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Body Mount Bushings

OffTrac

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My body mount bushings went from rotting and something to keep an eye on to completely gone seemingly overnight. If I had to do it over again, I would have just changed these out at the first sign of a problem. This really is not a tough job. Sorry if I state a lot of the obvious but I'm going to try to be thorough.

The problem:
These are shown in order, driver's A-D then passenger's A-D.

IMG_20140322_233440_368_zpsr0m4jwfv.jpg


IMG_20140322_123803_630_zpsbo4xru71.jpg

IMG_20140322_123919_788_zpsddzn00oi.jpg

IMG_20140322_123949_140_zpsajincdhi.jpg

IMG_20140322_124024_953_zpsiraoelzy.jpg

IMG_20140322_124045_493_zpsixeywnb1.jpg

IMG_20140322_124059_162_zpseqxkzzum.jpg

IMG_20140322_124114_857_zpspnhhfkpr.jpg

IMG_20140322_124153_570_zpsgsfkwq0o.jpg


As you can see, the bushing under the driver's seat (B) and passenger's side C was gone, completely.

So, we have a clear diagnosis. I called my dealership (only shop I trust in my area, unfortunately) to see how much they'd charge to do this job for me as I was still not looking forward to this job and I'm not entirely opposed to paying for work even if I can do it myself. Quoted "at least six hours" at $95/hr = $570. That helped me get into my work clothes.

First, order your parts. I have an incomplete set of OEM bushings that are pending sale to everyone's favorite forum member. I wanted to do this job once and replace them all but ordering the missing ones was going to take too long to get since she needed emergency surgery. So, I ordered the Prothane kit 6-116-BL (there's also a red version for the more stylish among us). Ensure you have all the parts when they arrive.

Second, and something I neglected to do because my driveway is really long, gravel on half and dirt the other half and it's been raining all week, but wash the undercarriage before this job. I was as dirty after this job as messing with transmission fluid.

You may also want to spray your bolts with PB Blaster or Kroil. I didn't and did not find that necessary. Just use a propane torch. Which leads to the tools you'll need.

Jack
Four jack stands
Impact Wrench
Propane torch
Pry bar
Wrench and 5/8 socket
Torque wrench

To begin the job, remove the two scuff plates and kick panels. Just a slight tug and they'll pop out.

IMG_20140322_124407_829_zpskuhnhm8y.jpg

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The driver's side kick panel has a plastic rivet that just pops out, the passenger does not and just snaps out.

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Pull back your carpet and you'll see these rubber caps. I used a small pry bar to remove them but you can really just use your hand.

IMG_20140322_125737_531_zpsc0m5wkoy.jpg


This is the bolt you're going to remove. You can loosen it now but I waited until I had all the carpet pulled back and all the rubber caps removed. Either way, just loosen, do not remove.

IMG_20140322_130026_443_zpscyqvtjrn.jpg


Move the front seats all the way forward. Remove the caps and the four nuts (5/8) from the base of the rear seat legs. Put them somewhere you won't lose them. Fold the seat up and pull the carpet toward the front. You may need to remove the caps on the back of the front seat but I didn't find it necessary. Remove the rubber caps.

IMG_20140322_132406_240_zpsappydrt1.jpg

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Fold the seats back down to access the rear storage area. Remove the access doors so you don't break them. Remove your first aid kit, fire extinguisher and toilet paper. If you don't find these things back there, take a moment and reconsider some things.

IMG_20140322_132910_053_zpsyvujetqq.jpg


You'll find the rubber cap in here. Remove.

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Support the body on both sides with jack stands. I raised the body with the jack just enough to get the stands under the step bars, not really lifting the body, just giving support. The body lift, 35s and small jack means a few "jack extensions."

IMG_20140322_134240_891_zpsrdbgbbqn.jpg


Loosen all bolts (forgot size but I'll try to remember to update) so that the body can be lifted away from the frame. Do not remove! Here's a good time to say that I did not do the A mounts at the front core. They were fine and I seem to remember there being something special about those mounts when I did the body lift. If I decide to go back and do them, I'll update.

Do yourself a favor and use a freaking torch. I tried without and while possible, it's just not as easy. Heating up those bolts and using an impact wrench makes this a couple seconds instead of two minutes of wrenching. Also attach a set of vice grips to prevent the bottom washer from spinning.

IMG_20140322_144722_743_zpseeharh2d.jpg

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The D bushing (furthest rear) was in pretty good shape and required a much larger vice grip. You may find it easier to access on the driver's side by removing the e-brake cable but I didn't find it necessary.

IMG_20140322_150342_246_zps4vkupx9z.jpg


When you're doing the D bushings, do not do this! There's a brilliant hole to the side of where you'll be working down in there. If you do happen to find yourself in this circumstance, do not spend 30 minutes searching for your flexible claw grabber pickup tool (does this have a real name?), give up and go buy one and then proceed to use this tool to drop the socket further into the body. My solution now is to either drill a hole in the body to remove it or fill it with expanding insulating foam to permanently add it to the body. I'm leaning toward the latter. Any other suggestions?

IMG_20140322_151252_786_zpsoiakor7p.jpg


After you've wasted an hour and a half in frustration, move on. Put a regular socket on the impact wrench because you don't have another impact socket of that size; hope it doesn't round out. Be happy Jobsmart is actually pretty well made (good job Tractor Supply).Repeat both sides. Remember, do not remove!

Start on one side and remove one bolt and bushing set. Use vice grips and the impact wrench should pull the bolt right out. Replace the bushings. Prothane stamps the location and whether top or bottom onto each of the bushings. This is pretty idiot proof with the Prothane kit. I can't speak to the Daystar kit. OEM is obviously labeled with part numbers and you can match up with a Ford diagram. When the bushing is back in place, put the bolt back in just enough to get a few threads started. You'll still need some room to lift the body, especially if you have a body lift like I do. Repeat for the rest of the mounts.

The D bushings require some serious heaving and hoeing to remove. I've seen some people thread another bolt through the bottom and use a punch to knock it out from the top. I did not have a bolt in the correct size so grabbing with the large vice grips and violently shaking back and forth worked.

You will need to reuse the factory hardware. If the bushings have crumbled, it's easy to separate the bushing from the washers. If not, here's what I did. The only ones that really required any more than my small pry bar were the entirely intact D bushings. I just grabbed the bushing with the large vice grips and slammed it onto a scrap 2x6.

IMG_20140322_185817_881_zpslkcd4ywu.jpg


That provided a little separation and then I was able to use the pry bar to remove it the rest of the way.

IMG_20140322_185922_752_zpsjbiiapw9.jpg


I don't have any pictures after that but it's really just tightening all the bolts down after all of the bushings are replaced. I torqued down to 59 ft-lbs per Prothane's recommendations. I will check for tightness after a couple weeks of driving (less than 200 miles).

After all the bolts are tightened down, replace all the rubber caps. Put the carpet back in place. Rebolt the rear seats down and replace caps. Put kick panels and scuff plates back in place.

Test drive and revel in the great bump absorption, decreased body roll and silent ride (except for that damn socket now in the body).

Clean up your mess. Eat carry out Mexican and feel complete. Slightly regret that you didn't do this earlier and missed out on opening day of turkey season.
 
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swshawaii

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Congrats Hugh! Great write up, best one I've sen yet for body mounts. You've been wanting to do this for a long time. How far down is the dropped socket? Would a long needle nose pliers, small BBQ tongs, or a small strong magnet work?
 
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OffTrac

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Thanks. It's beyond visual now. It's at the last hole for the retainers that hold on the cladding.
 
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MidnightRebel07

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Hugh, nice write-up. "Sticky"!!!

As for the socket in the cavern of darkness, I did this when installing my bodylift years ago and used a telescopic magnet tool to retrieve it. Needs to be a big one (those dollar ones at the counter of the parts store aren't strong enough).

The condition of those bushings are just another reason I hate mud and wash it off the undercarriage asap. Looks like you had silt and sand style mud all over yours which dries out the bushings even faster.
 
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OffTrac

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Thanks Jerry. I'll look around for a better magnet before I spray foam it. That gives me hope.

Yeah, I always wash mud off, which to me is usually our red clay but I could never possibly keep the sandy loam off the underside. This is 1/3 of my driveway.

IMG_20140323_142612_332_zpsb4pqikpl.jpg


I imagine the Prothane bushings will hold up to the Georgia clay, sand and humidity better. They are stiff and probably not as comfortable as the OEM but they are certainly a lot more forgiving than missing bushings. For comfort, I'd still think OEM is a better choice if they will survive someone's environment.
 
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429CJ-3X2

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Excellent write up!

About 10 years ago, I had to replace a piston in the 460 in my Ranchero. While removing or reinstalling the head on the passenger's side, the socket somehow fell off my ratchet. I hunted all over for it. Somehow it had bounced just right and ended up going through the opening for the starter and was laying inside the front of the transmission! I ended up drilling a hole in the bottom of the bellhousing to get it out.
 
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Dan95-5.0

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Great info here. Going to use these tips for the body lift install.
 
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kenny nunez

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body mounts

Thanks for the heads up SWS Hawaii and thanks fot the pictures and suggestions Off track. I am a retired mechanic so I have a lot of tools etc. from my shop. This is my first Sport Trac so I have a lot to learn about it.
 
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01STrunner

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Great writeup Hugh! This will be helpful for both bushing replacement and body lifts for people. I've still yet to undertake this annoying task.
 
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OffTrac

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Great writeup Hugh! This will be helpful for both bushing replacement and body lifts for people. I've still yet to undertake this annoying task.

It's really not that bad. Go ahead and get it out of the way. After finishing, I couldn't believe I waited so long.

One word of caution I've been meaning to add: the factory torque recommendation was not enough. My body slid a little to the driver's side even after checking a week later. I won't give a number because 1. I'm not an engineer and I don't want to be responsible for any problems and 2. I don't remember what I torqued to now anyway.

Sent from my Galaxy S5 using Forum Runner
 
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Kjhadfield

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Great write up, I know mine are in similar condition and have added this project to the list. You say the prothane bushings are stiffer than the "comfort" of oem. If you replace to the rancho 9000xl shocks and adjusted the settings accordingly would it balance out the stiffness in the bushing? Or will it have no effect, this may be a dumb question. What differences are actually noticed. I don't know if it would make it easier or not but was thinking of doing the bushings and shocks in 1 shot…or a weekends time frame to be realistic I guess.
Any other suggestions as far as projects go, that make sense to do while completing above projects?
 
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Kjhadfield

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I'd also like to get new hardware before I start, anybody know where and what is needed
 
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OffTrac

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I'd also like to get new hardware before I start, anybody know where and what is needed

You would have to buy OEM bushings to get new hardware.

The aftermarket bushings use the OEM hardware. No problem there that I could foresee.




BTW, just realized tonight that this thread was made a sticky. Hope it can help some folks.
 
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MidnightRebel07

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Just out of curiosity does Ford or anyone else sell just the bolts? Reason I ask is I'll be removing the body lift (more than likely) to lower the center of gravity since I'm in the process of my SAS build. I also need to replace the bushings but will probably go with the prothane bushings set to save money (as well as not deal with the oem's crumbling again). I don't think I kept the original bolts but I haven't looked through all of my ST boxes yet.
 
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OffTrac

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Just out of curiosity does Ford or anyone else sell just the bolts? Reason I ask is I'll be removing the body lift (more than likely) to lower the center of gravity since I'm in the process of my SAS build. I also need to replace the bushings but will probably go with the prothane bushings set to save money (as well as not deal with the oem's crumbling again). I don't think I kept the original bolts but I haven't looked through all of my ST boxes yet.

I don't have an answer for you other than I imagine someone like Fastenal could get what you need. I think I have my originals somewhere but I'm going to have to be selfish on this one in the hopes that I'll be adding those 1 tons someday and removing the body lift myself.

If I can get a moment's breath, I can stop by my local Fastenal to match the bolts, if I can find them.

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OffTrac

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MidnightRebel07

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Cool, thanks guys.
 
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aircoolednewf

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When I did my lift the bolts wer easy but I was not able to get a few of the body mounts to separate and had to leave them in. I'll try again when the snow is gone. Any tips on separating the body mount halfs.
 
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swshawaii

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Thread the bolts back in from the top 1/2" and hammer the extension with the socket on the bolt head. Easy.
 
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