely worked for me.
    Dave B.

  3. #3
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    You need something supporting the arm without warping it and something pushing down on the outer metal part of the bushing, not the rubber. Then press away, it will finally let go. Applying heat around the bushing in the control arm helps greatly as well.
    -----Dan B.

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    LS Swapper Josh's Avatar
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    ive done destructive removal. use a hack saw to cut a "pie piece" out, then squish and remove. These old bushings can really be rusted in there.

    This is far from the easiest way but it comes down to this sometimes.

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  5. #5
    Guy with a DeLorean Mark D's Avatar
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    When I replaced mine a 27MM impact socket was the perfect diameter to press on the outer bushing casing and still have clearance to press the bushing through the hole in the control arm.

    Like this one:


    For the front lower control arms and rear suspension links you need to support the opposing side of the arm with metal ring or a plate with a hole. I fabricated this plate and used it with the rear links.



    I also rented (for free) from autozone a ball joint press set and it had a bunch of different sized rings in it. If I'm remembering correctly this kit had one that was just the right size to support the LCA's from below while pressing out the bushing with the 27mm socket.


    Last edited by Mark D; 12-16-2020 at 01:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    brilliant. thanks for the tips folks!

  7. #7
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    After doing several sets of rear links, I've had the best results with the following technique:

    -Using a sharp chisel on an air hammer, punch out the rubber around the center steel bushing
    -Once the center bushing is out, use the side of the chisel to collapse the outer sleeve inward in a few places and press out with the appropriate size driver
    -If it's really stuck, or you don't have a press, use a sawzall with a fine tooth blade to carefully cut the outer sleeve lengthwise. it should come out with the air hammer now.

    Good luck

  8. #8
    Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech RamblinDMC's Avatar
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    If you're doing the rear control arms, I found it's really easy to press out the old bushings with the new ones. Kill two birds with one stone!

    I did this a few days ago, easy!

  9. #9
    LS Swapper Josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinDMC View Post
    If you're doing the rear control arms, I found it's really easy to press out the old bushings with the new ones. Kill two birds with one stone!

    I did this a few days ago, easy!
    are you pushing on the center of the bushing? If so it will weaken the bonding of the rubber to the metal and you can have the bushing fail.


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  10. #10
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    I've found that if you press out the inner rubber and steel portion first it makes it much easier to get whatever you're using to push on the busing to sit properly on the outer sleeve.

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