Bronco Radius Arm Bushing Replacement

Nov. 01, 2004 By ORC STAFF
Ok, here is the write-up for replacing the radius arm bushings on a Big Bronco without extended radius arms. I know that most of you know all this or have lifts which make it irrelevant, but for the rest of you, here it goes.
I wanted to replace my radius arm bushings, but there is alot involved to do it the "right" way and I don't have the money for an alignment. I was able to do the entire job in about an hour and a half from start to finish and it cost me about $35.00.
  1. I bought poly Moog radius arm bushings at Auto-Zone for $6.99/side.
  2. Next, I went to Ace Hardware and picked up the following hardware:
    • 6 x 1 1/2" long 7/16" bolts
    • 6 x 7/16" lock washers
    • 6 x 7/16" nuts
    • 12 x 7/16" washers
  3. After making sure I could get the nuts of the back of the arms, I took the Bronco to a local muffler shop and for $20, the owner torched off the rivets that hold the radius arm brackets onto the truck. There are 3/side and he was able to cut off the rivet head on the outside of the frame and knock them through. This allowed him to keep the torch away from the brake and fuel lines. He then put in the new hardware for me. This took all of 15 minutes.
  4. Back at home I started with the driver's side. SET THE PARKING BRAKE! First I removed the big nut and rear bushings off the back of the arm. This task required a 1 1/4" socket which I got at NAPA.
  5. Next, I removed the NEW hardware and LOOSENED the one bolt in the back of the mount that is stock.
  6. This allows the bracket to pivot down enough that you can remove the front bushings. Check that the hole that the arm goes into is still round. If the arm has been banging into the bracket, it can bend the metal and cause new bushings to wear out very quickly.
  7. Now put on the new front bushing, being sure to copy the way the old ones came off.
  8. The tricky part: I put my floor jack under the bracket and raised it up while guiding the arm into the hole. As soon as I could, I put the washer and nut on the back of the arm. It takes some work, but eventually you should be able to get the holes in the bracket to line up with those in the frame.
  9. Once I had the holes lined up, I put my new hardware back in and torqued it all to 75lbs. as this it the torque Ford says to put on that one stock bolt that is in the bracket.
  10. Then, remove the nut you had temporarily put back on the arm, put the rear bushings on, replace the washer and nut, and torque that nut to 100 ftlbs.
  11. Finally, do the same on the passenger side.
There you have it. Doing it this way there is no need to get the front-end aligned as you would if you did it the "right" way and you save yourself about 2-4 hours of work. I have heard that the arms can be pulled out with a come-a-long, but I would be afraid of putting that kind of pressure on the axle pivot, front drive shaft, and tie rods. Not to mention that pulling the front end like that would undoubtedly throw off the alignment. Plus, if you install a lift, you can easily remove the mounts to make room for extended radius arms. I hope this helps and keep in mind, this was done by one, 19 year old person, in less than two hours, with no air tools or other special equipment. I imagine if I had a compressor, I could have done it in about 30 minutes. I didn't take pictures during the project, but I can get one of the finished product which should be good enough. NOTE: I tried to first remove the rivets myself with a dremel tool and then with the drilling method. While doing it this way is possible, it would have taken forever and for the $20 it cost me at the muffler shop I would have spent at least that on cutting blades or drill bits. Josh Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!