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Shocks, Struts, Control Arm & Ball Joints


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:o I had my suspension checked today, I don't know how the mechanic could check all the suspension since it only took about 30mins. When he finished, he said my car 92 LS 400, 102,000miles needed the the upper, lower control arms on both sides and both sides on the back, ball joints, shocks back and front, struts back and front, and a whopping estimate of $2,6000 for the job. My car is making the squeeking sound which is probably the control arm bushings and also needs shocks and struts. I am a little suspicious of my car needing both sets of control arms on both the back and the front. It this a common replacement and the cost of the repair. The mechanic said that the labor would be just as a much to replace the ball joints and it would be cheaper to get the control arms, (which I beleive comes with the bushing and ball joints). I saw the estimate and told him I had checked on shocks and control arm prices, and he said he would have to call and check on the part numbers and prices. I just want advice on what parts I should replace at this point or should I get another mechanic opinion. When I called the toyota dealer to check on part prices he said he has never heard of anyone replacing all 8 control arms before and suggest I get it checked out at their dealership.

Any advice is deeply appreciate.

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For once, I actually agree with what the dealer said. At 102k, there is no way that you need to replace all 8 control arms. You don't drive like a bat out of hell over pot hole covered roads, do you? The front lower control arms are usually the first to go and then MAYBE the rear lowers. I'd get it checked out somewhere else first and see what they say.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The control arm itself does not wear out, it's just the rubber bushing that provides the mounting point that wears out. And at 102k miles, they are probably gone, even though they may look okay on an inspection. Toyota does not supply bushings as a separate item, they will only provide an entire new control arm (with bushing already installed) for repairs.

There are suppliers who will see you the bushings alone. You can take these to most any suspension shop and they can remove your current control arms, take out the old bushings and press in the new ones. Replacement bushings can be very inexpensive (~$100 for a full set), but these tend to be pretty hard and can squeak a lot. There's a guy in Australia who makes a very good set of rubber bushings, but these are on the pricey side (~$1000).

Check PlanetSoarer for more info.

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