Worn Radius Arm Bushings

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Justshootme84

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I see this problem a lot on 4WD F-150's and Broncos with the twin i-beam or TTB front end ,and my 84 Bronco was no exception. Part of the bushings will be gone or sagging from their original spot on the brackets. My way of doing it was to remove the bolts from the frame-mounted brackets and the end of the arms, then simply install new bushings. If this has never been done before on your rig, one or both of the brackets may be riveted to the frame instead of bolted. You can use a grinder to remove the rivet heads, then drill a small hole thru the rivets. Watch out for fuel lines inside the frame rail. This will allow them to pop out with the aid of a hammer and punch. Use 7/16" Grade 8 hardware to re-mount the brackets, and next time you replace them, it will be much easier. Use a floor jack under the axle half that you're working on, so you can get the new bracket bolts lined up on the frame. A come-along may even be necessary, it was in my case, to align the bolts. I used poly urethane bushings instead of the OEM rubber ones, too. It will take you 3-4 hours to do the first side, then about 1-2 hours to do the other since you know what to do. Go and get a front alignment afterwards-it will change!

In the photo below, the blue arrow points to the radius arm, the yellow is the bushing on the front of the mounting bracket (there's also one behind it), and the red arrow is one of the four rivets in the bracket:

http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/109931/fullsize/88bronco15a.jpg

(I added the lift kit with extended arms about two years after doing this)

 
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S

SMitty

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All that work for bushings that will eventually wear out again ?? Has anyone just tried slitting the forward bushing and inserting it over the male spike ? Don't have to remove anything except the radius arm compression washer, etc. Insert the front bushing with the cut down to minimise the damage when brake torque forces the radius arm spike end up. OK ??? or BAD IDEA ?? You won't hurt my feelins either way you respond. :-B

 
B

bad ass bronco

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you guys r nuts!!! all you have to do is unbolt the nut off the back of the radius arm, use a comealong and attach one end to the front framerail and the other to the hole in the radius arm and pull the whole arm out of the bracket. after the arm is out of the mount, put on the new bushings. use plenty of lube on the bushings. always use poly bushings. they may squeek a little but they don't wear out. then push on the end of the arm with your feet while a friend slowly releases the comealong. put the rear bushing on the back of the arm and tighten the nut down with a big breaker bar.

 

Raven

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Feb 24, 2004
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Same here always used the comealong method unless I was replacing the bracket. I still prefer the rubber bushings over the poly ones little bit more give if ya hit something with the front tire.

 

jayman

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you guys r nuts!!! all you have to do is unbolt the nut off the back of the radius arm, use a comealong and attach one end to the front framerail and the other to the hole in the radius arm and pull the whole arm out of the bracket. after the arm is out of the mount, put on the new bushings. use plenty of lube on the bushings. always use poly bushings. they may squeek a little but they don't wear out. then push on the end of the arm with your feet while a friend slowly releases the comealong. put the rear bushing on the back of the arm and tighten the nut down with a big breaker bar.
i guess i should post here too.. this is what i did, except my come along wouldn't fit on my frame so we just attached one end to my co workers truck... i was expecting to do either the rivets or disassembly, and i was worried about the time factor... i pointed this suggestion out to my freind and he said "duh'

the explorer feels great now... thanks for reassuring me that i did the right thing...it took less than an hour, the hardest part was , due to the lackof a floor jack, we had to keep moving two bottle jacks around... other than that i'm pleased as punch!!!

 
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sdom001

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Can anyone be a little more specific with the replacement using the comealong method, may even some pics on where to attach. I tried last night to do it just from reading and couldn't get the radius arm all the way out still needed about an inch. Also do you do one side at a time or do you do both?

 
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