2005+ A Arm Bushings

This procedure below is now largely moot as the factory is now selling the bushings as a component part. The part number is 0603-00148. If the dealer tells you this number is no good, tell them to call the factory to confirm. There are eight of these on the front suspension and four on the rear.

The rubber A arm bushings on our 2005 GEM wore out after only a few years of easy use. The price for all four A arms: $880! The numbers have been superseded which explains the low quality “made in Taiwan” rubber of the original. The old bushings are VERY hard to remove. Heat really helps if you can stand the smell of rubber burning. I decided not to break the bank and instead made new bushings from 936 alloy bronze rod. The blank rod measures 1.5"X13" and is enough material to make all eight A arm bushings if needed. The McMaster-Carr number for this rod is 8917K76, which cost less than $60. Even the smallest metal lathe should be able to handle this job and no coolant is needed. The exact fit for our GEM was a diameter of 1.435" and a length of 1.510." Mark and measure each A arm bore and the corresponding mounting point on the frame before making final cuts. Remember that lower A arms are the same left and right, but the uppers are not. I used a 10MM drill for the bolt holes, but 25/64 is close enough if you don’t have metric drill bits. During assembly, use regular nuts (M10X1.5) to just snug up each bushing just enough that the arm can pivot with light resistance. Then back each up with a lock nut. If the first nut is all the way tight, The bushings will bind causing the GEM to creak when driven. Sounds like a lot of work, but a good mechanic can do this in less than a day.