Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; As promised...here we go! For reference, here's what I had before: Creative Steel 87A motor mounts Creative Steel 87A differential ...
  1. #1
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    As promised...here we go!

    For reference, here's what I had before:
    • Creative Steel 87A motor mounts
    • Creative Steel 87A differential bushing
    • Revshift 80A transmission insert
    • TurninConcepts (TiC) 95A trailing arm bushings
    • Killernoodle trailing arms
    • Hotchkis 2280 front (1.125" hollow core, 70% stiffer than stock, 9.0 lbs) and rear (1" hollow core, 90% stiffer than stock, 7.4 lbs) sway bars
    • FG2s with Ground Control kit, MightyMouse spacers, and 600/650 in-lb linear Eibach springs
    Here's what I installed:
    • Revshift 95A subframe bushings
    • Revshift 95A control arm bushings
    • BMR TR001R 1" diameter toe rods
    • Addco 2290 front (1.375" solid core, ~110% stiffer than stock, 28.5 lbs) and 2289 rear (1" solid core, ~125% stiffer than stock, 14.4 lbs) sway bars
    • Energy Suspension sway bar brackets and bushings with Zerk fittings
    • POR15 coating on the subframe
    • 3M 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating in the rear wheel wells and underneath spare tire tub (1 can each)

    Tools that I found essential:
    • Normal and dead blow hammers
    • 3/8" and 1/2" drive socket wrenches and gear wrenches up to 24mm
    • Harbor Freight 450 lb transmission jack
    • A ton of caliper cleaner (to clean up the gooey mess) and wheel cleaner (e.g. Eagle One A2Z)
    • A 2-3' long 3/8" socket wrench extension that I could destroy
    • 1-1/16" or 25-26mm socket (same size as control arm bushing sleeves)
    • A cheap bench vise for crushing subframe bushings and installing new ones
    • A small Vise Grip (helps with the front control arm bolt)
    • Huge washers, a long bolt, and matching nut (used to pull together bushing halves and steel/aluminum cores)
    • Milwaukee corded or M18 cordless drill and Sawzall
    • A 3/16" drill bit (for starting holes in the control arm bushing rubber)
    • A Milwaukee 49-22-1129 demolition sawzall blade set--particularly the 9" "The Torch" 18 TPI metal blades for slicing the subframe bushing outer sleeves, and the short and long "The Axe" demolition blades with fang tips for cutting through the control arm and subframe bushing rubber, respectively.
    • Blue Loctite
    • Your choice of brake bleeding equipment and brake fluid
    • If you want to clean the cast aluminum control arms, I suggest Prosoco Sure Klean 600 (mild hydrochloric acid) in an empty spray bottle diluted with water to at least 1:3, disposable nitrile gloves (Home Depot has them), and a couple of green 3M Scotch-Brite scouring pads.
    Brief Installation Summary:

    - Remove the wheels, brake calipers, rotors, and exhaust. This is a good time to check the tightness of your parking brake. Unclip the ABS sensors from the hubs. Unbolt the shocks. Remove the two passenger side brake lines leading toward the engine. Brake fluid is going to leak everywhere unless you control it. Disconnect the driveshaft.

    - Support the subframe with the transmission jack squarely underneath the differential mount. Remove the two 21mm (front) and two 24mm (rear) subframe bushing bolts. At this point, the subframe and differential are being supported only by the jack.



    Reference picture that I used for planning.

    - Lower the subframe to the ground, watching to make sure that you didn't accidentally forget to detach something (those ABS connectors are delicate). Note that the parking brake line is still attached--if you're on jack stands, you will have just enough slack in the line to roll the subframe out from under the driver's side rear wheel well.


    Marvel at how disgusting that whole area gets after a couple of years of not cleaning it.


    Eww!


    Smaller front bushing (harder of the two to remove).


    Larger rear bushing.

    I first tried (unsuccessfully) to burn these bushings out, which is what Revshift originally did, but with an Acetylene torch. Unfortunately, MAPP torches don't get hot enough to melt rubber--they just char it and smoke and make the whole area smell bad. Avoid.


    Fire?


    Fire!


    FIRE!

    The first half of the bushing removal process is pretty easy (10 minutes each):

    1. Ignore the metal core of the bushing.
    2. Using a long demolition Sawzall blade, stick your Sawzall in one the big air gaps in the rubber bushings, and begin cutting in a hexagonal or octagonal pattern around the metal core. Use straight lines. Don't try to bend the bigger blades around in a circle. You're wasting your time and running down your batteries.
    3. Periodically spray wheel cleaner (or some kind of non-flammable degreaser) into the bushing to cool down the rubber and help prevent it from re-forming after the blade passes by. You can get by without this, but it'll take a little longer.
    4. When you think you're through, jam a big screwdriver into the bushing and move it around to see if the core is ready to come out. When it looks really loose, hit it with the hammer and it should fall on the ground in one or two shots. Or yank it out with pliers.



    Screwdriver test failed. I missed several spots.


    Screwdriver test passed.

    This is where things get irritating. The challenge is to cut the metal sleeve of the bushing completely through but avoid damaging the "cup" in the subframe that holds the bushing in place. If you're like me, most of the time you're going to err on the side of caution and not cut enough. Here's what I'd recommend:

    1. Using a long, fine-toothed metal sawzall blade, cut off the flanged part of on the bottom of each of the bushing sleeves. Alternately, after you make your vertical cuts, look underneath the bushing and carefully cut a notch out the flange to meet your vertical cut.


    Ready to make a notch that meets my vertical cut

    2. Make a vertical cut in 2-3 places around the bushing. It's hard to tell how deep you've gone, since there's all kinds of gooey rubberized bits obscuring your view.


    Yummy molten rubber.

    3. Don't try to pry out a section with a screwdriver--you'll just break it. Grab your bench vise, flip it upside down, and use it to crush the ever-loving s**t out of a portion of the bushing.


    Crushing the weakened bushing.

    4. With your normal hammer (ear protection is a must), beat the living crap out of the bushing until it falls out of the bottom of the cup. Go big or go home. Love taps are less than useless. If you've hit the living s**t out of the thing 8-10 times and it hasn't moved, you didn't cut all the way through the sleeve, or you forgot about the lip on the bottom of the sleeve.
    5. Rinse and repeat until you're done. This may sound easy, but I can virtually guarantee you that this will take you most of one day.


    Now we come to the fun part--the actual bushing installation!

    1. Install the bottom half of the bushing first. Lube it up, line it up, and use the bench vise to squeeze the bushing into the cup. If you bought 80A bushings, you may be able to do this by hand instead.
    2. Install the top half of the bushing. You won't be able to get it started with a dead-blow hammer. Instead, insert your long bolt through both halves of the Revshift bushing with a washer on either end. Thread the nut on, and with a pair of wrenches, screw the nut down until the halves are pressed tight together.
    3. Repeat for the metal core. Insert from the top. If you don't have enough length on your bolt, you can use your dead-blow hammer to get the core started. Eventually, friction will make it impossible to use the hammer and you'll have to finish up with the bolt/washers/nut trick. As it turns out, my Home Depot didn't sell a long enough bolt for my needs. So I wound up using one of the subframe bolts and a nut from the control arms instead. Thankfully, my washers were large enough to pass that big bolt through.



    Core is almost fully inserted (note silver piece sticking out of the top end of the bushing).

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  3. #2
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Onto the control arm bushings!


    Mine didn't look too bad.


    Dirty as hell, though.

    As with the subframe bushings, you're going to ignore the metal core. Grab a 3/16" drill bit, and put a couple of holes in the rubber to permit you to insert a smaller demolition sawzall blade.


    Pick that one.

    The nice thing about this drilling and cutting procedure is that, again, there's an unwanted metal sleeve on both sides of the rubber. So don't worry about hitting the walls--go to town on the rubber until the metal core is ready to fall out.


    Ready to rock with the smaller blade.

    Now we have a problem. The outer metal sleeve is thickly flanged on one side, and very thin on the other side. Cutting the bushing out (like we did with the subframe bushings) is not going to work because of the delicacy of the surrounding cast aluminum. Pressing it out using a pair of sockets won't work either. It's time to innovate. We're going to make a bushing extractor tool:

    1. Grab your 3/8" extension and 1-1/16" socket.
    2. Thread the extension through one side of the control arm and attach the adapter and the socket. Line up the socket with the bushing to be extracted.



    If you do one bushing at a time, the existing OEM bushing makes for a nice guide.

    3. Wedge the control arm against something, grab a hammer, and sharply strike the end of the 3/8" extension a few times to pop the bushing sleeve out.


    I'm using a previously-extracted sleeve to protect the machined finish inside the control arm.

    4. Rinse and repeat for all of the other bushings.


    Sleeve coming out.


    A 1-1/16" socket is almost exactly the same outer diameter as the bushing sleeve.

    If you want to clean the control arms, now is the time. Put on those gloves, stand upwind, and spray down the control arms with your Prososco Sure Clean 600 mix. Scrub, then rinse.

    We've arrived at the fun part. Using one of the techniques described previously, press each half of the control arm bushing into place, with the core going in last. Don't forget: the half with the shorter lip goes on the inside of the control arm.



    Cleaned up nicely.


    Ready to rock.

    ----------

    The pictures I have of the installed bushings aren't too good--mostly because they were taken at 3 AM and I was super tired. I will get the car cleaned up and take better pictures later.


    Late night in Connecticut.


    Subframe being reassembled.


    Sliding back under the car. The 3M Rubberized coating has already dried in the wheel well.


    Loving those BMR toe rods.

    ----------

    My impressions are as follows:

    1. It feels like the rear end of the car is 100 times stronger.
    2. There is no additional vibration or noise under any driving condition with 95A bushings. Under bump loads, I think they're quieter than the stock bushings.
    3. Ride quality is improved. Bumps are handled faster, now that the subframe doesn't have a mind of its own.
    4. Under high G-loads (1.1 G+), the rear end of the car stays flatter and no longer exhibits that unsettling "walking out" phenomenon. It's incredibly stable. These bushings actually made me realize that I had been relying on that slop to help me get around sharp corners faster. Now, I have to get on the gas, which is faster overall (before, I would be covering the brake just in case things got out of control). When I go back in for an alignment next week, I will be adjusting my rear toe settings from +0.30° to +0.10°. Nice!

    Also, a note about the 3M Rubberized Undercoating: DO IT. I applied one can in each wheel well, and one can on the underside of my spare tire tub. With the rear seat taken out (I'm in the middle of soundproofing it), I felt that the amount of high-frequency road and exhaust noise was noticeably reduced. When my new front wheel liners arrive, I plan on treating the front wheel wells with the stuff to confirm these impressions.



    Thanks guys! KW Variant 3, Addco sway bars, and the McLeod RXT are coming up next!
    Ikera likes this.

  4. #3
    BigDaddy-V is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Man that was a lotta work! Always take pride in work done yourself too! I wish I had the time and resources to do what some of you do out there. Someday I will and all of these posts will help. I would love to just swap out all the bushings on the car to try to firm it up. That spray rubber stuff sounds like a great idea! Also, if you want to get rid of those rims please let me have first dibs! Those are sweeeeeeeeeet!

    BDV

    P.s. If you need to get rid of any of the suspension parts as well, hook a brother up! HEHE

  5. #4
    JFensty's Avatar
    JFensty is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Fuzzy, working on mine now. I was able to use the mapp gas. I heated the inside of the inner sleeve until the rubber started to smoke. With two whacks of the hammer the inner sleeve slide right out. Since mine is an '04, I have the voids in the rubber. I cut the outer sleeve in this void so I did not have to remove any of the rubber. Once the slit was deep enough. I used an air chisel and it came right out. I was surprised how easy it was. This was, of course, after I spent an hour on the first one figuring this out.

  6. #5
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Awesome job! This is really helpful- my bushings are going in next week!

  7. #6
    Johnson's Avatar
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    How long did this take or expected to take? I am doing lower & upper control arm bushings, cradle bushings and diff bushing in the coming weeks. Thanks

  8. #7
    JFensty's Avatar
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    I only did the cradle and diff bushing this time around. From start to finish only took 5 hours with stopping for lunch. I was messing with other items while under there as well. All in all very easy job if you have the proper tools.

  9. #8
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Quote Originally Posted by JFensty View Post
    I only did the cradle and diff bushing this time around. From start to finish only took 5 hours with stopping for lunch. I was messing with other items while under there as well. All in all very easy job if you have the proper tools.
    And if you don't, it'll take you two full days.

  10. #9
    CoSteve is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Sounds like this might be a good investment

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzomat...0#.UZKoD0qyGgU

  11. #10
    FuzzyLogic is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Quote Originally Posted by CoSteve View Post
    Sounds like this might be a good investment

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzomat...0#.UZKoD0qyGgU
    I have a better one. It's useless.

  12. #11
    JFensty's Avatar
    JFensty is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoSteve View Post
    Sounds like this might be a good investment

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bernzomat...0#.UZKoD0qyGgU
    This is exactly what I used. Don't use it to burn out the rubber. Heat the inside of the inner sleeve until the rubber bushings starts to smoke. ( approx 2 minutes). Then whack the inner sleeve with a hammer. Within two to three hits it will slide out. If you have an 04-05 it will have the voids in the bushing. Use this void to cut the outer sleeve. You can avoid the molten rubber deal using this method. Once a deep enough slit is in the sleeve, use a good air chisel to push the sleeve out. I was surprised how fast they came out.

  13. #12
    HAMSTAR is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    I've seen videos on you tube where guys spray lighter fluid on the bushings and basically keep a fire going till they melt out. Why wouldn't that work here?

  14. #13
    JFensty's Avatar
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    It would work, but 1 it stinks and 2 its a waste of time. I am away from home but I will take some pictures of the removed bushings to hopefully make some sense of my directions. I tried the burning idea on the first one and decided a different route on the others. It took fifteen minutes to get the last three bushings out.

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    CoSteve is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Revshift Subframe & Control Arm Bushings Installed

    Thanks for the info, JFensty. I also have an 04 and your method is what I'm planning to use.

    This is one of a couple of summer projects I have in mind....

  16. #15
    JFensty's Avatar
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    Its odd but the car rides smoother with the revshift bushings installed. I did, however, pick up some whine that I did not have previously. 95a cradle and 80a diff.

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