Why might a mechanic estimate $400 labor to replace these parts on just one side? The corrosion and poor access might stop me, but I couldn't how it would take a professional all day. Also, the shaft has nuts on each end for access to the bushings. Yet I sometimes hear that the bushings are not replaceable and the arm & ball must be replaced as an assembly ($300) Cfp12 and Philip Guidry, what did you do with yours? (I tried to reply on your topic, but couldn't find my way by clicking.)
Thanks for your help.
Can't say why a mechanic would charge so much just for the labor. Don't forget that there is probably an alignment thrown in the cost, as well. If the bushings need to be replaced, then that will of course add to the labor cost.
The ball joint does not have to be replaced with the upper arm. A dealer will do so, because that's the way Ford sells the parts. Aftermarket ball joints are available. I changed the upper ball joint on my '95 AWD (without changing the bushings) and it was easier than I expected, even with the lousy access and even though I removed the whole upper arm to make it easier to drill out the rivets that hold the ball joint to the upper arm. I would say the hardest part is drilling out the ball joint rivets. I chewed up a couple of drill bits, even though they were cobalt.
Removing the arm required removing the wheel, two nuts on the upper arm (make sure you know which shims go where) and the pinch bolt that holds the ball joint in place in the knuckle.
You can also Grind the heads off those rivets and beat them out.
But the new ones will have bolts, so future replacements will be much easier, if you ever have to replace them again.
The lower ones you are going to need the tool from AutoZone (rent it, leave deposit) to press the old one out and press the new one in. And don't forget to get a big "cheater pipe" to go over your wrench!!
John '93 Aerostar 3.0 236k White (Extended)
I had to rest a box-end wrench on a hardwood post and lower the van down with the jack to break the not loose. The forward bushing neded no replacement. After pressing in the new rear one I wondered how isuch a thin section endures such extreme rotational shear. It's scarcely 3/16 thick. The inner sleeve to which the rubber is vulcanized could rotate that much when the weight comes back on the tire.
Anyway, the van is all better now. I think the mechanic overestimated because he couldn't tell that the Ball joint was OK with the wobbly control arm.
A few hours work saved the family $600. Thanks for the encouragement.
If you mean the front bushings of front upper control arms, Eugene, those are the ones I didn't do. They were is good condition and hard to remove. I did the rear bushings of the front uooer control arms. Just the thin mild steel sleeves that contain the rubber remained, and they had been banging on eachother since tthe rubber was gone and were really swaged onto the forgings. I had to destroy them to remove them. The new ones went in very tight, anyway. So I'm not sure thev come out easy even if you do the repair while the rubber remains.
I'm about to change the bushings in the front upper arms of my van. Can you tell me how you pressed out the old ones?
When I did mine, I used an air hammer. I couldn't figure out a good way to get the brackets into the press or a vise.
I clamped the rod in the vise and used a concave-faced chisel in the hammer. I put the edge of the chisel under the flange on the bushing. I had to work around the bushing a bit, but they all came out in under a minute each.
I don't have any suggestions if you don't have access to an air hammer, though.
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