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Discussion Starter #1
What is the process for removing the rear control arms without totally dropping the rear cradle
 

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Drop one side of the cradle, unbolt control arm, bolt back in cradle, drop cradle on opposite side, unbolt control arm.
 

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Pontiac Fanboy
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It totally fucking sucks to do them without dropping the cradle. Buy yourself some rear cradle bolts and consider the cost an investment in saving time and grief.
 

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Really helps to have access to a lift. I had to pry quite a bit to get the outer bushing bolt out and having the car way off the ground was necessary.
 

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MacNav08
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Just got my 05 back from my mechanic today. He was swapping out a bent right rear control arm with a used one. He said he thought he was going to have to drop the rear cradle to get that outer bushing bolt out and back in, but he finally managed to get at it without having to. Thank goodness! He's the man....and that's why he's the only one I particularly want working on this car, besides me.

On a related note - it seems that rear control arms for these cars are pretty hard to find. There are no new ones available from GM, and no aftermarket options. Seems salvage yards are the only way to go, which is what we did in this case. Kinda scary....but glad it worked out this time.
 

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Drop the pipes, drop the plastic fairing (under the trunk) unbolt the rear diff mount, disconnect the sway bar links, disconnect the shocks (good luck on that one), unbolt the spindles, brake calipers and pop line clips, unbolt the outer cv joints, (a loop of wire or zippy around the top of the shock is a way to keep all that from hanging loose) drop the drive shaft, disconnect the toe rods and unplug the ABS pigs (not in that particular order, when you get under there you will figure it out). You will find dropping the sub and calling it a day looks a lot better when you get to the outside bushings; one of those deals that seem like the factory did that first then built the rest of the car around them. If the sub bushings are still factory drop it and replace them. Also if a sway bar upgrade is on the mod list do it with the cradle down, if you try to do it later you will find why you should have done it now. Doing shocks at this time is also not a bad idea; if you can get them off the spindle w/o destroying you will probably not want to go there again, I've had to cut the loop off before and it was still a PITA to get the bushing off the stud. If spring work is in order do it while you have the shocks off for the same reasons Dropping the cradle (IMO) is not kin to selling your soul; maybe I'm just lucky but I've had mine (as well as the front) out twice with no issues. Your results may vary of course.
 

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Drop the pipes, drop the plastic fairing (under the trunk) unbolt the rear diff mount, disconnect the sway bar links, disconnect the shocks (good luck on that one), unbolt the spindles, brake calipers and pop line clips, unbolt the outer cv joints, (a loop of wire or zippy around the top of the shock is a way to keep all that from hanging loose) drop the drive shaft, disconnect the toe rods and unplug the ABS pigs (not in that particular order, when you get under there you will figure it out). You will find dropping the sub and calling it a day looks a lot better when you get to the outside bushings; one of those deals that seem like the factory did that first then built the rest of the car around them. If the sub bushings are still factory drop it and replace them. Also if a sway bar upgrade is on the mod list do it with the cradle down, if you try to do it later you will find why you should have done it now. Doing shocks at this time is also not a bad idea; if you can get them off the spindle w/o destroying you will probably not want to go there again, I've had to cut the loop off before and it was still a PITA to get the bushing off the stud. If spring work is in order do it while you have the shocks off for the same reasons Dropping the cradle (IMO) is not kin to selling your soul; maybe I'm just lucky but I've had mine (as well as the front) out twice with no issues. Your results may vary of course.
Mucho trabajo. Didn't have to drop the pipes, fairing, or driveshaft to get mine out. Certainly would make it easier, maybe. Wouldn't recommend trying this on the ground though. Try to find a lift. Much simpler.
 
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