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Removed Passenger Side Radius Arm and I-Beam to Replace Bushings, Cannot Figure Out How To Re-Install


88workcar

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Did mine this weekend, 45 minutes on the drivers side (1st) and about 25 minutes on the passenger side. (cause now I'm experienced lol) I did notice that on the upper arms their is a "R" and a "L" stamped on them, Make sure you are putting the correct arm on the correct side.
 


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STPL

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Allright! I took the weekend to wrestle everything back together and heres how I did it. YMMV, this is my method and my experience, Im not a professional mechanic.

Passengers side: A lot of people say you don't need to disconnect everything from the radius arm to get at these bushings, but it sure makes everything easier. I was also replacing the axel pivot bushing at the same time so I needed to completely remove the whole radius arm and I-beam assembly for that. First start out by jacking up the knuckle to relieve some tension and completely remove the sway bar and setting it aside. Disconnect the tie rod end, brake caliper, the top nut on the shock absorber, the nut on the back of the radius arm (1/18 socket) and the axel pivot bolt. As you lower the jack you should be able to maneuver the whole assembly out from under the truck. This might take some wrestling, it wasn't easy. Replace the axel pivot bushing with a balljoint/control arm press kit and fit the new inner bushing onto the radius arm. Now for the re-assembly.

On the passengers side I first tried to place the ibeam axel pivot bushing in position and use a ratchet strap to pull the radius arm into place. That didn't work at all. Maybe I wasn't pulling it right, or pulling it at the right angle, but regardless I was putting a LOT of force on the ratchet strap with the truck on jack stands and was still about an inch and a half short of getting the radius arm up and into the hole in the bracket. That much stress on a truck on jack stands didn't sit well with me and I didn't want to pursue that method any further. So I grabbed some grade 8 hardware from NAPA for $15. You'll need two 1 1/2" long 7/16 bolts with nuts and lock washers.

I got to work with the angle grinder and took bracket off. First grind the heads of the rivets down and either punch them out of the bracket or pry the bracket off the frame. Remove the 4 bolts in the middle of the bracket connecting the passengers side bracket to the drivers side and lastly take off the two remaining bolts holding the bracket to the frame and it should just fall right out. Then grind the rivet stud down flush with the frame and punch it out. I used a large transmission bolt with a pointed end I had laying around and gave it a good few whacks with a sledge hammer.

Next with the axel pivot bushing in place, put the radius arm through the bracket and maneuver it into position on the frame. Put your new hardware through the bracket and hand tighten all bolts. Remember not to torque any bolt to spec until the truck is on the ground and you've rolled it back and forth to let the suspension settle.

The passengers side is MUCH easier. No bracket removal required. Jack the knuckle up the same way you did the passengers side. Remove the axel pivot bolt, the radius arm nut, tie rod end, brake caliper and top nut on the shock absorber. Let the jack down and you should be able to pry the I-beam out of its bracket and the whole assembly should slide out easily. Replace your bushings. Reassemble by starting with the radius arm in the bracket (it might be wise to tape up the threads to prevent damage) and using a pry bar maneuver the I-beam into position. Bolt it in place to prevent it from falling out. As you jack up the suspension replace the tie rod end, shock absorber nut, caliper and the outer part of the new radius arm bushing. Put the sway bar back on, lower the vehicle and tighten all nuts and bolts to spec.

My advice, plan on grinding the passengers side bracket off. It's a little time consuming but will save you a very large and confusing headache. The drivers side does not need the bracket replaced. Hope this helped! I will try to answer any questions the best I can.
 
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ericbphoto

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Did mine this weekend, 45 minutes on the drivers side (1st) and about 25 minutes on the passenger side. (cause now I'm experienced lol) I did notice that on the upper arms their is a "R" and a "L" stamped on them, Make sure you are putting the correct arm on the correct side.
I think you’re talking about a different suspension design. He seems to have the older ttb design. There is no “upper or lower” arms.
 

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I think you’re talking about a different suspension design. He seems to have the older ttb design. There is no “upper or lower” arms.
Damn, and he typed SSSOOOO much info.:sad: What a shame. Hopefully somebody can use this info in the FUTURE
 

Bird76Mojo

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I hate to be that guy but I told ya so... lol

I hope you bought grade 8 hardware to bolt those brackets back on.

Also, I think you've got some typos in your next to last paragraph. When you're talking about doing the passenger side. You don't mention the axle pivot and getting it in to position.
 

88workcar

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:eek:Eric and 850, just caught that part.......... My bad :eek::eek:
 

STPL

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I hate to be that guy but I told ya so... lol

I hope you bought grade 8 hardware to bolt those brackets back on.

Also, I think you've got some typos in your next to last paragraph. When you're talking about doing the passenger side. You don't mention the axle pivot and getting it in to position.
And thats why I come to the "experts" on this forum! Everyones case is different and someone will post about the way that works for me.

Good catch! I accidentally said radius arm twice instead of I-Beam the second time. I try to leave a detailed response to all of my solutions to make it easier for the next guy or gal to come across the same problem.
 

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stpl your ok in my book for doing that,to bad everyone wont do it...
 

rusty ol ranger

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It took my 2 days to get the bushings changed on my 77 F250.

Lineing up the pivot bolt was a bitch. It was literally a dance of raising a jack (on the frame) and lowering one (on the beam) or vice versa.

Kinda nerve racking to laying under a 5500 lb truck raising and lowering jacks.

When the radius bushings went bad on my 97 i just took it to my mechanic, it was done in 2 hours.
 

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This job is as easy as the tools you have will make it... I remove the coil spring and loosen the pinch bolts, which makes getting the radius arm out of the bracket and back in a LOT easier but they are often so rusted that only the biggest and best impacts will touch them. Radius arm bushings are a 1-2 hour job in my shop.

Pivot bushings, on the other hand, are NOT fun. There is no way to do them with the axle beams in the truck that I have found yet. Easier to just pull the whole front axle/beams.
 

rusty ol ranger

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This job is as easy as the tools you have will make it... I remove the coil spring and loosen the pinch bolts, which makes getting the radius arm out of the bracket and back in a LOT easier but they are often so rusted that only the biggest and best impacts will touch them. Radius arm bushings are a 1-2 hour job in my shop.

Pivot bushings, on the other hand, are NOT fun. There is no way to do them with the axle beams in the truck that I have found yet. Easier to just pull the whole front axle/beams.
I used a good stout 1/2 in drive and aboot 6 feet of cheater pipe lol
 


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