1993 Dodge Dakota Upper Control Arm, Front

Tiny
EDANA
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 DODGE DAKOTA
Suspension problem
1993 Dodge Dakota V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic

Replacing the upper control arm is proving to be difficult. It is near impossible to find a new replacement not to mention the stratospheric price ($750) when you do find one. I can easily find used but do not particularly care to chance it if I don't have to. However, I am wondering if I can reuse the existing defective control arm off my truck and simply press in new bushings. I have no reason to believe there is anything wrong with the arm other than the bushings (dealer diagnosed it was the bushings). Is pressing in new bushings fairly simple? Thanks
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Friday, August 13th, 2010 AT 6:41 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes, if the control arm isn't damaged, just replace the bushings. That is what most do. Here are directions that I found. I hope they help,

1.Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
2.Remove the shock absorber.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/249084_5_46.jpg



Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the lower control arm mounting-Dakota models

3.Disconnect the sway bar from the lower control arm, if equipped.
4.Install spring compressor tool DD-1278, or equivalent to the coil spring and tighten the nut finger-tight, then back off half a turn.
5.Remove the cotter pin and lower ball joint nut.
6.Release the lower ball joint taper using ball stud loosening tool C-3564-A, or equivalent.
7.Remove the tool and remove the ball stud from the control arm. Release the compressor tool from the coil spring.
8.Pull the arm down and remove the spring with the rubber isolation pad from the vehicle. Remove the lower control arm pivot bolts from the crossmember and remove the arm from the vehicle.

To install:

9.Install the arm to the crossmember finger-tight. Install the spring with the rubber isolators. Install the compressor tool and compress it enough so the lower ball joint can be inserted through the knuckle.
10.Tighten the lower ball joint nut to 135 ft. lbs. (183 Nm). Install a new cotter pin. Remove the spring compressor.
11.Connect the sway bar from the lower control arm, if equipped.
12.Install the shock absorber.
13.Lower the vehicle completely. When the weight of the vehicle is off of the lifting apparatus, tighten the front lower arm pivot bolt to 130 ft. lbs. (176 Nm) and the rear nut to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).
14.Have the alignment checked.

Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions.

Joe
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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
EDANA
  • MEMBER
Thanks Jacobandnickolas. I feel more confident I am approaching the solution the best way possible. Since my initial question, I have found a specialty tool (Astro Pneumatic 7866 service kit) that allows me to remove and replace the bushings without removing the upper control arm (and all the other components attached to it). I simply detach the arm from the frame bracket and swing the arm out and use the specialty tool to remove and replace the bushings. Before purchasing the tool, I reviewed my truck very closely to be sure it would work. I might have to move the brake caliper line out of the way but that is the only possible obstruction I see. I should get the tool soon and will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for your help.
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I'm glad to help. Let me know how it goes for you or if you have other questions.

Joe
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Monday, August 16th, 2010 AT 11:36 PM
Tiny
EDANA
  • MEMBER
Hey Joe. Just to update you. The Astro Pneumatic bushing service kit worked perfectly. One bushing was basically fused onto the shaft and I had to use other persuasive methods to take it completely off. Nonetheless, I changed all four bushings. However, I believe my problem was not the bushings, but instead, I found the mounting bolts for the upper control arm were loose allowing that arm to slide around. So I am convinced that was the problem. The bushings looked fine but I replaced them all anyway since I had the tool and the bushings. Got the front end aligned yesterday and she is good to go. Thanks for your help.

ED
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Saturday, August 21st, 2010 AT 9:54 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Glad it went well for you. Chances are you are correct about the bolt being loose. However, one never knows until he digs into the job.

Take care of yourself and let us know if you have questions in the future.

Joe
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Saturday, August 21st, 2010 AT 9:11 PM

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