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Another RAB Thread (Sorry :P)

WizardOfOdds

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I know there is a ton of Radius Arm Bushing thread but I couldn't find one for what I'm trying to figure out...

I think mine are shot as I get that clunking while braking, and once in awhile the truck will pull to one side while braking hard (mechanic told me this is also a sympton). Anyways, I use to work with this mechanic while I was doing my co-op and he told me that they're not worth changing because it's usually something else that causes the RAB to be cooked. So, he was saying if you change the bushings, whatever caused them to get cooked in the first place will do it again so there would not really be a point in changing them. I don't think he would lie to me to cause a bigger problem to fix because we are friends outside of work as well.

Pretty much what Im asking is, has anyone changed their bushings and had them go again shortly after or long period after or ever? It's about a 400$ repair and I can't afford to do it and have it go on me again. I would do the job myself but I live in an appartment and you can't work on cars here, also I don't have many choices on where I can do the work anyways. He was saying its a tough job especially on jack stands as well....

So yeah, any opinions or thoughts would be great... Thx
 



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quicklook2

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that is way too much to pay anyone to change them.

use poly urethane, they survive the cat heat better.

make a shield to protect them from heat.

shop around.
 






ma96782

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Change them or it'll cost you more when you have to buy new brackets. Not to mention that other parts may go.....cause of the added stress or misalignment.

I did the job myself.......well worth the effort and savings.


Broken Parts:

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171906

Aloha, Mark
 






WizardOfOdds

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Thanks, that's more or less the answer I was looking for :)
 






Tony H

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I changed mine with NAPA urethane ones. The Brackets were not beat up yet in a 2 year time the passenger side seems bad again. Thisis my wifes daily driver not an off road car. I'm not happy.

I forgot, what will put the least strtain on the Nut for the bushings? Letting the wheels hang or sitting on teh ground? I want to pull off the nut and the section of bushing on that side to see if my brackets are bad.
Can I slide under ther, full weight on tires and loosen it?
 






WizardOfOdds

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Thats also what I wanted to know... So they're failing again after 2 years? The mechanic was probably write then when he told me its probably another bad part making the bushings go bad and it will just happen again... Interesting... Another others have their bushings fail again?
 






Christobal65

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Thats also what I wanted to know... So they're failing again after 2 years? The mechanic was probably write then when he told me its probably another bad part making the bushings go bad and it will just happen again... Interesting... Another others have their bushings fail again?
Its not a bad part its simply poor design. The radius arm bushing is right next to the exhaust and the exhaust cooks the rubber and they fail. I had them replaced on my Explorer about 6-7 years ago and they are still good.
 






WizardOfOdds

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ahh ok then, that's probably what he ment when he said another part probably causing the bushings to fail, so they'd fail again due to the exhaust temps. but its not an actual bad part causing them to fail...

Thx for everyones replies
 






quicklook2

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that is why i suggest making a little heat shield.

very easy to do,
 






mikeinri

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The heat shield is definitely a good idea.

If you haven't already done this, spend some time searching this forum for the procedure. There are basically two ways to do this job, one involves removing the rivets (drilling, grinding, or burning with a torch, etc.) and replacing them with bolts (obviously, use high grade hardware for this job). The other way involves a come-along.

If you are concerned about having to replace them again some day, I would go the way of removing the rivets and replacing with bolts. That will make it easier to do the next time.

Having said that, mine were replaced years ago and have been fine. I don't think I've seen any posts here about anyone having to do this more than once, especially if using the poly replacements (mine are red).

Hope this helps.

Mike
 






bookend94

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Man, I've been a member 15 minutes and I'm already posting. I am so happy I found this site. My question is this, I incorrectly thought that the problem was my front left shock so I just spent the day replacing the shocks on the front just to find out that the RAB is gone on the right, mine are attached with bolts so i am assuming that previous owner had them replaced at some point. How do I go about replacing them? OK, vague. What I'm asking is this, do I jack up the front from the frame or will this cause problems? Any direction would be appreciated.
 






msmith65

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Your mechanic doesn't have a clue. Stock bushings take a lot of stress but they can last more than 100,000 on a street-driven Ex.

My truck's previous owner had urethanes installed. They wore out by the time I bought the vehicle at 129,000, damaging the mounts in the process. Plus they ride hard as hell, so I don't recommend them for three reasons.

I put Monroe rubber replacements in four years ago and they've worked just fine with no signs of wear yet.

All I would suggest is to use top-quality replacements (don't just shop for price), because you won't find out how good cheap ones are until they wear out. There are no standards for manufacturing these things, and that invites cheesy companies -- especially overseas -- to make junk out of low-quality materials.
 






ma96782

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Man, I've been a member 15 minutes and I'm already posting. I am so happy I found this site. My question is this, I incorrectly thought that the problem was my front left shock so I just spent the day replacing the shocks on the front just to find out that the RAB is gone on the right, mine are attached with bolts so i am assuming that previous owner had them replaced at some point. How do I go about replacing them? OK, vague. What I'm asking is this, do I jack up the front from the frame or will this cause problems? Any direction would be appreciated.

Doing the job
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ius+arm+bushing

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=146713&page=5&highlight=RAB

http://www.explorerforum.com/Singleton/exp.html


________________________________

What they look like

http://www.partsamerica.com/Product...R1&mfrpartnumber=SHB1495K&parttype=76&ptset=A

_________________________________

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49028&highlight=radius+arms+install

_________________________________

From the Singleton site, and where I got my first info a couple years ago...

"I would suggest purchasing the GRADE 8 bolts prior to taking the part off, since you might have a little trouble finding them. You will need 4 bolts, I bought 4 bolts, 8 washers, and 4 nuts (all grade 8) for about $3.55 at my local NAPA store. I bought them all the same size (about 7/16" diameter with size 14 threads work perfectly). Get 3 bolts about 1 1/4" long, and 1 about 3/4" long. This is VERY IMPORTANT and will save you much grief. I bought them all the same size (1 1/4") and it caused me an extra hour and a half work.

The procedure:

First, jack up the car and place it firmly on jack stands. You will NEED the jack stands, because the passenger side is difficult to remove with the jack holding the car by the suspension. The weight of the car puts enormous pressure on that radius arm. I put the jack stand in the center of the car, and jacked the car up at the big end of the radius arm.

First, remove the two bolts holding the radius arm bracket to the frame of the car. They are pointing toward the ground.

Next, remove the 4 bolts holding the center of the two brackets together.

On the driver's side, you will also need to remove the fuel filter, contained in the frame of the car. Do this by removing the two nuts holding the bracket in place.

To remove the two rivets, (they are horizontal) I used a Dremel motor-tool with a cutting "blade" on the end (like the one they use in the commercial to cut the nail). Make sure you have several, I chewed up about 4, and I only had rivets on one side (the driver's side). If you have rivets on both sides you will need at least double that many. Remember this is VERY HARD STEEL. I cut several slots in the head of the rivet, to remove most of the material. Then I used an air chisel to remove the rest of the head of the bolt, and a steel punch to knock the rest of rivet out. This will be by far the hardest part of replacing the radius arm bushings.

Next, remove the large nut at the end of the radius arm. I used a huge adjustable wrench to remove it. Remove the nut and NOTICE THE WAY THE PARTS FIT TOGETHER. This is important. The bracket should be removed.

Remove the old bushing, and put the new one on the same way. Don't forget the heat shield on the passenger side, it protects the rubber bushing from the heat of the cat. converter next to it.

Replace the bracket, and put your new grade 8 bolts in place of the rivets. On the driver's side, use the SHORT bolt in the front, or you will have difficulty replacing the fuel filter bracket. I didn't use a short bolt, and had to cut a slot in the bracket."

I found that Pep Boys had grade 8 bolts in the appropriate sizes. A note, the passenger side can all be longer bolts.
_______________________________________________________________

You'll need a 28 mm 6 point deep socket (not commonly available) for the radius arm nut. I got mine from KD Tools. http://www.kd-tools.com/

And what Glacier991 posted above, from the Singleton site, is excellent information...
__________________

Anyone know what to torque the large radius arm nut to when tightening?

The Moog set I bought the other day said to torque to 100 lbs, but the Chilton says to torque to 113, so somewhere in that area.

_________________

Center punch the middle of round rivet head so your drill bit won't wander off on you, and then using like a 3/16's bit, drill down into the head of the rivet, deep enough to get the the shaft of the rivet. Change to a larger size bit and repeat. Go up in size until you have drilled thru the head down to the shaft. Next take a punch (an air chisel with a punch is ideal) and bash out the rivet from the side you just drilled. When you reassemble replace the rivets with GRADE 8 (!!) 1" bolts. GRADE 8 is IMPORTANT!

___________________

Pictures of the process can be found at http://home.att.net/~metjt/wsb/index.html. I know they are a bit large but at least you can get good close ups.

____________________

Don't grind them! Just get two drill bits, one 3/8" and one 7/16". Cobalt bits work really nice for this job, since they can drill through most hard metals. You'll have to loosen the plastic wheel wells to get good access to the front rivets on each side. The rivets towards the back are a little trickier to drill straight through because of the cabin mount bolts in the way, but you can still get to them.
Use a center punch to make a starter point for drilling, unless you've got a steady hand. Drill a starter hole with the 3/8" bit. Drill about 1/3 to halfway through. Then use the 7/16" bit to continue drilling, and drill to the same point that you drilled with the smaller bit. By this time, the head of the rivet should be just about gone, except for the outer edges.
Use a cold chisel to knock off the rest of the head. You may get lucky and the head might just pop off during drilling. That's what happened with one of my rivets. After you loosen the rest of the bolts holding the bracket on, you should be able to take a crow bar and break the bracket lose. Then you can use a cold punch or your chisel to pound the rest of the rivet out.
I replaced the passenger side first, because that one was obviously worn; I could wrap my thumb and forefinger around it and twist it a little back and forth. I'm no bushing expert, but I believe those things are supposed to be tight. When I removed the old bushing, I noticed that the about 1/3 of the stem was gone, right where the RA spindle had put pressure against the bracket and chewed it away. I replaced it with a polyurethane bushing, and I doubled up on the dish (or cup) washers near the shoulder of the spindle (thank you Conyl Horn and Brad Martin!) The driver's side was fine, but I replaced it anyway, to make things even. It only took me about three hours to do the driver's side, once I had my system down, and that included loosening the fuel filter bracket and the parking brake cable, and no air ratchet or impact wrench (although that wouldv'e been nice). So, the total time to complete the job should probably take five to six hours tops. And what a difference in the handling! My wife even noticed the difference just riding shotgun.

___________________________________________________________


I've DOne This On Both My Trucks, A 91' XLT and A 93' XLT.
Depending On The Condition Of Your Suspension (rusty bolts...etc), You Might Wanna Take It To a Mechanic. It's Only Like 100.00 For Them To Do It And Saves The Hassle And Headache. Alot Of The Nuts Are Hard As Hell To Get Off On The Axle Side. Which Is The Recommended Way To Do It By Ford.
WAY ONE
You Need To Disconnect The Springs And Stud Bolts From The Axle On A 4WD. Remove The Control Arm From The Axle. Remove The Shock, Which Is All A PITA. Then Remove The Two Large Nuts On The End And Pull It Through.
WAY TWO
If You Go For The Removal Of The Crossmember, There Should Be Two Rivets On Either Side Of The Crossmember, If You See Them, It's Never Been Removed. If There Are 4-5 Bolts With Nuts On Either Side, It's Been Changed. You Can Drill The Out Or Sawzall Them, But Mark The crossmember Placement Before You Start. Just Replace The Rivets With Strong Bolts Of M10 Or Higher To Be Safe.

The Two Big Bolts, At The End Or The Arms, Which Are Normally 1 1/8 socket Size, Need To Be Removed No Matter What. And There Is A Heat Cover Over The Passenger Side's Bushings Due To Heat From The Cat. Make Sure That Shield Goes Back On. In My Experience The Axle Studs And Spring Bracket Nut Are Same Size. You Can Get The Bushing Sets For Around 10.00 a piece At Most Autoparts Stores. If You Remove The Crossmember, It's Easiest.

Aloha, Mark
 






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