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#615134 - 01/01/05 12:46 PM Idler arm?
1BADMERC Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3645
I need HELP! Yesterday I replaced the upper ball joints in my car, which took about 1 1/2 hrs by myself with simple hand tools.
Right now I am trying to replace the idler arm because it is supposedly worn and I guess it is a little bit.
I have the castle nut loosened and "borrowed" a 3-jaw puller(apparently they were out of 2-jaw pullers, and I didn't want to spend $30 to buy one). My main concern is:
HOW THE F*CK do you get the puller installed? How do you get anything done, with ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM? I could barely swing the wrench to get the castle nut off.
Can I just use a picklefork to remove this, or do I HAVE TO use the useless puller? Can I just smash down on it from above and knock it out? Who designed this stupid thing?
Sorry, I am just very frustrated, like I get every time there is a part/system which seems like it was designed to be a wicked PITA on purpose!
Anyone here replaced their idler, and have some secrets/suggestions?
Car is up on the stands right now, so any help that anyone could give would be MOST appreciated.
Thank You
Good Day
_________________________
1993 GM LS
243k miles
29.5mm PI front bar(ENS greaseable poly bushings),21mm HPP rear bar(ENS poly bushings/endlinks),Mechanical Stewart-Warner oil pressure gauge. Black steelies/center caps...K&N filter

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
144k miles
All airbags switched to coils/struts, junk tranny, motor donor car
Mercury Owners Group

This is a disclaimer:
This post is the opinion of the person in question. It is presented as nothing more than that. Furthurmore, this opinion is is not necessarily the opinion of CVN, any of its affiliates, or anyone else on Earth.

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#615135 - 01/01/05 01:47 PM Re: Idler arm?
Steve83 Offline
Poobah

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7451
Loc: Memphis, TN 38002, USA, Earth,...
The only way I ever even TRY to separate cone studs (like ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.) is to loosen the nut, & SMACK the side of the hole with a BP hammer. It only ever takes 4-5 whacks max (normally ~2) and the stud will release with NO damage. Pickle forks can tear the boots, and jaw pullers (as you see) take too much room & time.
_________________________
Walk softly & carry a BIG SIX ! ! !

. . .

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#615136 - 01/01/05 02:08 PM Re: Idler arm?
1BADMERC Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3645
ttt
_________________________
1993 GM LS
243k miles
29.5mm PI front bar(ENS greaseable poly bushings),21mm HPP rear bar(ENS poly bushings/endlinks),Mechanical Stewart-Warner oil pressure gauge. Black steelies/center caps...K&N filter

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
144k miles
All airbags switched to coils/struts, junk tranny, motor donor car
Mercury Owners Group

This is a disclaimer:
This post is the opinion of the person in question. It is presented as nothing more than that. Furthurmore, this opinion is is not necessarily the opinion of CVN, any of its affiliates, or anyone else on Earth.

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#615137 - 01/01/05 02:51 PM Re: Idler arm?
Sepiroth Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/03/02
Posts: 2822
Loc: Kouts, Indiana
Ok if you are in fact replacing the idler arm, you do not need the puller. All you need are pliers to get the cotter key out of the 22mm castle nut on the top of idler arm. You'll prolly do best with a 6-12 extension and an 18mm socket ( not too sure on size0 for the two nuts that attach the arm to the frame. * NOTE* the stud in the frame will most likely stay in place so you do not have to worry about them slipping. Once all nuts are off you can begin to use the pickle fork to remove the arm from the centerlink. Be sure that you also take the sleeve that will prolly be siezed to the centerlink. oh and to make it a lil easier heat helps with the hammer and pickle fork cook those rubber bushings.

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#615138 - 01/01/05 04:57 PM Re: Idler arm?
1BADMERC Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3645
Thanks for all your help!
I was kind of being a little b!tch because I was pretty hungover and pissed off....
After taking a break for a second, I went back out there, gave it a few whacks and the thing popped off easy as pie. The only reason I even got the puller is because the manual(Haynes) said to. The frame bolts were kind of tricky as they were moving from the other side, so that was kind of a PITA. And, the sleeve WAS seized to the stud, and I had to get out the dremel to grind off some of it to get the new one to fit.
The new arm is of a different design, and about TWICE as beefy. I wish I had a digital camera to show a comparison, because the new peice is impressive, plus with two grease fittings.
Just test drove it, and although it very obviously needs an alignment BADLY, all play/rattling/shimmy is gone, and it is steering smoothly.
The alignment shop where I tried to get it aligned at told me about both upper balljoints and idler arm. They said they could do it for $500. $100 each for the balljoints and $100 for the idler, plus $200 labor.
I got the BJs for $80 each, and the idler was-get this-$30 with a lifetime warranty(and 2 grease fittings).
I know these shops have to make money, but do they have to rape me? I simply told them that I could never afford to have them work on my car, and that I'd have to do it myself. I WILL bring it to them for the alignment, though.
So-$190 in parts
about 3hrs to do the job
$50 for an alignment
Grand total-$240
I saved myself-$260.
Not bad, I'm just glad the weather has been pretty nice. If it was as cold out as it has been lately, it would have totally sucked.

The only thing about the new idler is that in the new design, the bushing is a little bit taller, so that I couldn't get a cotter pin in. Am I correct in assuming that I can just get a shorter castle nut? I just tightened the crap out of it until I can get to the parts store.
So, all in all it went pretty good. Thanks to everyone here who responded, I really appreciate it.
Thanks again.
Good Day
_________________________
1993 GM LS
243k miles
29.5mm PI front bar(ENS greaseable poly bushings),21mm HPP rear bar(ENS poly bushings/endlinks),Mechanical Stewart-Warner oil pressure gauge. Black steelies/center caps...K&N filter

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
144k miles
All airbags switched to coils/struts, junk tranny, motor donor car
Mercury Owners Group

This is a disclaimer:
This post is the opinion of the person in question. It is presented as nothing more than that. Furthurmore, this opinion is is not necessarily the opinion of CVN, any of its affiliates, or anyone else on Earth.

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#615139 - 01/01/05 07:08 PM Re: Idler arm?
Steve83 Offline
Poobah

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7451
Loc: Memphis, TN 38002, USA, Earth,...
Firestone offers a lifetime alignment for ~$100. Think about it...
_________________________
Walk softly & carry a BIG SIX ! ! !

. . .

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#615140 - 01/02/05 10:11 AM Re: Idler arm?
1BADMERC Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3645
Steve83, I hear what you're saying, but look at my mileage. If the thing makes it to the point where it even NEEDS another alignment I'll be doing prety good!
But I haven't ruled it out, I found a place for $50, and other places charge $80, so it really makes sense. It's just that I've spent some dough lately and really am almost maxing out my reasonable limit for the month.
Something to think about for next time.
Thank You and
Good Day
_________________________
1993 GM LS
243k miles
29.5mm PI front bar(ENS greaseable poly bushings),21mm HPP rear bar(ENS poly bushings/endlinks),Mechanical Stewart-Warner oil pressure gauge. Black steelies/center caps...K&N filter

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
144k miles
All airbags switched to coils/struts, junk tranny, motor donor car
Mercury Owners Group

This is a disclaimer:
This post is the opinion of the person in question. It is presented as nothing more than that. Furthurmore, this opinion is is not necessarily the opinion of CVN, any of its affiliates, or anyone else on Earth.

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#615141 - 01/02/05 12:13 PM Re: Idler arm?
Buck268 Offline

Grand Poobah

Registered: 02/27/02
Posts: 12132
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Sounds like you picked up a Moog arm? I think Moog is a good brand to go with for idlers because 1) they are generally beefier than the stock arm and 2) they use a solid metal bushing instead of the rubber like the stocker... Moog tie rod ends are nothing special though, IMO.

Anyways, what I do is just bust that nut off, then I shove a pickle fork in there and pound the hell out of it. If the metal sleeve from the stocker sticks to the draglink stud, just fire that bitch till shes red hot then twist is off with vise grips, or chisle at the seam...
_________________________
Dead: 1994 Crown Vic LX/HPP... over 190,000 miles when she got totalled frown
Gone: 1996 Mustang GT 5spd, drop top, Bassani OR X-pipe, Dynomax Ultraflows, PI Cams, K&N FIPK, C&L Elbow and 75mm TB, PIAA 1700X...
Dead: 2012 Mustang V6 Performance Package, Kona Blue with MagnaFlow "Street" catback. KIA August 2012 frown

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#615142 - 01/02/05 01:51 PM Re: Idler arm?
Steve83 Offline
Poobah

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7451
Loc: Memphis, TN 38002, USA, Earth,...
...from the expert at removing seized bushings!
_________________________
Walk softly & carry a BIG SIX ! ! !

. . .

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#615143 - 01/02/05 01:53 PM Re: Idler arm?
1BADMERC Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 3645
Yes, buck, I agree that the moog arm is far and away a better design. Just makes me wonder why Ford doesn't go with something similar from the factory?
_________________________
1993 GM LS
243k miles
29.5mm PI front bar(ENS greaseable poly bushings),21mm HPP rear bar(ENS poly bushings/endlinks),Mechanical Stewart-Warner oil pressure gauge. Black steelies/center caps...K&N filter

1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
144k miles
All airbags switched to coils/struts, junk tranny, motor donor car
Mercury Owners Group

This is a disclaimer:
This post is the opinion of the person in question. It is presented as nothing more than that. Furthurmore, this opinion is is not necessarily the opinion of CVN, any of its affiliates, or anyone else on Earth.

Top
#2801646 - 01/20/14 12:42 PM Re: Idler arm? [Re: 1BADMERC]
Wags4000 Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 1694
Loc: Northumberland, PA
deleted

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#2801658 - 01/20/14 01:10 PM Re: Idler arm? [Re: 1BADMERC]
BlaineB Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 4379
Loc: Indiana
I didn't use a puller. I may have just pounded on the stud to get it disconnected from the steering. I have a couple of pickle forks but I do not recall using them.

The bushing in mine was completely trashed. I replaced it with a greasable Moog unit with a bearing instead of a bushing.

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#2801844 - 01/20/14 08:57 PM Re: Idler arm? [Re: 1BADMERC]
TomB985 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/13
Posts: 260
Loc: Connecticut
Ha ha...guys this is a 9-year-old thread that's in the wrong forum. smile
_________________________
1997 Town Car
2013 Prius

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#2802413 - 01/22/14 12:53 PM Re: Idler arm? [Re: 1BADMERC]
Scotty_Dog Offline
Rookie

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 51
Loc: Montana
More brainzzzz...

That said, when I did mine the bushing was rusted solid to the pin so it wouldn't come out. Ended up MIG welding a bolt to the sleeve...the heat broke it loose, and the bolt gave me something to grab with vice grips so it came off easily.
_________________________
1998 P71, formerly Rosebud County Sheriffs car #8
1960 Oldsmobile 98 two door hardtop
1955 Jeep CJ5
1994 Chevy Silverado 4x4
1983 Honda Shadow VT500 Custom

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#2802418 - 01/22/14 12:57 PM Re: Idler arm? [Re: 1BADMERC]
BlaineB Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 4379
Loc: Indiana
Did not check the date.

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