Saab 9000 home-made front bush replacement tool

Back to Replacing the Saab 9000 front lower control arm bushes

To remove and replace the front bushes on the front lower control arms on my 9000 Aero, I put together the little home-made tool shown below. All dimensions are metric. If you work in imperial, you'll have to convert (well you did buy a European car!).

Bits you need

I brought one of my new front bushes shopping with me and found the following:

  • A piece of strong 38mm plastic wastepipe (I now know a metal pipe would be better)
  • A length of M8 threaded rod (for those not used to metric, M8 requires an 8mm hole)
  • Some M8 nuts and washers
  • A couple of big, stout washers (I didn't buy these - I borrowed some from the car's suspension)

The plastic pipe turned out to be strong enough for removing the old bushes, but I ruined a couple of pieces while pressing the new ones in - I got a 2m length for £0.99, so I had plenty to play with. If I had to do it again, I would look for copper or other metal pipe. I arrived at 38mm pipe simply because the bush fitted exactly inside it. This is the best way to choose your pipe - take the bush with you, especially if you can't get metric sizes.

The M8 threaded rod also fits exactly through the centre of the bush. Again, take the bush with you if you have to substitute an imperial size. You want the biggest that will fit through the centre of the bush. Get at least 3 nuts to fit and some large-ish washers.

Making the tool

Making the tool is easy (probably easier than using it):

  1. Cut a length of pipe to 100mm. This is not critical, but must be long enough to accommodate the bush as shown below:

  2. Cut a second length of pipe to 45mm. This is critical. Too long and it won't fit in the recess in the control arm. Too short and you won't be able to press the new bush fully home.

  3. If you need to cut the threaded rod, make it at least 220mm long.

  4. Assembly of the bits basically takes place when using the tool as shown below.

Using the tool

Please use this in conjunction with Replacing the Saab 9000 front lower control arm bushes, as there is important additional information there.

Removing the old bush
  1. Pass the threaded rod through the bush. You may need to tap it gently if there is rust or dirt in the way. Be careful not to damage the threads.

  2. Place the 100mm length of pipe over the front end of the bush.

  3. Place a large washer over the end of the pipe. I borrowed the washer from the rear bush.

  4. Screw a nut onto this end of the rod.

  5. Place a washer on the other end of the rod.

  6. Lock two nuts on this end of the rod. You should now have something like this:

  7. Use one spanner to hold the locked nuts still and another to tighten the other nut until the bush is pulled completely from its housing in the control arm.
Inserting the new bush
  1. Place the 45mm piece of pipe at the rear side of the bush housing.

  2. Pass the threaded rod through the housing and the pipe.

  3. Place a large washer over this end of the rod. Note the rear bush washer is too big to fit here. There is only room for a washer just slightly bigger than the pipe. Use a stout washer, as it needs to take some force. Place it carefully.

  4. Lock two nuts on this end of the threaded rod, as before.

  5. Lubricate the rubber part of the bush and slide it along the rod towards the front end of the housing.

  6. Place a washer over this end of the threaded rod.

  7. Screw a nut onto the rod. The arrangement should look like this:

  8. Again holding the locked nuts with one spanner, tighten the other nut to draw the bush into the housing. This took quite a bit of force with the bushes I used.

  9. I stopped partway through to place the rear aluminium bracket on the bush, just in case there wasn't room to get it on with the bush fully home. I needn't have bothered. It is tight, but there is room.

  10. I also found that the bush distorted somewhat from being dragged through the housing. I pulled it a little farther than it needed to go and dragged it back with the tool as arranged earlier. That straightened it out.