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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
30 Posts
Bushing Lower Control Arm

Where did you buy the kit bushing lower control arm? in every the people say that this bushing can´t change from the bracket :weird:


I just finished crawling out from underneath my truck, so the second place I went was, of course, to this forum. (The first place was the beer fridge.) It was a LONG install.

Thanks to this forum, there are numerous threads, many with pictures, on how to do this, but I thought I would add what I learned in the last two days about the installation of the sway bar and the end links.

Here is what I learned:

- Hotchkis makes a quality product and provided perfect instructions. They ship the bar with two sizes of urethane front bushings, one for 2002-2003 and the other for 2004 and up.

- If you live in the snow belt, don't even bother trying to reuse the factory sway bar end links. Just go out and buy new ones before you even start the install; trust me on this one. Once I had the old links off, the new ones bolt up in minutes.

- Removing the old end links is TOUGH. The factory ones use a 6mm alllen key in the center of the bolt to stop it from turning, but those key holes are almost always full of corrosion. The problem is that the nut starts out easy enough but becomes VERY tight as it nears the end of the thread because of corrosion on the bolt. If you are not going to reuse the end links anyway (and you shouldn't) then skip the allen key, grab a big pair of vise-grips and jam them as tight as you can on the side away from the nut. If you lock them tight enough, they will stop the bolt from spinning while you undo the nut. There is not a lot of swing room so be prepared for slow and hard going with a ratchet and 18mm socket.

- You can do the whole rear install with the vehicle up on ramps. You do NOT need to drop the suspension, and you do NOT need to undo a control arm to get the old bar out and the new bar in. (Once it is undone, feed it carefully forward and out the passenger side. You will need a large screwdriver to help bend it past the gas tank, but it WILL go.)

- The new end links usually come pre-greased (I used the Moogs) but I put on the grease fitting before I installed them and topped them up anyway. And, yes the zerk grease fitting is a self-threading design.

- Use a dab of blue loctite on the threads of the end links and tighten all four nuts to 74 ft-lbs. They need to be tight, tight, tight. The Moogs come with an 18mm wrench flat on the ball side, so you don't need to **** with an allen key. (Hooray!)

- Pre-lube the Hotchkis urethane sway bar bushings with the provided lube. They give you two small tubes, and I only used 1 and a bit, so I have some left to regrease them in a few years. Note carefully how they go on (there is a dimple that lines up with a knob on the bushing bracket.) Hinge the bushing bracket in the slot at the top and then push it over the stud. (If it doesn't go at least 3/4 of the way onto the stud, they you have it lined up wrong.) The GM nuts are nylon 'jam-lock' nuts, and although they don't say to use new nuts, it is always a good practice to never reuse jam-lock nuts. It is not that big a deal because there is not as much strain on them as the end link nuts, but Home Depot carries M12 jam nuts and flat washers anyway, so you might as well replace them. Add some blue threadlock and tighten them to 52 ft-lbs. (The new jam-locks were 19mm instead of 18mm, and you WILL need a deep socket to get them on all the way.

- Hotchkis includes new urethane front sway bar bushings. For this, you DO need to droop the suspension, so the best way is to jack it up and let it rest on jack stands. (Shake the heck out of it to be SURE the vehicle is resting firm on the jack stands. NEVER just use a jack!) The tires just need to be off the ground.

- There are two 15mm bolts per side, and they undo quite easily. The purpose of resting it on jack stands and letting the suspension droop will now become obvious; you need the clearance to get the bushing brackets off. Once the bolts are out, just push the bracket towards the outside of the bar around the corner and then pull it and the bushing off. Lube the front bushings, split them and slide them on the bar on the same spot you removed the old ones from. BEFORE you slide the bushings toward the mounting base, put the brackets over them. You will need a couple of hammer blows to get the bracket over the new bushings. Then force them back toward the mounting plate using a hammer or pry bar. You will then need to pry them back and forth until the holes line up perfectly. Start one bolt, then the other and torque all four to 41 ft.lbs.

That's it. The hardest part of the job was removing the old rear end links. I ended up cutting one off with an angle grinder but there is not a lot of room to work and there are rubber brake hoses and plastic gas tanks nearby, so the second one I jammed the ball stud with a VERY hard squeeze from vise grips and simply used an 18mm socket on a ratchet.

Now ... tomorrow I get to DRIVE it!
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