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Front Upper Control Arms - can I just replace bushings?


JasonPAtkins

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2002 Mountaineer V8 AWD
I live in West Africa. My Explorer spends its daily drive on roads many would consider an off-roading experience.

As a point of reference, Moog off road sway bar links are good for about a year over here.





Anyway, I still heard a metallic clicking after replacing the sway bar links this year (which is where the clicking is usually coming from), and discovered this gap in the front upper control arm rear bushing. The nut it tight, it's not that it backed off or anything.



The question is, what's this supposed to look like? Am I missing a part that should've held the non-nut end of the bushing, or some kind of rubber that should be filling the gap between the washer-by-the-nut and the bushing? Or do I just need a new set of four bushings?

I don't see any damage to the UCA or the ball joint on the third point of the triangle, so I'm tempted to just replace all four bushings, rather than a pair of new UCA's, as it's expensive to have stuff shipped over here.

The roads have a ton of speed bump and potholes - I'm assuming this wore because of all of the force exerted backward on the wheels by all of these road features.

I'm not a suspension guru though. Think I'm safe just pressing all four bushings out of the UCA's and replacing with new bushings, or am I missing something else that's broken and fallen away here?
 


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JasonPAtkins

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ES 9.8103 polyurethane bushing mod. Moog's blue rubber bushings are notorious for blowing out. See links in post #11 .
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3518512

As for UCA bushings, someone in this Gen 3 sub forum will know. Stay tuned and GL.
Thanks for the tip - the ones I just installed are the polyurethane ones, this will be my first time using them. Hoping they'll last a little longer. :) (Or that they'd at least sell just the bumpers instead of the whole assembly, lol.)
 




JasonPAtkins

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Bump for an answer to the original question - does it look like I can just order four bushings?
 




jayyzar

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It looks like you can replace just the bushings but the issue is space. Is there enough room to do it. I ended up replacing the whole Upper control arm just to be certain.
 




swshawaii

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LMHmedchem

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I generally go by the opinion that if they sell the bushings separately, you can replace them separately. You will have to take off the UCA to replace the bushings and that could be difficult without damaging the UCA if it is very rusted. You might want to start by checking if you can get the bolts on the UCA loose before you go any further. You might look in a junkyard to see if you can find a similar UCA and see how easy it is to get the old bushing out and new ones in. One would think it would be reasonable since they make replacements, but who knows.

This is also a situation where I would worry a bit about getting the exact correct replacement parts. Every time I look at something like bushings, I feel rather un-confident. There always seem to be more designs that it looks like there should be, the pictures aren't always correct, and I'm not always 100% correct that I am ordering what I need if it's not a repair I have done before. That's even more of a problem for you since you can't just run back to the store and get the other one. If you do decide to do just the bushings, I would definitely correspond with the vendor before ordering, unless someone here has done the same repair and can link you to the exact part.

LMHmedchem
 




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