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Unread 01-10-2014, 08:29 AM   #1
Darklight
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Default front LCA removal & bushing replacement

Some history. I have been getting a metal clicking or pop sound on/off while turning, reversing or going over large bumps and offroading for around 2 years. It usually happened on cold starts and when turning. Like backing out of a parking space. Then would go away. This started after a series of alignments and allot off roading. My lca cam bolts were not tqd properly several times after alignments and after tightening them and torqueing down properly (100 lbs of trq) the sound would go away. Well it started doing it again and I come to realize the stock rubber bushings were getting worn out. I put a small pry bar on them and move them back/forth and also hear the sound coming from them. Also, once removed a large screwdriver could move the bushings back/forth inside the lca. After asking several members and getting good feedback I proceeded to give the Energy Suspension poly bushings a shot.

The best way to remove the front LCA to install new bushings. Note I used Energy Suspension black Polyurethane Item# 8.3128. They come as a full set that includes lower and upper control arm bushings and you cannot get the lowers only. These do not come with new metal sleeves for the lower control arms. You have to reuse the stock metal inner/outer sleeves and the flash welded flare washers. This requires grinding down half the thickness the edge on the flare washer. Burning out the old rubber bushings and cleaning them before pressing in the new poly ones to the inner/outer sleeves. Then pressing the flare washer back on using a ball bearing on an arbor press. The best way for me to accomplish this was to simple remove the LCA and take them to my buddies shop to burn out the old and press in the new. Just make sure to put plenty of the Formula 5 ES grease in and around the new bushings and all metal parts that are reused.

You can also replace the bushings with stock rubber ones. That would require to press out the old and press in the new with less fuss and less mess. You can also replace the entire LCA with a new one that includes a new lbj and would require to remove the lbj cradle in addition to removing the lca as seen below. Total Chaos also makes a stock size replacement lca. I couldn’t justify or afford TC but wanted them.

(Important info about the poly from Energy Suspension, they need to be greased properly before installing and NEVER use WD40 on these bushings as it will eat the grease out and dry the bushings up!)

Tools needed:
Floor jack and 4 X jack stands, 2 to support the vehicle and 2 to support the cv/spindle/hub assembly
2 lb rubber mallet
2 X 19mm deep socket for all bolts, An open end ratcheting type 19mm wrench can also be used on Cam bolts once the bolts are free. I used a 3/8” and ˝” sockets. Either will do.
Breaker bar and a trq wrench
Extension sockets I used a 3” 3/8” and a 4” ˝” drive ext
Red Loctite for LCA to spindle/hub attachment 118 lbs trq
Anti seize for Cam bolts 19mm 100 lbs of trq
Tools I used

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Unread 01-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #2
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Start by spraying a good penetrating spray on the lca bushings/cam bolt/eccentrics every other day for about a week. I used liquid wrench penetrating spray and ZEP penetrating spray with ptf. I was still paranoid about a seized cam bolt but thankfully everything came off pretty easy. (If you have a seized Cam bolt you will be in for a real big headache and may have to use a grinder or sawza to cut and remove them. They will need to be replaced after that with stock cam bolts.) I am not responsible for anything you do to your vehicle. I wanted to post this to help anyone out looking into these or simply replacing the front lca's. These are the steps I did to replace mine.

Remove wheels and front skid plate. Mine is heavy as crap at 70 lbs.
Paint match marks on the LCA cam bolt/eccentric. (I used nail polish my wife did not like) This is to help once you reinstall these cam bolt/eccentric for alignment. You still need to have an alignment done afterwards. Mine was almost spot on.

I loosened the LCA cam bolts about 3 turns before removing the LCA attachment bolts



I also loosened the shock lower mount bolt



Once these are loose you can remove the 2 LCA attachment bolts with a breaker bar 19mm bolts



I then put a floor jack to support the lca and removed the shock lower mount bolt. Note, once the lower shock mount bolt is removed along with the 2 LCA attachment bolts nothing will be supporting the cv/spindle. To prevent everything from over stretching I used a floor jack to support the hub/cv spindle under the brake caliper along with the extra set of jack stands under the lug nuts to hold everything up. You can use smaller jack stands for this.


Then start by removing the cam bolts. Pay attention to the orientation. I used a piece of card board to draw a picture of my lca’s to could keep everything in order (front / rear and drivers side / passenger side).

The rear Cam bolt come out with a long bolt/eccentric and eccentric washer on the rear. All Cam bolts are 19mm







The front ones come out with a long bolt through a eccentric/ sleeve and an eccentric washer on the rear. ( an eccentric sleeve that goes all the way through the inside of the bushing). This will be tapped out using the socket extensions see pictures below.







All bolts and sleeves get pulled forward away from the vehicle or towards the front of the vehicle for removal. You can then remove the lower control arm.
Once removed the OE rubber bushings can be removed per ES instructions.

I have attached a copy of the ES install instructions






ES pressed in and ready to reinstall lca








Reinstalling, Use anti seize all of the cam bolts and front cam sleeves that were removed. First tighten up the cam bolts and line them up to the match marks, then using a floor jack raise the lca to the spindle and line up the 2 lca attachments bolts. Make sure you use Red Loctite on these 2 bolts and trq down to 118 lbs with a 19mm socket.
Then line up the lower shock mount and insert the bolt using a 19mm socket and trq to 100 lbs of trq. Then tighten the lca Cam bolts 19 mm socket a little more but not all the way. I trqd mine down but then backed them off a turn. Reinstall wheels 83 lbs of trq. Then lower the vehicle and trq down the lca cam bolts to 100 lbs of trq. Then go get an alignment and make sure you request the tech to trq down to 100 lbs per Toyota’s specs.
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Last edited by Darklight; 01-11-2014 at 11:03 AM.
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Unread 01-10-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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Installed



Everything all tightened down took it for a ride and the ride is very much improved, the steering feels more stable in turns and responsive over bumps and pot holes. The noise is gone. Took it on the trail and it feels very predictable and rides better than before. Before in high speed turns and over bumps it was beginning to feel a little wishy washy or marshmalley. Now it feels great. It did stiffen up the front end a tad but that is to my liking. I just hope they hold up to offroading. Thanks goes out to Shabaka, 03L4Runner, Quint, Energy Suspension, ASI Auto Solutions in Charlotte.

Bobby
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Unread 01-10-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Nice write up, thank you.

So the ES instructions worked regarding hearing up the LCA to break the bond of the OEM bushing? I hear many people need to burn it out.
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Unread 01-11-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryBigs View Post
Nice wrote up, thank you.

So the ES instructions worked regarding hearing up the LCA to break the bond of the OEM bushing? I hear many people need to burn it out.
Thanks, I do not have any pictures of the actual rubber being melted off but after heating it evenly around the entire bushing and sleeve for about 10 minutes they will start to come out of the sleeves. That part was done at a shop. The rubber will catch fire if you focus on an area for to long. Just back off the heat if it does or move to the other side of the control arm. Hope that helps

Bobby
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Last edited by Darklight; 01-11-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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Unread 02-15-2014, 08:47 PM   #6
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Nice write up thank you. I used this to complete my LCA replacement, I did have to buy a ball joint separator to help with that part from Harbor Freight because mine refused to separate after 2 hours of hitting it with a hammer I gave up and purchased the tool. I appreciate the information here that saved me some time and money.
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Unread 02-16-2014, 07:55 PM   #7
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Glad I can help
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