DIY Control Arm Bushing on a Dodge RAMby Dan Ferrell
Trying to replace the control arm bushings, upper or lower, on your Dodge Ram model without the right tools is next to impossible. These tools may be expensive to buy, however, a good alternative is to rent them from your local auto parts outlet. Then follow these guidelines. They are broad and with enough detail to work on your Dodge pickup or Ram Charger model. Still, if you need more detailed instructions, consult the vehicles service manual for your particular model.
Upper Control Arm Bushings
To access the upper control arm, remove the shock absorber and the strut bar. Also, disconnect the sway bar from the lower control arm, if your particular Ram model is equipped with it. After that, you can hold the coil spring in place with a spring compressor. Secure the wheel hub assembly to the chassis using a wire before you disconnect the upper ball joint. This will prevent damage to the brake hose. When ready, release the ball joint using a ball-stud loosening tool (see Resources). The upper control arm mounts to the chassis with a cam bolt assembly. Once removed, you can place the control arm on a vise and remove the bushings using a bushing service tool (see Resources). When installing the new bushings, do not use any lubricant but make sure the flange on the bushing end seats properly on the arm bore. Then re-install the upper control arm. When finished, take your Dodge vehicle to a good shop to align the front suspension.
Lower Control Arm Bushings
Remove the shock absorber and strut bar. If your particular model is equipped with a sway bar, disconnect it from the lower control arm. Secure the coil spring with a spring compressor and release the lower ball joint from the wheel/hub assembly using a ball stud loosening tool (see Resources). Now you can release the lower control arm by removing the rear mounting bolts. Remove the bushings with a bushing service tool (see Resources). When installing the new bushings, do not use lubricant and make sure they seat properly on the control arm bore. Then replace the lower control arm. When finished, take your Dodge vehicle to a good shop to align the front suspension.
- Dodge Pickups Automotive Repair Manual; Mike Stubblefield and John Haynes; 2001
Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.