Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 4-CYL 1981-1995 Repair Information

Lower Control Arm

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Except Premier

Ball joints and pivot bushings that are welded to the control arms must be serviced by replacement of the complete control arm assembly.

  1. Jack up your vehicle and support it with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the ball joint stud-to-steering knuckle clamp nut and bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sway bar-to-lower control arm retainer on both sides of the vehicle. Then rotate the sway bar down and away from the lower control arms.
  6.  
  7. Separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle by prying between the ball stud retainer on the knuckle and the lower control arm.
  8.  

Pulling the steering knuckle out from the vehicle after releasing it from the ball joint can separate the inner CV-joint.

  1. Remove the front and rear control arm pivot bushing-to-crossmember attaching nuts and bolts. Then remove the lower control arm from the crossmember.
  2.  

The substitution of fasteners other than those of the grade originally used is not recommended.

  1. Inspect the lower control arm for distortion. Check the bushings for severe deterioration.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Position the lower control arm into the crossmember. Install the front and ear pivot bushing-to-crossmember attaching bolts. Then loosely assemble the nuts to the bolts.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint stud into steering knuckle and install the clamp bolt. Tighten the clamp bolt to 105 ft. lbs. (143 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Position the sway bar and bushings against the lower control arms. Install the sway bar-to-control arms. Install the retainer bolts and tighten them to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Lower the car so that it is resting on the wheels. On 1981-87 models, tighten the front pivot bolt to 105 ft. lbs. (143 Nm). On 1988-90 models, tighten the front pivot bolt to 95 ft. lbs. (129 Nm). On 1991-95 vehicles, tighten the pivot bolts to 125 ft. lbs. (169 Nm) with the suspension supporting the vehicle (control arm at design height). Tighten the stub strut nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  8.  

Premier

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: An exploded view of the lower control arm on Premier models

  1. Raise and safely support vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.
  4.  
  5. Wrap a heavy shop cloth or towel around the halfshaft outer boot to protect it.
  6.  
  7. Loosen but do not remove the stabilizer bar inner bracket retaining bolts at the engine cradle. Remove the stabilizer bar outer bracket nuts at the suspension arm and remove the bracket. Note that the outer bracket nuts and bolts also fasten the ball joint to the suspension arm. Reinstall a nut to keep the ball joint from separating from the arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the ball joint pinch bolt from the suspension knuckle. Remove the nuts and bolts at the bushings that attach the suspension arm to the engine cradle.
  10.  
  11. Disengage the ball joint stud from the suspension knuckle, remove the plastic washer from the stud and remove the arm from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:
  1. If reusable, transfer the ball joint. Inspect the suspension arm bushings and replace if necessary. Install the cradle bolts, but do not tighten until the full weight of the vehicle is on the ground.
  2.  
  3. Install the ball joint stud to the knuckle. When installing the pinch bolt that holds the ball joint stud to the knuckle, make sure the bolt aligns with the groove in the stud. Tighten to 77 ft. lbs. (105 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Do not tighten the stabilizer bar nuts or bolts until the vehicle is lowered and the tires are supporting the weight of the vehicle. At that time, tighten the suspension arm-to-engine cradle nuts and bolts to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm), the stabilizer outer bracket nuts to 60 ft. lbs. (81 Nm) and the stabilizer bar inner bracket nuts to 21 ft. lbs. (29 Nm).
  6.  

CONTROL ARM BUSHING REPLACEMENT



Except Premier

When performing the replacement procedure on the lower control arm pivot bushings, the following steps must be performed in the sequence in which they are presented.

When removing the pivot bushings, the large bushing must be removed first, then the small bushing. The small bushing must be installed first, then the large bushing must be installed. This sequence is vital when using the Bushing Remover/Installer Special Tool 6602 or the equivalent.

LARGE BUSHING REMOVAL

See Figures 2 and 3

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: For large bushing removal, install the components shown on the threaded rod ...



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Fig. Fig. 3: ... then install it in the control arm and tighten the long nut to pull the bushing out of the control arm

  1. Remove the lower control arm from the vehicle as described previously.
  2.  
  3. Position the lower control arm in a vise.
  4.  
  5. Assemble the washer, thrust bearing and large bushing disk (special tool 6602-5) onto the threaded rod from the bushing removal and installation tool (6602 or equivalent).
  6.  
  7. Install the tools assembled in Step 2 into the large bushing of the lower control arm. Then assemble the remaining special tools (cup 6602-2, thrust bearing, washer and long nut) onto the threaded rod as shown in the illustration.
  8.  
  9. Hold the long nut stationary. Using a deep socket, turn the long threaded rod until the large pivot bushing is pushed out of the lower control arm.
  10.  

SMALL BUSHING REMOVAL

See Figures 4 and 5

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: To remove the small bushing, install special tool 6602-3 (or equivalent), the thrust bearing and washer onto the threaded rod, then ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: ... use it to pull the small bushing out of its control arm bore

  1. Remove the tools from the lower control arm that were used for the removal of the large bushing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the large bushing disc (special tool 6602-5 or equivalent) from the threaded rod. Leave the thrust bearing and washer on the rod. Install the small bushing disc (special tool 6602-3 or equivalent) on the threaded rod and against the thrust bearing.
  4.  
  5. Install the tools assembled in the lower control arm from where the large bushing was removed. Assemble the cup (special tool 6602-2), thrust bearing, washer and long nut onto the threaded rod. The cup, thrust bearing, washer and long nut should be installed on the rod with the cup facing out and undercut in the large bushing hole of the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Hold the threaded rod stationary and turn the long nut until the small pivot bushing is pulled out of the lower control arm.
  8.  

SMALL BUSHING INSTALLATION

See Figures 6 and 7

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: To install the small bushing, assemble the tools shown onto the threaded rod ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: ... then push the small bushing into the lower control arm bore by tightening the long nut on the threaded rod

  1. Remove the special tools from the lower control arm that were used for the removal of the small pivot bushing.
  2.  
  3. On the threaded rod from the removal and installation tool, assemble the following pieces, in this order: washer, thrust bearing, small bushing disc, new small pivot bushing and small bushing sizer (special tool 6602 or equivalent).
  4.  
  5. Install the pieces assembled through the small and large pivot bushing holes in the lower control arm. At the large pivot bushing holes in the lower control arm, assemble the cup, thrust bearing, washer and nut. The cup is to be installed on the threaded rod with the cup facing out and the undercut in the large bushing hole of the lower control arm. Lubricate the installer cone and new bushing using a silicone spray lube.
  6.  
  7. Hold the threaded rod stationary and turn the long nut until the small pivot bushing is fully installed into the lower control arm. Be sure that the flanges of the bushing are fully expanded around the control arm bushing holes.
  8.  

LARGE BUSHING INSTALLATION

See Figures 8, 9 and 10

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: For installation of the large bushing, install special tool 6602-2 or equivalent, the thrust bearing and washer onto the threaded rod



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Install the threaded rod through the hole in the small bushing and the large bushing bore hole, then install the large bushing



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Make certain to position the large pivot bushing as shown

  1. Remove the special tools from the lower control arm that were used for the installation of the small pivot bushing.
  2.  
  3. On the threaded rod from the removal and installation tool, assemble the following pieces, in this order: washer, thrust bearing and cup.
  4.  
  5. Install the pieces assembled in Step 2 through the hole in the small pivot bushing and the large pivot bushing hole in the lower control arm. At the large pivot bushing hole in the lower control arm, assemble the large bushing sizer (special tool 6602-4 or equivalent), large lower control arm bushing, large bushing disc (special tool 6602-5 or equivalent), thrust bearing, washer and nut. Lubricate the installer cone and new bushing using a silicone spray lube.
  6.  
  7. Hold the threaded rod stationary and turn the long nut until the large pivot bushing is fully installed into the lower control arm. Be sure that the flanges of the bushing are fully expanded around the control arm bushing holes.
  8.  
  9. Install a nut and bolt through the bushing sleeve and tighten it down. Using a wrench rotate the bolt until the bushing arrow marking faces the direction shown in the illustration.
  10.  

Premier

See Figures 11, 12 and 13

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: The front and rear bushings are not identical and must be installed in the proper positions



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Remove (or install) the bushing by driving it out of (or into) the control arm as shown



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: The bushings must be the proper distance from one another and have the same inner protrusion to function properly

The front and rear suspension arm bushings are not identical. Before installation, ensure that the bushings are correctly identified. If the bushings are to be reused, mark the bushings as to their positions before removal.

  1. Remove the suspension arm from the vehicle. For more details, refer to the removal and installation procedures located earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. For a driver tool, position an appropriately sized (1.34 in./34mm outside diameter) high impact socket or piece of steel tubing on one side of the first bushing to be removed. For a receiver tool, position an appropriately sized (1.46 in./37mm inside diameter) steel tube on the other side of the first bushing to be removed.
  4.  

The outside diameter of each bushing is 1.42 in. (36mm)
  1. Place the suspension arm with the removal tools in position in an arbor (or similar type) press. Using the driver tool, press the bushing out of the suspension arm bore and into the receiver tool.
  2.  
  3. Repeat the same procedure to remove the remaining bushing from the other suspension arm bore.
  4.  

To install:
  1. For a driver tool, position an appropriately sized (1.34 in./34mm outside diameter) high impact socket or piece of steel tubing on one side of the first bushing to be installed. For a receiver tool, position an appropriately sized (1.46 in./37mm inside diameter) steel tube on the other side of the first bushing to be installed.
  2.  


WARNING
Press each bushing into the suspension arm bore in small increments and ensure that they are centered in the bores. The distance between the 2 bushings (when properly installed) must be 7.46-7.50 in. (189.5-190.5mm). The length of the inner protrusions must be within 0.20 in. (5mm) and preferably identical for both bushings.

  1. Place the suspension arm with the installation tools in position in an arbor (or similar type) press. Using the driver tool, press the bushing in the suspension arm bore.
  2.  
  3. Repeat the same procedure to install the remaining bushing into the other suspension arm bore.
  4.  
  5. Ensure that the distance/spacing between the front and rear bushing is correct and that the inner protrusions are as identical as possible
  6.  
  7. Install the suspension arm. For more details refer to the installation and removal procedure located earlier in this section.
  8.  

 
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