Lower control arm bushings for GT, just how far do they go in
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Thread: Lower control arm bushings for GT, just how far do they go in

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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Lower control arm bushings for GT, just how far do they go in

    Hello all, I'm putting the bushings in my lca in my gt
    How far are they supposed to go in?
    Seems one went in almost 3 mm farther than the other and looks proper as the other not so much
    What should a properly installed bushing on these look like?
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Installing those suckers in the lower control arms was one of the hardest mechanical jobs I've ever done in my life. There's no way to properly brace the a-arm. It took me hours and hours and custom made collars and bushings and vice work to get them in. I installed the oem rubber type and after 35 years of the urethane type squeaking like a baby buggy, I'm glad I did, but God was it hard.

    Yeah, you gotta push that one in all the way.


    IMG_4587.jpg IMG_4581.jpg Lower arm bushings and ball joint done.jpg Front suspension stuff ready to install.jpg
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    Opeler SpringGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrylewisac View Post
    Hello all, I'm putting the bushings in my lca in my gt
    How far are they supposed to go in?
    Seems one went in almost 3 mm farther than the other and looks proper as the other not so much
    What should a properly installed bushing on these look like?
    Both of my bushings are just like the one in your first photo, flush with the A-arm body. No standoff.

    Just as a dimension check of the A-arm, I measured 134mm, just touching the inside surface of both A-arms, along the axis of rotation. Is yours something like that too? If so, then your A-arm has probably not been bent during the installation process and you can press the loose one in the rest of the way without binding anywhere.
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    where's the white flag icon I surrender
    I'd like to think I'm not a complete idiot however I feel like one right now
    Pretty sure I've managed to destroy both my lca's
    this really really stinks.
    I try to do everything myself for the experience and for a confidantes boost
    But sometimes I just have to face the fact that I'm beat.
    What a miserable pos
    If you make it through an entire day and learned nothing you weren't paying attention

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    Opeler SpringGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrylewisac View Post
    where's the white flag icon I surrender
    I'd like to think I'm not a complete idiot however I feel like one right now
    Pretty sure I've managed to destroy both my lca's
    this really really stinks.
    I try to do everything myself for the experience and for a confidantes boost
    But sometimes I just have to face the fact that I'm beat.
    What a miserable pos
    OK, slowly step away from the ledge. What makes you think that they are ruined?
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    Agreed. I am not surprised to see this result with a press... the sides of the A-arms will tend to flex with the pressing force and one of the 2 bushings will bottom out before it can fully seat. Sci-fi Guy has the info.... you have to find a way to push the sides of the A arms back out. IMHO, placing it back in the press with the non-fully-seated busing down, get a little tension on the bushings.... then use a hammer and dull chisel to smack down on inner side of that arm that need more seating. It might take some working around that bushing's periphery to get it to seat gradually all around.
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    2000 Post Club soybean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringGT View Post
    OK, slowly step away from the ledge. What makes you think that they are ruined?
    Yeah, how and why? The pictured one wasn't that much off. Couldn't you use a socket the same dia as the outside of the bushing and press it in the last little bit?
    Jarrell
    Last edited by soybean; 3 Days Ago at 09:43 PM.
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    An air chisel with a half-moon attachment spoon or a flat 1/2 in. tip punch can be used to move the metal on the A-frame to close the gap at the bushing.
    Automobile work can be a challenge .....remember never pray for patience...
    You have not damaged anything beyond repair ...yet.
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    When I did my Lower A arms at Jeff's shop in NY.. It was a two man job from Hell.. that late night...Thank You Very Much Jeff,, And we had every possible shimming device on earth inside his huge Commercial Steel Fabricating shop... and We had a Very Hard time pressing those Lower rubber bushing,, With this Monmoth Size Machine Press The upper were not a problem.
    Jeff tack weld a washer in three spots on the metal outside sleeve then pressed it out on the machine.. pop
    The Lower A-Arms were a Bitch to do for sure ... Must stop the presses when first sign of bendage ( Two Man Job)

    Also a Good tip maybe for others too,, if you go with rubber bushings in the lower arms,, then Go for the Gussetts like Gordo and I did... It does make them a lot stronger specially if your going to use a front sway bar, stronger arms from flexing. also does Make the arms harder to bend while pressing... I think I cut the sleeves out of the lower arms with the dremel tool, I think we Pressed one side fully into bushing making sure the xmember still moves free,, and back up the bottom with short pc pipe 1 1/2 Dia ..ithink.. then press one side
    I think the problem was with the other bushing,,, we made short piece of 1' angle iron to fit between the arms for bracing,,
    then you can't bend so easy or a piece of pipe sliced in half that will fit between the A- Arms for bracing that can be easy to remove.... does that make any sense ... I know we used a bunch of different short pieces of Black pipe.. I think I still have

    If one person is holding the arm straight and aligned,, and the other is controlling the press,,, makes for easier work,,he,he someone to tell you to stop it's not moving before you bend it... Just trying to Help
    MIKE
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    1972 Opel GT, 1969 Opel GT, 1973 MGB,

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Oh thank God I'm not the only one who went through Hell with those.

    This is one excellent reason why so many people opt to leave the sleeves in place and just use the urethane inserts, instead of the bonded rubber cartridges. Also the rubber type was unavailable for decades.

    This would be an absolutely fabulous tool for someone to make and sell. A sleeve or tube with steps on the end to conform to the irregular surfaces on the inside of the a-arm, that slides over the cartridge, so that you can squeeze the bushing into the a-arm in a vise. It took me about one minute to do the upper a-arms, it took 2 hours each to do the lower ones. Finally, I conjigured a tool together, as described above, to get the job done. I'm at work and can't access my pics right now, but I have a pic showing all the different height levels that a tool/device/jig would need to conform to in order to press those cartridges in. Also, like me, you see to have powdercoated your arms, if there is any paint inside the bushing hole the cartridge will fight you.

    As Opellane said, the gussets are a very good thing to install. It's unbelievable what flimsy junk those lower a-arms are. An aluminum backyard lawn chair is stronger. Another good thing about getting a set of them is that you can use them as a template to check whether your a-arm is bent. Just lay them on top of your a-arms and check and compare, looking for anomalies. I did this, made a few "adjustments, and then had a muffler shop weld them on all the way around. Then I had them blasted and powdercoated. Then I pressed in the bushings.

    There is also the issue of there being 2 different sizes of those cartridges. Almost none of us can be 100% sure that every part on our car was from a certain year. PO's replacement parts may have been gotten from other cars. Some parts have been scarce for many years, you have to use what you can get. There are also a number of crossover years, like 1970, which had cars with a mish mash of different model year parts.

    Don't worry excessively about the 2"-3" of the lower a-arms that have the cartridge holes. That part bends like butter. It's the greater structure of the "A" that you don't want to have bent. Don't forget: The car wiggles all around on those bushings, almost 1/4" of flex. It's part of the car's shock absorbtion system. The urethane ones make your car ride hard, they don't flex hardly at all. The rock hard gray urethane ones are only for racing and make your car ride like an ox cart

    I'll write more after work.......
    Last edited by The Scifi Guy; 2 Days Ago at 10:05 AM.

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    I use an aluminum block cut to size to go between the ends of the arms, just allowing the cups to go in. If you do not support the arm ends, they will bend in too much, or you will insert the sleeve sideways. cleaning the opening (not grinding) will go a long way with some oil here too.

    We do about 10 a year, some will go easy, some not so much. Getting them in isn't the problem I have, its getting them out without damaging them.
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    The High Holy Monks of the Blitz demand that you show us your aluminum blocks, please!

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    I would choose polyurethane instead of reproduced rubber because the quality isn't very convincing with bushes and gaiters deteriorating in a couple of years. But perhaps your reproductions are better ?
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    Mike's Opel Shop Site Supporter opellane's Avatar
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    I think next time I'll try Teflon Bushings are softer and don't make noise or get hard,,


    https://atz-online.com/p/opel-gt-kad...r-hinten-satz/



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    Or the Rubber,, take the most time, need the right tools, Machine Press, Large Vises,, shims, and blocks, I know what am up against next time for sure

    Poly, hard last about maybe 2 years,, depends if you drive in the rain a lot..oh yea,,, forgot,,,"" Snow too"" . yup,, washes out the silicone grease,, then it starts happening, noise, squeaks, poor handling,,
    The Poly Bushings are much, much more easier to Service then Rubber with steel sleeves bushings JMHO
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    MIKE
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodåren View Post
    I would choose polyurethane instead of reproduced rubber because the quality isn't very convincing with bushes and gaiters deteriorating in a couple of years. But perhaps your reproductions are better ?
    I drove with the urethane ones for 30 years and hated them.

    I've driven on the rubber cartridges for the past 2-3 years and absolutely love them.

    We just need a tool or a process or a place to send them to make the install job easier.

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    3000 Post Club Site Supporter P.J. Romano's Avatar
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    I like polyurethane bushings. They give more precise steering as they do not deform as much as rubber bushings. With aftermarket wheels that are usually wider and more offset, bushings are taking a lot of stress. Polyurethane bushings will retain its shape much better than the rubber ones. They do not squeak if properly lubricated with Teflon grease during installation.

    Rubber ones will absorb impacts better, so if you like softer ride and have standard wheels, rubber ones could be good solution.
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    Just Some Dude in Jersey The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    P.S.Terry: Remember to not give final tightening of the new rubber cartridges until you have your suspension assembled, installed in the car, with the car's weight sitting on the suspension, with the a-arms at the static position they would normally be at if you were driving. ONLY THEN do you tighten the 2 bolts at the pivot.

    The urethane replacement bushings were, in my not so humble opinion, a cheap quick fix for the bonded rubber bushings that we couldn't get and for racer dudes who wanted to tighten up their steering. Almost all mods are for racers, these mods often make cars that are driven casually perform kinda crappy.

    The original rubber bushing cartridges had the rubber bonded to the inner sleeve and the outer shell, so that when the a-arm went up and down the rubber did not rotate it FLEXED up and down. The urethane bushing don't flex, they aren't bonded to anything, they're free-floating against the outer shell and the inner sleeve. When the a-arm goes up and down, the shell, sleeve, and bushing all rotate and rub against each other, hence the need for weird special lubricant to keep them from squeaking.
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    I want to thank you all for the kind words and encouragement It truly means a lot to me and shows great character on all of your behalf's
    YES I had a serious case of poopy pant's yesterday evening.
    The goal was to get it all back together to take the wife for her first ride this weekend as she hasn't had the opportunity to since I bought it (my fault wanted to correct some issues first so she wouldn't hear all the pops and other noises it was making)
    That way she might just stop nagging ( for lack of the better term) about this thing taking up room in the garage! Honey this thing in the garage is an OPEL GT and it's home is in the garage
    Any way I tried all kinds of creative engineering, cutting down threaded rod as support between the A arms, (to get this dumb & dumber moment) I cut up the lower end of one of the old shocks then in half long ways, down to size & tack welded together to create the half moon tube to support the weak link top of A arm I guess 3 mm thick isn't gonna cut it although it did work for 1, was trying to work with what I had.
    I attached some photo's of humility LOL so I hope you all can see what I'm seeing. the one picture with my finger (which even I thought maybe to hard to see in a photo) it appears that bushing is running up hill.
    as weird as this sounds that was the first one I did and thought I was on to something<WELL once I did the other and saw how far and IMHO how perfect it rested and folded in to place I thought for sure that is the way a properly seated bushing should look. Then it was all one great big snow ball from there
    I think my greatest mistake of all thus far was giving the first set I finished a small tack weld for security now because of the spot I opted to tack I'll probably need to buy a small dremel with a small cut off/ grinder wheel to clean that off to finish.

    If nothing else I say we agree that when I f something up at least I go all out
    Pretty amazing though I have managed to do so many other things with out any issues we'll other than chipping a little paint

    Oh almost forgot no I did not powder coat, need that money in other places I let my son after it with my mighty mind and pointer finger with a rattle can. 2 coats primer/Etcher 3 top coats and 3 clear coats which actually IMHO turned out pretty good until the dreaded bushings came in to play O well nothing the rattlers can't cover again right
    But I'm not going to tell any one else as far as there concerned yes top o the line powder coat job
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    Last edited by terrylewisac; 2 Days Ago at 03:29 PM.
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    The High Holy Monks of the Blitz demand that you show us your aluminum blocks, please!

    Agreed I'll trade you one new spring compressor for your block no pitmen arm required
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    Member terrylewisac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    P.S.Terry: Remember to not give final tightening of the new rubber cartridges until you have your suspension assembled, installed in the car, with the car's weight sitting on the suspension, with the a-arms at the static position they would normally be at if you were driving. ONLY THEN do you tighten the 2 bolts at the pivot.
    Glad you mention this Gordo I was going to ask for some clarification once and when I finally get over this hurdle. Once I have this back in and level on jacks under spring eye Is it only the parts with rubber attached to them that I then( in a preloaded position) tork to specs IE lca, uca, spring eye bolts and shock tower .
    My service manual ( maybe I shouldn't be surprised) doesn't mention pre loading
    But once again with all the fine and excellent folks on this site Who needs a service manual? service manual is overrated LOL
    Last edited by kwilford; 2 Days Ago at 09:59 PM.
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