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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SAAB 9-3 Rear Hub Lower Bushing Replacement 24469643

Disclamers:

-I’m NOT a licenced mechanic, and therefore NOT responsible for any negative/unintended consequences from following below steps.
-sorry, a few pics loaded upside down for some reason

Introduction:

The SAAB 9-3, much like the rest of GM’s Epsilon platform cars, has a press fit rubber-metallic bush instead of a rear lower ball joint.

My car is 15 y/o, so these bushes have been getting progressively worse for the last 5 years to the point of partial disintegration & deformation (pic 1). Until very recently however, I had no idea how to replace them without removing the entire hub assembly- a complicated and expensive procedure. The below method however, requires no disassembly, save for the few simple steps to access the bush (not detailed here) and costs nothing assuming you have a few basic hand tools.

To summarise, I used a gear puller to press out the old bushes and then press in the new bushes. Below is a list of everything you'll need:


-OEM Tools 3 Jaw Gear Puller part # 27078 (loaned from AutoZone)
-Large "breaker" ratchet or torque wrench
-16 mm heavy duty socket

-pusher & adapter (see below for what I used)

-SAAB rear hub bushes part #24469643 (x2)


Sorry, don’t have any pics of pressing out the old bushes, but its an almost identical procedure to pressing in the new bushes except for one extra step: before pressing out the perished bushes, clean where they meet with the hub with a wire brush and liberally soak with penetrating oil 24-48 hours before commencing. This may seem like a fairly obvious thing to do, but want to stress it regardless, as it will make the job much easier.


Procedure:

1. First put a short breaker bar between the lower suspension lever and sub-frame (best visible in pic 3) to help isolate the empty hub hole (pic 11) that is ready to receve a new bush.

2. Next, create a pusher cup to be put between the bush and gear puller’s crank screw. The bush's outer diameter is 45mm, so I used a Lisley 32mm oil change socket (pt. # 14700) and a 1/4" to 3/8" adapter assembly. (pic 2)

3. Now, put together your canking assembly. This can be done multiple ways. (pic 3)

I first put the assembly from step 1 together with the new bush, and then put this formed assembly flush againt the hole on the back side of the hub closer to the bumper, as that’s where you’ll have room. (I had the arch liner already removed for another repair, which gave even more space.) I did not grease the hub hole to ease insertion, as these are press fit parts meant to be held in with pressure & friction. It may still be okay to grease it.

Next, attach the gear puller to that formed assembly by inserting the pusher screw into the adapter. Now, hand crank the puller's screw until its three jaws are able to reach to the other side of the hub closer to the front of the car. Keep hand tightening the puller's screw until the three jaws hold onto the hub without assistance. The key here is to have everything be as straight as possible for the ratchet cranking in the next step.

4. Once the puller screw is hand tight and the three jaws are able to independently hold onto the hub, attach a cranking mechanism to the crank nut on the puller and commence cranking. I used a long torque wrench and a 16mm spark plug socket. From the moment you commence cranking, you want to continuously monitor that the bush is going in evenly. If you see it going in significantly unevenly/sideways, STOP IMMEDIATELY, or you will deform and therefore destroy it! Then, loosen the assembly, realign, and try again.

5. When the bush has entered at least 1 cm evenly, you can rest assured it will continue going in evenly. (pic 4) At this point, you’ll probably hear the distinctive sound of the new bush being pressed in. Its a kind of high pitched squeaking/squealing sound...“please don’t push me in anymore...I don’t wanna go in...go away...noooooo!!!” Crank ruthlessly.

6. Once the bush has traversed the entire distance of the hole and is flush with the other side of the hub (pic 5) STOP cranking for a moment. Realize that the bush must be centered in the hub. Resume cranking VERY SLOWLY, while simultaniously using a small ruler to frequently measure how much the bush portrudes on each side. Cease all cranking when the bush is even in the hub, at which point 5mm of its outer ring will extend beyond the hub hole on each side. (pic 6)

Its very important to crank very little and measure very much at this point so you don’t overshoot the mark. Its very easy to over crank and mess everything up, as for some reason the bush begins to go in a lot easier right after emerging from the other side. If you end up pushing it too far, you will need to completely push out the bush before attempting to push it in again, as there is no access from the other side of the hub to push it in the opposite direction.

7. Now, repeat same process for other hub. (pics 7-10)

You may also want to:

-remove the rear springs to inspect & derust if necessary
-clean and lightly cover both rubber spring perch dampers with silicone paste
-inspect upper spring perch and surrounding area of unibody for rust
-check rubber bush of the partially detached lower aluminum control arm for exessive play
 

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