FINALLY, a chance to install something! To review, I'm updating the front lower control arms in my S4s to those used in '98 and later V8s. You'll need the following parts:

Lotus Part Number




Lower Wishbone



Lower Wishbone


A082C42510F X 4

Pivot Bush, Lwr

8.73 EA

A075C6000Z X 2

Pivot Bush, Lwr

17.48 EA

A075W3069Z X 2

Nyloc Nut M14X1

2.18 EA

A082C6040F X 2

Bush Anti Roll

14.30 EA

A089C6089F X 2

Ball Joint, Lwr

87.22 EA

???????? X 4

Circlip for Anti Roll Bushing

???? EA


First we have to press the bushings and balljoints into the control arms. Here is how you do it:

  1. Drop bushings and control arms off at machine shop.
  2. Pick them up.

But why should I take my own advice? Afterall, the hydraulic press is only $75 delivered from our friends at Harbor Freight.

It didn't occur to me that I don't actually own anything to press with. You need something approximately the size of each bushing you're going to press. For those of us without access to random metal tubing, that means buying Really Big Sockets. I ended up with the following (keep in mind that I will NEVER, EVER use these again unless another Esprit owner wants bushings pressed in):

  1. 30mm 12 point Craftsman socket (I actually owned this one).
  2. 28mm 12 point Husky socket from Home Depot.
  3. 1 5/16" Craftsman socket.
  4. 1 5/8" Craftsman socket.

Of course it isn't even that easy. I had to modify the 1 5/8" socket to press in the balljoint. And you have circlip pliers, right? Yep, we're having fun now.

 Before you get started, you'll want to trim the larger inner bushing slightly. It's just a bit too large. Just knock a little bit off one end with your bench grinder until it fits nicely.

So it's a complete waste of time and money, but pressing in the bushings is satisfying in a Tim Allen "rrrrr rrrr rrrr" way. Tons of force at your command. Just be sure you have everything lined up before you go nuts!


If you take a close look at the original arms, you'll probably see that the inner bushing isn't pressed in evenly. The bushing sleeve is pressed a little past flush with the back of the control arm and sticks out a little at the front. The side you just trimmed should be on the back side. Since my press is not very large, I have to press from the back to the front. The 28mm Husky socket fits the bushing nearly perfectly. Even better would probably be a 27mm 12 pt socket with the inner points machined off but I couldn't quite justify a milling machine for my control arm upgrade. ("Honey, you'll have to move the car when the guys get here with the CNC machine.").

Next comes the antiroll bar bushing. This one is much easier to install. I bring you two tips: buy new circlips and install the front one before you start pressing. I don't know what I was thinking ("hey look, I saved $10!") because it is a PITA to remove the old circlip from the front of the arm. Just order new ones.

The antiroll bushing is a two step process. Go as far as you can with the 1 5/16" socket, then finish up with the 30mm. You don't want to try to start with the smaller socket because it's only pushing on the rubber part of the bushing.

Here's the second circlip going in.

The balljoint is probably the easiest of the three. Set your anvils up with a small opening, put the balljoint down, and set the control arm over it. Use the modified 1 5/8" socket in conjunction with the 28mm socket to press the arm down.

And VOILA! One lower control arm, ready to install. Notice the sticker remnants. This would never pass muster with Grasso.

Skipping ahead past the cursing and banging, we have one shiny new lower control arm. Install the inside first, letting the arm hang straight down. This give you maximum access with the all-important rubber mallet. Lots of soapy water helps get those front bushings into place. I applied anti-sieze liberally on the through bolts incase I ever need to take it apart again.

You'll run into a little trouble with the balljoint. The drag of the new locknut is easily enough force to spin the balljoint. I have no idea what the pros do but I just tightened the nut with a 17mm wrench under it so the nylon part of the locknut didn't hit the threads. That pulled the balljoint into place enough to tighten the nut normally.


Thanks for stopping by. I'm hoping to get the transaxle next week for some real fun. I really miss driving this car.

Stay tuned for our next installment of Don't Break It.

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