Chrysler Caravan/Voyager/Town and Country 1996-1999

Lower Control Arm

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7



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Fig. Fig. 1: To remove the lower control arms, the cradle plate must be removed



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the steering knuckle clamping bolt and nut, then separate the ball joint

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on a frame contact hoist.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel stop from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the ball joint-to-steering knuckle clamp bolts.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 10 front suspension cradle plate mounting bolts. Remove the cradle plate from the vehicle.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: With the cradle plate removed, the control arm rear bushing retainer bolts can be accessed, as well as the cradle mounting bolts


WARNING
Pulling the steering knuckle out from the vehicle after releasing it from the ball joint can separate the inner CV-Joint. Use care NOT to allow the inner CV-Joint to separate. In addition, DO NOT use substitute fasteners of a lower grade (strength) than those originally used.

  1. Separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle by prying between the ball stud at the knuckle and the lower control arm. Be careful not to tear the ball joint seal.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: To allow the control arm pivot bolts to be removed, loosen (but do NOT remove) the cradle-to-frame rail mounting bolts



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Fig. Fig. 5: Carefully pry the cradle downward to allow the pivot bolt to be removed

  1. Loosen, but do not remove the front lower control arm-to-suspension cradle pivot bolt.
  2.  
  3. Remove the retainer that secures the rear lower control arm bushing to the front suspension cradle.
  4.  

If the left side lower control arm requires removal, lower the front suspension cradle to allow the pivot bolt to clear the transaxle.

  1. Loosen, but do not fully remove the 2 left side suspension cradle mounting bolts and lower the cradle.
  2.  
  3. Lower the left front corner of the suspension cradle until the lower control arm pivot bolt clears the transaxle. Remove the pivot bolt and lower control arm from the vehicle. Inspect the lower control arm for distortion and bushings for excessive deterioration. Replace if necessary.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: Removing the bushing retainer for the rear control arm (note groove in the retainer that aligns with bushing)



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Fig. Fig. 7: The full weight of the vehicle must be on the control arms before the pivot bolts are tightened; the bushings will prematurely fail if this is not performed

To install:
  1. Place the lower control arm into the front suspension cradle and install the front lower control arm-to-suspension cradle pivot bolt. Do not tighten or torque the pivot bolt at this time.
  2.  
  3. If installing the left side lower control arm, pry down on the left front corner of the suspension cradle to allow the pivot bolt to clear the end of the transaxle. Install the pivot bolt into the suspension cradle and lower control arm.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower control arm rear bushing retainer. Be sure the raised rib of the rear bushing is correctly seated in the groove of the bushing retainer. Do not torque the retainer mounting bolts at this time.
  6.  
  7. Insert the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle and install the clamp bolt. Torque the clamp bolt to 105 ft. lbs. (145 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the front suspension cradle plate to the suspension cradle and install the 10 mounting bolts. Torque the cradle plate mounting bolts to 123 ft. lbs. (165 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Place jack stands underneath the lower control arms as close to, but not on , the ball joints as possible.
  12.  
  13. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands until the vehicle's total weight is supported by the jack stands.
  14.  
  15. Torque the front lower control arm pivot bolt to 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Torque the lower control arm rear bushing retainer mounting bolts to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Install the front wheels and lug nuts. Torque the lug nuts, in a star pattern, to 95 ft. lbs. (129 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.
  22.  
  23. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Inspect wheel alignment and adjust, if necessary.
  24.  
  25. Road test the vehicle.
  26.  

CONTROL ARM BUSHING REPLACEMENT



Special Chrysler Tools 6908-1, 6908-2, 6908-3, 6908-4 and 6908-5 or equivalents, are required to remove and install the control arm bushings.

Front Bushing

See Figures 8, 9 and 10



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Fig. Fig. 8: Using the special tools for removal of the front bushing

  1. Remove the lower control arm.
  2.  
  3. Mount the control arm in a vise without using excessive clamping force.
  4.  
  5. Assemble for removal of the front bushing, the bushing reciever special tool 6908-2, bushing remover special tool 6908-1, nut special tool 6908-3 thrust washer, threaded rod and small nut.
  6.  
  7. To remove the front bushing from the lower control arm, hold the threaded rod stationary and tighten the nut special tool 6908-3. This will force the front bushing out of the lower control arm and into the bushing reciever tool.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Mount the control arm in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Position the front bushing into the lower control arm so that the 2 rubber blocks on the bushing are positioned horizontally.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: Positioning the new bushing for installation into the control arm



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Fig. Fig. 10: Using the special tools for installation of the bushing

  1. Assemble for installation of the front bushing, the bushing reciever special tool 6908-5, bushing installer special tool 6908-4, nut special tool 6908-3 thrust washer, threaded rod and small nut onto the control arm and front bushing.
  2.  
  3. To install the front bushing into the lower control arm, hold the threaded rod stationary and tighten the nut special tool 6908-3. This will pull the front bushing into the lower control arm.
  4.  
  5. Continue pulling the front bushing into the control arm until it seats squarely against the control arm and there is no gap between the bushing and control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the lower control arm onto the vehicle.
  8.  

Rear Bushing

See Figures 11 and 12



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Fig. Fig. 11: To remove the old bushing, use a razor to make a cut along its length

  1. Remove the lower control arm.
  2.  
  3. Mount the control arm in a vise without using excessive clamping force.
  4.  
  5. Using a sharp cutting tool (such as a razor), slit the rear bushing lengthwise to allow its removal from the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bushing from the control arm.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Make sure the new bushing is installed in the proper direction

To install:

WARNING
Do NOT apply grease or any other type of lubricant other than the silicone lubricant specified in this procedure to the control arm bushing.

  1. Apply MOPAR® Silicone Spray Lube, or an equivalent, to the hole in the lower control arm rear bushing. This will aid in the installation of the bushing onto the control arm.
  2.  
  3. With the control arm held firmly in the bench vise, install the bushing onto the control arm. Install the bushing by pushing and rocking the bushing until it is fully installed onto the control arm. Be sure when the bushing is installed that it is past the upset on the end of the lower control arm.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower control arm onto the vehicle.
  6.  

 
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