A damaged radius arm bushing may be to blame for odd steering problems like outer tire wear on just one side or vibration. Because it’s difficult to replace, everything else should be checked first – Wheel bearings, ball joints and tie rod ends. If you suspect the radius arm bushing, there’s a somewhat simple test. Remove the 28-mm or 1-1/8in bolt on the pointy end of the radius arm to see the stem of the bushing. On the driver’s side, the fuel filter case will need to be removed. It uses two 14mm bolts. Here’s what my passenger’s side bushing looked like. If yours is destroyed like this you will want to replace it. Before starting remember, BE PREPARED with the proper tools and nuts BEFORE STARTING. Make absolutely sure you have the proper tools before starting. Make sure you have the proper GRADE-8 nuts and bolts before starting. You may have to call around to get them. The job is tough because you have to remove some steel rivets that can only be taken off by grinding or drilling. I had a few grinders handy so I ground them. If you do this you’ll get a shower of sparks on you. It’s a long process, and you have to be careful not to damage the frame. After doing this I’d recommend you drill the rivets. Black oxide bits work great, I know because I had to drill through my frame to replace a broken shock afterwards. Cobalt bits do not work, which is fine by me because black oxide is cheaper. PARTS you will need: Four (4) 1-1/4” GRADE 8, 7/16” screws, four GRADE 8 7/16” bolts that fit your screws, and 8 GRADE 8 washers that fit your screws. Get these first, call hardware stores and ask for GRADE 8 only. You may have to call around. New RADIUS ARM BUSHINGS. Do not get the cheapskate kind, get Moog, or Ford, or some other great brand. TOOLS you will need (in addition to a regular tool box incl METRIC sockets/wrenches up to 19mm): First and foremost a good CHEATER BAR!—pipe or pvc that fits over your wrenches and sockets to give you more torque Tie rod fork (rent it for cheap or free from an auto parts store) A deep 1-1/8” SOCKET (28mm), 1/2 inch drive 1/2 inch drive extender bar and socket One or two good PRY BARS TWO JACKS: you need a jack that can lift HIGH like a bottle jack, and one that lifts LOW like a floor jack. Or a floor jack that can lift from 4” to 16” or so, which if you have one I’ll give you like $400 bucks for it. At least two JACK STANDS. (I have two sets of jack stands and two jacks. You cannot do this job without either ONE EXTRA jack or jack stand.) DRILL BITS: You will need a 7/16 inch black oxide drill bit. You will need some smaller sizes like 1/4 inch to start the hole. And a good PUNCH to start the hole, and to clear it out if necessary when you’re done drilling. FIRST, remove the plastic covers on the wheel well. Take off all zillion screws and bolts, pull the electrical harnesses out, and then pull out the whole plastic wheel well guard. Do this on both sides. Good job, that’s step 1. Here's the driver's side view. The rivets we want to get at are behind the parking brake cable. There’s another set on the passenger’s side. We need to remove the parking brake cable. Do this first, because if you use your brake to keep your car from sliding like some, it will fall over if you remove the cable later. You must block up the car. To disconnect the parking brake cable, you need to get enough slack to pull it apart at the CABLE TENSIONER (above). To demonstrate slack, give the cable a pull. Notice how it slides out from each end? Pull the cable out of the frame here. After that, there’s another clip holding the cable about a foot up in the wheel well. Remove that, too. You should now have enough slack to pull the tensioner apart. NOTE: If you cannot get the slack you need, try using clamps to help. With the cable fully assembled, give it a pull below the driver’s side door. See where the cable slides out of the clip? Clamp it to keep your tension. Use a cloth to avoid damage to the plastic. Pull it by the tensioner. See how it comes out there? Clamp again. You now have more slack. Now BLOCK THE REAR WHEELS. The parking brake DOESN’T WORK RIGHT NOW. Don’t try to lift the front end of the vehicle, it will just roll back. Thanks for your cooperation. Block the rear wheels now. Jack up the front end of the vehicle and support it with jack stands from the FRAME. Do not put the jacks on the part of the frame where the pointy ends of the radius arms go in. ***The following steps need to be done on BOTH SIDES. Do one side at a time.*** Remove the lower shock nut. It's the 19mm nut on the bottom of the shock. Then, free the shock from the peg. You don't have to remove the top nut. Remove one bolt on the steering linkage. Put one socket behind, one in front, otherwise the bolts will just spin. Remove the coil spring in the following way: FIRST, use a bottle-jack to COMPRESS the coil spring so you can get a socket in there. Here we are with an extender and a 1-1/8” socket. Next, SWITCH to a floor jack. Just do this safely. Use the floor jack to LOWER the coil spring so you get enough clearance to pry it loose. Watch the brake hose. The coil comes out very easy once you get a little clearance. ***The above steps must be done on BOTH SIDES. Do one side at a time.*** Now, remove one tie rod end. It doesn’t matter which one. Remove the castellated nut below the tie rod by pulling the pin with pliers, then removing the nut with a wrench or 21mm socket. Now pop off that tie rod end with the tie rod fork found at any auto parts store. ***RIVETS*** Now we can remove the rivets. There are two rivets on each side. Here they are above. On the driver’s side, you must first remove the fuel filter case so it doesn’t get in the way later. You will know it when you see it. You had to remove it to inspect the radius arm bushings before starting. You did inspect the bushings before starting, didn’t you? ****TO REMOVE THE RIVETS:: I recommend you DRILL the rivets. Yes, I ground them here. Wish I had drilled them. Start it with a smaller bit. Then use a 7/16 bit. Use BLACK OXIDE. Not cobalt. Use a punch to get rid of the extra if there is any. Easy way, 10 minutes each side. Here are the rivets, after they have been removed. ****NOTE ON GRINDING THE RIVETS:: If you really, REALLY don't want to drill the rivets you can grind them. However, you may run into complications. Grind them first, then punch them out once you have the heads off. Sometimes they won't punch out. One of my passenger side rivets stuck when I ground them. You will have to wait until you have the bracket removed and then grind the rivet flush with the frame, then punch it again. 20+ minutes of hot sparks everywhere per side, if it even works the first time. Hard way. Once the rivets and bolts are off on both sides, pry off the whole darn frame piece. You don’t need to lean on it, hit it with a hammer, or jump on it or anything. A little finesse will work instead of getting paralyzed by your truck falling on you. Try this: use a bottle jack to maneuver the arm you are working on and pry the frame a little at a time, one side at a time. Once you get that bracket off, replace the damaged bushings. Replace both of them if the other one looks squished, or if you bought them as a set like I did. Do not use cheap bushings, spend another 20 bucks for the good ones. You also need to keep a part from your old bushings, which will not come with the set. It's a cup-shaped piece of metal which goes over the whole deal, under the big nut. It's a heat shield to keep the catalytic converter from cooking the bushing. You might have one on passenger side only, I had one on both sides, probably for dust and water, as well as heat. Now that the bracket is back on, what about the rivets??? What do we do with these empty holes? Since you read the directions above, you have already purchased some GRADE 8 bolts. Any old bolt won’t do. You need GRADE 8. But you already bought them, right? Here’s how you might go about getting a socket on both ends of those GRADE 8’s. EDIT:: In this pic there is no heat shield. You will have removed a little metal "cup" that covered the old bushing. Replace that just how it was, it's the heat shield, which keeps the catalytic converter from radiating heat onto the bushing, which could damage or shorten the life of the rubber. Thanks Mark! Here’s everything back on. Shiny, huh? To get those grade-8’s on you really need to do some socket acrobatics but it’s worth it. ***REASSEMBLY*** Torque the new bolts to about 50 ft-lbs, or until they are tight enough. Replace the fuel filter bracket. Reassemble in this order: Reassemble the tie-rod end and torque the castle nut to 50 ft-lbs. To put the nut back on you need to PUT A LOAD on the tie rod end. I just use a big pry bar and lean while I'm tigthening. Put in a new cotter pin in the castellated nut to prevent it from turning. Lower the axle and replace the coil spring. Put the coil spring nut back in. Lift the axle to squish the spring as before and then torque it to 80-100 foot pounds using your deep socket and extender. After putting the coil spring back on, put the control arm back on. Use a socket on both sides, as before. Torque it to 25-30 foot pounds. Replace the shock. Torque the bottom bolt to 25-30 ft-lbs. Put the parking brake back like this: take the clamps off if you have them on there. Push the parking brake down if it isn’t already. Reattach the parking brake cable at the tensioner. Your brake doesn't work yet, does it? That's because you haven't reattached the brake cable to the frame, remember where we pushed the clips in with pliers and pulled it off? Put it back there, then screw it back on the frame a foot higher. Put the wheel well guards back on. Put the wheels back on. Do all that on both sides. Lower the vehicle and remove the blocks. Have a cold one, YOU ARE DONE!!