Do I need new LCA bushings? - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need new LCA bushings?

I've got a 2008 with 80k. Recently in for service and the tech told me I needed new LCAs at $1600 installed. After speaking with them I realize it's really the bushings that they believe are bad, not the entire LCAs themselves. I have a video of the "play" in the LCAs ... can anyone give me a ruling on whether this is really too much and I need to do something?


I am noticing some clunking sounds and the steering/response seems to be really loose, so I suspect that these bushings are really to blame for that. It seems like I have two options, either replace the entire LCAs or replace the bushings. It looks like replacing the bushings is a real PIA, but it's possible. What are some of the recommendations for LCAs or bushing replacement kits?

Thanks a ton!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 08:54 PM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

I`ve heard from other members that replacing just the bushings is a real pita. You can get the entire LCA from rock auto and replace them yourself and save a ton of money. Just get you FJ aligned when your done installing
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 08:08 AM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

$1600 for that job is INSANE!

It is a two hour job with parts being >$500. Replacing the control arms is just a smarter thing to do. Bushings in the lower control arms are a pain to remove. Plus, replacing the arms gets you new ball joints.

I did not factor in the cost of an alignment....another $80 or there abouts.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 10:43 AM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

add to the labor the possibility of seized alignment bolts (the inner LCA bolts), if your vehicle has been in a rust producing region anyway

when we tried to do an alignment this year on my '08 (from the North East), the bolts couldn't be turned, regardless of length of breaker bar used, size of person pushing or amount of penetrating fluid + time used, finally got them off with a cutting torch (so I also had to buy new LCA and hardware)

Be sure to use lots of anti-seize during re-assembly, just to be sure for next time!


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:04 AM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

Quote:
eschoeller previously said: View Post
I am noticing some clunking sounds and the steering/response seems to be really loose, so I suspect that these bushings are really to blame for that. It seems like I have two options, either replace the entire LCAs or replace the bushings. It looks like replacing the bushings is a real PIA, but it's possible. What are some of the recommendations for LCAs or bushing replacement kits?
Common problem on the older trucks, the metal bushing siezes to the rubber part and then you can't really adjust the alignment. As everyone else has said so far, just replace the entire LCA.

And this isn't a $1600 job, not even close.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 12:31 PM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

You can replace just the bushings, I've done it, it's a real pita. Just buy new LCAs and if the LCA cam bolts are seized, don't waste time trying to loosen them, just cut and replace them. A Toyota mechanic should be able to change a LCA in 30min assuming the cam bolts aren't seized, add 10min to cut them if they are. That's less than 2hrs complete job.

Toyota LCA part Numbers

RH: 4806860010

LH: 4806960010

~$283 + s&h each



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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
eschoeller previously said: View Post
I have a video of the "play" in the LCAs ... can anyone give me a ruling on whether this is really too much and I need to do something?
Look closer at the rubber bushings, are they cracked? If not, your problem is in somewhere else. Those bushings (rear ones) are normally quite elastic.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 03:08 PM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

The bushing construction is: Steel out shell, rubber then the inner steel bolt sleeve. It is perfectly normal for the control arm to "FLOAT" a bit, but it should not cost anywhere near $1600 to replace them. The front lowers are about $15-$20 each (2/per) so for $40 you can buy a set from RockAuto, they also have lower ball joints which would be more likely to wear out first for $18 Each. $58 in parts + $180 labor = $238 + tax per side. GL

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

Well after watching some youtube videos on LCA bushing replacement I've spent most of the day getting myself psyched up to do this job. But I am not surprised many of you suggested to replace the LCAs altogether. I saw a lot of that on other threads, and certainly understand the rationale there. The tech did say that the bushings were cracked and deteriorated, so I know I need to do something, eventually. I'll try to snap a photo of them when it's dry outside.

I plan on keeping this truck basically forever. And I'm likely going to continue having fun with it and pushing it as hard as I can. I did see one or two reports where people had blown through multiple sets of LCA bushings and had to keep replacing the LCAs. I'm afraid given the way I drive I could fall into this category. It may make sense for me to get into a position where I can periodically replace these bushings on my own every 50k miles or whatever ends up being necessary. I'm also reading that the aftermarket poly bushings will provide better handling than the rubber bushings and have additives to keep them from squeaking. That sounds appealing to me.

Decision one way or the other isn't final, but hopefully some of you can comment on some of these questions/comments:

1. If purchasing new LCAs, and I'm interested in having poly bushings, perhaps I purchase aftermarket LCAs with them already installed? Any suggestions on which ones?
2. If the rubber bushings by default provide some "float" and a poly bushing doesn't (or provides less) when the LCA takes a hit is this energy no longer being appropriately damped by the rubber and being transferred elsewhere to another part that could then prematurely fail? aka. is there advantage to having the rubber bushings?
3. Does anyone have a suggestion on a good bushing press kit that could be used to do this job? If I'm going to do this a few times over the lifespan of the truck it's far cheaper to buy one than multiple sets of LCAs or anything else for that matter that requires a press.
4. I saw one thread suggesting drilling and tapping holes in the factory LCAs for zerk fittings. Seems like a good idea to keep the bushings lubricated - any thoughts on this?
5. Once I get poly bushings installed my assumption is that future replacement of these bushings would be easier (ie. no more propane torch to heat rubber, etc). Is this correct?

And lastly, just for reference, here is what my parts estimate was for having the LCAs replaced at the shop:
Alignment: $89.95
ARM SUB-ASSY (48068-60010): $419.90
ARM SUB-ASSY (48069-60010): $419.90
CAM, CAMBER ADJUST (48198-60011): $33.82 (x2)
CAM SUB-ASSY, TOE (48409-60020): $44.63 (x2)
BOLT, WASHer BASED (90105-14104): $12.26 (x2)
NUT, HEXAGON (90170-14032) $3.96 (x2)

Thanks Everyone!!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 05:27 AM
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Re: Do I need new LCA bushings?

I just installed Total Chaos LCA's on a 2016 FJ. They come with polyurethane bushings which are replaceable. The LCA's themselves seem rock solid and I can't see them wearing out any time soon. I have only driven on them once so far (in sand dunes) and am very happy with them, though to be fair, I changed the shocks and UCA's as well, so hard to isolate the "feel" of the LCA's by themselves. I have seen a YouTube video of replacing the stock bushings and to be honest, I don't think you are going to get the results you want. The LCA looked pretty well worn also. If your budget will stretch to it, I would recommend after market LCA's. Al


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