Author Topic: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?  (Read 1872 times)

Offline chrisntam

  • Posts: 3472
  • Dallas, Texas
  • CLC Number: 29206
  • Name: Chris Jessen
Just curious if after 46 years of life they should be changed?  I don't see anything wrong with them, just trying to make my car new again (over a long period of time).

If you did change them, any noticeable difference in ride and drive?
1970 Deville Convertible 
Dallas, Texas

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 04:00:56 PM »
I replaced all 8 on all 3 of my 1970 Cadillacs. 

Was there a huge difference, not really.  It was an improvement.  However, everyone who rides in my 1970 Cadillacs comments about how they seem like new cars.

If you plan to keep your 1970 (or 1965-76 Cadillac) a while and drive it regularly I would do it.  Replace one set on each arm at a time.  You need a hydraulic press.  You will need to make jigs to press the old bushings out without wrecking the super flimsy control arms.  The back seat has to be removed so you can hole saw the floor pan and make a patch.  It takes a leisurely weekend to do the job if you have all the tools and do not encounter any difficulties.  I replaced all the bolts that go thru the center of the bushing with new grade 8, as the originals were necked down due to some rust (another reason to replace them).

Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 06:35:59 PM »
Chris
What I have found is rear suspension bushings (and other components) are quite bulletproof and unless Bused by road salt or destruction derby type driving changing them "just because" can be non productive.
All of my cars have been either California or Southern Texas "breed". I bought bushings for my 66 coupe and 72 Eldo a few years back but when I pulled the first arm off aside do a little whether checking they were pretty solid so I left them as was. It's super east to pul an arm off and check and with the weight off the rear suspension toy can easily Check for play.
My 73 coupe  with a couple hundred K before I banged the rear end to a Moser 9 inch still has the original bushings, and they have seen a lot of but outs, launches an jaunts down the quarter mile with 110+ speeds and no issues.
Short version with these  Cadillacs is "if it ain't broke don't fix it"
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
Director Modified Chapter CLC
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

Offline chrisntam

  • Posts: 3472
  • Dallas, Texas
  • CLC Number: 29206
  • Name: Chris Jessen
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 07:52:52 PM »
I was looking at it today and thought it looked like a PITA and the bushings looked fine.  I'm on board with the "if it ain't broke....".
1970 Deville Convertible 
Dallas, Texas

Offline Bob Hoffmann CLC#96

  • Posts: 5106
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 08:12:20 PM »
I'm with Greg.
1968 Eldorado slick top ,white/red interior
2015 Holden Ute HSV Maloo red/black interior.
             
Too much fun is more than you can have.

Offline Chas

  • Posts: 248
  • Name: Chas Sergewick
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 09:11:29 PM »
There's been some company on EBay selling fully boxed, adjustable, rear control arms, powder coated, with poly bushings already installed. Something like $425 for the full set of 4. I'm figuring that's maybe a little less than double what a set of bushings cost......not including the time and aggravation of pressing 8 in and out. Throw in the boxed design and the powder coating and things seems to me to work out even, price wise. Then again, boxed control arms are a bit of over kill on anything less then a high horsepower machine.
1967 Coupe DeVille
1970 Coupe DeVille
1976 Coupe DeVille
1983 Coupe DeVille
1977 Harley Cafe Racer
1991 Harley Fat Boy
1957 Harley Hardtail
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If you're 25 years old and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you're 45 years old and not a conservative, you have no money!

Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 3438
  • Still crusin'
  • CLC Number: 15823
  • Name: M Santos
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 10:21:31 PM »
I had miner done, when I had the engine overhauled. It took some rear suspensions squeaks out. Seems to ride somewhat better, but not amazingly so. Not much to improve on with the full size RWD Cadillacs of this era. I had the arms and entire drive train painted at that time to improve appearance.

I didn't have to have the floor pan drilled. Scot, why did you have to do this?
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 10:05:23 AM »
Mike,

For the 1969/70 Cadillacs it even states in the shop manual that this must be done to remove upper two bolts, the clearance is too tight and only way it will happen.  You know that Cadillac dropped the body on the chassis during assembly, so this was their answer to the issue (at least they knew about and published it in shop manual).  This was not a problem on the 67/68 Cadillacs I gather from your question.  It is not a big deal, just adds an half hour to the job. 

My experience was same as yours, a few squeaks removed, slightly better, but not wow!, this makes all the difference in the world.  Glad I did it, the replacements will outlast me. 

The upper front control arm bushings in front just do not last at all, never seen an original set in good shape.
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

30326

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Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 12:51:41 PM »
As said in a previous post you need a hydraulic press. I have bought a bushing installation/removal tool as I don't have a hydraulic press available. I'm planning to change my bushings in the spring using this set:

http://www.ridetech.com/store/bushing-installation-removal-tool.html

Hopefully that will work.

Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 3438
  • Still crusin'
  • CLC Number: 15823
  • Name: M Santos
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 11:30:05 PM »
Mike,

For the 1969/70 Cadillacs it even states in the shop manual that this must be done to remove upper two bolts, the clearance is too tight and only way it will happen.  You know that Cadillac dropped the body on the chassis during assembly, so this was their answer to the issue (at least they knew about and published it in shop manual).  This was not a problem on the 67/68 Cadillacs I gather from your question.  It is not a big deal, just adds an half hour to the job. 

My experience was same as yours, a few squeaks removed, slightly better, but not wow!, this makes all the difference in the world.  Glad I did it, the replacements will outlast me. 

The upper front control arm bushings in front just do not last at all, never seen an original set in good shape.

I never had my 69 or 70 long enough to do that service. This 68 I've had almost 19 yeas now.

"The upper front control arm bushings in front just do not last at all, never seen an original set in good shape."

Are you referring to the front suspension links about 4-6" in length? Yeah those just do not last, not even the urethane ones. I think I've put in 3 sets so far. 

If you are referring to the upper A arm bushings, mine have been no so bad. I had the originals (devoid of rubber) replaced in 1998, (the year I bought it) and then I had to replace 2 (I think) in 2005, or was it 2013?  Can't remember, but I should have all the bills here somewhere. Not as bad as the sway bar link kits for longevity, but not as sturdy are the rear arm bushings either. The lower A arm bushings are just steel, I think, and you need to tack weld them in after installation.

But then the rear bushings are more than twice the size or the front A-arm bushings, and there are twice as many to carry the load.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 11:36:12 PM by cadillacmike68 »
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline Glen

  • Posts: 2789
  • CLC Number: 727
  • Name: Glen Houlton
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 01:46:47 AM »
As said in a previous post you need a hydraulic press. I have bought a bushing installation/removal tool as I don't have a hydraulic press available. I'm planning to change my bushings in the spring using this set:

http://www.ridetech.com/store/bushing-installation-removal-tool.html

Hopefully that will work.

I assembled a bunch of threaded rods, washers, sleeves etc. to press out/in the bushing for the 68 ELDO and my S10 pickup.  It was mostly odds and ends collected over the years.  The spacer to prevent the collapse of the control arm, I used a small bolt with a matching coupling nut.  That formed a small screw jack that I adjusted to hold the shape. 
That kit looks to be a good setup for the Chevys but may need adjustment for the Caddy.  But it looks like a good buy for a starter kit. 
Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

Offline m-mman

  • Posts: 342
  • Name: Jim Crabtree
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 04:35:02 PM »
I once did a 57 Chevrolet and ALL the front bushings were 100% STUCK! Long story short, nothing would budge them.

Eventually I used a torch to burn away the rubber and inner tube parts then used an air chisel to crush the outside tube. When it was collapsed enough to pull away in two areas, only THEN could I finally drive out the shell. 

They weren't that rusty, they weren't welded (I have seen this done) but they sure were stuck!
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

30326

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Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2017, 05:48:08 PM »
Changed the lower rear control arm bushings last summer. Used a hack-saw to remove the rubber and the same saw to cut the steel parts. After that a pliers to press the steel together and remove it. Used a regular vise to refit the bushings. It went okay, but felt like it could easily have been damaged, so bought the set to be used when replacing all bushings in the front. Would have preferred to buy an hydraulic press and its not about the money, but I don't have room for it in the garage. I rent a neighbors garage for the Cadillac and have the rolls in my garage. Can't fit the Cadillac in mine but the Rolls fits precisely.

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 3895
Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2017, 06:08:14 PM »
The rears aren't nearly as critical as the fronts, but bushings do die
with age, then get murdered here by hard driving.  Not everyone will
notice the difference.  The poly bushings will stiffen up the handling,
at the cost of a rougher ride. 

I have a press, but never used it on rubber bushings.  This ancient
tool does the job for me; either way you need to insert a tough
spacer to prevent the arm from collapsing under the pressure.  New
versions are still available.  I only change parts when they need it;
note here the tool let me change my mushy bushings without even
disconnecting my low mileage ball joints.  Bruce Roe

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2017, 07:50:22 PM »
I bought the KM bushing tool and it was not strong enough to remove the bushings in all cases, hence the press.  As another poster suggested, remove the rubber part and hack saw the outer skin against the arm of the original bushing, just be careful not hurt the arm.  If using a saw, cut towards the other bushing, as that is in compression and is less critical if you knick the arm.  However, Bruce's self made bushing removal tool is way stronger looking than the KM.  The press back in can easily be accomplished with a vice, just make sure it is in all the way or you will suffer a vibration (due to it being loose, not geometry).
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2017, 09:27:38 PM »
How did we get from the rear bushings to the front control arms? Dragging out threads like this is confusing to a reader why is following the subject line.
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
Director Modified Chapter CLC
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 3895
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2017, 11:48:49 PM »
How did we get from the rear bushings to the front control arms? Dragging out threads like this is confusing to a reader why is following the subject line.
Greg Surfas   

I think the subject was about ways to change bushings.  Sorry the
only picture I had handy showed this tool on a front bushing, if that
was confusing.  Bruce Roe

Online The Tassie Devil(le)

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  • Name: Bruce Reynolds
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2017, 01:55:50 AM »
If I remember correctly, there was another posting about the same thing, but the problem was the removal, or access to the top forward control arm bolts, with the floor pan creating an interference problem.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline chrisntam

  • Posts: 3472
  • Dallas, Texas
  • CLC Number: 29206
  • Name: Chris Jessen
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2017, 12:40:34 PM »
Apparently there's been a price increase.  $509.99.   :o
1970 Deville Convertible 
Dallas, Texas

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Anybody ever replace their rear control arm bushings ('70 Deville)?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2017, 01:15:23 PM »
Chris,

Those are beautiful and even have a grease fitting - Wow!  Do those for sure fit a 1970 Cadillac?
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

 

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