need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V Performance Mods Discussion, need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; Has anyone used the Creative Steel cradle bushing tool on an 06 or 07 CTS V? I rented the tool, ...
  1. #1
    V-twin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Has anyone used the Creative Steel cradle bushing tool on an 06 or 07 CTS V? I rented the tool, and I'm in the middle of the job, and the tool doesn't fit over the flange on the bottom of the bushings.

    I'm guessing this was designed for the 04-05, which has different bushings, without the flange (or with a smaller flange?), but hoping I'm wrong, and just missing something obvious.

    Am I correct that 04-05 cradle bushings have a larger steel flange on the bottom of the bushings?

    I tried to upload a photo, but it's not working on the app.

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    V-twin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Ok, my brother came over with his 04 CTS V, and I checked under his, and the flange is indeed smaller.

    I guess I'll be cutting the flanges off the bushings so I can use the Creative Steel tool. This should still be much easier than dropping the cradle and using a Sawsall to cut the bushings out, but it's going to take a little longer than the four hours they estimate.

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    jmargo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Take pictures...You are probably the first consumer to use the tool and bushings.

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    2007-V is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Ive used the creative steel tool to take out the one in my 05 that I had. It took a little finagling (sp?) but worked like a champ. It took me under the 4 hours to get it swapped out.

    I did have a Gen 4 replacement factory diff, however pics would definitely help if you are still messing with it.

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    V-twin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    I quit for dinner a few hours ago. I'll take some pics tomorrow.

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    Becker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Yea Pics would be great, nothing like following a thread looking for an update and you get to the last post of "ya ill let you all know how it went!"

    Good luck!!

  8. #7
    FoD
    FoD is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    I just received my CS Cradle Bushings, and am waiting to order the tool. I have an 05, so hopefully it works trouble-free for me. Pics indeed please.

  9. #8
    V-twin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Just finished at 11 pm. Took some pics. I'll post them later this week.

  10. #9
    V-twin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Ok, as promised... here's a pic of a 2004 CTS-V rear subframe cradle bushing (my brother's car). Notice the subframe where the bushing is installed flares at the bottom. The creative steel tool uses this flared area to press the bushing out of the subframe. The flange on the bushing on the '04 is a smaller diameter than the subframe flare, so the tool can sit on the subframe flare to press the sleeve out.



    Here's a picture of the front subframe cradle bushing on my car (2006 CTS-V). Note the flange of the bushing is a larger diameter than the subframe flare. The tool will not fit over the flange to sit on the subframe, so will not press the sleeve out.



    The solution:
    Cut the flange off each bushing sleeve so the tool will fit over the bushing and sit on the subframe flare. I used a 4 1/2" angle grinder with a .045" cut-off wheel:



    Make sure you wear safety glasses, and wear a long sleeve shirt which you can throw away. You'll have little bits of melted rubber sprayed all over behind the cutting wheel. It took a few days to get it all washed off my skin. Gloves are a good idea too. Also, cover up your rear brakes, and anything else you don't want covered in melted rubber spray:



    Here's one of the rear bushings, partially cut. Be especially careful on the rear bushings, as the flange on the bushing was pressed right up against the subframe. I found it worked well to cut most of the way through the flange, then use a pair of pliers to bend the flange up and down until it broke off. The front bushings were a little easier (and quicker) because the flange wasn't right against the subframe.



    Here's one of the rear bushings, with the flange cut off.



    Now you can get the Creative Steel tool over the bushing sleeve, and it will seat on the subframe flange:



    The cup included with the Creative Steel tool did not fit on top of the bushing at this point, so we pressed on the top of the bushing with the frame (as shown in the pic above), until the bushing was pressed in flush with the top of the subframe. Then the instructions included with the tool were followed.

    Success:



    Installation of the new Creative Steel subframe bushings was pretty easy. Just clean up the subframe, apply plenty of lube (which I wish Creative Steel would supply; I used some lithium grease which we had already) and press each bushing half into the subframe. A C-clamp pressing on the washers on top and bottom of the bushing worked well to press them in.

    Some notes about the tool:
    The design was nice, and instructions were simple, thorough and easy to follow. Looking at my brother's car, replacing his bushings with the tool should be a quick, 3-4 hour job.

    It took us about 11 hours, because of having to cut the flanges off the bushings, and a few other issues with the tool not being quite compatible with the '06 bushings. One extra tip: make sure the springs are correctly seated before you tighten up the subframe bolts. I didn't notice my driver's side spring was not seated correctly until the subframe was tightened and torqued down. That added some time and frustration. If you miss it, go ahead and lower the subframe again. I tried messing with a spring compressor, and ended up just lowering the subframe again.

    I spoke with Max at Creative Steel, and he was very understanding and offered to refund the cost of the tool rental because of the unexpected difficulty. I offered him some suggestions on some changes to make to get this to work much better with the '06 bushings, and sent him the old bushings I pulled out. He said he'll be working on it.

    Now some initial impressions after installation:
    I should note that I also installed a Revshift differential bushing and the Creative Steel wide wheel trailing arms with poly bushings (not the Johnny Joints). The car definitely feels more solid in the rear. It rides a little bit rougher (I feel more bumps and road imperfections), and it transmits more road noise into the car as well. A worthwhile trade-off for me, for a more solid rear suspension.

  11. #10
    FuzzyLogic is offline Banned
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Quote Originally Posted by V-twin View Post
    Just clean up the subframe, apply plenty of lube (which I wish Creative Steel would supply; I used some lithium grease which we had already) and press each bushing half into the subframe.
    Unless you carefully checked the ingredients list beforehand for petroleum distillates, I would NEVER use lithium grease with polyurethane bushings. Most petroleum products will soften and eat polyurethane bushings. Or soften them to the point where applied force will cause the metal core and sleeve to gradually erode it. You should have used a synthetic, moly-based grease (great) or PTFE-based grease (good).

    Quote Originally Posted by V-twin View Post
    Now some initial impressions after installation:
    I should note that I also installed a Revshift differential bushing and the Creative Steel wide wheel trailing arms with poly bushings (not the Johnny Joints). The car definitely feels more solid in the rear. It rides a little bit rougher (I feel more bumps and road imperfections), and it transmits more road noise into the car as well. A worthwhile trade-off for me, for a more solid rear suspension.
    Nobody has reported road noise or harshness with the 95A Revshift subframe bushings, or the 95A TurninConcepts (TiC) or 95A Revshift trailing arm bushings. In fact, my experience with them was that the car got quieter, not louder. I wonder if Creative Steel's metal cores are too long or thick. The last time I heard someone report noise after doing a subframe bushing swap, they had replaced the subframe bushings with custom, solid aluminum bushings.

  12. #11
    V-twin is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyLogic View Post
    Unless you carefully checked the ingredients list beforehand for petroleum distillates, I would NEVER use lithium grease with polyurethane bushings. Most petroleum products will soften and eat polyurethane bushings. Or soften them to the point where applied force will cause the metal core and sleeve to gradually erode it. You should have used a synthetic, moly-based grease (great) or PTFE-based grease (good).
    Thanks for the warning. I'll check the ingredients.


    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyLogic View Post
    Nobody has reported road noise or harshness with the 95A Revshift subframe bushings, or the 95A TurninConcepts (TiC) or 95A Revshift trailing arm bushings. In fact, my experience with them was that the car got quieter, not louder. I wonder if Creative Steel's metal cores are too long or thick. The last time I heard someone report noise after doing a subframe bushing swap, they had replaced the subframe bushings with custom, solid aluminum bushings.
    I wondered about the length of the metal core too. I'll have to look and see if there is any play in the bushings over the core.

  13. #12
    FuzzyLogic is offline Banned
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    Re: need help! cradle bushing removal, creative steel tool

    Quote Originally Posted by V-twin View Post
    I wondered about the length of the metal core too. I'll have to look and see if there is any play in the bushings over the core.
    While you're at it, the torque spec on the front-facing subframe bushings is 195 ft-lbs, and for the rear ones, it's 141 ft-lbs. All three differential bolts are 129 ft-lbs. If you didn't take a torque wrench to the differential bolts, I can almost guarantee that you're under 100 ft-lbs right now. If so, be warned that the bolts will loosen with use.

    If you're looking for grease, I use Redline 80402 CV-2 (a synthetic, moly-based grease) for metal-to-metal contact and Mercury 2-4-C marine lubricant (a synthetic PTFE-based grease) for general purpose lubrication. 2-4-C has excellent water shedding characteristics, and should (testing in progress) beat Energy Suspension Formula 5, which Revshift recommends for polyurethane bushings. ES Formula 5 is just a generic, PTFE-based grease, whereas 2-4-C was designed and tested for life in a constantly wet environment.

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