Need bushing press help

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Apr 11, 2005
Chandler, AZ
Hey guys,

Anyone in the Phoenix metro area, or East Valley even
better, that can help me press front control arm bushings?

I'm trying to install the OME camber correction offset
bushings on an 80. It seems that my 20 ton Harbor
Freight press is a bit outmatched here. It's flexing under
the pressure before the bushing moves, and then
releasing the pressure rather "explosively". :eek:

So, need a bigger stronger press. Anyone?
Please PM or call me at 602-284-9266. Thanks!
I would offer to help, but I press them with a 12 ton china unit!:hillbilly The pump, flex, bang is how they work, somewhat violent, but I haven't been denied yet!:D
OK, thanks anyway Kevin.

I talked with Slee and they say all this is pretty typical.
That's not to say it's GOOD, mind you, but normal for the
situation. Also, that sometimes a 20 ton can't do it.
Sometimes the press can even catastophicaly FAIL, like high
pressure hydraulic fluid bursting forth. Could be dangerous.
They use a 50 ton.

You're brave with the 12 ton.
As fun as "high pressure hydraulic fluid bursting forth" sounds your chances of making it happen are slim.:D Most any hydraulic device made now days hase an overpressure valve, when the pump pressure reaches a certain pressure it opens, dumping the pumped fluid back into the reservoir.

The popping is from the frame, as the pressure builds the press frame flexes, when the pressure gets high enough to move the bushing it jumps releasing the spring/flex in the frame. After the bushing moves a couple of times it will press the rest of the way out smoothly. If you lube the OD of the new bushing it will press in smoothly. All of the light duty presses work this way, they can be beefed by welding them up and adding triangulation if that worth it to you, the draw back is that then they can't be dissembled for transport.
LOL, I use a 20,000 lb press. Thats TEN tons. Works fine. I looked at the Harbor Freight presses, and decided they were garbage and built my own. Limits the flex that way. :D

I have made a couple of them and agree that's the way to go, if you have the time, tools and ambition.:D The Harbor Freight 20 ton is about $200, with some quality mig time and scrap steel it can be made into a serviceable unit. Probably spend close to that in materials if you have to buy them new.
Yes, I spent that much. But, the head and bed are adjustable, it has almost a 7 foot by 30 inch capacity, and it's on wheels. I wouldn't hesitate to put a much bigger ram in it, either. Besides, it was fun. :D

Yeah, I made up that part about "bursting forth" anyway.
Overactive imagination. Still, the thought of 20 tons of
stored energy releasing in the form of shattered Chinese
cast iron, or whatever, made me stop and think. I duct taped
everything into position to avoid slippage, got a longer pump
handle, put on the face shield, hitched up the pink panties,
and went back to it.

What you described about releasing spring/flex in the frame
is exactly what was happening. It continued doing that until
the bushing was about half way out, then pressed on out.

Sidebar: Gee, my BMW bushings didn't act up that way.
A bit lighter duty. I guess. ;)

Pressing in was smooth and easy (with lube, as you mentioned).

Went for a drive today north of Carefree.
VERY happy with the handling and road feel now, both on
and off highway.
So, it's always better to lube it before you put it in.

Yup. You get less squealing and groaning if you lube before you press.
But, I thought the squealing and groaning meant I was doing something right!


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