Making a Bushing Separator Tool & It Works!!
I try to convince myself that things in the automotive industry are built a certain way for a reason. In the case of the cab mount bushings on my 1997 F-350, it must be an assembly line thing. There is no other reason to have the bushings pressed together on the cab mount itself. So the simple task of replacing cab mount bushings on the beast just turned into an all day task. Instead of just undoing a few bolts, lifting the cab and swapping them out, I need to make a tool to pull these old bushings apart. No sense on whining about it, it’s time to make a bushing separator tool.
First thing I like to do before starting any type of repair project is do a little research. It never fails that there is always some sort of trick to get the job done right or make the job quicker and easier. If I hadn’t done any research I would have had a nightmare on my hands. Who would have known that these cab bushings were pressed together? Someone who has done this project before. I found out really quick that I need to make a tool that will be able to pull these bushings apart.
First thing I needed was a 3 inch inside diameter pipe of some sort. I chose to pick up a 1 foot piece of exhaust from the local parts store. It cost me about $8usd
Then I needed some 7/16 all thread to thread into the lower portion of the bushing- $5
I just happen to have a 4in square washer in my garage, which I will weld to the pipe. First I need to remove the galvanize coating with a flapper wheel on my new Milwaukee cordless grinder.
With the galvanized coating and the aluminized coating removed where I need to weld, it’s time to weld them together.
Since the hole in the square washer is a 3/4 inch hole, I need to weld a couple 7/16 washers on it. That way the all thread fits nice and snug and won’t move when I start tightening the nut. Plus the nut would dang near just go Ruth’s through the 3/4 hole
I welded a bigger diameter washer first, then a smaller one. To help add some strength because I have a feeling these bushings are going to be hard to separate.
I got to thinking that once the nut gets tightened down so far the all thread is going to want to spin. I need some way of holding it in place. A piece of flat bar should do. Drill a hole in the middle, insert the all thread, then weld both sides.
To use this bushing separator the all thread needs to be threaded into the bottom section of the bushing. Make sure it is threaded all the way in.
Then slide the pipe over the top of the bushing and tighten down the nut.
Now as the nut gets tightened it pushes down on the pipe. At the same time it is pulling the all thread down, which is attached to the bottom half of the bushing. Hopefully separating the 2 halves of the bushing.
I just kept tightening the nut down further and further wondering when it was going to break loose. When it got too tight to where I could barely turn it, I hit the pipe of piece, and the all thread bolt with a sledge hammer. In hopes of being able to jar things loose. I imagine there is some rust in there that is really holding things together and a few blows with a mini sledge hammer should help. Tighten it a bit, bang on it a bit and...
The metal washer/nut from the bushing is inside the tool. As you can see when I get the rubber bushing out of the way, the lower piece is pressing into the upper.
The homemade bushing separator tool working like a champ!! Now I am sure I could have possibly found some professional tool online but what is the fun in that?!? It’s a heck of a lot funnier to build one yourself and getting the satisfaction of it actually working.
Now all I need to do is remove the old rubber bushings and install my new ones. After I get the other 2 removed from the other side this little project turned all day event should be done.