We started tearing the front suspension apart, beginning with the sway bar and immediately spotted one of our problems: The bushings were shot. The entire center link and tie rod assembly was next, and it was removed as a unit and set aside.
The brake caliper was hung from the frame with a stiff wire to prevent damage to the brake hose (although we ended up replacing the old ones anyway). With a jack supporting the lower A-arm, the rotor and spindle assembly was removed. The coil spring was next. Although old coils might not have as much spring as new ones, they can still cause damage coming out. If you don't have a spring compressor, it's a good idea to at least wrap a chain through the spring and the A-arm to prevent it from flying out. The jack can then be S-L-O-W-L-Y lowered, allowing the spring to be pried out.
The upper and lower A-arms were removed and set aside to be disassembled. While the upper arms were out, we inspected its rear frame mount since they are known to develop cracks.
After the A-arms were cleaned up a little, they were put in the vise to be disassembled. The upper arm's cross shaft bushings and the ball joint rivets were slowly knocked out using an impact chisel.
By switching to an impact hammer, Sleeper was able to remove the lower bushing by knocking on the side of the arm surrounding the bushing. It seems like the opposite of what needs to be done, but it works. Think of it as a ketchup bottle, if you tap on the neck instead of on the base, the ketchup will come out faster.
The outer metal sleeves of the new polyurethane bushings were lubricated with white grease and then installed along with the cross-shafts using a hammer and bushing driver. Sleeper applied some silicon lube on the bushing surface and then put a drop of Loctite on the cross-shaft bolts and installed them with the washers. If these were standard rubber bushings, we would've had to wait until the arms were back on the car and down on the ground to tighten them up to avoid preloading the suspension, but the polyurethane doesn't preload so we went ahead and tightened them.
The new ball joints and dust covers were bolted in place, and then the upper A-arms were ready to be reinstalled. Make sure you install them on the correct side. Here's the driver's side upper arm-notice the straighter side goes towards the front.
Before the upper arms were reinstalled, Sleeper put a quick weld on the heads of the crossmember to cross-shaft bolts to prevent them from backing out or loosening at a later time. The upper arms were then installed making sure to use the same alignment shims that were there with the old suspension.
The ball joints and bushings were pressed in the lower arms. Then to ensure that the bushing would stay in place Sleeper applied a tack-weld to them.