Center Pivot Bushing Replacement


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Replacing the center pivot bushing. I should have taken more pix, but I kept forgetting. Next time I will!

Extracting the old ones. Not shown is the bushing tool - it's inside the housing at this point


Reaming the new one - missing are pix of pulling the new one into the housing.


Installing the new pin after reaming


All done!

On a skill scale, 1 being I can't find my butt in the dark with 2 hands, a flash light, and a GPS system, I rate it a 7.  

On the tools scale, with 1 being someone who doesn't know the difference between a phillips and flathead screwdiver, and 10 meaning the Snap-On guy makes regular deliveries to your house, I rate it a 7 (at least the way I did it)

The tools:  A while back I bought a reamer and a set bushing drifts.  I had just picked up the pivot bushing kit, so it was real easy to figure out which size I needed.  The reamer goes from .85 to 1.0, and I ended up using the 15/16" drift.  Having these pieces made the project possible, if not at least more enjoyable.  I also used a 30mm 1/2" socket, 17mm wrench, hammer, and a big flat screwdriver.  Oil pump puller.
The engineered tools:  8" piece of 5/16" all-thread (or carriage bolt - allthread would work better), several similarly sized washers and nuts.

What I did was fashion a puller from the bolt (all thread) and the socket (mine is a deep one) and used it to pull the old bushings and pull in the new ones.  The 30mm is perfect because it fits perfectly around the bushing and is small enough to contact well against the housing.  The sizeof the socket gives the bushing somewhere to go when you're pulling it out.  A piece of strong pipe would work as well.

Jack the front of the bus up and put it on stands.  
Unbend the locktab on the 17mm bolt, then remove it.  
Remove the grease fitting.
Make a note of how the washers and spacers go on
Use the large screwdriver to push the idler arm (?) up off of the pin. 
Use the screwdriver to push the pin down.  If the pin and bushings are in bad shape like mine, it will fall right out.
Run a nut onto the all-thread far enough so that you can pinch the drift with it.  Use washers, too.  
Take the bushing drift (mine is the type with a hole in the middle) and set it on top of the housing.  
Run the all-thread up thru the housing, thru the drive, and secure the top nut.  You have to do it this way because if you assemble it outside first, and try to slip it over the top, it won't go.  Trust me.
Slip the 30mm socker over the bottom of the housing, and start a nut ans washer on it.  When it gets snug, take the appropraite wrench (probably 9/16) and start tightening.  This will pull the bushings down.  When it gets tight, it probably means the lower one is out - remove the socket and take the bearing out.  
Repeat procedure to pull the top bushing down and out - the top bushing will actually bring the lower bushing with it.
Use the same puller technique to pull the new bushing in from the top.  Here I used the oil pump puller to leverage against, which works perfectly because the bushing will then come down and butt up against it, which is exactly where you want it.
Now the reamage: the pin is .95"  I reamed it first .92 then .94, cleaning the bushing each time, then very, very slowly reamed the last .01.    The reamer self-centers because it's smaller at the top than at the bottom.
Clena out the shavings.
The pin fits perfectly!  If not, repeat the last step.  If you over-reamed, well, I don't know what to say.
My bushing kit came with some pieces that were not on the bus, so I didn't use 'em: they were a couple plastic seals(?) and a cap thing.  Mine had a spring washer and some shims, so I just used those.  
Put the thick washer on the pin, then slide it up - use a little grease.
Bring the pin up level with the top of the housing, then align the idler arm with it, and then push it up through the idler arm.
Make a not of the pin orientation relative to the idler arm: there is a small cutout in the pin where the bolt for the idler arm goes.  With the car in the air, you can move the wheels back and forth to move the idler arm and locate that grove.
Bolt it up.
Grease the new pivot bushing.
Grease the rest of the front end while you're at it.
Write a note to the list telling everyone what a stud you are.

The whole operation, including adjusting the steering box and test drive, took 2 1/2 hours.  I probably do it in less than an hour next time.