1st Generation Specific (1979-1985) 1979-1985 Discussion including performance modifications and technical support sections

idler Arm Bushings gone after less than a year

Old 05-27-19, 11:11 PM
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idler Arm Bushings gone after less than a year

Last year, before i was confident with working on the car, I took my 79 in for State inspection so I could get plates for it, and it failed on the idler arm. I had them replace it. Long story short, the idler arm moves up and down a good 1/4 inch. It doesn't seem to have bushings anymore. (see pic below).
This is an occasional driver, I've put less than 2000 miles on it since the idler was replaced.
The rubber bushings on the tie rods are really worn out, so think they should should be replaced.

Would those worn out bushings cause the idler arm to wear out in less than a year or should I look else where before I buy these parts: MOOGK9369 idler arm and Moog inner and outer tie rods. Or should I just get bushings for the idler arm, and replace the tie rods?

Also, do I have to replace the control arms. There has been much debate on the safety of replacing the ball joints.




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Old 05-28-19, 12:38 AM
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Well, you have the first option of just RE-replacing the Idler bushings - all of about $15 for a set. Then drive and check for failure over time.
As you say, if the damage is the result of other worn components, then...
Have you checked the tie rod ends? Is there play? What is the mileage on your SA? Did the car see any track or slolam time in a previous life?
My 80 is now at about 102,000 mi with the original suspension rubber bits still in place, and still is reasonably firm and true. The idler is fine. Now I am not suggesting one should run that mileage and NOT swap out components (it on my 2doList), but it would be nice to narrow down your failure here.

Moog parts are excellent, and numerous folk here have indicated the Moog Idler Arm is a particularly well-built unit.

Stu Aull
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AZ
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Old 05-28-19, 02:13 AM
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looks like antifreeze dissolved the bushing
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Old 05-28-19, 05:28 AM
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It's time to replace your idler arm with a Moog unit. They are stiffer than the original unit and can in some cases even improve steering feel. I have never had one fail on me.

Heat from the exhaust softens and helps to break the original bushings down. Perhaps the bushings that were installed on your car were not the best of quality.
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Old 05-28-19, 07:51 AM
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If you have a header it will eat those things for breakfast. They can't handle the heat. Get the MOOG arm and never worry about it again. As to the other bits. MOOG makes good part there as well. I have my whole front suspension done up with MOOG replacement parts and no issues. Been a few years on it with some hard driving.
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Old 05-28-19, 10:53 AM
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Did you ensure the idler arm had grease? The MOOG unit has a grease zerk, other wise you have to do it by hand. The green sure looks like chewed up bushing.
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Old 05-28-19, 11:04 AM
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yep i did that many yrs ago and it's a waste of time. don't cheep out on suspension/steering components. get the moog unit, fix it once, and be done with it.
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Old 05-28-19, 12:06 PM
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The Moog unit is worth every penny. Do it once, and never worry about it again.
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Old 05-28-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KansasCityREPU View Post
Did you ensure the idler arm had grease? The MOOG unit has a grease zerk, other wise you have to do it by hand. The green sure looks like chewed up bushing.
I didn't install the idler arm, so I do not know if they greased it. The arm was a new unit. So, if I replace the bushings, it looks like those just go into the top and bottom, do I just slather it all up with grease before installing?
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Old 05-28-19, 03:09 PM
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There's a reason 5 people that responded to your thread all recommended to replace the factory style idler arm-regardless of the fact it was new-with the Moog unit you listed in your original post. I'm #6. Replace it and be done with it. I have replaced the bushings in oe arms hundreds of times over the years,they don't last. The oe idler arm is a parts bin piece originally used on the GLC and should have been upgraded for use on 1st gens.
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Old 05-28-19, 03:12 PM
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Good to know a bit of the history on this part. Will order the replacement parts instead of farking with it. Thx!
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Old 05-28-19, 03:56 PM
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Just read your posts on this other thread, GSLSEForme, thanks for that info too!
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Old 05-28-19, 06:56 PM
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Go MOOG ,I recommend it 10/10 . you're also going to need a grease gun and a U shaped bearing puller to pop the idler arm out. I did this job last summer and it took me about an hour ( had to go buy a grease gun)

Last edited by Frogman; 05-28-19 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:43 AM
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Finally got here, and got it installed in about an hour. No more clunking. Now that it's installed, I can feel no play in the tie rods. I do still have about an inch of play in the steering wheel, but turning feels much more solid. My concern about the tie rods was really just the rubber caps looking kinda cruddy.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:53 AM
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They think your tie rods have bushings?


Maybe try taking your car somewhere that doesn't employ people who couldn't make it into Taco Bell.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:57 AM
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No, I was the one that thought that, as I'm ignorant, but learning. After I just installed the new moog idler, I figured that out. It's all new to me.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:22 PM
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Steering may feel a little heavy for @100 miles. You did grease both fittings on idler arm til grease oozed out of rubber seals? An inch of play in steering wheel is not bad.

What's next on the list?
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Old 06-01-19, 08:30 PM
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It's time to get the plates renewed, so that means a state inspection. If nothing comes up on that, I have an 81 distributor to replace my 79 points one. After that I'm looking for the bottom lip of the front of the car. Then on to the interior, and surface rust cleanup on the bottom where the undercoat came off
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Old 06-02-19, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by toddk042 View Post
It's time to get the plates renewed, so that means a state inspection. If nothing comes up on that, I have an 81 distributor to replace my 79 points one. After that I'm looking for the bottom lip of the front of the car. Then on to the interior, and surface rust cleanup on the bottom where the undercoat came off
The bottom lip is called a Valence. You can make your own with 3 cm plastic. I made one and it looks oem
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