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DIY - Rear Axle Carrier (Knuckle) Bushing Replacement

 
Old 10-02-11, 09:14 PM
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lyonkster
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Default DIY - Rear Axle Carrier (Knuckle) Bushing Replacement

I replaced the rear axle carrier bushings this weekend, and wanted to write up this DIY tutorial for anyone who might need to do the same job.

My symptom of bushing wear was constant clunking from the rear. I checked balljoints, suspension arm bushings, shock bolts, stabilizer bolts- nothing. Finally, when I was just about to give up, I jacked up the rear end one last time and shook the tire while holding it at 6 and 12 positions - and could clearly hear the clunking! I had my buddy look while I was shaking the tire, and we saw a good 1/8" of play where the axle carrier met the lower suspension arm. There is a "bushing" at that location, which is actually a spherical bearing.

I would say that by far the biggest challenge in this DIY is not the actual job, it's the task of finding replacement bushings! Naturally you cannot buy just the bushings from Lexus, you have to buy the entire axle carrier (~ $215 each). And if you went that route, you will probably also need new rear wheel bearings (~ $60 each), since you are likely to damage the old ones during separation of the axle from the axle carrier. So, you would be looking at almost $600 worth of parts to replace two measly bushings. To make matters worse, this was looking like a full weekend worth of work, something I did not feel like taking on at this point.

So I started looking for alternate solutions. I found a couple of options from browsing this forum - one was from an ebay seller in England (Martin?), who used an all poly bushing. But his bushing did not have any material at the ends, which allowed the control arm to float back and forth. I did not like that at all. I also touched base with a poster here, Diamondmit, who designed his own (improved) solution - also all-poly, but with end "donuts" added, to keep the arm stable. I still preferred the OEM type spherical bearing, but was going to go with Dave's idea when by sheer luck another poster (1nz) posted a picture of the bushing I needed, from The Mount Shop's website:

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I knew that the shape of the bushing was right, and after taking some measurements, I was able to confirm that the dimensions shown were right too. All I had to do now was get the bushings, but I could only find them on The Mount Shop's website, and they are in New Zealand! 1nz (who is also in NZ) was kind enough to offer to pick some up for me and send them to me, but by this time I figured out what car these were for - an IS200, or the Altezza. Another evening's worth of Googling, and I found an ebay seller who was selling something similar- http://myworld.ebay.com/irl_car_parts. Granted, these are not OEM, they are Chinese made, but what isn't these days? The seller said he sold hundreds of them and never had a problem. They were about $120 delivered. He doesn't show any more of them available, but I believe he can get access to more if you ping him. He lists these bushings as "REAR STUB AXEL BUSH IS200 / ALTEZZA", so ask for those.

Anyway, I finally got my bushings, and started the project yesterday. I started by jacking up the rear end and supporting the car with jackstands. The first thing you have to remove is the rear suspension arm cover - a plastic piece held with 2 10mm (head size) bolts: (the photo only shows one bolt, the other one is nearby)

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The next photo shows the three main fasteners you need to remove on the lower control arm (from right to left) - the stabilizer link bolt (12mm), the shock bolt (19mm), and the camber bolt, which is where the bushing that we are going to replace is (19mm):

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Before removing the camber bolt, I marked its orientation with a sharpie, to ensure proper alignment on reassembly:

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Here are all the fasteners and the cover removed:

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Now the arm and axle carrier easily come apart, you can see the bushing on the left:

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I pried the axle carrier up a little with a wooden block, to give me more working room:


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I've seen other tutorials where the bushing is hammered out, but that seemed somewhat brute force. I also was told that the bushing can be removed with a regular gear puller, but I wanted to try out my new toy, the OTC Balljoint Press kit (
Amazon.com: OTC (6529) Car Ball Joint Master Service Kit: Automotive Amazon.com: OTC (6529) Car Ball Joint Master Service Kit: Automotive
). Here is a photo of what you get:

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I looked around for sleeves that would serve as pushers and receiving tubes; in the end, I had to use a 30mm socket as the pusher, because nothing in the kit worked for this bushing .

First, I pressed out the old bushing:

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It pressed out quite easily, which tells me that a gear puller probably would have worked just fine too. Here is another view with the bushing nearly out:

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Here is how things look with the bushing out:


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Here are the old and new bushings side by side:


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I gave a light coat of oil to the axle carrier, and started pressing the new bushing in (note the 30mm socket ).


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It went in very easily, here is the installed bushing (sorry about the focus):


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I reinstalled all the bolts that I removed, being careful to line up the camber bolt with the previous marks. I then torqued the shock and the camber bolts to 81 ft-lbs, and the stabilizer bolt to 22 ft-lbf. Then I reinstalled the plastic arm cover with the two 10mm bolts. Repeat for the other side, and that is that, easy . Took me about two hours from start to finish, and no more clunking!

Hope this helps you guys.

Last edited by lyonkster; 11-07-15 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:54 PM
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Awesome DIY! Mods, this should bs moved to the DIY section

Thanks Leon
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Old 10-03-11, 05:43 AM
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Just by looking at the old bushing, could you visually tell the bushing was bad?
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Old 10-03-11, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by esolo98 View Post
Just by looking at the old bushing, could you visually tell the bushing was bad?
Not by just looking, but certainly when you move the inner tube relative to the outer part, there is lots of play. Here is a video clip of how it clunked in the car:

http://youtu.be/p5KF52MfD0M

Last edited by lyonkster; 10-03-11 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 10-03-11, 11:35 AM
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appreciate the diy write up. doing this as soon as my bushings come in. i ordered from the same guy a week ago. was ready to get rid of the car because of this.
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Old 10-03-11, 06:55 PM
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my bushings came in today. got them for $130 shipped. after this weekend my car will no longer sound like a mattress.
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Old 10-03-11, 09:25 PM
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Old 10-03-11, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CptCrunch View Post
no! come on man, did u even read the thread? that one goes on the axel carrier as well, but it's not the one that wears out and makes a lot of noise. that bushing is readily available because it's simpler. this is where u get what we're talking about.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/REAR-STUB-AX...75715490169971
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Old 10-04-11, 03:11 PM
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I also need this done asap. Just contacted irl_car_parts on ebay. Where else are these available?
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Old 10-04-11, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Champstar View Post
I also need this done asap. Just contacted irl_car_parts on ebay. Where else are these available?
Like I said, getting the parts is 80% of the battle. If the ebay seller no longer has them, you can try these guys in NZ: http://www.mountshop.co.nz/
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Old 10-04-11, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lyonkster View Post
Like I said, getting the parts is 80% of the battle. If the ebay seller no longer has them, you can try these guys in NZ: http://www.mountshop.co.nz/
champ, whenever you find them I suggest u buy them. I ordered mines right after lyonkster without knowing if they would even work, because i saw the ebay guy only had 2 left. these things are incredibly difficult to find. we've only seen the ebay guy in ireland and the shop in new zealand sell these. i searched for this problem with the 1st gen is 200/300 and some of those owners didn't know about these.
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Old 10-05-11, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tiger4life View Post
no! come on man, did u even read the thread?]
no he did not....

Originally Posted by Champstar View Post
I also need this done asap. Just contacted irl_car_parts on ebay. Where else are these available?
i emailed him yesterday....i dont need the bushing ATM but i wouldnt mind keeping a pair on hand since they hard to come by plus it seems easy enough i would go ahead and do it myself

GREAT write up BTW, mods can we sticky?

so after a few days driving, any issues?
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Old 10-05-11, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sakataj View Post
i dont need the bushing ATM but i wouldnt mind keeping a pair on hand since they hard to come by
Not a bad idea!

plus it seems easy enough i would go ahead and do it myself
Yup, fairly easy job, as you can tell from the writeup.

so after a few days driving, any issues?
Well, yes, one issue - now that the clunk is gone, the sunroof shade rattling is driving me crazy again (and yes, I tried the standard fixes I saw on the forums without longterm success, so I am about to crazy glue the stupid thing shut!)
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Old 10-05-11, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by lyonkster View Post
Well, yes, one issue - now that the clunk is gone, the sunroof shade rattling is driving me crazy again (and yes, I tried the standard fixes I saw on the forums without longterm success, so I am about to crazy glue the stupid thing shut!)
i meant a issue with this install...not another problematic part of the car

only thing stopping me would be the OTC 6529 Car Ball Joint Service Kit that price is crazy, i wonder if i could borrow my mechanics or rent one. i saw you used a 30mm to push the bearing in/out so essentially i wouldn't even need the ball joint kit? any thoughts that since these slide in/out so easily its not the right bushing? you didnt happen to put a micrometer on the bushing and on the inside of the rear spindle (or axle carrier) i guess would be the best description? a digital one would probably be best here

im STILL waiting on the guy from ebay to email me back....

so which bushing if you had access to all of them would you have preferred?

37h125 from the mountshop (i tried to register but wth do i have to register to get a price, and who was the member in NZ i might see if they could pick me up a set if all else fails)
the one from ebay you did get (which im waiting to hear about)
or the one from diamondmit
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Old 10-05-11, 09:49 AM
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Thank you lyonkster for posting this and helping the community out with the source on where to get them.

My squeakings are for sure this part, ever since I lowered and put my car back to stock. Now it's been squeaking really obnoxiously loud where I can not cruise in my school parking lot without having the whole school turn around looking at me.

I too, emailed the ebay seller and I am still waiting for a reply from him. It really sucks that Lexus or any other US aftermarket manufacturer doesn't sell this specific bushing. I was getting ready to shell out about $450 bucks for new rear axle carrier assembly from Sewell Lexus, until vwynn linked this to me via facebook.

I am starting to wonder if these can be made by maybe FIGS Engineering and turning it into a full on spherical bushing replacement instead of the OEM bushing type. Are maybe some other motor mount company to make any reinforced products in replacement of the OEM versions.

Also wanted to point out to everyone else who has been posting up this link....

http://www.rhdjapan.com/trd-rear-low...0-jzs161-17917

They are the wrong bushings. I just received mines and was getting ready to change out the bushings (rear axle carrier/knuckle) and found out that those bushings from RHD Japan are for your Rear Lower Control Arm inner bushings (the one that mounts up to your rear sub frame).

Dara
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