Yeah, I wound up just buying replacement lower control arms. Was about the same price as all of the bushings too
I unpacked the shocks and installed the old springs on the new KYB Excel-G struts with some extra mounting hardware my friend found for me. I installed the top rubber isolators backwards and had to take it all back apart and swap them. Then I mis aligned the top studs to the control arm, and had to loosen the springs again.
Next up was the rear trailing arm bushings. They were pretty shot:
Replacing the rear trailing arm bushings wound up being a huge pain. I rented a press kit, and found that it wasn’t large enough to reach or cover the bushing rim, so I spent some time trying to hammer the bushing out before giving up and pulling the entire RTA. The brake line was disconnected and stopped up with a little rubber cap to prevent a lot of leaking. Pulling the parking cable out of the drum hub looked like a mess, so I disconnected the cable from the parking lever in the cabin and removed all of the mounts for it along the undercarriage. It was slow going and showered my face with gunk, but overall I think it was the right thing to do. Once the assembly was free, I pressed the old bushings out and new bushings in with a hydraulic stand we have in the garage, super easy.
On the passenger side I used an existing paint mark on the arm to align the new bushings, and just eyeballed the depth. When reinstalling the bushing, however, I had to fight with the alignment a whole lot. On the driver side I carefully measured and marked the angle and depth of the old bushing, and used that to press in the new one. Unsurprisingly it lined right up to the frame during reinstallation. I’m interested to see how much faster/more the passenger side wears because of the misalignment.
I noticed while doing all of this that there were 2 or 3 alignment paint marks on the trailing arms… Which means that these bushings were probably replaced a few times before I owned this car. If that’s true, then these things get replaced a lot more than I was hoping, since the car was only 10 years old when I got it.
It’s also worth noting that I put anti-seize on the lower control arm bolts.. We’ll see if it helps in ten years.
So at the end of all this I have new rear struts and hardware (old springs, new isolators), new lower control arms (with new bushings), and new rear trailing arm bushings. I ran a quick test drive and the car definitely handles a bit differently, but the big change is that the ride is quiet, there isn’t nearly as much road noise and clunking.