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Subframe - torquing lower control arm bushings?

XK8 / XKR ( X100 ) 1996 - 2006

Subframe - torquing lower control arm bushings?

Old 07-12-2019, 07:03 AM
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Default Subframe - torquing lower control arm bushings?

Needing some advice from the brains of the operation here.

I've recently done some work on the front of my 2002. Upper and lower shock mounts, rear FRONT subframe mounts. Both sides. On doing this I undid the lower control arm - the one that carries the lower ball joint.

What I came out of that with is a super annoying and most likely harmful "knock/clunk" that I am chasing. I am thinking it is that I DID NOT re-torque lower control arm bolts NEARLY to spec. I didn't realize how HIGH the proper torque was... So here I am.

One thing... A question about re-torquing suspension nuts and bolts.

If I go and jack up the front of the car, put on a torque wrench or breaker bar and really tighten up the nuts/bolts on the lower wishbone/control arm bushings (a clamp down held bushing) I'll essentially lock the bushing in a position when the suspension is fully extended, DOWN... Then, when I lower the front end (normal operating position) this will put a tremendous amount of strain on the bushing rubber/poly which, in that, is twisted several inches to compensate...

1. Is my thinking right on this and,,, 2. If it is, how can I avoid this and do my torquing with suspension closer to where it would be during driving, normal operating conditions??? There's no room for the tool.

I don't want to make a mistake that will cost me in the form of needing to replace these lower bushings (the are 1yr old) in say, 9months due to the misinstall...

as usual, super grateful for any and all advice and for folks sharing there wisdom and expertise. Thank you

Last edited by JayJagJay; 07-12-2019 at 07:13 AM.
Old 07-12-2019, 02:41 PM
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The attached document mentions near the end what to torque before you load the suspension.

Have not done this work myself yet but I am guessing that you will need to put a floor jack under the lower control arm and compress the spring until it reaches the proper ride height measurement. Then torque the rest.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:50 PM
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Great documents Rothwell. Just a quick note in case it'll help someone. Photo of page 83,Step 7 indicates one must replace the control arm if ball joint is worn. That would be an expensive unneccessary move. The upper ball joint can be replaced in the existing arm.

I'm sure 99.99% of us already know this. Commenting just in case it'll help someone someday.

Old 07-12-2019, 04:01 PM
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Thanks Roth...

Since writing this post the only thing that I've come up with is bringing the car to a shop with a drive on/up ramp and asking them if I, or they, will put a wrench on the damn bolts... I'm sure this is my problem. If not the "clunk" I'm getting, a problem none the less.

It's damn strange to read this article and and have it end with a conclusion that I THOUGHT that I had come up with myself, lol... It occured to me today, while driving, that I must have created a problem by tightening that damn bush with the car jacked up... Now I'm thinking that my CLUNK just might be that both bushes (both front lower control arm bushed) might have split with the inner tearing away from the outer, creating the sound I'm hearing... THAT would suck for all of the reasons I know. What's described in the pressing of new bushes in the article...

And yes,,, I've pressed in new lower ball joints myself. No funnn,,, but possible. Did it off the car but not splitting the wishbone...
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