The steering geometry includes the transverse arm as an integral component. It is used to connect the front wheel to the frame of the vehicle.
Because it is supported by bearings, it can be adjusted in height and also provides some clearance to the sides.
These bearings are made up of a thick rubber sleeve that is firmly pressed against the swing arm. If these sleeves become porous as a result of age or other external influences, the cross arm will lose its stability.
How to detect a defective cross arm
The swingarm is a fairly massive piece made up of welded plates.
The swingarm is fairly In most cases, the part does not deteriorate as long as the vehicle does not sustain any damage to the wheels or rust on the component.
The inserted bushings are the part of the vehicle that is most susceptible to damage. Even though they are constructed out of solid rubber, they are still subject to wear and tear over time.
They are susceptible to tearing, and the rubber may lose its elasticity. When this happens, the swing arm is unable to properly support the front wheel, and its mobility is restricted to the axles that it is attached.
Instead, the worn cross arm gives the wheel unwanted play, which can manifest itself in the following ways:
– The car no longer maintains steering exactly
– The car rumbles with every unevenness of the ground
– The car’s steering is very “spongy”
– The car swerves right away
– Squealing tires
– The car no longer maintains steering exactly
– Because of this, it is imperative that this component is changed out as quickly as humanly possible.
To successfully change a cross arm, you need the following:
- 1 lifting platform
- 1 gear lift
- 1 torque wrench
- 1 set of spanner wrenches
It shouldn’t be too difficult to pinpoint the source of a faulty cross arm or its bearing. The porous and cracked thick rubber bushings that are tightly integrated are held in place by a strong adhesive.
If the problem is already obvious while the vehicle is in motion, the bushing has most likely already completely failed.
In order to view the open cracks in the cross arm, it is merely moved up and down by means of a lever or on the front wheel.
Since it is extremely important that the rubber bushing and the cross arm are firmly connected to each other, they cannot be replaced separately.
It has a sturdy connection to the welded sheet metal component so there will be no risk of injury. In the event that it fails, the only option is to replace the component in its entirety.
On the other hand, cross arms are not very expensive, so this is not something that normally presents a problem.
It is a lot simpler to switch out the bushings and the entire cross arm as opposed to just the bushings alone.
Put Your Safety First!
As a result, a platform lift would be the most suitable option. If this cannot be done, the vehicle should also be supported by stands while it is being worked on.
However, special precautions need to be taken to ensure the vehicle’s safety while it is supported by stands:
– The vehicle should never be supported by the jack alone!
– Ensure that the vehicle is always positioned on stable bases at all times!
– Make sure the handbrake is pulled, the gear is engaged, and safety chocks are placed underneath the rear wheels!
– Never work alone!
– Do not attempt to lift the vehicle utilizing any makeshift supports, such as stones, tires, or squared-off pieces of timber. This is not a repair manual in the traditional sense; rather, it is merely a general description of the steps to follow in order to change the cross arm.
Step by step
We would like to bring to your attention that switching out a cross arm is a task that should only be attempted by a trained mechanic.
We will not be held liable for any damages incurred as a result of following the procedures and activities outlined in this article in any way, shape, or form.
1. Take off the wheel
After the vehicle has been positioned on the lift platform, the wheel on the side that is damaged is taken off.
2. Loosen the screws
The manner in which the cross arm is attached to the vehicle is contingent on the type of vehicle. The connection on the vertical linkage bar typically consists of a bolt, while wheels typically have three bolts and frames typically have two.
One of the frame bolts is placed in a vertical orientation, while the other is placed in a horizontal orientation.
By utilizing the angled wrench, its lock nut can be held in place while the vertical bolt’s loosening process is carried out. After that, you can turn the screw counterclockwise from the bottom of the device.
3. First, undo the bolts holding the swing arm in place on the wheel side.
Remove the swing arm. After that, the screw that secures the cross arm to the horizontal frame is removed, and the cross arm is then free to move.
4. Install the new cross arm
The new swing arm will take the place of the older component once it has been installed. The component is initially fastened to the wheel.
A few turns are now used to tighten the three bolts that are attached to the wheel anchor. Before we can move on with the assembly, this component needs to be tested.
After that, the horizontal frame bolt is screwed in place, and then it is tightened with two to three turns of the thread.
Adjusting the screw that holds the vertical frame in place might be a little more difficult.
Despite this, you should proceed with caution and awareness so that you do not end up damaging the rubber bushings that have been installed in the new cross arm.
WARNING: Incorrect assembly shortens the service life of the new swing arm!
It is imperative that the cross-arm frame bolts not be tightened while the front wheel is suspended.
In theory, a cross arm’s connection to the frame is not considered to be secure until the front wheel shock has been compressed and the vehicle is subjected to normal load conditions.
In the rubber bushing, destructive torsional forces will immediately arise if the cross arm is bolted on too early. Because of this, its useful life will be cut by at least half.
5. Now raise the front wheel with the gear lift until the shock is compressed approximately fifty percent,
This is the position that it normally sits in when being driven. In this manner, the rubber bushings of the cross arm will have the appropriate amount of tension applied to them and will not twist in an abnormal manner.
Now, tighten all of the bolts to the torque that was specified.
6. After the wheel has been mounted, the alignment should be checked.
Finally, the front wheel should be mounted and tightened to the recommended torque.
Because replacing a cross arm will always require an adjustment to the steering geometry, the vehicle in question should then be taken to a reputable auto repair shop so that the wheel alignment can be inspected.
7. It is not always necessary to change the bearing on the cross arm, so this step should not be taken without careful consideration.
The bearing can be changed, but doing so requires specialized equipment due to the difficulty of the process and the low cost of the bearings themselves.
If the appropriate instrument is not available, it is recommended that the cross arm and bearing be assembled in advance, and then the entire assembly should be replaced as a single unit.
The cross-arm bearing establishes a horizontal connection between the cross-arm and the frame. Because it is a separate component, the cross arm is not necessarily shipped together in every order.
As can be seen, it is taken apart like this. After that, a brand new one is put in place, and the old one is extracted from the bearing with the assistance of an appropriate compression tool.
TIP: A defective swing arm bearing can also be cut with a jigsaw.
In the majority of situations, making a single cut through the bearing and all the way to the cross arm pin is all that is required.
When this occurs, the bearing is typically unstressed sufficient to allow the cross arm to be removed. The final step is to reinstall the bearing by screwing it onto the bolt.
The use of a spanner wrench and a few hammers blows in order to get the bearing on is not recommended despite the fact that it is a common technique among amateur mechanics.
Insertion that is done carefully with the assistance of a bolt or bolt clamp is much kinder to both of the components. Therefore, the service life of this difficult-to-replace part is considerably extended.
However, purchasing it as a complete set will save you a significant amount of money.
This is because a complete set for the front axle includes the following components: a cross arm, a tie rod, a ball joint, steering rods, a bearing for the cross arm, an articulated bracket, and a ball joint.
A complete set for the front axle consists of:
Altering these components requires very little additional labor when compared to simply replacing the swing arm.
Because adjusting the wheel alignment is a necessary step after making the change, it is prudent to consider replacing the entire axle in a single step of work.
After all, every component experiences the same process of aging. If the cross arm is defective, then all of the other parts will fail in a relatively short amount of time as well.
At this point, a complete replacement indicates that the part has been completely reconditioned and that it will be safe to use for a significant amount of time in the future.