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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace the lower control arm of my 1997 2.7 Tacoma 4X4. Unfortunately, I discovered the adjustment cams running through the lower control arm bushings are frozen in place. I’m ordering new cams, but I’d like recommendations for removing the cams without too much effort or further complicating the lower control arm removal. The best idea I’ve come up with, so far, would be to use my woodworking pipe clamps to press them out (after protecting the nut end of the cam by placing a large head bolt through the cam first and putting shims around the other end of the cam for the pipe clamp to rest on). I applied PB Blaster and a 50/50 mix of ATF & acetone, but I couldn’t get it to break free. I didn’t want to use the pipe clamp until I had replacement cams on hand, as this is my only transportation. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Sorry no one has replied yet but I can tell you that the cams typically seize shortly after production. My 2nd Gen. had its RF cam seized 6 months following production and the LF was almost seized at that point. The whole problem is Toyota is too cheap to use anti-seize on the bolts going through the bushings. Make sure you do on reassembly.

Give up early on the idea of using a bigger wrench to loosen the nuts/bolts on the cam bolts or you run the risk of damaging the alignment tabs (fences) welded in place (where the control arms attach) and then you have another much bigger problem.

The cam bolts going through the bushings are harder than hard steel. You probably are not going to be able to salvage the bushings or bolts. The absolute best way to do it is to use a sawsall with good metal cutting blades and cut immediately next to the bushing. The best blades are the Lenox Gold 5-packs found at the big box stores.

Expect to replace both bolts on both sides. If you are lucky you may be able to cut or burn out the bushings and press in new, and replace the ball joint. Many find it easier to just replace the entire control arm.
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your response. I wish I could figure out a simple way to soak the cams with a 50/50 acetone/ATF solution. That does an amazing job at breaking things free, but I'm not sure how to get it inside. Any ideas for that? I'll take your advice and not use the pipe clamp if it requires any significant force. I was planning to put spacers/shims on that side, as otherwise I'd be clamping both sides of the cam together... one side has to be free to move.

I'm wondering the reason hardened steel needs to be used to make the cams, or are you talking about the sleeve running through the center of the bushing? I can get the bolts out, just not the cams, as shown in these pictures https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnhFeJX0YoriqlZ-6k_Iz8bjS5Dw

I have some Permatex Anti-Seize (Item #81343). Do you recommend a better anti-seize? I bought the Lenox Golds. They are very inexpensive if you buy them through riverbendhome.com ($3.56 plus a flat shipping cost of $5.99 for most any size order... I bought 5 packages and the shipping was the same). I bought a Moog control arm, as I don't have a shop where I can push bushings in and out. I also bought new cams.

I'd appreciate if you'd mark one of my pictures to show exactly where would be the best place to cut through the cam/bushing. I sense it would probably be cutting through the rubber on either side of the control arm.

I appreciate your assistance (maybe even more if you plan to be visiting Southern California and might be interested in helping to remove this LCA).
 

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I'm traveling so it will not be until this weekend to get better responses to you.

I thought my problem would be be bigger so at one time I envisioned whether modelling clay could be used to dam the lower parts around the cam and leave the top open to form a place where the solution would form a pool to saturate the bushings.

The cam bolts and sleeves are different front and back. But they are equally hard as can be... I'll see if I can get some pics or illustrations later. Maybe someone else has these can step in in the mean time?

If it were me, I would only screw around a day or two longer with the brew. Don't cut the support flanges that hold the arms (where the arms are bolted to). You can see where those flanges are welded to the frame. Leave the flanges alone but cut inside of them where the bolt/sleeve would pass inside, between those flanges. Its ok to ruin the arm, its islets that hold the bushings if you are going to replace the arm(s) but don't ruin those mounting flanges.

Got to run now. Back later.
 

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Do you have one or more of the long bolts removed? One of your pictures shows one of the bolts backed out some.

If the bolts are removed here is what is going on. The long bolts pass through the inside of the eccentric, the sleeve. That sleeve in turn passes through a steel cylinder in the middle of the bushing and the rubber of the bushing is bonded to that. That inner steel piece of the bushing has rusted to the steel sleeve of the eccentric.

The "nut" of the long bolt is actually the other part of the eccentric piece but located on the opposite side. Its just a short thing with a notch that attaches to the longer sleeve. I'm surprised it did not just fall off.

Finally, you said you got new cams. In my mind, the cams are two parts: The part with the marked eccentric and long sleeve that passes through the bushing; and the part with the marked eccentric and short attachment that captures the long bolt with part being the "nut".

I like the silver anti-seize stuff you got. I think there is a marine version but you got to remember that anything is better than the nothing they use at the factory.

If you post the part number of the Lenox blades I'll check against the ones I have.
 

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Those are the same Lenox blades I have and really like them.

Sounds to me like you have a good handle on this. I'm pretty much out of creative ideas on how to get the rusted sleeves out without cutting. I just don't see pulling the longer sleeves out but on the inside of the arms if the short eccentric can be removed exposing the end of the longer sleeve perhaps and impact tool with one of the adapters, or even a bolt, could gently hammer the center of the sleeve, break loose the rust and then be pushed out. The rubber bushing may absorb all the energy though and you get nowhere.

Gotta try something though.
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
As far as the anti-seize goes, some people say it dries out over time. Is there a particular brand and model that holds up the best for this application?
 

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Like I said that there is a marine version of the Permatex/NAPA/Loctite stuff. I was just in my garage and have both, they look the same to me, but I forgot to write down the part numbers. I'll look on their web sites and get back.

My take on the antiseize is it is the powdered metals mixed in that do all the work. I may be totally wrong but I think the thick oil carrier is just there to provide a medium that is easy to brush on. I've taken out spark plugs I antiseized after years in place and many miles and a lot of the powdered metals still were on the threads.

It does dry out. I've left the caps of the container off for long periods until its essentially dried out and then rejuvenated the stuff by stirring in some motor oil and then used it.
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, but I'd love to hear from individuals who have used different products and can report on long-term results for this purpose.
 

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04.5 VW Jetta GLi
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2lb shop hammer and a sacrificial bolt are all I used. I reused all OEM components after driving them out and putting the poly on.


#CamBrady2017
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I hope I can be as lucky. I have the parts I need but my priority is getting my water well back in operation first. It may be a month or so before I can get to my truck. Thanks for the input.
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Sorry, every time I turn around it seems there are more fires to put out... the challenge of owning your own home. With the year winding down and the holidays approaching, it looks like I won't be able to get to this project till next year. I wish I could just get it out of the way, but there are other priorities. So far, it is just a minor problem that shows no driving challenges. I can only see the slight looseness when the truck is jacked up (no pulling, tire wear or vibrations). I'll return after I complete it, but I recently did purchase a 2-1/2# shop hammer.
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I'm finally getting around to doing this job this weekend. I removed the center bolt and then inserted another bolt in the opposite direction and have been pounding on it with my 2 1/2 # hammer, but nothing happens. I'm thinking of putting a bottle jack between the front and back cams on this LCA, but I'm concerned about bending something. I'm thinking I may be better off just cutting through the cams, though I'm not sure exactly where to make the cut. I sense the front side of the bushing needs to be cut through the rubber bushing, while the back side needs to be cut between the washer and the bracket. Is this accurate? I have plenty of Lennox Gold blades, so I should be able to cut through. What are your thoughts?

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AnhFeJX0YorisSWjBECkpcSk1Cmj

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AnhFeJX0YoriqlDeOQKUuGilRfeF
 

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Do not do this but this is what I do and have done many times.

Cut the cams. Take a bottle jack and place between the insides of the arm so that the tip of the jack it putting a bit of force on the inside of the bushing to be removed and with the flat base of the jack on the opposite bushing. Pump jack just enough so it just holds itself in place between the arm. Take propane torch and evenly heat the outer part of the eye of the arm of the bushing you are trying to remove and at same time provide small pumps to jack. Bushing can shoot out several feet. Don't do indoors. Be all kinds of safe.

What is happening is the outer sleeve of the bushing is heating and expanding at a slower rate than the eye of the arm being heated. So the eye first expands more than the heat transfer from the torch can expand the outer sleeve of the bushing. Some rubber in the bushing then begins to melt and the force from the bottle jack pushes the bushing completely out.
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
My neighbor has offered me the use of his hydraulic lift inside his barn, so I won't have to crawl around under the truck. My concern with using a torch is that there are boots in that area, and I'd hate to accidentally melt one. I have replacement cams and a new LCA with bushings, so I don't care if I destroy the cams or bushings, but I'd like to save the control arm in case I ever need to do this again. This is my only transportation, so I need to be finished by Tuesday when I have to return to work. If I cut the cams out, where do you suggest I place the blade, so I don't damage the bracket or control arm?
 

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4XTruck
1997 2.7 4WD Tacoma
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The job is done, and it wasn't as difficult as I anticipated. I found the Lennox Gold blades to work very well, though it was more challenging to do the back side of the LCA, as the brakes blocked the view. Keeping the blades lubricated allowed them to cut better. I spent more time figuring out what I was going to do than actually doing the work. The Moog replacement LCA fit perfectly, and I'll get the alignment checked on Tuesday.
 
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