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EASY HOW TO: Install front caster arms (aka rear lower arm)

Old 04-01-19, 07:23 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Post EASY HOW TO: Install front caster arms (aka rear lower arm)

I've searched and found random bits and tips on how to easily install the caster arms, sometimes also referred to as "rear lower arm" of the front suspension. To be clear, I am referring to this arm (item 8 on the diagram).

Now, taking them out can be done in a variety of ways. However, the biggest issue is reinstalling them, particularly simultaneously aligning the arm for a) the two bolts that go into the lower control arm (LCA) and b) the bushing end into the frame. Many people, including me, have damn near lost their minds trying to do this since it seems like when one end is aligned it is impossible to get the other to also align properly.

The following is my process for removing and installing the caster arms with ZERO problems. I've now done this on several 2G's with a 100% success rate. Follow this sequence to make reinstallation incredibly easy and stress free:

  1. Raise front of car and remove two front wheels.
  2. Loosen the two caster arm bolts that go into the LCA. These are underneath the lower control arm.
  3. Loosen the nut from caster arm bushing. Also remove the bracket with three bolts.
  4. Remove the nut and the bolt holding sway arm to endlink. Do this on both the driver and passenger side. Remove endlinks from the sway bar and rotate sway arm out of the way. Moving the LCA up or down hand may help get it out of the sway bar easier.
  5. Open hood. Loosen but do not remove the three nuts on the strut tower holding up the shock/strut.
  6. Remove lower strut bolt from strut/lca.
  7. Look underneath the wheel hub and remove the two bolts holding lower ball joint to wheel hub. These have 11 stamped on the bottom of them.
  8. With bolts removed, you can then lift and move the entire hub out of the way. It will be fine hanging from the UCA. The ball joint and tie rod end will keep the LCA up.
  9. Next, loosen but do not remove inner bolt holding the LCA to frame. The outer part of the LCA (where the hub was) will drop. You can now fully remove the three nuts from the shocks in the engine bay. Completely remove the strut/shock assembly and set it off to the side and out of the way.
  10. Now remove the bracket on the LCA that was holding the strut to the LCA. It is held in by the end link bolt and one short top bolt. The top bolt is easy to remove. However since the endlink bolt rotates, you will need to hold it in place with locking pliers (on the endlink side). The pair of pliers I used touched the ground, so the ground kept the locking pliers stationary for me while I used a breaker bar to crack the nut loose on the other end. I recommend using a pair of pliers long enough to do this.
  11. Once that bracket is removed, you have all the space you need to play with the caster arm. Take out the two bolts from under the LCA and the nut from where the bushing is. Take the caster arm out. Adjust the LCA up and down as necessary to make it easier.

Now it's time to install the new caster arm. This is the point where people usually get incredibly frustrated. Too many people have tried to get it in with ease and have failed, resorting to using multiple people and breaker bars to pry the arm in, dropping the car on the bushing, etc etc. All unnecessary and a bit ill advised. However, if you have followed the removal steps laid above, reinstallation should be a breeze:


  1. Install the bushing end of the caster arm on the bolt and move it all the way up to where it's completely seated. Hand tighten the nut to hold it there.
  2. Next, raise the LCA by hand and have the two holes align with the caster arm holes. Install both bolts and hand tighten them as much as possible.
  3. THAT'S IT!

The rest is now reversal of removal. Just tighten everything down. Get an alignment. Enjoy your day.

The first time this may take up to a couple hours from start to finish, but I've gotten it down to 30 min.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Good luck.
fbravo59 is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by fbravo59:
firelizard (04-01-19), tiguy99 (05-14-19)

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