A pretty easy DIY install if you have the right tools. This can also be used as a DIY for the SPL solid compression rod bushings too, though they need to be pressed in as well.
What you will need: wratchet and socket set, press, die set, heat gun, pry bar, rubber mallet, factory service manual. Time required: unrushed, you can do it in about 2.5 or so hours.
Process: This is in abridged form, consult the factory service manual for torque specs as I don’t have them handy. Note the front splash gaurd can be left in place, or can be removed totally, your choice. The swaybar can also be left in place, as can the lower control arm.
1. loosen wheels while car is on the ground
2. jack the car up or put on lift. If using a floor jack, suggest putting jack stands under the side points, under the front door.
3. Remove wheels
4. Remove cotter pin for the ball joint from the compression rod to front hub/knuckle. Use a 19mm socket to remove the nut and free the ball joint.
5. Remove the front crossmember – there are a series of 14mm bolts and 1 19mm bolt.
6. Remove front compression rod using the prybar
7. Now, the fun stuff! The stock busings are a very soft rubber, and encased in a thin aluminum shell. You will need to go to your press cup set and find the right one to fit the inner section, so that you’re pressing on the aluminum case, not on the arm, and not on the bushing – 1-11/16 is perfect for the job. This will ensure all the torque the press yeilds, is going towards pressing the bushing free. I’ve seen some use sockets for this, and I can’t stress enough how much I don’t recommend this. Sockets were not meant to have this sort of force on their thin walls. Could it work? Sure. Is it smart? Nope. Get a good press cup set. They are inexpensive and designed for this exact type of job.
7A. Depending how old the car is, where you live, and other factors, you may need to provide some liquid, or heat encouragement to the bushings. A small butane or propane torch comes in really hand here, and/or a can of your favorite penetrating oil (Nuts Off works great for these jobs, though it was not used for this install).
Once the factory bushing is removed, you’re left with:
8. Next up, install the Whiteline Bushings. These do not require a press. You’ll notice once side of the recepticle is chamfered, the other side is not. The mallet comes in handy for the side that is not chamfered. Using the supplied grease, generously apply to the inside of the empty “socket” as well as to the side walls of the Whiteline bushings. These install as ‘halves’, sort of like a sandwich. The supplied metal tube is then put in place down the center, and this is what the bolt will ride in. Again, use the grease on the walls of the metal tube too, and tap in place with the mallet.
Installed, the new bushings look like this:
9. Now, re-install the arms back to the car. For the cotter pin, probably best to replace it, as they are thin and don’t like being bent and re-formed back in place. Safety wire can be used as an alternate as well. When reinstalling the compression rod, to get the ball joint to sit, its easiest to have a friend slowly turn the wheel from full lock, back towards center, and use the rubber mallet to tap the arm. This way, the ball joint rests squarely, and you’re able to fully engage all the threads.
10. The rest is self exaplanatory – reinstall the front crossmember to factory torque specs, reinstall the wheels, and lower the car. Don’t forget to torque the lugs in a star pattern once the car is on the ground!
What you’ll feel when you’re done? Holy cow, steering response!!! Particularly if you’ve done, or are doing, the lower control arm bushings at the same time. If your car had any wandering to it, even after an alignment, it will track straight as an arrow now. Where the factory bushings are not fully encased in rubber (which gives them their softness but also what causes them to fail), the Whiteline units are full urethane, much more surface area, and much less deflection.