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1st Gen Dakota '96 & Older Dakota's

Need some advice

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Old 03-15-2017, 09:09 PM
dakota1996
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Default Need some advice

Okay guys as some know I've been doing a 5.9 swap and I have decided to do many other things which I will update later. My big question right now is I need to replace bushings in the front end. I ended up finding out that AutoZone can special order new arms with bushings in them from dodge. They are $141 for the top arms. Is it less trouble to do that or try to change the bushings myself? I've heard the top arms are a pain in the ***
 
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:31 PM
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The top arms are indeed a pain the ***. You can see how I did them here. I'd say it's worth it to get new arms.

https://dodgeforum.com/forum/1st-gen...ml#post3197211
 
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:06 PM
dakota1996
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Originally Posted by tbugden View Post
The top arms are indeed a pain the ***. You can see how I did them here. I'd say it's worth it to get new arms.

https://dodgeforum.com/forum/1st-gen...ml#post3197211
​​​​​​its 50$ for bushings for upper and lower on one side. Think it's definitely worth the extra cash to change the arm?
 
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:07 PM
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Also what about the lowers? Are they much easier?
 
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:18 AM
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Edit...wait do you have 2wd?

Well it's up to you I guess. If you've got time and patience go right ahead. if you've got other important things to do but got some extra cash then just buy new ones. It's a pain but I got it done with only a little swearing. Firstly I'd make sure the ball joint will thread out without issue, if it needs to be changed. I had to press mine out, they just wouldn't turn. But the new ones threaded in fine.

Lowers are easy. No crossbar to mess with. Can just burn or drill out the center part of the bushing then use a sawzall or hacksaw to cut a section out of the outer sleeve. A bit time consuming but not hard.
 
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:37 AM
dakota1996
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Originally Posted by tbugden View Post
Edit...wait do you have 2wd?

Well it's up to you I guess. If you've got time and patience go right ahead. if you've got other important things to do but got some extra cash then just buy new ones. It's a pain but I got it done with only a little swearing. Firstly I'd make sure the ball joint will thread out without issue, if it needs to be changed. I had to press mine out, they just wouldn't turn. But the new ones threaded in fine.

Lowers are easy. No crossbar to mess with. Can just burn or drill out the center part of the bushing then use a sawzall or hacksaw to cut a section out of the outer sleeve. A bit time consuming but not hard.
No I have 4wd. And the ball joints on the truck are all only maybe a year old I replaced them already. And on the bottoms do I need to like remove the torsion bars ??
 
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:49 AM
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I don't know if you can do it without removing the t-bars. I imagine you could unbolt the control arm and maybe push it downwards enough to get to the bushings. Seems plausible to me, I don't know. I did it off the truck.
 
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:29 AM
93 ragtop
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FWIW I believe you are getting some bad information on availability. Drawing from memory, you can use a poly kit for a 97. Actually the uppers are the same for 97 as the 96. However the lower is different. There are post showing how to cut the lower bushing to fit....

Also, there is no outer sleeve to replace on the lower. it is part of the control arm.

Edit to add, I tried upper 97 arms on mine, but the ball joint stud is a different size.
 

Last edited by 93 ragtop; 03-16-2017 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:42 AM
dakota1996
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I have never messed with removing t bars what Is the best way to go about that? And by bad information are you saying that there are no control arms I can buy? And so it sounds like the lowers are a pain as well?
 
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 93 ragtop View Post

Also, there is no outer sleeve to replace on the lower. it is part of the control arm.
Really? Dang I didn't remember that. I thought I cut a sleeve out of it but I must have been mistaken. Apologies for the misinformation.

I agree that I also don't recall UCAs being available at the time I was looking.
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