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Old 08-10-2009, 11:10 PM
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i beam bushing question

i wanted to replace the front i beam bushings -the ones that go from the i beam to the frame. has anyone done this and how hard is it to do? the reason im asking is because the guy at the ford dealer said i can just get a hammer and hammer them out... and then i talked to a guy at that i know at a shop and he said theyre pressed in there and you have to gert a puller or a press to get them out??? any ideas?
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:21 AM
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I use a ball joint press on all the ones I do. You can rent it from the parts store. If look at my sig, you will see that I have over a dozen of these things, so I know a thing or two about Ford 2WD front ends..

The trick with axle pivot bushings is using a 2" flat washer to smash them out to start with. It will get you about 1/4 of the way, until the washer runs into the axle. Then use a large socket or some sort of ball joint adapter that is slightly smaller than the metal sleeve (that presses on the rubber), and keep pressing. If you start to press on the rubber to start with, it will just tear the rubber out and leave the sleeve. Then you have to take a hacksaw and cut the sleeve and crush it to get it out (without accidentally cutting the axle any). If you do it my way, the metal sleeve will already be broken free, and it will then be able to be pushed without tearing out the rubber. Spray it with lube first, it'll help. You'll see what I am talking about when you get the parts out to look at them.

If you are doing axle pivot bushings, you might as well do the radius arm bushings too. You will have them out already, and they are cheap to replace.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:47 PM
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you need to take the radius arm bushings out to do this? also i forgot to mention that the guy at the ford dealer said you need to take the springs out to let the i beams drop down because if you dont the i bems will push in towards the center of he truck and theu will be hard to get in and out? maybe i shouldnt have listened to anything he said..
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsr86 View Post
you need to take the radius arm bushings out to do this? also i forgot to mention that the guy at the ford dealer said you need to take the springs out to let the i beams drop down because if you dont the i bems will push in towards the center of he truck and theu will be hard to get in and out? maybe i shouldnt have listened to anything he said..

Strictly speaking, I don't know if you *need* to take out the radius arm bushings to get the axle pivot bushings free, but it's the way I do it.

I'll tell you how I have always done it.

0.5: Obviously, you'll need 2 decent jack stands, and a good place to work. Concrete driveway or garage will do nicely. Support the front of the frame with jack stands, so the tires are a little off the ground.

1: Remove wheels, brakes, rotors, bearings, separate the tie rods, etc. - this is a good time to repack the bearings or replace them even. Good time to get the rotors turned and replace the brake pads, since you have them out anyway.

1.5: If you are doing ball joints, then separate the steering knuckle, and do the ball joints. If not, leave the knuckle on end of the axle.

2: remove the shocks. - jack the axle up a little till the shock compresses a bit. unbolt it. remove the shock, then let the jack down.

3: once the shocks are out, you can just pull the springs out by hand. You won't need a spring compressor or anything.

4: unbolt the radius arm frame bracket with it's 3 bolts.

5: unbolt the pivot bushings. - I think that if you unbolt the radius arm brackets first, the axles can pivot down enough to get a ratchet into pivot bushing bolt that belongs to the passenger side axle (pivot located on the driver's side). The driver's side axle pivot (located on the passenger side) requires two wrenches, since there is no room for a ratchet in there. 2 11/16" wrenches do the trick.

6: drag out the axles to work on them. Remove the pivot bushings like I explained above. While you are there, you ought to do the sway bar bushings, since they are easier to work on outside the vehicle. They are pretty cheap too. They are a little trickier than the pivot bushings, since they are harder to reach back in the spot between the radius arm and the axle come together. I still use a ball joint tool and various adapters, washers, and big sockets to get them in and out.


7: Reassembly is the reverse of disassembley. The only real tricky part is the radius arm brackets some times don't like to line up easily. It helps to leave that big nut a little loose till you get the three bolts on the bracket to start threading in.

When you put it back together, put the pivot bushing bolt in first, then jack the axle up to put the radius arm brackets on. Then put the spring in place, and jack the axle up to put the shock back on.

All this takes about 4 hours of solid work. At the end of this, there is nothing else to replace at all. The truck will run like new again (after an alignment).

Good luck..
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