LCA Bushing Replacement DIY for a Non-Specific Year Honda Civic
1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Honda Civic Models
Well, since I had some major problems installing my bushings, I figured maybe somebody else might run into the same problems, so this might come in handy.
Note: this DIY is written for people who do not have access to a hydraulic press. Using a hydraulic press would make getting the bushings out a lot easier, but alas… some of us live in small towns and the nearest hydro press is who-knows-where.
well, these are kind of important
as are these (well, you don’t need new bolts, but I figured I might as well get some)
hammer, hacksaw (or reciprocating saw [aka sawzall], not pictured), and 21/26mm sockets
(not pictured): drill -or- torch
Items that will make things a lot easier:
a vice. Trust me on this, it’ll save you a ton of time.
1) Okay, well the first thing you want to do (once the LCA’s are off the car and ready to be worked on) is clean out the holes for the bushings. You can do this one of three ways. The fastest way is to press them out with a hydraulic press. Since this DIY is written for those of us that do not have access to a press, the easiest way (short of method #1) to do this (what I did) was just go to town with a propane torch and burn away the stock rubber bushings. The second non-pressing method is to take a drill (with a drill bit, not a driver bit) and drill twenty or so holes in the rubber until you can cut the rest of the bushing out. Either way, clean out the rubber holes.
2) Now if you look closely, you’ll see there’s a thin metal sleeve inside each of the holes. This gets tricky (and you may have to do this step regardless of whether or not you pressed the bushings out). Look closely at the picture, and you’ll see the ring I’m talking about:
so this is what we do: unscrew the blade from the hacksaw and stick the blade through the hole in the LCA and screw the hacksaw back together so it looks like this:
3) Now, saw all the way through the metal sleeve (if you don’t have a vice, you’ll have to figure out a way to hold the lca and saw at the same time… I’d think just putting it on the ground and holding it would work, but I’m too lazy for that) All you need is one cut on the inside of each sleeve. It’s okay if you cut into the LCA itself a little bit, but don’t cut through the LCA completely (for obvious reasons). (note: if you do have access to a reciprocating saw, use it!!! it makes things go a lot smoother, and is a ton faster than using a hacksaw. The downside is that some metal blades are a little tall, so they have a hard time fitting in the hole if the rubber bushing isn’t close to 100% gone)
see the grooves? That’s all you need to do.
4) Now this is where the 21mm and 26mm sockets and hammer come into play. You might have cut a groove in the sleeve, but it’s still going to be stuck there. So what do you do? This:
and just hammer away. The 21mm socket is good for the top/bottom LCA bushing, and the 26mm socket is good for the shock-mount bushing (provided you’re even replacing it) (note: if you happen to have a broken brake rotor from a 1978 Fiat X-1/9 handy, it works well for this step lol)
5) Now it’s time to put the new bushing in; make sure you use plenty of the provided grease, or else it’ll squeak when you put your car back together. It’s fairly straightforward: grease up the inside of the hole and slide the bushings in. The shock-mount bushings go in fairly easily, but I had some problems with the top and bottom bushings.
6) The first thing you’re going to want to do (whether you have a vice or not) is to put one side of the bushing in, Once that side is in, you’ll probably notice (with the top and bottom bushings) that the center sleeve will not go in without a fight. So here’s what you do: once one side of the bushing is in (you should be able to press it in by hand), grease up the center sleeve and put it into the other side of the bushing. Now grease up the bushing/sleeve combo and put it in place (press it in as far as it goes). If you have a vice, just use it like so:
If you don’t have a vice, you’ll have to put the LCA on the ground and get out your handy-dandy 21mm & 26mm sockets and hammer and keep hammering the bushing and everything until it decides to go in place. (trust me, this methoddoes work, though it takes some time… I used it at first until I remembered I had a vice bolted to the workbench )
7) Now repeat steps 1-6 for the rest of the bushings and get everything back on your car! And you should probably consider getting your alignment checked since you just took apart the rear suspension.
Hope this helps somebody.