A job that no one likes……..I’ve heard owners say that they’ll sell their truck before they ever replace frame bushings again. I’m hoping this post may help ease the pain. Pictured above is the “home job” puller. Store bought 1/2″ threaded rod, a few washers, and five nuts. The stand is from a bearing buddy kit……..a length of black pipe (approx. 1 3/4″ dia.) can be substituted, or make your own out of at least 1/4″ steel, just a “U” shape would suffice.
Bearing Buddy Kit
The Bearing Buddy bridge isn’t long enough to pull the front bearings so a couple of 2×4 chunks provide more length. This is the initial set up, both ends of the rod are double nutted, just the two nuts on the end that will be drawn through the frame, this will usually only pull the inner sleeve, and maybe some of the rubber. Once that steel inner sleeve is out, I put a washer on the “pull-through” end to get the rubber sleeve out.
First pull results……inner sleeve and a chunk of rubber……and only about 3 minutes of work.
You need heat, not a ton, propane works fine, map gas too, oxy/acet. is overkill. I use this once the inner sleeve is pulled to heat the rubber up……..apply heat for a couple of minutes, put your spare washer on the “pull-end” of the threaded rod and pull it through…….out comes the rubber bushing.
Just like that.
Ok, here’s the pain in the ass part……..the outer steel bushing that is essentially pressed into your frame. You may be able to push/pull them out with a 20mm drift or puller…….I prefer to cut them (carefully) to avoid potential damage to the frame walls or welded in bushing sleeves.
I start with a hack saw to get a good line in the sleeve.
Then comes the destroyer……..this just speeds the job up. Run the saws all in the cut groove quickly and check your depth of cut……do this a few times and when you’re close to through, switch back to the hack saw (you want to avoid damaging the welded in sleeve). One you’re through, the bushing sleeve will spring a little bit and start to move, sometimes will even push out on one of your sawing strokes……….but you need to stop sawing at this point. At this time the sleeve should come out fairly easily, a 20mm socket is what I use as a “persuader” if needed.
I’ve seen this done all in one step with some large (expensive) pullers……..the process above is pretty much an “every man” solution to a bitch of a job, and will only cost you some time and about $10 in threaded rod, nuts, and washers.