Preventive maintenance.....pretty sure I'm screwed | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Preventive maintenance.....pretty sure I'm screwed


November 26, 2010
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Explorer XLT
Here we go. My 04 explorer xlt 4x4 has been out of commission for about 2 months now and I'm finally going to ask for help. I'll try and be quick...

So, while doing an oil change, i happened to notice the rear coils were broke. After further inspection, I found the boots on the front outer tie rod boots tore, several other bushings and such dry rotted, etc. Btw, she has around 144k on her. So being the over achiever that i am, i figured I'd just rebuild the entire suspension, along with all new fluids (everything but power steering).

Sounded like the smart thing to do, until i got to the rear lower control arms. I purchased all new moog parts btw. I also have a 20 ton shop press, which i thought was going to explode pressing out the inner bushings. I then took my dremel and sanded cleaned up the control arm from all rust and debris. Then, while trying to press in the new ones, the outer lip of the new ones were starting to tear. I was without a doubt going to trash the new bushing.

Now, mind you, i read every forum and manual under the sun for days/weeks on end on how to do this and found that nobody has apparently successfully done this. I've tried freezing the bushings, using dish soap, etc. with no success. Now I'd just replace them with new ones but i was quick to find out that new arms were between 350 and 750 a piece. Which, as you can imagine, blew my mind. Probably because the front uppers i replaced 6 months ago because of rotted ball joint boots cost about 150 for the pair.

So, to make a long story longer, should i just try and slam the new ones home and tear them up a bit or just find used ones on craigslist getting parted out and cut my losses. At least, hopefully, the next guy like me will find this thread and know. Hard to believe I'm the only puttz to try do this but I'm out of options, literally. Thanks ahead of time for everyone that can help.


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I'll give you bump...
Nice lift. Is that in your home garage?

Just press them in, make sure they start "square" (not crocked), make sure the hole is perfectly clean, no burrs to hang up on, freeze the bushing for a day, then warm the control, but not to hot, you dont want the heat to transfer to the bushing after installation and damaging the rubber in the new bushing.

Thanks man, yeah, it's my home garage. I love it, makes life a lot easier even with just a simple oil change. I even use it to lift my mower when i sharpen the blades. I've even thrown a couple 4x8 sheets of plywood on it for beerpong haha.

As far as the bushings go, I've tried freezing and heating the arm and they still want to tear the outer lip off. I'm going to bevel the lip of the slightly and see if that helps. In the pics you can see the tear around the outer lip and the other bushing is about the same size O.D. as the the sleeve its suppose to press into.



I think you mayy havve the wrong bushings.

I was afraid of that. I researched like crazy to make sure that didn't happen. Unfortunately, even moog has them listed on their website to fit my exploder. I should have just left the damn things alone but figured it would be the smart thing to do while i had them off to do the struts. Oh, and the leaking half shaft seals in the diff., bad tensioner, and broken hinge on the rear glass.....oh, and plugs, wires and coil pack to fix the rough idle. The more i looked, the more crap i found needed replaced. Story of my life haha


Just read about some other vehicles needing the inner bushing sleeve removed to install the rubber first and then pressing the sleeve back into the bushing. Any thoughts on this? I assumed the sleeve was stuck in the bushing with some sort of adhesive or the rubber was formed over it.

Petroleum jelly

Lots of it.

Might actually not be a bad idea to warm up the rubber to make it more pliable, too.