Installing Control Arm Bushings: Tips?

Anyone have any special tips for this?
I am struggling mightily with this for my front lower driver's side control arm on my 91 Civic LX, 176k miles.
I heated the whole arm in the oven for about half an hour at 150 degrees F. I applied soap and then PB Blaster. I did not clean the control arm bushing holes hardly at all, though. I have to get some emery cloth.
Out of stupidity, while trying to install the new bushings, I already somewhat mushroomed the bolt holes but I think I recovered from that. I got the large one in but then, while recovering from the mushrooming, it slipped out again.
I got the arm off easily this morning (all except the radius rod bolts had been previously freed). I had problems all day getting the outer sleeve of the bushings free. I cut out the inner sleeve and rubber pretty easily, per my earlier thread on this. But the outer sleeves seemed much tighter compared to my practice control arm of a few weeks ago. Exhausting...
I see cautions in various auto newsgroup archives about banging too much on the control arms. I am prepared to buy one second hand from a junkyard, if need be. Also, it has been so laborious today that I may very well take the passenger side's control arm to my local Napa, which does have bushing press service.
At this point I am thinking that, certainly for older cars, replacing the bushings one's self is a huge roll of the dice without industrial equipment. My experiment is largely a failure.
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I'm going to throw out this suggestion for comment, because it could produce results ranging from resounding success to being stuck. How about temperature-fitting the bushings; either freezing the bushings or heating the control arm? The upside is that the parts should fit together with no more than a solid blow or two from a mallet, while the downside is that if they go partway you are probably no better off than you are now - maybe worse - and don't get a second chance. I've never done it myself but I assume the temperature difference fades quickly once the pieces are in contact.
Does anybody know why bushings are fit so tightly? Bearings typically aren't that tight.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

She mentioned that the control arm was heated to 150. I would suggest 200 as a more realistic temp which is still below that which would degrade the assembly. Freezing the bushings will also help.
My experience in this is mostly with brand X cars but I have had little problems with installing bushings using the temperature techniques. It does help when a second person is available to hold the control arm on top of a vise so that the OP can concentrate on "beating" the bushing into location.

Bushings are an "interference" fit which is a characteristic of many static components. IOW, cheap stability. A bearing is a lubricated pivot while the bushing is a static pivot using rubber instead of grease.

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You're right. Much has been learned. I'm game now to go for the passender side in a week or so, because I learned so much doing the driver's side.

Good explanation
JT and Michael, I got them installed this morning. I think the problem was my lack of experience and being too tired yesterday evening. I agree heating the arm (though perhaps to 200 F) and refrigerating the bushings for an hour or so will help (with Honda bushings, at least), based on what I saw yesterday and a few days ago when my bushings first arrived. I didn't do either this morning and so probably put forth more effort than necessary.
This morning the important things I did seemed to be -- Sandpapering (100-C aluminum oxide grade) the insides of the control arm holes. -- Hammering just a little, and only on the outer sleeve with a socket that fits it, to get things started. Line it up carefully. -- Using the socket-bolt-nut washer-(any ol' donut shaped parts lying around that would help, and many did!)-approach described at http://www.maxcooper.com/rx7/how-to/suspension/pillow_balls/index.html . It didn't take all that much force. I used mostly a two-foot pipe extension on my wrenches and wasn't applying my whole weight or anything. It's important to have sockets that fit the outer sleeve well, etc. -- Do not push on the inner sleeve. Push strictly on the outer sleeve (I wasn't doing this last night when I was whacking away). -- PB Blastering consistently through the process, both sides of the bushing.
The bushings went in pretty smoothly, though it took awhile as I hunted for parts and re-arranged sockets, washers, donut-y parts.
Just knowing it can be done helps a lot.
Michael, about going halfway: If the bushing is aligned with the control arm pretty well, that's when, after the last day of experience, I now feel I can pretty easily push it in with the socket-bolt-nut-washer-PBBlaster Max Cooper approach.
If I heat the arms and freeze the bushings, admittedly I may not have to whack at all.
I had originally ordered a "front control arm set" of Mugen Bushings from KingMotorSports.com. They arrived in the mail on time, but only two(!) bushings came in the package. The control arms hold a total of four bushings (two small, two large). I called King's non-toll free number, and the clerk explained that I needed to order the large, "shock absorber" bushings separately. That's not entirely clear from King's web site. The cost per inboard Mugen bushing was a whopping $25. Roiled, I sent them back and took the sizable restocking fee and shipping/handling hit.
I called my favorite import auto repair shop to see what they had to offer. They had for me OEM Honda parts at a price that beats any OEM price on the net. Interestingly, the guy at the shop explained to me that they buy the bushings from the companies that make them. He showed me the part nos. on the packaging and the bushings themselves, and they do indeed match the OEM ones at Slhonda.com . When I picked them up, I asked him what companies made them, and he read them from the order form. Both of course are in Japan.
Having had no previous experience on this on which to rely, I had a lot of doubts that I was doing things correctly and so sought more input. Many thanks, JT and Michael.
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Elle wrote:

I always install bushings dry as to preserve the interference fit. I just use a BFH on the (collar/socket) that is the driving interface to the bushing. Also keep in mind that the bushings should be left in the freezer overnight.
Regarding heating components for "fitting" purposes, good temperature control can be achieved by using Tempil Sticks at temperature ratings of 200 & 225 F. This insures heating sufficiently but not exceeding to a range that could lead to compromises structurally.

Gotta give ya credit for doing this work on a rust belt car. I'm spoiled rotten with Texas tin where fifty year old bolts/nuts still turn freely...
JT
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Grumpy AuContraire wrote:

    I'm looking for a rust free '92 Accord 2 door that I can put my drivetrain and interior into. This *#!!ing rust is braking my heart. bob
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"N.E.Ohio Bob" wrote:

Do occasional searches on Craig's List for Austin, San Antonio and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Steer clear of Houston as cars there sort of qualify for "rust belt" status.
Of course, you can also check cities in south Arizona and most of California. Even Washington and Oregon (near the coast) cars are relatively rust free.
JT
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Include central Florida,but avoid coastal cars;the salt air is equal to a winter's driving up in NY.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On 5/21/2006 3:53 PM N.E.Ohio Bob spake these words of knowledge:

I'm not being a jerk, but... OK, I am, but that's not why I'm writing this.
Guys, 2 threads above this we have someone saying 'break fluid'. No. It's brake fluid, because what stops the car is brakes. What breaks your heart, on the other hand, is 'breaking' news.
I just couldn't stand it anymore.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
--
By the time they had diminished from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to
suspect 'Hungry'...
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Dave Kelsen wrote:

But, but, but... In this thread, it would be "braking news."
<groan>
JT
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JT, all of this is now copied and pasted to my notes.
I installed the re-bushinged dr side front control arm and test drove my Civic a few hours ago. Drives well. I do think I have less clunkiness going over dips etc.
Hopefully the passenger side front lower control arm bushing installation will go better. Will try it in a week or so.

Interesting. My 91 Civic was driven for 12 years in the rust belt. The last three have been out West. In the local junkyard here, I never have problems freeing old control arm bolts from their Hondas. Also, the old, bushing outer sleeves of the second-hand, bent control arm I purchased for practice were much easier to remove.
Thanks!
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Update on King: Without my asking, and to its credit, King did not charge me a re-stocking fee but rather immediately refunded to me the full cost of the bushings. So I am only out shipping and handling.
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One of the perks of being female, I suppose, is that you can get away with putting auto parts in an oven. I hammered on a few control arms in my younger days, but I no longer do this. A large bench vise, a piece of threaded rod and some sockets, or a machine shop work much better. If you learn from this, it was not a "failure".
Earle

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In another thread recently, JT (= Grumpy) said to heat the entire arm. From further reading, I think local heating with, say, a torch, runs a risk of deforming the arm. But I dunno. I just figured if I wiped the control arm free of dirt and oil, then the temperature would be low enough that I wasn't risking a fire or filling the house up with the odor of roasted control arm.
Should you need me to speak with your wife about cooking auto parts in her oven, email me in private. ;-)

All true. I'm getting old. Ten years hence, I'm using Napa's shop press service.
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No, thanks. I learned after the brake drums in the dish washer.
Earle
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Well, you could have put them in the clothes washer on low agitate...
<G>
JT
Earle Horton wrote:

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meaning of "ritually unclean." No matter what it goes through it will never be usable for food... says the boss.
Mike
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Maybe you can buy a cheap arbor press from Harbor Freight. preferably a local store so you don't have to pay shipping on such a heavy item.
Cut/drill some plywood for press fixtures.Maybe use dowels to keep the bolt holes undistorted.
--
Jim Yanik
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I agree a cheap one might do the trick for pressing the bushings in place.

I was indeed using some scraps of wood with my bolt-socket-etc. clamping device at various points this morning. Good idea to take this a bit further. Especially if I go after the rear control arm bushings within a year or so.
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Elle wrote:

The rear is usually a lot worse than the fron as it gets all the kicked up salt etc. A cutting torch would be the ticket for that job but watch out for the gas tank... Oh, should mention that generally, the passenger/curb side is worse 'cause that's whar' the puddles hang out!
JT
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