: Idle Arm FIX

01-13-08, 11:25 AM
Hey guys my idle arm bushing is worn out and my car experiences bump steer especially when there are roots on the roads, and I was looking for a cheaper fix and maybe we can come up with some information or solutions...

Mercedes Benz has a fix kit that comes with new bolt, bushing and something else I just cant remember what it was...but it looks darn close to the one on our cars....

I talked to the dealer and they want somewhere in the 90$ :banghead: range for the whole arm for our cars when its just the stupid bushing that is worn out... so does anyone have any ideas as to what to do with it....

01-13-08, 10:03 PM
I'll be watching this thread... same issue here.

01-13-08, 10:27 PM
From GM Parts Cheap:

Retail - $147.98
Discount - $110.99

The bushing doesn't seem to be available from GM as a separate part. Our British friends may have a source. You could try a supplier like Prothane.com if you have the old bushing to measure.


01-14-08, 10:45 AM
Hey guys, any of you out there with a repair manual for any of the years 96-01 can you look up the suspension and steering section and tell me what they say about the Idler arm and its bushing, I bet they got a part number for the bushing in there... I found a ton of bushings from Rockauto.com but I need to figure out which one will fitu ours...


01-14-08, 11:55 AM
So after some more research I found a bunch of bushings off that rockauto site and they seem like they may just work... I just need to verify the diamters and then see if the length will fit ours...

The following are pictures of the Arm and the bushing installed.

This bushing seems to be the same but its listed for 1974 Beetle...

These other ones look similar too...

01-14-08, 11:56 AM
I'll check Alldata for you and re-post

01-14-08, 11:59 AM
. 5 - Idler Arm . 9195731
. $145.58
. 6 - Idler Arm Bracket . 90445587
. $137.60

Labor . Skill
. Mfg.
. Std.

Idler Arm
. Replace . B
. 0.3
. 0.5
. . Does Not Include: Adjust Toe-In.

01-14-08, 12:04 PM
Service and Repair

Idler Arm Replacement

Removal Procedure

Tools Required
J 42089 Linkage Installer
J 42400 Relay Rod Removal Tool
Notice: Do not attempt to disconnect a steering linkage joint by driving a wedge between the joint and the attached part. Seal damage may result which will cause premature failure of the joint.

Caution: To help avoid personal injury when a vehicle is on a hoist, provide additional support for the vehicle at the opposite end from which components are being removed. This will reduce the possibility of the vehicle falling off the hoist.

Raise and support the vehicle.
Remove the idler arm bolts.
Remove the relay rod-to-idler arm ball stud nut.
Use the J 42400 to remove idler arm from the relay rod.
Installation Procedure

Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Service Precautions.

Install the idler arm and bolts.
Tighten the idler arm bolts to 60 Nm (44 ft. lbs.) .
Install the relay rod to the idler arm.
Install the J 42089 to the relay rod ball stud.
Tighten the J 42089 to 30 Nm (22 ft. lbs.) .
Remove the J 42089 from the relay rod ball stud. Important: Use a new self-locking idler arm ball stud nut.
Install the relay rod-to-idler arm ball stud nut.
Tighten the relay rod-to-idler arm ball stud nut to 60 Nm (44 ft. lbs.) .
Lower the vehicle.

I have pics of the install if you need them

01-14-08, 12:17 PM
That would be great in a mean time I am trying to figure out the way the linkage looks and some dimentions so that I can figure out who makes the bushing... Federal Mogul and TRW make a lot of these parts so I am hoping we can figure out the bushing P/N.
THes are not mine but they show the arm and you can see the bushing in the lower end...

01-16-08, 02:58 PM
No luck so far with figuring out which manufacturer makes the bushing, I tried talking to the Rockauto folks and they are not willing to help at all they say if its not for the car that its listed then they cant sell it or help me out... so I assume the sales people are far away from the shipping location so they cant even measure the confirm the size...

So I am off to the dealer who agreed to sell it to me for 97$ + Tax...

01-16-08, 04:50 PM
Well I gave up and got it from the dealer, her is the part and the bushing that gets messed up and clearly you would need some sort of a press to stick that thing in there otherwise if you heat it up you have a chance of damaging the bushing... next up will be installation pictures...

You gotta love GM packaging, its quite efficient, One box inside another, inside another....


01-16-08, 04:55 PM
Take some measurements to verify whether that MBenz or any other bushing will fit for the future. Any machine shop will press the bushing out and in for cheap.


01-17-08, 07:34 AM
I looked at the available repari kits from mercedes and they feature a double bushing that slids from either side of the arm and then a bolt that would tighten the two together whereas we have a long sleve that sticks out over an inch past the arm base, so we will be better off with bushings from MOOG or one other place that which I cant remember the name of. I will figure out what this one measures at and then the hunt continues, I bet one of those on rockauto will fit ours...

Too bad I cant get anyone from iside GM to confirm the supplier or any of the part numbers...

01-19-08, 03:08 PM
Here is the installation of this part... , I want to mention to the ones who are going to do this repair in the future, never to hit the stud that comes out of the ball joint because that will get wedged in the other part and then you will have a ton of headaches..

Total repair took about an hour, also my tires are pretty bad now, cupped and feathered on the inside edge, but steering wheel is tighter then ever before and feels very good...


frank moran
01-19-08, 04:23 PM
Man you are a photographer, good job. What tool did you use to separate the joint on the idler arm? it looks like you put an outer tie rod end on also, thanks for the good info.

01-19-08, 05:31 PM
Here is what I was talking about...
Tap on the green arrows a few times and the joint should come loose, if you tap on the RED arrows you will run into the chance of riveting the joint together, so just be patient and tap it a few times. Mine came loose after 5-6 taps on the idler arm and probably 3 taps on the tie rod end and both came loose real quick. I realized that the rod end was messed up too once I changed the idler arm so I had to replace it.

If your steering feels loose this is probably one of the reasons why it is... and now my car doesnt dance around any more, and stays on the road quite planted... Before it used to move left or right based on the way the road was angled...


01-29-08, 12:55 PM
Well Here is the alignment data, you can see how bad the toe was affected by the worn parts...

06-11-09, 01:24 AM
Hello every one... After this forum, I confirm that... My 98 Catera idle arm bushing has a problem... I was looking for a cheaper fix and maybe we can come up with some information or solutions like where a can buy those parts... Thanks

06-11-09, 11:23 AM
I know the bushing can be pushed out and new one can be inserted but no one was willing to give me an exact OD of the bushing so I had to buy a new arm from the dealer it was around 100$ but it fixed many of my problems.

Good Luck.

06-11-09, 01:13 PM
From GM Parts Cheap:

Retail - $147.98
Discount - $110.99

The bushing doesn't seem to be available from GM as a separate part. Our British friends may have a source. You could try a supplier like Prothane.com if you have the old bushing to measure.


WOW!!! You guys are getting some cheap prices but im assuming most of you live in the U.S.

I had to do rotors and pads all the way around and an ideler arm for my saftey. Well price out the brakes and got quotes any where between 600-790$ so i did some searching and ended up getting them for 360$.

I have buddy's that work at napa, canadian tire, and partsource and they all told me that the ideler arm was a dealer item only. So went and priced it out and holy**** they want $307 +tax!!! That's the best price i could find besides on ebay witch was around $140 shipped. Well iv also got a buddy that works at a local scrap yard so i decided to go there and got one for $25, put it on and passed my saftey! Gotta love scrap yards!

11-08-09, 04:29 PM
check this site that i found for parts..this maybe help.for thoses that try to find something cheaper.

11-10-09, 01:19 AM
check this site that i found for parts..this maybe help.for thoses that try to find something cheaper.

Damn where was this when I was looking for it!...

03-25-10, 07:30 PM
Ive actually had 3 different Parts stores tell me to look on E-Bay. Weird.....

Cadi Cat
03-26-10, 07:25 PM
would a wheel alignment be required doing just the idler arm? I have an extra one laying around and plan on putting it on sometime soon. I think I'm begining to feel a small amount of center play in the steering.