Replaced rear bushings and added grease fittings to my trails
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Thread: Replaced rear bushings and added grease fittings to my trails

  1. #1
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    Replaced rear bushings and added grease fittings to my trails

    Well, after my other thread (https://www.wildcatforums.net/forum/i...table-not.html) I decided to bite the bullet and replace my rear bushings since I would have to do it sooner or later and I decided to install grease fittings at the same time.
    Iíve seen lots of requests for pics of other installs, but I didnít find many results so I thought I would do a write-up for anyone considering doing the same.

    First off, here is what my bushings looked like before I did anything. I thought this was attributed to my wheel coming off, but upon further investigation I found my bushings were causing this slop. Most of my slop was in the bushings on the hub, but there was still a bit of play on the hub side too. The dealer said this was normal and nothing to be concerned about until it started moving about a quarter inch. I knew this would continue to get worse and other members confirmed so I decided to upgrade now.







    To verify it was my bushings that were bad I jacked up my machine and tried moving each wheel from left to right. I then observed my bushings while I moved the wheel. This was easier with 2 people, but I could see the bushings moving. Then to confirm that was it, I wedged a door shim in by the moving bushing to tighten it up. After all my shims were in, the wheel was tight like it should be. Then I knew it wasnít my bearings.
    I also ran the same test on my wifeís machine and she had the same movement, though not as bad. My machine has nearly 1300 miles and my wifeís machine has 1100. Weíve owned both machines for about 1.5 years. Basically, the OE bushings donít last very long at all.
    Overall, the job was relatively easy, just a little time consuming. Total it took me about 1 day to do each machine (I did my wifeís machine too). The first was obviously the slowest.

    I decided to go with the Garage Products bushings because they also have an O-ring inside to help seal out debris. Shipping was fast and I received great service with the exception of one thingÖ When I received the package, the packages inside had come open so I had loose parts in the box. This did not make me happy, but luckily I had all of the parts and nothing was lost. One word of caution here, if you buy these bushings, the bushings for the hub are longer than the bushings where the arms attach to the frame. Be aware of this. For this reason, I found it easier to have two Ziploc bags, one with the frame connection bushings and another for the hub connection bushings. This kept my pieces together as the original bags were already opened and it made sure I didnít install the wrong bushing in the wrong location.

    As for the tools required, theyíre pretty basic:

    • Metric socket set
    • Metric Wrenches
    • Breaker bar
    • Mallet or dead blow hammer
    • Engine degreaser and/ or carb cleaner
    • Brake cleaner
    • Thread locker (blue)
    • Torque wrench
    • Grease (I used Lucas Xtra Heavy Duty chassis grease)
    • Scrap wood
    • Bushing/ Bearing Driver Set
    • Pry bars (possibly)


    If you want to install the grease fittings youíll also need the following:

    • Grease fittings
    • Drill bits
    • Cutting oil
    • Tap set
    • Drill press (optional, but recommended)
    • Clamps to secure piece while drilling


    First I recommend you take any measurements you want now like ground clearance and current shock spring settings.

    If youíre going to install grease fittings, I recommend you mark where you want to install the fittings before you take everything apart. Be sure to look all around to make sure the arm wonít rotate enough to snap off a fitting from hitting the frame while riding. I did this with the machine jacked up because Iíve always been taught that to properly grease the suspension you need to lift the vehicle to remove the stresses. Thus, Iím sure I can access the fittings with the machine lifted.

    I didnít install grease fittings on the hub, only where the arms connect to the frame. I didnít install them on the hub because I was having a hard time even getting a drill bit started there and with that I was worried about being able to then tap the hole even if I got it drilled.
    I put the fitting on the upper arm that connects to the frame on the underside as the top was going to be near the frame. Being underneath with the arm fully extended I know it cannot rotate enough to hit the frame. The fitting on the lower arm at the rear of the machine has plenty of clearance and can pretty much go anywhere. The fitting on lower arm towards the front under the brake line is tight. For this one I put it towards the rear from center and down towards the supporting arm. I ended up using a 90 degree fitting here, pointing back on the same plane as the arm. This one is critical as it could hit the support if you drill it too high. You have to be careful not to drill this one too close to either side though as you donít want the bushing to hit the grease fitting when you drive the bushing in. The others have plenty of room as long as you put them roughly in the center, but this one is close. I marked all of the locations with a sharpie marker so I knew where to drill with the arm off.

    I found it easier to do the upper arm first. Basically, remove the upper arm from the frame and the hub, remove the rubber caps over the OE bushings, drive out the sleeve, then drive out the OE bushings. All of the sleeves came out pretty easy using a 3/8 extension to drive them out. Most of the bushings came out fairly easy, but a few did give me some grief. I ended up using a long flathead screwdriver to drive out most of the bushings. The downside to using the screwdriver is I know I scratched the inside where the bushing goes but I didnít think this was a big deal as itís already really pitted due to corrosion. I started driving the bushings out with an extension, but with the rounded edges on the extension, sometimes it wouldnít work if they were really tight.
    Hereís what most of my bushings looked like. These used to be shiny silver metal. Now they look like theyíre 20 years old!





    Here you can see the corrosion in the mount after cleaning:




    If youíre going to install the grease fittings, now is the time to do so. Take your time here and donít be in a hurry. Make sure everything is clamped and secure before you drill. When drilling, you want to make sure that youíre drilling straight into the arm and not at an angle or off to the side. Basically, look in the end of the arm and see that if you were to continue straight through you would pass through the center of the mount and youíre not off to one side or the other. I recommend using the cutting oil here so you donít burn up a bit.

    Name:  Bad drill angle.PNG
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    Name:  Good drill angle.PNG
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    After I had the hole drilled it was time to tap it. I found the easiest way to do this is clamp it in a vice with blocks of wood to help protect the arm. Make sure the hole is vertical so you can run the tap straight down, again passing through the center of the mount if you go all the way through. Again, take your time here. I would just get the tap started, then back it out, clean off the metal shavings, then dip in cutting oil and go a little further. Maybe half to three-quarters of a turn, then back it out, clean off the metal shavings, then dip and repeat. You donít want to rush this and gum up the threads.

    Once the fitting hole was tapped I needed to clean up the arm. I sprayed engine degreaser in here and let it sit for a bit, then used a steel brush to get as much of the corrosion out as possible. Also, clean the mounts on the frame or other half of the joint as well. It will be tight when you install and you don't want to be grinding against any dirt or debris.

    Now I was ready to install the grease fittings. I used a little thread locker on each fitting and installed. If youíre installing a 90 degree fitting, dry fit it first to make sure the fitting will align as desired. If it doesnít align how you want, I recommend trying a different fitting. I was able to select a different fitting each time and eventually found one that would align how I wanted without making any other modifications.
    If you want, now is also a good time to spray paint the arm if you want to cover any scratches. I did this in a couple places on mine and allowed time to dry.
    Now I was ready to install the new bushings. I put a little grease on the inside where the O-ring is so there was some lubrication and I didnít damage the O-ring while driving in the bushing.

    Next I filled the remaining void with grease. Basically, I just used my fingers to put enough grease in until it would come out the other side. Then I greased the outside of the sleeve and inserted it into the bushings. I just used my mallet to drive the sleeve in. Be ready to catch some of the displaced grease on the other side as you drive the sleeve in.

    Once this was done for both joints, I could re-install the upper arm. Before you do this though, I recommend you remove the bolt that connects the bottom of the sway bar to the lower arm. This nut was incredibly tough to remove. This is where youíll definitely want wrenches and or a breaker bar and your gloves (in-case you slip). I ended up gumming up the bolt and nut getting this off so I replaced it with a new bolt, nut, and washer from the hardware store. This is an M8 x 40 1.25 bolt. Now you can install the upper arm. I found it easiest to install to the frame first and get that bolt through, then install to the hub. I did have to use a block of wood and a hammer for some persuasion to get my arms to fit. On one machine I had to grind a few rough spots off with a Dremel and a flapper disk to get the arm back in. This is where you may also need a pry bar. Just be careful on what youíre prying against. With the new bushings you will see these arms fit a lot tighter than they did with the OE bushings. Once all of the bolts are in, torque them to the appropriate ft-lbs.
    Next it was on to the lower arm. Basically, the process is the same for the lower arm as the upper arm. Only after I removed the hub connection on the lower arm, I used the strap that was holding the shock absorber up to also support the hub up and out of the way.

    While I had the lower arm out, I found a defect in the manufacturing process. Basically, Arctic Cat drilled a hole at the top of the arm near the forward mount, but this is the high spot of the arm. So this arm will fill with water, but thereís no way for it to drain. I got a ton of water out of a few of my lower arms. I could actually hear it slushing around and it was really orange from all the rust. So, while I had this arm off I decided to drill a 5/32 drain hole in the bottom of that arm so future water can drain. I know my machines havenít been through water for several months, so this has just been sitting in there.



    If youíre not installing the grease fittings you could probably do this one joint at a time and never remove the whole arm, but Iím not sure how difficult that would be. Like I said, I found it was easier to get the mount to the frame first, then the hub. If you do one joint at a time it would already be connected to the hub and could cause you some extra grief.

    I did find I accidentally got a little grease on the brake rotors while doing this job, so I went ahead and cleaned the rotors with brake cleaner before re-installing the wheel.

    I decided to do this write-up for a few reasons. First, after talking with some other owners they asked how big of a job this is. Really, itís not that hard at all, itís just time consuming. I also wanted to help a few people learn from my mistakes. I had one hole drilled back too far that I had to weld shut and re-drill. If you decide to attempt this job, you do so at your own risk. Use this post as a guide (not instructions) and think about what youíre doing before you do it. If you take your time you should be fine.

    Hereís the end result:

    (The noise you'll hear in this video is the chair moving around. Nothing on the machine is moving.)






    Last edited by Wired; 03-30-2018 at 09:45 AM.
    foxspoiler, Hal001, Dean and 6 others like this.
    2015 - Wildcat Trail - Lime Green - WOTM Oct 2017
    Tusk soft top | Tusk center bag | Superwinch Terra35 winch | NiLight 32" LED light bar | Tusk Rzr overhead bag with flipdown map pocket (and homemade PVC | frame to make it fit the cat) | Kodiak Mfg rear rack | Rotopax and Expedition One fuel/ water cans | Journey P350 tires (stock size) | Bandit Springs (heavy) | Speedwerx secondary spring | Speedwerx throttle spring | Tusk UTV Jack and Mount | SAK Parking Brake | Tusk UTV Fire Extinguisher Mount/ Fire Extinguisher | Ampper rock lights | Ampper rock lights as dome lights (red/ white) | Bluesea 12 circuit fuse panel | Homemade chainsaw mount | Dragon Gunner Brake Reservoir Cover | 1/2" UHMW skid plates | Garage Products Bushings w/ zerk fitting mod | Car seat latch system mod |

  2. #2
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    Updated with videos and some more pics.
    AZStrip likes this.
    2015 - Wildcat Trail - Lime Green - WOTM Oct 2017
    Tusk soft top | Tusk center bag | Superwinch Terra35 winch | NiLight 32" LED light bar | Tusk Rzr overhead bag with flipdown map pocket (and homemade PVC | frame to make it fit the cat) | Kodiak Mfg rear rack | Rotopax and Expedition One fuel/ water cans | Journey P350 tires (stock size) | Bandit Springs (heavy) | Speedwerx secondary spring | Speedwerx throttle spring | Tusk UTV Jack and Mount | SAK Parking Brake | Tusk UTV Fire Extinguisher Mount/ Fire Extinguisher | Ampper rock lights | Ampper rock lights as dome lights (red/ white) | Bluesea 12 circuit fuse panel | Homemade chainsaw mount | Dragon Gunner Brake Reservoir Cover | 1/2" UHMW skid plates | Garage Products Bushings w/ zerk fitting mod | Car seat latch system mod |

  3. #3
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    Nice write up. I did mine with aj's bushings but ended up egging out my a arm holes in the rear where the knuckles attach at only 600 miles.

    So i just ordered satv arms that came with new bushings installed on the machine side and grease fittings
    16' Wildcat Sport Limited, Metallic Black/Cat Racing Green
    Our AC family: 03' 400 Cat Green, 04' 650v2 Cat Green, 04' 500 Cat Green, 12' 700 EFI SE Black/Gray, 14' 1000xt Black/Cat Green, 16' Wildcat Trail XT

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  5. #4
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    Wow, this was great! Showed me it's a bit above my pay grade to do the the grease fittings probably, and my Trail is still pretty new and no issues yet, but always good to check with the "home shop "guys to see what I have to look forward too!

  6. #5
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    I just had mine done last week. I went with All Balls for my bushings, but as soon as it was done, the mechanic showed me my next project - worn out swaybar bushings in the rear ! While he was doing the bushings, I had him unhook the front swaybar to eliminate more rattle from my ride. I am having a tough time getting a size for replacement swaybar bushings for the rear. Can someone verify the size for me - I'm thinking I need 22mm x 7/8" bushings. I could just taken them out and measure them, but the bushings are worn enough that I won't get an accurate measurement from my OEM bushings.

    Nice work on the video and documentation. These posts are a Godsend for our members like me that have no idea what they are doing.

  7. #6
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    I used 22mm bushings and they work great. I ended up ordering 'Prothane 19-1165-BL Black 22 mm Universal Greasable Sway Bar Bushing' from Amazon as I've broken a bracket on each of my machines. This bracket from Amazon is about twice as wide as the OE bracket and has a zerk fitting for greasing. The only issue is I had to egg out the mounting holes a little bit to get the holes to line up for the bolts. I haven't broken one of these brackets though... yet
    WalkinTarget likes this.
    2015 - Wildcat Trail - Lime Green - WOTM Oct 2017
    Tusk soft top | Tusk center bag | Superwinch Terra35 winch | NiLight 32" LED light bar | Tusk Rzr overhead bag with flipdown map pocket (and homemade PVC | frame to make it fit the cat) | Kodiak Mfg rear rack | Rotopax and Expedition One fuel/ water cans | Journey P350 tires (stock size) | Bandit Springs (heavy) | Speedwerx secondary spring | Speedwerx throttle spring | Tusk UTV Jack and Mount | SAK Parking Brake | Tusk UTV Fire Extinguisher Mount/ Fire Extinguisher | Ampper rock lights | Ampper rock lights as dome lights (red/ white) | Bluesea 12 circuit fuse panel | Homemade chainsaw mount | Dragon Gunner Brake Reservoir Cover | 1/2" UHMW skid plates | Garage Products Bushings w/ zerk fitting mod | Car seat latch system mod |

  8. #7
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    Here's a couple pics to show the old bushing mount and the new ones from Amazon. As you can see, the new mount is as wide throughout the whole mount as the widest point of the old mount.

    You can also see how the mounting bolt is not centered. This is where I had to egg out the hole to get it to fit. The other option would have been to remove the tab that's welded on the sway bar, but I didn't want to do that. I read a post on here about someone trying to move the tab over so these bushings would fit and they had a hell of a time getting the tab welded back on.

    Last edited by Wired; 07-19-2019 at 05:23 PM.
    WalkinTarget likes this.
    2015 - Wildcat Trail - Lime Green - WOTM Oct 2017
    Tusk soft top | Tusk center bag | Superwinch Terra35 winch | NiLight 32" LED light bar | Tusk Rzr overhead bag with flipdown map pocket (and homemade PVC | frame to make it fit the cat) | Kodiak Mfg rear rack | Rotopax and Expedition One fuel/ water cans | Journey P350 tires (stock size) | Bandit Springs (heavy) | Speedwerx secondary spring | Speedwerx throttle spring | Tusk UTV Jack and Mount | SAK Parking Brake | Tusk UTV Fire Extinguisher Mount/ Fire Extinguisher | Ampper rock lights | Ampper rock lights as dome lights (red/ white) | Bluesea 12 circuit fuse panel | Homemade chainsaw mount | Dragon Gunner Brake Reservoir Cover | 1/2" UHMW skid plates | Garage Products Bushings w/ zerk fitting mod | Car seat latch system mod |

  9. #8
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    Great job on the rite up

  10. #9
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    Regarding the location tabs on the sway bar: a sway bar is a torsion spring, with arms formed at each end. You don't ever weld a spring and expect it to behave the same way as before welding. Welding will alter the heat-treated steel.
    2015 Wildcat 1000X Ltd, Textron rear axle upgrade, Alba slotted brake rotors (front diameter on all 4), flip-up windshield, soft rear window, PRP seats, custom seat mounts with tool storage, 6 pt harnesses, AC spare tire mount, AC step rail/sliders, push-button E-brake, self-cancelling turn signals using rear brake lights, stalk light controls, 4"x7" rearview mirrors, front/rear hitch receivers, receiver mounted winch w/ wireless remote, LED roof light, Rugged intercom & headsets


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