Is it possible to replace body bushings without taking the body off the frame? I think I've traced a clunk when hitting bumps to loose body bushing--middle of the frame, driver's side. The bolt thru that bushing turns freely.
07-29-2005, 09:44 PM
Is it possible to replace body bushings without taking the body off the frame?
I've heard of people removing the body mount bolts and using a hydraulic port-a-power to lift the body from the frame just enough to slip the old mount out and insert a new mount. If you have a bolt spinning that could be trouble. You may have to cut into the floorboard to access the captive nut so you can R&R the bolt.
07-30-2005, 12:43 AM
I just replaced the body bushings on my 70'. I can't see how you could do it with-out at least loosening all of the bolts. My car had two sets of solid mounts near the center, and I had to lift the body about 3" in the back to get'm. I lifted the back first, then the front. When I was done I had to go back and align the body. jThe 70's have an alignment hole in the front left corner of the frame. I used that as a reference for front to back, and then just used a tape measure from the frame rail to the body for the rest. Hope this helps!
07-30-2005, 07:32 AM
Yea, my 80 has the same problem. The worst ones are in the front tho, so it might not be so bad.
I'm going to try to tighten mine up first. If that doesn't work, then I'll be forced to try something else too. I'm sure it won't be easy. But then again, nothin is.
Would an 80 have any alignment pegs or pins?
07-30-2005, 10:03 AM
Oh Yeah, I was thinking of replacing all the bushings as a set. So all the bolts will come out and I was hoping to work my way around the car slipping in one bushing at a time.
I know it won't be easy, but hoped it would be easier than taking the body off the frame...
My car is an '84, and I expext to mind an alignment pin to locate the body to the frame.
07-30-2005, 10:47 AM
I changed about half of my body mounts on the 83' Elky last year with the help of Mark Howard. We put the car on a lift and had to loosen every mount all over the car -- except the ones that were broken or rusted off! We then placed another jack with a heavy board to separate the body from the frame by about two inches, just enough to pull out the mangled busings and insert the newer ones. The center ones are just behind the seats and below the raised portion of the storage area behind the curtain. We couldn't do anything there because of rust in the floor boards and rust in the channel that runs below it. (That's part of a longer project down the road.)
The two key mounts that had broken bolts from past abuse and heavy torquing from the engine are below the A post at the bottom of the firewall. To get to them, we used a Sawzall cut a notched flap into the firewall access hole to get at the lock nut. After installing the new bushing we were able to bend the flap back into the opening. It will be welded shut when the rest of the project is tackled.
By the way, I bought the bushings from NPD for much less than the price at OPG and the other vendors. You can see a couple of photos from this job on the 3rd page of my members gallery photos. See 5th Gen, Page 3, bottom row center. Click on it and go to my page three. I have other photos I can email you if you give me your address via return email.
Good luck. It will make a difference in the noise and the cornering.
07-30-2005, 05:56 PM
I wouldn't bother trying to replace just one or two. If your going to do it, just go ahead and do it right. Replace them all. It's not that deep, and re-aligning the body isn't to difficult either, just time consuming.
07-30-2005, 11:34 PM
Prothane part number 7-132. That is a complete polyurethane kit with the radiator support bushings.
Also if you have a super shops close by they sell em cheaper then any one i have found.
08-04-2005, 02:45 AM
IS THERE ANY LINKS OR BOOKS THAT GIVE YOU FULL INSTRUCTIONS ON REPLACING BODY MOUNTS ?I OWN A 78 ELKY ABOUT 3 LOOK BAD.WANT TO REPLACE ALL.THE THING THAT SCARES ME THE MOST IS ALIGNING THE BODY.I TAKE IT THE BUSHING KITS DONT COME WITH THE BOLTS?DO THE KITS COME WITH ANY INSTRUCTIONS?FOR THE AVERAGE TO ABOVE AVERAGE BACKYARD MECHANIC ABOUT HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE JOB.
08-04-2005, 08:05 PM
The kit above comes with detailed instructions. You can get the bolts for '78-'87 from this guy: Wes Crane (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4551875713). He doesn't have them up for auction right now but if you send him a message in ebay he will get them for you. The are inteded for later model g-bodies. The radiator support bolts were a little bigger than the factory ones I pulled out. That is a good thing though right. So far his bolts worked great on my '78 but I havn't finished them yet. Several folks on www.maliburacing.com have used his bolts with no problems what so ever.
08-06-2005, 01:20 PM
I TAKE IT THE BUSHING KITS DONT COME WITH THE BOLTS?
You'll need ten M10x1.5x80 and two M10x1.5x55 bolts for the body mounts. The bolts are 10mm in diameter with a 1.5 thread pitch. The last number is the length of the bolt in mm. You should be able to locate them at any good bolt supplier.
07-12-2006, 04:16 PM
i just picked up body bushings from jegs, and they dont look like standard bushings...each bushing is made up of a series of 1" wide rubber rings that get stacked on the bolt sleeve, and they get smaller as you stack them. i was given the choice of red or black and i picked the red assuming they would look just like the black ones pictured...did i get the right ones?
the only ones pictured are black, of course i got the red.
07-12-2006, 04:47 PM
You can easily do half the car at a time--DO NOT try and take the bolts out directly ---spray them with an oil of some type and let them sit for a few days ---spraying again every day or so-----I have done this twice on both by 85 El Caminos-
You can loosen the bolts from the 3rd or 4th position from the front----forward----then remove the front ones moving towards the rear----don't replace the ones up front first----just remove them moving towards the rear-----replace them in reverse moving forward as you go till you replace the ones next to the radiator--------if you get any stubborn bolts ---and you will---heat them or you will break off the bolts----
As I said ---did it on both cars right in the driveway---take your time--it makes a big difference in the ride-----I would recommend replacing all the bots and washers with new
08-16-2006, 08:36 PM
I am going to tackle the replacement of my body bushings on my 83 as soon as the weather gets a bit cooler here. Rust does not appear to be a serious issue for my El Camino, pretty dry here but I do have a question when the body is raised enough to install the new bushings is there enough play in the steering column to allow the body to come up? Does the column need to be disconnected? Is there anything else that needs to be loosened or disconnected? Also I'm not sure that I want the extreme firmness of the polyurethane are the hyperflex any less firm but better than stock rubber? Thanks Harald K
09-01-2006, 07:34 AM
Well Harald K
I am doing a full frame off restoration of my '69, and there is a few other things to check. There is a few ground straps and the brake lines. I had 2 ground straps from the frame to the body that were 4" long and my brake lines coming off the master cylinder are bolted to a bracket that is bolted to the frame. So just look for that. As for the steering column, if the slip joint has some room to expand you should be ok. But I would just take it apart at the rubber joint between the column and the steering box to be safe.
09-01-2006, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the info. I did not think about the brake lines and you are correct they secure to the frame. Thanks again. Harald K
09-03-2006, 07:30 AM
Replacing the body mount bushings on a 5th gen is easy. You are about to find out how flexible the frame is. The frame to body system is almost in two halves, with the front behind supported by only four bushings. The a-pillar to rear bumber portion uses a combination of the body to stiffen the frame and the frame to stiffen the body. The front sheet metal just hangs out there, supported only by the core support bushings. To do the bushings, put the vehicle up on jackstands with them under the frame itself. Put a pair of stands as close to the hinge line of the door as possible, but don.t block access to the a-pillar bolts. The rear pair of stands can go anywhere in the fuel tank region. Loosen the a-pillar bolts, but don't take them out. Then remove all the mount bolts from there back. Once the bolts are out, raise the rear of the body enough to be able to swap the bushings. Use a block of wood on a jack under the body itself. You'll be suprised at how easy it is and how little holds it together. You don't need to diconnect any lines or hoses to do it. Put the bolts back in the rear two mounts and then go to the front. Raise the front sheet metal and the body at the same time or you'll chip the door to fender edges. Don't open the doors until it is back on the ground. Replace the core support bushings and the a-pillar mount bushings and tighten all the bolts. There are no alignment pins. The only thing that aligns the boddy to the frame is the mount bushings.
09-03-2006, 10:26 AM
Thanks very much for your detailed account of body bushing procedures. Your instructions will certainly make life much easier. Considering the way you have described the flexibility of the frame and body I would suspect replacing old worn bushings will greatly benefit the ride of the car. I did notice that one of my bolts is broken (B piller location) the shaft is loose but the head appears to have snapped off completely since there is no rust on any part of my frame I suspect is occurred due to frame flex and a loose bolt to begin with. I may have to cut a hole inorder to gain after removing the wheel well access. I have been applying penetrating oil to allow the bolt to soak maybe I can screw it out with a bolt extractor. Sears and some others sell a kit that can be used on bolts where the head has been rounded off too much for a wrench it looks like this could work if it will grip the shank Thanks again for your help. Harald K.