No idler arm on the rear. That was a part used on old rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks' steering systems many years ago. I suspect you're referring to some kind of "lateral link", lower control arm, or some similar type of suspension part. There's too many designs to memorize and I don't know exactly how your bushings are replaced, but if they just slide out once the arm is unbolted, all you need is new bushings. In that case they might offer the entire arm because it is a new design with a pressed-in bushing, or it could be an answer to the hole wearing larger so the metal arm needs to commonly be replaced.
In a different design the bushings are pressed-in. You typically need a shop press to put the new ones in and a bushing removal tool to get the old ones out. For that type some aftermarket suppliers may offer the new arm, (especially when it isn't a very expensive part), with the new bushings already pressed in.
Either way, whether you press 'em in or just buy a new arm with them in already, if that is part of the suspension you can install it with the car on a hoist or on jack stands, but you must not TIGHTEN the bolts and nuts. When the car is raised up the suspension is drooping. If you tighten the bolts, then let the car down, you will put that new bushing into a permanent twist which will severely shorten its life. Many mechanics drive the car around in the parking lot to settle the suspension after it has been drooping, then they crawl underneath or drive onto a drive-on hoist, then tighten the nuts while the suspension is at rest.
When you're trying to remove a tapered stud from the mating hole, a pickle fork and hammer or air hammer are the tools of choice if the part and the boot will be discarded. Most of the time the part can be reused but typically the dust boot gets crushed in two areas, and the fork puts pressure between the ball and socket. A lot of these parts have nylon inserts that can be crushed or deformed from that pressure.
Another method is to hit the end of the stud with a hammer. Some have a small hex on the end so you will not damage the threads as long as you don't wail on it too long and hard. You might be able to find a different nut to run on just part way, then bang on that. Castle nuts are almost always ruined from hitting them. You can install them upside down, then hit them but again too much pounding is not a good idea if that nut is going to be reused.
My preferred method is striking the side of the casting the tapered stud goes into. It usually only takes a few blows to explain what you expect those parts to do. Be sure to completely remove the nut first so the tight friction fit holds the stud from turning when you try to unscrew the nut. The nuts usually will not come off with your fingers. You'll need a wrench or socket, but if you already broke the taper free, there's no way to hold the stud. Then you have to resort to a cutting torch, grinder, or cutoff air tool.
Use a torque wrench when tightening those nuts, then if you need to insert a cotter pin through a castle nut and a hole in the stud, and the slots in the nut don't line up, always go tighter until the next slots line up with the hole. Never loosen the nut to get the cotter pin in.
Be aware too that no two bushings, arms, or other dimensional parts are ever exactly the same so when you're done the car will have to be aligned again.
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Monday, July 16th, 2012 AT 3:24 AM