which shop press for DIY stuff? (bearings/bushings/etc.)

auditude at cox.net auditude at cox.net
Sun Aug 11 23:03:49 EDT 2002

Hi Huw,

Comments below.

On 12 Aug 2002 at 0:29, Huw Powell wrote:
> > I wrote:
> >
> > *sigh*  I've been working on the '86 Coupe GT this weekend.  I got three of the four control arm bushings
> > out and two pressed back in with my "HuwPress", when the (type 85 compressor mounting) bolt snapped.
> >  grrr!  What a pita!  I also crushed a 2" cap due to too small of a washer and probably catching the 3/4"
> > coupler on the control arm.  The first three removals and two installs went okay.  It was nice to be able to
> > do that at home.  It's time consuming and tiring tho'.
> that device seems to have a slightly limited lifespan.  My first one
> went for about 10-12 bushings before someone broke *something* on it.

I had a hard time getting the plug hole centered.  Using a hand drill with no level-type centering bubble for
the first article.  The second one was better.  It is pretty critical that it all be centered, since there is little
to no play inside the bushing to adjust the location of the coupling/plug.  Btw, I noticed you call the plug a
cap in one section, right before you say it's a plug because a cap might not be sturdy enough.

> It is also hard on worn out, rusty control arms.

Mine are probably a little that way too.  Not too much, but more so than I'm accustomed to.  The car lived
not too far from the ocean, so that's probably why.

Speaking of rust.  Strangest thing.  "In" the metal of the bolt that broke, where it broke, I saw little flecks
of orange, which looked like rust.  This was on a portion of the bolt that I had to cut additional thread into,
so it would have been the shank portion (hehe, like butcher-terms) of the bolt.  I found it odd that it would
have rust there, but I don't know what else would be on there that would be orange like that.

> > I think I want to buy a shop press, probably from Harbor Freight.  I'd like to hear some opinions on what
> > press I should go for.
> Clueless there, but the main advantage, as I see it, to my clumsy tool
> is that you can use it under the car, which is less work, sort of.

I would have had a hard time doing it on the car.  I found it hard enough with the control arm on the ground
with my foot holding it down.  In my view, it's very easy to drop the control arm off the car, especially if you
are pulling them out of the subframe anyway.  Hardest part is probably dealing with the sway bar, but I
have all that disconnected for the 20 or so times I've had this car apart and back together for this round of
grunt work.

> Although I applaud your desire for an appropriate, versatile "real"
> tool, you could get another one of those long bolts from a dealer for a
> few dollars, if that is an easy option.  Or at a junkyard, I guess,
> though they can tough to extract.

Yeah, I'm going to order two of them, probably mail order from Carlsen.  I guess.  One to replace the one I
now busted off the old 4ksq motor so it's complete again, and another for the tool.  I couldn't find anything
that long at the hardware store, that would also fit through the bushing and be strong enough (ha!) not to
break with this use.

I'm hoping a new bolt wouldn't have the potential rust issue.

I do seem to have some difficulty getting the coupling to center exactly where I want it to, so that it
catches on the bushing "sleeve" but not the control arm hole.  I end up missing part of the sleeve and the
coupling starts to go in crooked.  One of those many-hour long tasks that you spend time getting
intimately familiar with that only certain others could appreciate.  I can just imagine you pushing in those
old sleeveless style bushings.

Sears, who's garage was open on a Sunday afternoon, couldn't figure out a way to book the 3/4th of a
control arm bushing job.  Everything they have in the computer is for drive in and out type jobs.  They
finally told me $60.  I left there and got a $35 quote from Pep Boys, but they can't do it 'til tomorrow.  Oh
well, guess it'll wait.  I don't want to even bother putting in my other set of eurethane-bushed controls arms

As for the shop press, I was reading on AW that Mike Tipton, owner of a "hubshark" type device for our
cars, has begun using a shop press instead of bothering with that tool.  I guess if you pull the ball joint,
you can remove and refit the strut assembly without needing an alignment.  So, I figured I may as well get
one at about a hundred bucks for the smallish ones.  But I'm not sure about all the arbors or whatever you
call them that come in different diameters to handle different jobs.  It's not like I have a lathe to just bust
out new tools as I need them.

Got the radiator rodded out tho', for $59.  I'll see if it doesn't explode when I get it going again.  Trying to
get the Coupe GT to be a daily driver so's I can thin out the herd a bit.



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