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Discussion Starter #1
Well, my 77 rear end feels like it jumps all over the place every time I cross RR tracks or hit a pot hole. I have new shocks and the only thing I can think of is that the bushings in the upper or lower control arms is shot.
Does anyone have any suggestions of other possible causes and/or has anyone replaced those bushings, how big a job is it replacing the bushings, and did it clear up mushy rear suspension in bumpy conditions?
 

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They are not hard to change out if you have access to a hyd. press. I boxed my arms & added poly bushings. It made a huge difference in the the control & possitive feel of the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Gosh, I am running maybe 40psi, and when they are all the way down to 10psi it does the same thing.
I was reading some old threads that recommended not to get poly if you can get rubber. I have no idea myself. In fact, I'm not sure I can even find a choice of the two. Almost all parts you 5th gen folks can find, isn't usually available pre-78, in fact pre-82 to tell you the truth.
I guess I'll just take what I can get and be thankful for that... :(
 

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Yes, Air shocks were never designed to give a good ride. I install kyb shocks & air lift bags & have never looked back. Huge difference in ride & handling. First change those bushings.
 

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summit racing sells full poly bushing sets for the 77 elcamino! its got suspension and body replacement bushings.. i think it runs like 160.00 or so..
 

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You can order poly bushings from many of the auto parts stores. I got mine from a local speed shop.
 

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NastyN8,
I think the kit to which you refer is Summit's ENS-3-18111G for $169.88. However, unlike similar kits for 3rd gen & 5th gen El Caminos, this kit doesn't include the body mount bushings. :mad:
Like 77Sprint noted, it's hard to find some of these aftermarket parts for the 4th gen.
The search goes on...
 

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Poncho Villa, you are right, my bad. After more research on the web i think i may have found away to get energy suspension to make body mounts for our elky's........ They just need a car to make the first ones, and whosever car they use will get a set of body mounts free....(99% sure on this stuff) call them and see what they cay. By the way energy suspeneion's "shop" is in cali :(
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I've got the poly bushings by energy suspension at a local speed shop. I am lucky enough to have access to an auto skills center at a local Army base. I went in to do the diry. The shop forman who kind of helps everyone out said the last 4 times he tried to press out the bushings, it calapsed the arm before the bushings moved and he would try again if I wanted to take the risk, well I figured I"d check with my buddies at NECOA and see what the skinny really is. The arms are indeed a "U" channel and without the special factory tools, calapsing the arms looks like a real possibility. And then how hard are the upper control arm bushings in the differential case to get out without the GM bushing puller?

Oh yeah, 8) I got my idiot light pod out and the new tach/gauges in. All I had to do was reorder the pins in that 18 pin connector, and put in a few new lines. So far,everything works except the ammeter (which I have not got the nerve up yet to connect up)... A pain, but was definately do'able...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh Yeah, the local GM dealer here (the only one that still has the specialized tools) wants

$$$$$$ 430
LABOR
ONLY !!!!!!!!
to put in the new bushings

Yeah Right BUDDY :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That shop forman I was talking about said someone else used a torch to burn out the old rubber and then a hack saw to cut the outter sleeve. Even so, pressing in the new ones could calapse the arm too wouldn't it? and I am not up on the use of an air hammer to get bushings out and then back in..

BTW, I just ordered a new set of lower rear control arms with sway bar from a guy on the internet. The lowers, I may be able to take down to a machine shop and have the bushings put in, but I must admit to being intimadated :cry: with changing out the uppers. It seems that if I get too rough with them, I could break out the bushing hole in the rear end..
I'm starting to think the ride in the old elky is good enough to live with :oops:
 

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I AM REPLACING MY LOWER CONTROL ARM BUSHINGS AT THIS TIME AND I FOUND IF ONCE YOU HAVE REMOVED THE ARMS AND SOAK THEM WITH A RUST PENITRANT FOR AWILE THE SEEM TO POP OUT WITH A PRESS. I SET THEM IN THE PRESS AND UNDER A SMALL AMOUNT OF PRESSURE I HIT THE ARMS AROUND THE BUSHING WITH A HAMMER AND IT BROKE FREE. I DONT THINK THAT THERE IS A SURE FIRE WAY TO GET THE BUSHINGS IN AND OUT.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I appreciate the suggestion. Which rust buster did you use?
Have you tried this technique on the upper control arm bushings on the differential? and which bushing press are you using? One of the "C" clamp type or the puller type that pulls through the bolt hole?
Thanks
Loren
 

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Loren,
I had to smile when I read Tommys post about the bushings being easy to change out. I have a fifth gen. that a local shop wanted $327.00 to replace my bushings. After doing it myself, I decided that the local shop was underpaid. When you press the old bushings out, put something (scrap metal etc.) inside the control arm on each side of the bushing. This will act as a gusset & add support to the arm when pressing the bushing out. I used a ball joint press for the diff. bushings. It is the C clamp type. I used this for removal, and replacing the new. The new bushings wont be as difficult to put back into the control arms as the old were, coming out. Grease them up good & a little persuasion with a rubber mallet & your good to go. I used a top grade marine grease (Amsoil) when reinstalling them & have had no problems with squeeking. Like Tommy said, this is an excellent opportunity to box your control arms in. Jon
 

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I boxed my arms before I removed the bushings. I found a piece a round medal stock that was the same size as the sleeve. Our base medal shop is great. Using our 10000 lb hyd press, they popped right out. The new poly bushings popped right in.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here is a pic of the control arms and sway I have on the way. The sway bracket kind of prohibits the use of a full boxing of the control arms. Now I could have the flat areas of the two ends boxed over the bushing holes. Do you think just the boxing would adequately support the pressing out of the old bushings, or do you think additional support would be necessary to prevent the deformation of the arm under the mega press. The base autoshop has a massively heavy duty hydraulic press.

 

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A big vise, some spacers, and a BFH is all I need to remove and install the bushings.

I've used this method for several sets of both front control arms and rear trailing arms and it works like a charm. For spacers I took a piece of old galvinized fence post and cut it to the right lengths then cut them in half lengthwise. I wrap the spacers around the old bushing and open the vise slightly greater than the bushing. I then put the control arm on the vise and let the BFH do the rest. It usually pops out after a few sharp blows of the BFH. When installing the new bushing I use a little lube on the metal jacket of the bushing. I install the spacers and use the vise as a press to install them in the control arm.
 
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