Changing Trailing Arm Bushings

Okay I don’t have any pictures of this removal/install. Basically, if you don’t know what I’m talking about just by reading this then you shouldn’t be doing this. This write-up is not a step-by step guide to doing trailing arm bushings, its just to give people an idea of what’s involved and what to do next if they’re stuck or confused and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel… Some of the stuff might not be in the specific order that you do it in but once again, you shouldn’t be doing this if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

First, get the rear end in the air. Get it on jackstands. Take the wheels/tires off. Get a friend to help you (buy them a 6 pack, 40, hooker, whatever they want).

Take off the rear brake calipers. This is so you don’t have to bleed the brakes. It’s a little more work, but worth it IMO. Remove the e-brake cable, and whatever bolts hold it on. My car had ABS, so disconnect all that malarky. My ABS is disabled, so I wasn’t too worried about it. Basically remove every single line attached to the trailing arm. Some of this stuff comes out easier when the TA is off the car.

Take out the UCA to TA bolt. Take out the 2 TA bushing bolts. Take out the LCA to TA bolt. Take out the TA to Compensator Arm bolt. Voila, you have just passed the point of no return. Wait, no you’ve got a ways to go.

The next part is fun for me, because I have access to a nice fancy-smancy electrical 12 ton press. Take your TA to the press. You better have some smart way to get the TA bushing out. I used a piece of aluminum pipe that had the same OD as the TA bushing. I put the pipe concentric with the TA bushing, put a piece of steel on top and hit the go button. Oh yeah, wear safety glasses. The TA presses out with a bit of force behind it. Do this twice. Now you’ve passed the point of no return.

Oh yeah, measure how far up the TA bushing protrudes from the TA. You’re going to need to press that TA bushing in so it’s the same height as before. Remember that the TA bushing isn’t symmetrical, so make note which way it goes in. I installed my TA bushings so that when the car was on the ground, the bushing was parallel with the ground. This is important if your car is lowered. How angled the bushing is installed, is a function of how low you are. That part is up to you to decide.

So anyway, just press them in the same way you pressed them out. If you are good with a press and have a friend, this should only take an hour at most to get them out and in.

Once everything is back together, install it in the reverse order you took it apart.

I wouldn’t reccomend doing this if you need your car soon after you start the install. Also, remember that machine shops aren’t open Saturdays and Sundays usually so don’t plan on doing this during the weekend unless you have a press. This goes so much faster if you have air tools. Removing the TA’s took about 15 minutes, but removing the brake stuff took about 3 hours. If I didn’t have ABS, I’d say take a whole hour off the whole procedure. Installing the TA’s and putting everything back together took about 2 hours.

Be sure to get an alignment soon, because your alignment won’t be the same.

I wouldn’t even bother with TA bushings if it was just a street car. However, I would bother with them if your rear alignment keeps going out of spec, or it’s some sort of competitive track car. My bushings weren’t completely torn, but I’d say they were about 1/2 torn. The install was worth the work in my case, but my guess is that the majority of people shouldn’t bother.

Hope that helps someone out.


EDIT: I forgot to add, I replaced my bushings with brand new OEM Acura bushings.

I would say that you might not need access to a press to remove the old bushings and put the new ones in. It all depends on what kind of shape they are in.

I personally only needed a hammer and a bit of patience to get my old bushings out. One side took about 4 hits, they other side took about 5 minutes to beat it out. It would have been easier with a press, but for me it wasn’t necessary.

One other tip I would add from my experience is that the Upper Control Arm-Trailing Arm bolt will be the hardest to get out. Both of mine were nearly to the point of being seized inside of the bushing, so instead of breaking that bolt I took the trailing arm off with the UCA still attached, and instead just took out the 2 bolts holding the UCA to the car. Every other bolt came out fairly easily.

Here are the two bolts I’m talking about:


Yes, on the select few cars, the bushings come in and out with a hammer. I’m posting the easiest, and sure-fire way to do these things. If someone told me all I needed was a hammer, I’d still be under the car right now. The majority of cars need the press, and a good portion of cars have about an hour more worth of work for ABS lines.

Since this is a how-to thread, I’m going to chime in with a horror-story problem-solve since I just did this the past 2 days and someone else may be faced with this misfortune. While removing the compensator arm from the undercarriage, there is a nut inside the car that holds the bolt on (the one that controls the toe). The bolt was so hard to pry loose, but I eventually forced it loose. I realized that the bolt, however, was just spinning in place and not coming out. Uh Oh! Somehow, the bushing had rotted and was twisting, and the nut inside the car fell into oblivion. We had to cut the bolt out with a torch. I pulled the rear seats out and pulled back the carpet, and there is a slot-like hole in the metal back there that we could stick a magnet in to locate the fallen bolt. The problem was that the slot was so small the nut could not be extracted. We ended up drilling a 1" hole into the panel (Put something through the hole where the bolt was to mark the location first!!) and then placed the bolt back in the holder with needle-nose. Yes, I had soaked all the bolts in thread lubricant first. Who knows how it happened, but the solution worked in case you find yourself in the same scenario. I replaced the compensator bushings with oem, trailing arm bushings with king motorsports, and the a-arm with an Ingalls polyurethane adjustable kit. The LCA is getting replaced with the Skunk arm. I would recommend leaving the stock a-arm on and disconnecting the trailing arm from the UCA like chsscott said. It’s easier to get an impact gun in to take out the a-arm bolts with everything else out of the way.

here’s my write up I did for my Honda Civic 4 door EX… I swapped the entire Trailing Arm Assembly, but it also includes changing the bushings.

Use Steps 1 and 2.