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Radius Arm Bushing Replacement

 
  #1  
Old 05-30-2005, 08:39 PM
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Radius Arm Bushing Replacement

The radius arm bushings on my 150 Clubwagon are showing their age so I bought new ones and began the job of replacing them today. The driver's side was no problem but the passenger's side (the one with the worst bushing naturally) has me scratching my head.

I did the driver's side by removing the bracket that mounts to the frame and sliding it and the bushing off the end of the radius arm. Install the new bushings and re-fit the bracket. The 3 bolts that hold the bracket to the frame rails go through the frame rail from the driver's left to right. This was no problem on the driver's side but the passenger's side presents a problem. The exhaust collector sits right beside the bolts (between the transmission and frame rail). There is only about an inch clearance between the frame rail and the collector but the bolts are about 4 inches long, so to get the bolts out I would have to drop the exhaust.

I was trying to do this as a quick/simple job in the driveway and didn't want to take the time/effort to drop the exhaust. I tried removing the radius arm bolt and pushing the right front I-beam forward far enough for the arm to clear the bracket but couldn't get this to work. I didn't have much time left so I buttoned it back up and finished the rest of the stuff on my list. I replaced a bunch of other front end parts along with the pads and rotors. I also had new tires mounted. All that is left is that damned passenger side radius arm bushing.

Has anybody here done this job and know of a way around this problem?

Steve
'95 Clubwagon XLT
 
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:46 PM
JoeP
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Could you cut the bolt heads off and remove them from the outside? Then you could use new bolts and put them in from the outside? We recently did this to our E-100 and the bolts went in from the outside on both sides of the vehicle. The nuts were on the inside of the frame. (300 6 cyl)
 
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Old 05-31-2005, 05:32 PM
rclarke
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Remove the shock and spring, lower the axle enough to clear the frame. Use a come-a-long to pull the axle forward til the radius rod clears the bracket. Replace the bushing and reverse order the assembly. You will have resistance forcing the radius rod back to the bracket. I have used a come-a-long to pull the rod inboard and a jack to raise the rod to the bracket. That is the only way I have ever replaced radius rod bushings on pickups, E series, Explorers, Rangers and any other models with radius rods. The only time I remove the bracket is if it is damaged and needs to be replaced.
 
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Old 05-31-2005, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeP
Could you cut the bolt heads off and remove them from the outside? Then you could use new bolts and put them in from the outside?
I considered doing this but the nuts are welded to the bracket. That means I have to cut the heads off the bolts and then run the threaded end through the nut on the other side. This isn't really practical as the shank isn't fully threaded. Or, I could cut a section off, turn it out till it hits the exhaust and cut again, repeat until its clear. Then I would have to grind off the welded on nuts to re-install with new bolts and nuts.

I am not sure that this method or the method described by rclarke are any simpler than just dropping the exhaust. Dropping the exhaust isn't that big a deal. My exhaust isn't stock. I have a big y pipe (in place of the front cat) that feeds a single high-flow cat followed by a Walker Dynomax. Its 3" ID from the y-pipe all the way out the back. To drop the exhaust I only have to hit the two pair of mounting bolts at the manifold with the impact and down it comes. (I had it off a while back to install gaskets on the exhaust manifolds.) I was trying to do this quick and simple in the driveway monday afternoon and didn't have the time to get it up on stands so I could get under it far enough to get the exhaust down.

Steve
'95 Clubwagon XLT
 
 
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