How-To Install a Bushing Without a Press

Installing a Bushing Without a Press

If you don’t have access to a hydraulic press, as very few of us do, there is a simple and inexpensive alternative to installing a suspension bushing. Using tools we had laying around, and a trip to the hardware store, we built a homemade bushing installer that did the job quickly and efficiently. More importantly, the hardware cost was under $10. In this article we’ll show you how to make your own bushing installer and give you some dos and don’ts to make your install go as smoothly as possible.

For those of you visual learners.

Removing the OE Bushing

Before you can install your new bushing, you have to remove the old one. If you need help removing your OE bushing, check out our How-To Burn Out Bushings: The Right Way article.

Burn Out Bushings Right vs Wrong

**Be sure to consult your installation instructions before you remove the outer shell, as a lot of aftermarket bushings require the use of the OE shell.** But for those of you with bushings that have a new outer shell, please read below to see how we installed a bushing without a hydraulic press.

Sand and Polish the Housing

Once you have removed the OE bushing and shell, you should be left with an empty housing. Its a good idea to sand and polish the inner diameter of the housing before you install anything in order to clean up any corrosion, contaminants or rust that may have accumulated. The last thing you want is a sharp edge in there that damages your new bushing when you install it. Additionally, a clean and polished housing will reduce friction, allowing the new bushing to be installed more easily.

Install Bushing Installer

Bushing Installer Parts: Do’s and Don’ts

Once your housing is prepped, you are ready to build your bushing installer. Full disclosure: The first bushing installer we built failed, hard. It just wasn’t strong enough to provide the force necessary to install the bushing. So throughout the description of this installer, when we say “you don’t want to use” something, it’s because we tried it and it failed.

Install Bushing Installer

Sockets or Pipe

We used a set of sockets because we had a set available, so if you have a socket set you can use that. But if you don’t have one, and you don’t want to go spend a hundred dollars on a nice set of sockets, don’t worry. You can do the same thing with two pieces of 3 dollar metal pipe. You will need a piece of pipe with the same diameter as the bushings, and a second piece of pipe with a larger diameter that will brace itself against the housing you’re installing the bushings into.

Install Bushing Installer
Install Bushing Socket

Important Notes about Nuts and Bolts

Now that you have your sockets, or pipes, you need a threaded bolt to go through the entire contraption. A few important things about the nuts and bolts:

Use a Grade 8 bolt, not a Grade 5

A Grade 8 bolt can be identified very easily. On the head of the bolt you’ll see a number of lines. If there are 6 lines on the head, that’s a Grade 8, if there are 3 lines, that’s a Grade 5.
Install Bushing Socket
The first bushing installer we built used a Grade 5 All Thread rod. The threads on the Grade 5 were too soft and failed under pressure when we were installing the bushing into the housing. When we switched to a Grade 8 bolt, we wondered why we ever tried anything else.

Install Bushing Socket

Use a Coarse thread, not a Fine thread

With our brilliant minds (sarcasm) we thought surely to use a fine threaded rod. The more threads there are, the less force needed to complete a turn on a thread. Thus reducing the amount of strength required to push the bushing in. That was the thought anyways. But in practice, the fine threads were weaker and failed under the stress. A coarse thread is stronger and more durable for a task that requires as much force as installing a bushing.

Install Bushing Socket

Use the largest diameter bolt allowed

This bolt will have a lot of stress on it to install the bushing, so you’ll need a beefy bolt. But this bolt will have to fit through the inner sleeve of your bushing. Be sure to get the largest diameter bolt as allowed by your inner sleeve size.

Install Bushing Socket

Long Grade 8 Bolts usually have little threading

Now this is where we had to stop and put our thinking caps on. The whole point of the bushing installer was to tighten two nuts, causing the sockets to push against the bushing on one side, and the housing on the other, pushing the bushing into the housing. So we needed a threaded bolt that would allow us to torque the bushing all the way in. This is why we originally used the all thread rod, lots of threads. But once that failed, we tried to find a Grade 8 bolt that would work. Unfortunately the Grade 8 bolts at our local hardware store had a short thread length. Once we threaded the nut down to where it touched the socket, we had maybe one or two turns of thread left. After we pouted for a minute a light-bulb came on. Washers! Using a stack of washers as shims we were able to use the entire thread and then some. Once we torqued the the nut to the end of the thread, we took the nut off and added more washers to reset the bolt to the end of the thread.

Install Bushing Socket
Install Bushing Socket

Use a tall nut

The taller the nut, the more threads the nut has. Our first nut was short. When we switched to Grade 8, we had to switch nuts as well. The taller nut had way more threads, allowing the force to spread on a larger portion of the bolt, putting less stress on each individual thread. Now all you need is two wrenches (or one wrench and pair of vice grips) and you have your home-made bushing installer.

Install Bushing Socket

Tips and Tricks before you Install

Before you start torquing there are a few other tips and tricks you can use to make your install smoother.

Lubricate the bolt

This was a critical step in our success. The first go around we didn’t lubricate the bolt. The nut got really hot (to the touch) because of all the friction. That heat softened the metal, making the rod not only too weak to install the bushing, but we actually destroyed the thread. On the grade 8 bolt we lubricated the thread. It reduced friction, which reduced the heat, allowing the metal to stay strong.

Install Bushing Socket

Lubricate the housing with oil

We also lubricated the housing with oil. The oil helped the bushing slide in by reducing friction. Additionally, a coat of oil will protect your freshly polished metal from corrosion.

Install Bushing Socket

Freeze the bushing

Huh? Yeah you read that right. Science backs its up. Metal contracts in the cold. We put the bushing in the freezer for 24 hours before the install to help contract the bushing. Now it didn’t make the bushing just drop in, but even the slightest decrease in the bushing diameter can make all the difference.

Install Bushing Socket

Installing the Bushing

Now you are ready to install. Use a wrench or vice grips to hold one of the nuts tight. Then torque the other nut with a wrench. As the socket pushes the bushing, the opposite socket acts as a brace, pressing up against the housing essentially pressing the bushing into the housing. After a few minutes, the bushing was entirely in the housing, all without a press.

Install Bushing Socket
Install Bushing Socket

Once we had the right tools, the process was very simple. We even used the same tool to remove the bushing and then put it BACK in. It’s really all about having the right tools. So if you are have trouble installing your bushing with your homemade bushing installer, remember:

Making sure you have the proper tools for the job is key to your success. But don’t forget these helpful tips and tricks:

If you have any other questions comment below or contact our DST customer service team. Share you successes and failures (if you dare) in the comments below? Was anybody surprised about the freezing the bushing tip?

71 thoughts on “How-To Install a Bushing Without a Press

  1. Outstanding! It really helps to have an understanding of the task and a proper fix before undertaking the job. Thanks for the good tips and explanations.

    1. Thanks Steve! Good luck on your install. I’d love to hear how your attempt goes and your thoughts on the process. I know everyone would benefit from another person’s experience with the installer. Have fun!

      1. The simplicity of this tool is what makes it so great. I saw this article by accident and ashamed I didn’t think of it on my own. 4 bushings out in 30 minutes,now just need to clean up leaf springs and install new bushings with same tool. Tank you

        1. Thanks for checking out our article Jim (even if it was by accident) 🙂

          You were really flying to get 4 bushings out in a half hour. It really is a simple method and we’re glad that people are finding this “tool” useful. Isn’t it great when you find a way to do these seemingly complicated vehicle projects yourself and you don’t have to spend time waiting around in a shop?

          We appreciate hearing from you Jim and good luck with those leaf springs.

    2. Guys, good job on laying out how this can be done. I’ve used similar setup arrangements to remove and install ball bearings in things like tensioner pulleys and alternators with remarkable success. It’s all about using your ingenuity and creative talents.

      TIP – To help reduce the torque required to “tighten the bolt”, a simple thrust ball bearing can be used directly under the tightening nut to greatly reduce friction. Thrust bearings are fairly common and inexpensive (tons of them on eBay). You will also find them supplied with many of the lower cost “puller” kits. Inside diameter (hole size) is about all you need to consider when sourcing to get a good fit over your bolt selection. Lubricate well when using and consider using really thick washers to help spread the force.

      If you are not familiar with these little guys, here’s the wiki link:

      1. Great tip, Tuner!

        Reducing the friction between the nut and the washers should make things go much smoother. Is there any problem with the edge of the nut being too narrow to brace against the thrust washer? I would imagine the inner diameter of the thrust bearing would have to be really close to the OD of the bolt. We will have to give this a try and see it in action, but it sounds fantastic!

        Thanks again for the awesome addition to the bushing installer. Keep ’em coming.

        1. Also, consider using a coupling nut which has 2 to 3 times the surface area of thread than a regular nut. Not sure if this increases friction, though

  2. I appreciate the information accompanied with video and photos. I have a suggestion for those control arms that are not solid. My suburban control arms started collapsing when I was pressing in a bushing. I loosened up the bolt and inserted a piece of flat iron between the two sections that house the large bushing then tightened it down and it seated perfectly. Freezing the bushing allowed for pressing with very little effort. Thanks

  3. Did you try heating up your control arm as well? As you mentioned expansion and contraction. If you warm one up and cool down the other they go together very easily. What about a bench vise as well for those who have one.

    1. Chuck great point! We elected not to heat ours up solely because we didn’t need to. But if you are having any trouble you can heat up your arm a little bit. As for the bench vise, it is the same basic principle. So I’d say go for it if you have a bench vise. The only issue I can see with that is you’d need a wide set of jaws. Even a small bushing would need a pretty wide jaw.

    1. Hey Steve! Thanks! Not having to buy a cheap press is a huge deal, because even a “cheap” press costs way more than this set-up. Let us know how your install goes, we’d love to see pictures too.

  4. I like to lubricate my puller bolts with 90wt gear oil. It might be called 85/120 EPA or something like that.

    It’s just differential lubricant.

    The BEST threads are ACME type, but they aren’t readily available to hardware stores.

  5. Here’s an idea…why not just use a grade 8 theaded rod(whatever bolt size you wanted to use) usally available in 3′ sticks, leave it long or cut it down, leaving it long you can use it on multiple projects, no extra shims or washers needed

    1. That’s actually something we thought about using, but we opted for the bolt so that we could use a wrench to torque the bolt and press the bushing in. If you could find a way to torque it, you could use a threaded rod.

      1. Just saw this article, very good information in here. I have two options for using threaded rod.

        1) If you have access to a welder, weld a nut on one end of the threaded rod.

        2) Use two nuts on one end and tighten them against each other (same idea as jam nuts).

        Both methods would allow you to torque the fastener.

        1. Hey R.S.,

          Those are some great tips!

          Like a lot of DIY projects we tried to make due with what we had laying around, but using your suggestion with a nice piece of grade 8 All Thread would have eliminated the need for shims or washers and cut down on the install time considerably. It’s great to see the community coming up with so many options for people to accomplish this task easily and cheaply.

          Any other tips or tricks for quick and simple bushing install?

          Thanks again, R.S.

    1. Hey, thanks for the insight!

      You are right that fine threads are stronger than coarse threads in the areas that you mentioned. Though in the case of our jury-rigged bushing installer, we were looking for speed and endurance.

      The coarse thread bolt proved more durable and got the job done in fewer revolutions than a fine thread rod. Of course we made several other adjustments, like using a larger diameter bolt, taller nut, and lubricating the bolt, but all in all we felt the coarser thread was best for the job.

      Has anyone tweaked their own bushing installer with epic success? We would love to hear about it!

  6. What a simple and effective way to get bushings in, or out in my case. I was about to go rent a bushing press when I stumbled across this article. I feel almost stupid for not thinking of this. Thanks for the article!

  7. I didn’t quite follow these instructions and now I have a 3″ diameter subframe bushing pressed half way in. It will not go anywmore. Any tips on pressing it in the rest of the way? I forgot to oil the housing

    1. Hey Kasim!

      Sorry to hear about your bushing troubles. If you’ll give our customer service folks a call at 1-888-406-2330 they would love to help figure out a solution. We have a ASE mechanic right here in the office and we will assist you in every way that we can.

  8. I recommend using vegetable oil on anything that will touch the rubber of the bushing. Petroleum and mineral oils will degrade the organic rubber compounds.

    1. Hey Tom,

      Great tip! When certain chemicals come into contact with rubber it will definitely cause some degradation sooner rather than later. Any TLC you can provide for those bushings during install will keep them happy and working correctly longer.

      Any other tips for a smooth DIY bushing install?

  9. HI just found this was about to buy a press do you think there would be enough grunt to replace front castor bush’s on a 80s landcruiser I’ve been told 20tn press is needed thanks again

    1. Hey Mike,

      Getting the bushing out should just be a matter of getting the housing hot enough to get the rubber boiling. If you take a look at our how-to burn out a bushing article we got a bushing out with great success this way. I imagine that pressing the bushing in is going to be the problem, and if someone you trust has told you a 20 ton press is necessary then that’s probably what you’re going to need. I imagine the threads on the bolt will give out before you could get the same punch as a 20 ton press.

      That said, there’s no reason you couldn’t give the DIY bushing press a try first, if you have some time, and another vehicle to take your parts to a shop in case it doesn’t work. If you do try the DIY press please, please take pictures or video of the process and let us know how it goes.

      Thanks Mike, and good luck getting those bushings in.

  10. My stabilizer end link bushing doesn’t have a metal outer sleeve. It is vulcanized rubber which looks like a pulley with a metal centre where the bolt goes. (Subaru Part No. 20461AA002 )

    I tried installing using your method but it ripped the rubber flange (for lack of a better term) off of the leading edge as it was pressed in.

    What would you recommend?

    Here is a link to an image of the bushing

    1. Hey Peter,

      First of all, sorry to hear about your bushing but maybe we can provide some tips that will help you, and someone else, from losing another bushing.

      Now, how much lubricant did you use? For a bushing like this you need to “grease the dog out of it” as my grandfather would say. lubricate the housing, lubricate the bushing, lubricate everything. Then lubricate it all again.

      Next, the edge of that housing is probably sharp and straight like the cutting edge of a pair of scissors. If you grind just a little bit of that edge down and bevel one side of the housing it should go a long way toward keeping that flange intact when you try and press it in. That said, don’t overdo it. Just enough to smooth out that sharp edge.

      Even with these tricks installing a bushing of this type is going to be a messy pain. My boss installed a similar bushing on an Integra he owned 10 years ago and he still remembers how difficult it was. We wish you luck, and please let us know how your project turns out.

      Has anyone else had trouble with the DIY bushing installer? Or does anyone have any other tips for installing a difficult bushing?

      Thanks Peter and good luck!

      1. I am going to have a similar issue on a 2000 elantra. I stopped before it got too far in. I would recommend a metal file as a grinder/dremel would possibly take too much metal off too quickly. They make round and flat so take your pic. I will be going today to the hardware store to buy the bolt, washers, and nut to make this “press” as i have limited room on my car (rear control arms) and this is something i can just drop in my tool bag. I thank you guys for the hints and tips as you saved me a few hours of cursing and sweating trying to use a C clamp to get it in.

        1. Good call Angelo,

          Using hand tools would definitely allow a lot more precision in regards to the amount of metal you take off of the housing edge.

          Yeah, a C clamp has the potential for some wonky install problems that the bushing installer eliminates. We’re glad you found the How-To useful and we wish you luck with your Elantra’s rear control arm bushings!

          If you figure out any more tips that we didn’t mention during your installation be sure and let us know.

  11. For me the bushings really aren’t that hard.
    Its the arms that have a ROD in the middle that prevent you from using a press on one end.

    Anyone every got a round this easily ?

    1. Hey John,

      Yeah, those upper control arms with the cross shaft are a pain. There are a lot of factors that will make each DIY installation different, like “is the outer diameter of the cross shaft smaller than the bushing housing?” or “is the replacement bushing moulded into the shell?”

      The DIY solution will work in many cases and will get you halfway there with cross shaft control arms, but that bar will get in the way of completeing this project with our beloved bushing installer.

      Bottom line, this may be one of those situations where the DIY option isn’t really going to be worth it. Special tools may be a requirement if your want to get this project done at home.

      Does anyone know of a DIY method that can be used to install bushings on a front control arm that uses a cross shaft? We would love to hear about it!

      Thanks for the question John, and we hope you find a way to DIY those control arm bushings.

  12. I used the flat part of the socket on the bushing and put a washer on the open side of the socket worked like a champ.

  13. Slightly different issue than anything posted: I have a Subaru Outback that I have removed the stock bushings from the rear diff subframe. I have some new poly Whiteline bushings, but I cannot figure out how to get them pressed in. I tried homemade press with two big thick square washers on each side with a nut bolt to bring it together. I can’t get it to square up and go in straight, no matter how hard I try. Any help would be appreciated.

    Love all of the tips in this thread

    1. Hey Sean,

      If the bushing is not going in square there are a couple of things that might be going on.

      First, are you using a socket between the bushing and the washer? The socket helps brace the bushing so it goes in the housing straight. If your setup only uses washers to brace the bushing that could explain why the bushing won’t press into the housing squarely. If you don’t have a socket you can use a short length of pipe and a washer, but a socket is preferable.

      Second, try to use a bolt that is just a little smaller than the inner diameter of the bushing. That should take care of some of the wiggle room that might be keeping your bushing from going in squarely.

      Third, are you lubricating the housing and the outer shell of the bushing? It’s a really tight fit and that bushing needs all the help it can get to squeeze into that housing.

      If you’re already doing those things or you try them and they don’t work you can link us a picture that might give us a better idea of whats going on. Does anyone have another tip for this process?

      Let us know how it turns out or if you have any other questions, and good luck with you’re Subaru.

    2. Hey mate I know its a bit late (hopefully it might help someone else) but I am sitting here in my lounge installing a whiteline bush into my pajero rear arm and I had identical problem with it not going in straight, after a bit of consideration I decided to bevel one edge of the bushing a bit more with a metal file (just a bit, like 1-2mm further up with a gentler slope) and i used my dremel on around 5mm of one side of the arm until it was enough to get the bush started (I used a mallet to smack it in once it looked straight I started cranking the bolt and it is sliding right in), once it is started it will go in straight but those whiteline bushings in my opinion have a bad angle on the edge and are not perfectly round which makes it hard when the outer wall is so thick..

      1. Great tips Wally,

        We do have to urge caution when making changes to the control arms and bushings since this can void warranties and possibly cause problems with how the vehicle operates. That said, beveling the edge of the arm and the bushing can be a great way to make installation easier.

        Thanks for sharing your experience Wally!

  14. My grandpa’s tractor is not running correctly, and he thinks there may be a problem with the hydraulic cylinder. It is good to know that when it comes to these cylinders, it is possible to install a bushing without a press. Thanks for informing me that it is a good idea to sand and polish the inner diameter of the housing before installing new OE bushing. I will share this information with my grandpa, thanks again.

  15. Hi,to all you guys that make our pennies stay longer in our pockets. I am currently trying to install my mercedes benz vito 115 cdi lower control arm bushes, i managed to remove the old bushing but installing the new ones seems like the rubber will tear off . this is because the bush has an inner metal sleeve and the outer part is rubber. the bush is also prouder on its outer edges. i cannot press it in yet it was easy pressing it out. please help on dellima. I WORK FROM HOME AND NEVER BEEN TO THE DEALER, BECAUSE THE DEALER WANTS ME TO BUY THE WHOLE LOWER CONTROL ARM YET THEY SELL THE BUSHES LOOSE WHICH I BOUGHT FROM THEM.

    1. Hey Mavuso,

      Unfortunately pressing bushings out is usually easier than pressing them in. For one thing if you’re installing a new bushing then damaging the old one isn’t a big deal.

      As far as getting that new bushing in someone else had a similar problem with tearing a bushing while trying a DIY install. Basically you want to lubricate the bushing and housing really well and you might consider grinding down the sharp edge of the housing.

      If you are still having problems you might double check and make sure you have the right part and measure the inner diameter of the housing and the outer diameter of the bushing. The bushing should be right on the money or no more than a millimeter larger than the housing. If you have any other questions you can contact our unparalleled customer service team.

      Good luck with your project Mavuso.

  16. to John L Fak w/ the Control arms w/ the crosspiece; ran across this decades ago on a ’59 T-bird. To remove each bushing, I drilled a good-size hole through the rubber parallel to the length of the crosspiece, and close to the outer steel shell, then used a small round file, hacksaw blade, whatever to CAREFULLY cut the outer steel sleeve – i.e.don’t damage the control arm. After the outer sleeve could be collapsed, the bushing removal was easy.

    After cutting out both bushings, I used the crosspiece itself to draw the bushings back in, similar to the way they’re using the bolts in this thread . I could shift the crosspiece on mine with washers, sockets, etc. enough to do the job.

    BTW I recently learned you can order or buy fully threaded grade 8 bolts from Fastenal for a decent price. I can’t see that it would hurt to use a couple of nuts back-to-back for some extra strength, either.

    1. Great solution Glenn,

      This is a really simple way to get those cross shaft control arm bushings out with tools we all probably have lying around. I echo what Glenn said about being careful with cutting close to the housing. I imagine you could probably burn out the bushings as well and push the whole bar out, but if you don’t have access to a torch this drill and cut method sounds good.

      Another great idea from Glenn about using the cross shaft as the bolt to get the new bushings in place. We’ll have to try that sometime and get some pictures. And thanks for the tip about fully threaded grade 8 bolts. That would definitely improve a DIY bushing installer.

      Super helpful tips and instructions Glenn,

  17. This is a reason why I put Poly bushings in my SAAB. Firmer and they plop right in by hand.

    However, two years later, failed inspection due to worn out bushings (very large ones) in front lower control arms. Bummer! Rubber will degrade but not wear out like that. PU comes in many varieties and brand names with supposedly extra stuff in the mix according to whichever secret recipe is used, too bad that mine were cheapo ones.

    Tomorrow I’ll put some rubber bushings on, preparing a bunch of bolts in accordance with this guide. Then again I have a portable vise which might work too. Let’s see. At least I found a box of sockets at a garage sale, now I have a full set of everything and actually a total of 230 or so extra sockets to spare for use as special tools.

    1. Hey Mullet,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences and sorry to hear about those front lower control arm bushings. It’s very true that all polyurethane bushings are not created equal, and just like with any other product you’re going to get what you pay for. At we only carry brands that we believe are going to provide a great replacement or upgrade. Most high quality polyurethane brands are covered by life-time warranties, and some we back up with our own exclusive life-time warranty.

      In short I would guess that the premature wear could be chalked up to lack of bushing grease. Did you install those bushings yourself or do you know if the mechanic lubricated the bushings upon install? Did you notice any squeaking before you found out those bushings were worn? That could be a sign that the bushings were out of lubricant. Polyurethane bushings perform much better when the correct bushing grease is used. Since poly bushings rely on the hardware being able to rotate inside the bushing instead of deflecting like rubber, good lubrication is important.

      Rubber control arm bushings will provide a softer quieter ride, but poly will provide quicker response and hold wheel alignment better during a turn and over the life of the part. So it all comes down to what kind of driving you are planning on doing. It’s true that rubber bushings can degrade but they will also wear down, usually much faster than their poly counterparts.

      deformed rubber control arm bushing

      Good luck with the new bushings and let us know how they turn out.

    1. Hey Andy,

      We agree that the half bushing design of many polyurethane bushings make them a lot easier to install. You can also enjoy more responsive handling, longer lasting tires, and consistent wheel alignment with polyurethane bushings in many positions. These Energy Suspension control arm bushings are a really simple 1-2-3 install process, and the only tools you need are your mitts (and some polyurethane bushing grease).

      That said, some folks prefer the softer ride that rubber bushings can provide so in the end it depends on the individual’s ideal balance between performance and comfort. But as far as installation, poly bushings are much easier.

      Thanks Andy

    2. Hey Andy. What aspects of this brand particularly appeal to you? My only experience with PowerFlex has been some representatives at a SEMA show who appeared woefully uneducated. I was genuinely trying to learn what exactly they felt made their product special, but not even they were able to provide much insight in answering that question.

  18. 2015 Subaru WRX. Was successful at removing bushing except for outer metal shell. Gave up and ordered new control arm.

    Not worth it. Was trying to upgrade to Perrin polyetherine bushings. But believe me, OEM are durable enough in WRX. Not worth the struggle. Trust me.

    1. Hey Chris,

      Yeah, DIYing a bushing installation can be a pain. It all depends on what you’re wanting to do and how much you want to spend doing it. A garage can get bushings installed into the original arms, but it’s going to cost you. Installing new arms entirely can be simpler, but most of the time they cost significantly more than just the bushings if that’s all you need to replace.

      OEM will work fine for daily driving and smooth out a lot of vibration and noise, but if you enjoy spirited driving or track time then those rubber bushings will wear down again eventually. Poly bushings will firm up the handling on your WRX and most brands carry a lifetime warranty.

      Can I ask what you tried to get the metal shell out? In our own metal shell removal experience we used a hacksaw and it worked… but we also put a gouge in the housing. Needless to say, you don’t want to do that.

      Thanks for sharing your experience Chris and good luck with those new arms.

  19. I am in the process of a full restoration/upgrade of the rear end of my 1992 Nissan Skyline GTR. I just finished removing all bushings from my rear subframe, lower control arms and knuckles and they were a PITA. I too had to use a saw on the sleeves after pushing out the center insert. All of my bushings were factory and needless to say the metal sleeves were in there real good and surface rust mated to the subframe. The method that worked really well for me:

    1) Remove the center insert with a small bushing press (easy)
    2) Saw through one side of the sleeve (PITA because you have to watch for going too far into housing, which i did)
    3) Created a lip on the sleeve and used an air chisel on the lip. Bushing sleeve can right out.

    1. Thanks for the tips Chris,

      We managed to put a pretty good notch in the housing on our example control arm as well. The air chisel would be a lot faster, but I would worry about dinging the housing. Are you putting rubber or polyurethane bushings in your Skyline?

      Good luck with the restoration/upgrade.

  20. Really impressed with the ingenuity! Have you found a way to build the installer with the correct size pipes/sockets before removing the control arms from the vehicle? Having the right pieces together would definitely make the job quicker.
    Also, the article alludes that the installer(and theory) can be used to press out the old bushing and sleeve before using it to install the new one, does that sound possible?

    Thanks much!

    1. Hey Jim,

      If you have a socket set handy then you should be covered. Beyond that, you could probably use a tape measure and eyeball the diameter you need.

      Some folks have made mention of possibly trying to use the installer as an uninstaller but we haven’t heard any reports back. If the bushing has a metal sleeve around it then it will be pretty difficult to dislodge it from the housing. If you have a torch you can burn the bushing out or some have talked about drilling and cutting the bushing away to be able to hacksaw the sleeve out of the housing.

      That said if you give it a shot we would love to know how it turns out!

      Good luck Jim.

  21. Happened on to your forum and appreciate your ideas and tips. I’m struggling installing lower shock bushing on 2007 Silverado Classic 1500 4×4 that were missing in action. Tried the rented press and it didn’t center properly. Tried bolt with washers- same problem. I will try freezing and sockets next. Thanks.

    1. Hey Mike,

      Freezing the bushing should help and sockets will keep the bushing a bit more centered than bolts will. Also, if you haven’t been doing this already, make sure to lubricate the housing and the sleeve of the bushing. With all of that added together hopefully you can get those bushings in straight. If you come across any other tips or tricks that make the process easier be sure to let us know.

      Good luck with the install Mike.

  22. Im looking for an m10x 1.25 in a length of 9 inches. Grade 8.. anywhere i can find a bolt that long? I tried lowes and home depot .Id like to use it to do upper control arm bushings. A local shop just quoted 330 bucks for the replacement of two upper control arm bushings already off the car. Smh

    1. Hey Don,

      Ouch, that’s a bummer especially when you’ve already got the arms off. If you haven’t already I’d give Fastenal a call (877 507-7555).

      Hope this helps, and good luck.

  23. Thanks for the tips. I’m going to use this method tomorrow for the installation of my bushings on my 97 civic the oem ones and bad polish roads have eventually worn them down to horrid noises and clunking around. I have purchased some oem bushes and wish to keep the original arms as it’s in really good solid shape minus missing paint and surface rust, I have reconditioned the arm to make look new again as this is going to be a classic and so if the original ones lasted 21 years hopefully these will last up another 21 years plus more if maintained properly. I will let you know how it goes.

    1. Hey Adam,

      Sorry about the late reply. I’ve been out of town and I’m playing catch up.

      Hope the DIY bushing installer worked well for you. It really cuts down on the cost of replacement when you can put new bushings in a perfectly good control arm. Please feel free to let us know how it goes.

      Thanks Adam, and here’s to another 21 years!

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