GM S-Series Pick-ups and SUV's 1994-1999 Repair Guide

Lower Control Arm and Bushing

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2WD Vehicles

See Figure 1

  1. Remove the coil spring from the vehicle. For details, please refer to the procedure located earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. If not done already, remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper and support it from the vehicle using a coat hanger or wire. Make sure the brake line is not stretched or damaged and that the caliper's weight is not supported by the line.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin and retaining nut from the upper ball joint.
  8.  
  9. Position J-23742 or an equivalent ball joint separator tool between upper joint stud and the upper joint/control arm. Use the tool to separate the ball joint from the steering knuckle. Pull the steering knuckle free of the ball joint after removal.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Lower control arm mounting-2WD vehicles

After separating the steering knuckle from the upper ball joint, be sure to support the steering knuckle/hub assembly to prevent damaging the brake hose. Also, support the lower control arm and guide it out of the opening in the splash shield.

  1. Remove the jam nuts from the back of each lower control arm pivot bolt.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the pivot bolts (noting the direction in which they are facing), then remove the control arm from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. If the bushings are beings replaced, use a suitable bushing service set to remove the bushings from the control arm. The front bushing is normally flared and the flare must be driven down flush with the rubber using a blunt chisel before attempting removal.
  6.  

To install:
  1. If the bushings were removed, use the bushing service set to install them to the control arms. If the front bushing is the flared type, use a flaring tool to produce an approximate flare of 45 degrees.
  2.  
  3. Position the control arm to the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Install the pivot bolts as noted during removal. For most vehicles covered by this information, that means they should be installed with the heads forward, facing the rear.
  6.  
  7. Install the jam nuts and tighten to 67 ft. lbs. (90 Nm) on both nuts on 1994 models. On 1995-99 models tighten the front nut to 85 ft. lbs. (115 Nm) and the rear nut to 72 ft. lbs. (98 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Remove the support from the steering knuckle, then install the ball joint to the knuckle. Make sure the joint is seated, then install the stud nut. Install a new cotter pin.
  10.  

When installing the cotter pin, never loosen the castle nut to expose the cotter pin hole.

  1. Reposition and secure the brake caliper.
  2.  
  3. Install the coil spring.
  4.  
  5. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Check and adjust the front end alignment, as necessary.
  10.  

4WD Vehicles

See Figure 2

  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. If necessary, remove the drive axle nut. This will allow for more clearance when you are removing the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the stabilizer bar. For details, please refer to the procedures earlier in this section. Installation of the stabilizer bar will require use of a torsion bar unloader tool.
  8.  
  9. Remove the shock absorber.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Lower control arm mounting-4WD vehicles

  1. Unfasten the lower control arm-to-frame nuts, then withdraw the bolts, noting the direction they were facing for installation purposes.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle.
  4.  

Remove the lower control arm from the vehicle.

  1. If necessary, use a suitable bushing service set to remove the bushings from the lower control arm.
  2.  

To install:
  1. If removed, use the service set to install new bushings to the lower control arm.
  2.  
  3. Position the control arm in the vehicle, installing the front leg of the lower control arm into the crossmember before installing the rear leg into the frame bracket.
  4.  
  5. Insert the control arm retaining bolts in the direction noted during removal. For most vehicles, they should be inserted from the rear of the vehicle facing forward.
  6.  
  7. Install the lower control arm retaining nuts and tighten them with the suspension at normal trim height to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) for 1994 models for both nuts. On 1995-99 models tighten both nuts to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm).
  8.  
  9. If removed, attach the ball joint stud to the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Install the shock absorber.
  12.  
  13. If removed, install and tighten the drive axle nut to specification.
  14.  
  15. Properly unload the torsion bar, then install the stabilizer bar. Adjust the torsion bar, as necessary. For details, please refer to the procedures located earlier in this section.
  16.  
  17. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  18.  
  19. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  20.  

 
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