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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How-To: Upgrade to Whiteline Control Arm Bushings


Overview:
Over time, the control arm bushings on your car will get worn and soft. In addition, the OE control arm bushings are soft to begin with for comfort. Soft or worn control arm bushings cause the wheel to gain positive camber in hard cornering, which reduces grip to the front wheels and causes understeer. One excellent way to reduce understeer is to upgrade the control arm bushings with Whiteline control arm bushings. The particular bushings in this tutorial add 0.5 degrees of caster, which increases dynamic camber during sharp cornering and provides more confident and secure handling.

Note: In order to perform this modification, you will need the service of an auto shop twice, to press bushings into and out of the control arm, and also to perform an alignment after the bushings are installed. Be sure to factor that into your budget and car downtime.


Tools Required:
- Wrench with 17mm and 18mm sockets
- Two 18mm wrenches
- Breaker bar just in case
- Long screwdriver or cro-bar
- Flathead screwdriver or fastener removal tool
- Standard claw hammer


Part Required:
Whiteline control arm bushings, front and rear, available on BadNewsRacing.net:
Rear: Whiteline Front Control arm - lower inner rear bushing 2011-2016 Chevrolet Cruze
Front: Whiteline Front Control arm - lower inner front bushing 2011-2016 Chevrolet Cruze

All of the bolts removed are TTY and according to GM, need to be replaced. Use your judgment.
Front control arm bolt x 2: 11589280
Rear control arm bolt x 4: 11589279
Balljoint to knuckle bolt x 2: 11518632

Note: GM says you have to replace the rear bushing bolt as well, but I cannot find it anywhere. In addition, this bolt does not have any critical load placed on it, as all of the load is placed on the bushing itself. I didn't replace this one on my own car but did follow the tightening procedure.


Procedure:
1. Lift both of the front wheels off the ground, and remove the wheels


2. Remove the locking bolt and nut holding the ball joint on


3. Remove the harness fasteners as shown


4. Wedging against the control arm, separate the ball joint from the knuckle


5. Using two 18mm wrenches, loosen and remove the nut and bolt holding the front bushing on


6. Remove the front control arm bolts by using a socket on the bottom and wrench on the top


7. Remove the bolt holding the rear bushing on the control arm. Save all of the hardware removed


8. Repeat for both sides of the car until you have two control arms and two rear bushings



Continued in next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
9. Next, take your control arms and front bushings to a shop. The rear bushings will need to be pressed out. Take your time. Use heat and be patient. If you work too quickly, you will crack the control arm like my shop did mine trying to remove the front bushing, and I had to order another for $85 from Rockauto. The rear bushing is easy to press out, but pressing it in will be a challenge. In my case, the shop had to use some snips to trim the ridge on one end of the bushing because i would buckle while pressing it in. This is only cosmetic, as the bushing still stays in there securely and won' go anywhere. The front bushings don't need to be pressed in, as those are two piece and just slide onto each end of the control arm.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the rear bushing is aligned AWAY from the subframe mounting point (the instructions included with the bushings can be a bit misleading on this one as they assume the bushing is on the control arm, not a separate bracket).



10. Assemble the control arms with the front and rear bushings, according to the instructions included with the bushings, using grease to get everything to fit easily. Torque the bushing nut on the end of the control arm to 41 lb-ft + 45-60 degrees.





11. Reinstall the control arm bushing in the car. I don't have the torque specs for those bolts off hand but will post them soon.


There is a torque procedure for tightening the control arm to steering knuckle bolt and nut.
First pass: 37 lb-ft
Second pass: loosen the nut 120 degrees
Third pass: 37 lb-ft
Final pass: 35 degrees

The correct way is to have an angle torque wrench, but you can usually eyeball the degrees.
 

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Interested in how far out of alignment you were, and what the shop did for adjustment. Did they replace the bolts that hold the knuckle to the lower shock with the adjustment bolts to obtain a spec alignment, or did they have to oval the holes on the shock.

I'm not sure most shops understand how to align a car like the cruze with no factory front end adjustments.

Wow the salt and rust loves your car! How many years on those Moog endlinks and they are already showing surface rust.. Yikes..

I guess maybe I'm surprised my 2012 isn't that bad since I'm in Minnesota and we have our share of road salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interested in how far out of alignment you were, and what the shop did for adjustment. Did they replace the bolts that hold the knuckle to the lower shock with the adjustment bolts to obtain a spec alignment, or did they have to oval the holes on the shock.

I'm not sure most shops understand how to align a car like the cruze with no factory front end adjustments.

Wow the salt and rust loves your car! How many years on those Moog endlinks and they are already showing surface rust.. Yikes..

I guess maybe I'm surprised my 2012 isn't that bad since I'm in Minnesota and we have our share of road salt.
The only change that was needed was for toe. Moving the front wheels forward to increase caster required adjustments on the tie rods. No bolts needed to be replaced by the alignment shop.

I ended up with -1 degree of negative camber all around. I don't remember what the caster change ended up being.

The Moog end links were not very well coated to begin with. I'll probably spray some stuff down with AMSOIL MPHD when I throw the winter wheels on. That seems to be keeping any rust progression at bay on my truck and it lasts a few years. I had the car in Illinois from 2012 till 2014, and they use so much salt it's disgusting. I put the Moog tie end rods on in the spring of last year, so they definitely started rusting pretty quickly. Whatever coating they have from the factory is very thin.
 

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Weird. The Moog end links on my Cobalt (which I put on in 2010) aren't rusty at all, if I recall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Weird. The Moog end links on my Cobalt (which I put on in 2010) aren't rusty at all, if I recall.
The surface rust you see there was only over one lightly driven winter. I work from home full time so it's not like I drive much either.
 

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The surface rust you see there was only over one lightly driven winter. I work from home full time so it's not like I drive much either.
And I put mine through three winters...one and a half of those commuting 100 miles a day with tons of salt.

Based on the color I can see, it almost looks like mine were/are grayer in color. Maybe they changed the coating?
 
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