how to tell if control arm bushings are bad. - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 6:49 PM
ok so im pretty sure my whole car Is falling apart everything seems to be, going wrong either way I've been getting this clunking noise on driver side when I hit bumps no one seems to be able to figure out. I thought maybe control arm.bushings . how can I tell if the may be the source of my clunking? I know they ain't falling off bad but how can I tell if they need replaced thanks guys for those who don't know its a 96 cavi

Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Thursday, June 30, 2011 4:42 PM
Jack up the car, and take a a pry bar and try to move the control arm right where the bushing is. If you get any play in the control arm around the bushing then they need to be replaced. Or, if the control arm is laying on the subframe, then the bushing has completely sheered (most likely). This also means they need to be replaced.

But, chances are yes, they need to be replaced. They go, fairly common.




Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Thursday, June 30, 2011 5:08 PM
well the back control arm mount I can move up and down but it isn't real easy there is no play if I pull the control arm out and up and down on the back bushing toward the fire wall I get a little play but its definetly not scooping around. I go get a clunk in the front end driver side when hitting a big bump and cannot seem to find a definate issue.
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 4:03 AM
Dude...it's everything altogether. Strut mount, bushings, ball joints, everything. I feel like you haven't replaced one thing we told you needed to be replaced. I'm not trying to be an ass but it's getting annoying for me to see you make a new topic every day about something making noise. I'm still saying it's your strut mount, especially since a shop confirmed it as well.
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 6:44 AM
could be quite a few things. another thing to check is that the links on your front swaybar (if equipped) are broken or not, when one of mine snapped everytime the vehicle went over a bump you could hear a definite clunk from the drivers side.
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 8:05 AM
ok lets get one thing straight and yea I'm being an ass and I honestly dont care if I wanted to hear your bs. I would ask. and to be honest I don't trust the shop because I can tell the damn strut mounts aren't bad. also I was ran off the road by a drunk driver couple days ago so I'm checking everything to make sure its ok. you know there is alot of good people here but the few people who can't keep to themselves make me want to leave the forum and buy a different car and go some where else. not that any one cares but really if your going to be an ass just go some where else . I post questions wanting answers not bs.
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 8:25 AM
of and btw the struts are firm and not leaking ball joints are tight and the tie rods are new. so it isn't all of it. the mount shows minimal movement up and down or when the wheels are turned sure they move a little because of ashe but not bad enough to.make a noise
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 8:35 AM
hmm, i had a clonking noise as well. It was strut/mount related but only because the nut on top of the strut couldnt tighten all the way down. This in turn made my mount wobble during bumps because the nut couldn't securely hold the mount firmly on the strut.. I fixed it by adding 2 1/8" washers and then the nut which worked and then later replaced it with a strut bolt I took from the junk yard. I too thought it was my control arm or even sway bar endlinks but it wasnt. hope this helps.



Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 1:20 PM
If the ball joints and tie rods are good:

1. Start with the strut mounts. You can get OEM replacements from rockauto for $20/side. Includes everything you need to put them in.

2. If the clunk is still there, move to control arm bushings. They are about $8/piece, but you have to press out the old ones and press in the new ones.

3. If your clunk is still there after that. check for excess rot or cracking in teh sway bar end links and/or bushings. If they have excessive play or are very dry rotted,. replace them.

4. If your clunk is still there, now you have to look into possibly a bad strut, or wheel bearing issue, or even an axle issue. However for a "clunk" these items usually are not the issue. It's not unheard of, but they primarily are not the cause.




Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 1:22 PM
And by the original post, I was under the impression everything had been checked or replaced already, meaning ball joints, tie rod ends, strut moutns and all. Thats how it sounded, so I based my first post off that impression.




Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 1:35 PM
sway bar and links were in decent shape . axles actually do have some play I'm not sure whats considered normal for up and down movement. hubs are new . control seems ok I mean itll move but it ain't sloppy and only move on the back bushing up and down not in and out. strut mounts move up and down when car is bounced but not excesively and don't seem bad but I could be wrong. would it be crazy to think maybe it could be the steering wheel arm on the fire wall ? the joint I mean. but idk lol its not real bad just when I hit a big bump on the drive side and it ain't a bad clang noise. meaning ive heard lots we worse

Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 6:19 PM
how would I remove the bushings and how do I install new ones? I did notice my control arm on th the driver side sits lower by about half an inch than the passenger side
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 8:23 PM
You need a press, chances are you don't, so you need to take it to a shop.
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 9:06 PM
how about using a vise and a socket to push it out and to press the new one in?
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 9:13 PM
dakota sutherland wrote:

how about using a vise and a socket to push it out and to press the new one in?


you need an arbor press, end of story.





Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Friday, July 01, 2011 9:34 PM
y ive seen other people use a vise on there cars why can't you on a cavalier
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Saturday, July 02, 2011 4:15 AM
Then try it with a vice and socket. If it works for you, Great. but, you might find yourself struggling a bit.

And btw, you can't always tell a strut mount is bad when its in the car. Take mine for example. I had to take them apart to find out the bearing plate was actually starting to oval.




Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Saturday, July 02, 2011 4:30 AM
I dont mind struggling it beats paying someone to do it lol I'll let you guys know how out goes
Re: how to tell if control arm bushings are bad.
Sunday, July 03, 2011 5:01 PM
well my buddy had a press so I used it the hardest part was getting the bushing sleeve out of the control arm. I changed ball joint tierod bushing and axle I went to far and over extended it and broke it. oooops lol. any way its great now I actually enjoy driving again. thank you guys for everything.
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