Top 5 tips on replacing suspension bushings - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain discuss the wondrous effects of boost and your miata...

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-21-2010, 12:06 AM   #1
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,889
Total Cats: 28
Default Top 5 tips on replacing suspension bushings

I just pressed out the last stock bushing for my full poly bushing swap and I feel I have gained some wisdom I would like to share.

5. The Harbor Freight C-clamp press method works... on some of them... The ones it does work on it works great, just like the video. But do not let that video delude you into thinking they are all that easy. Others, it is not so easy. Some, not easy at all.
In some cases placing a 1-1/8" socket on the threaded rod side for the rod end to push against helps. Otherwise it just presses out the center sleeve, then gets stuck, with most of the bushing still left in the arm.

4. If 5 does not go well, resort to the propane torch burn-out method. It smells terrible and can make a mess but it works. Have some cardboard or something on the floor to form a drop zone for the bushing. When it comes out it bounces around spreading melted rubber goo with a vengeance. When you heat it up, heat the outside of the steel sleeve (welded to the a-arm) evenly and then stop when you see rubber boiling out around the edges. Pound it out with a small sledge and a pipe/chisel/dowel/whatever while it is still hot. Repeat as necessary.

3. If you do not have a bench vise, a compressor/impact and the Harbor Freight press, a real press, or a torch, stay the freak away from this operation.

2. When you get completely frustrated, and you probably will, the usual rule applies. Go do something else for awhile.

And, now... the NUMBER ONE TIP for replacing suspension bushings is...
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
:
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
drum roll
.
1. PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU!
.
Never again...

Last edited by ZX-Tex; 02-21-2010 at 12:23 AM.
ZX-Tex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 01:07 AM   #2
Elite Member
iTrader: (46)
 
Stein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 4,812
Total Cats: 138
Default

I've only pressed out the rears so far. I used the HF 12 ton press, various bolts, tubes, sockets, etc. Took longer to gather the parts than to press them out. For the wide rears I used a bolt that would go through the pivot of one bushing and then a 1" diameter piece of solid rod and pushed it into a piece of tubing with the right ID. All rear bushings took me 20 minutes max to push out, maybe 30 minutes of head scratching, scrounging and cutting tubing to get ready.
Stein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 01:36 AM   #3
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,889
Total Cats: 28
Default

I think you nailed it on both counts. Using a real press gives you a nice stable fixture to work with. The HF C-clamp can be cumbersome to use even with the a-arm held in a vise. Then, having several fittings and what not probably made a big difference. The ones in the HF kit are not enough. Only one or two are of much use. In retrospect I should have played around more with sockets and cut sections of pipe.

If you did the rears that fast the fronts should go pretty quick for you too.
ZX-Tex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 07:06 AM   #4
Junior Member
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Jersey 5 min. from NJMP
Posts: 189
Total Cats: 0
Default

Just did mine. Used a torch, worked great but makes one hell of a mess. Did it in the garage. Probably better to do it outside. The rubber gets all over the place and stays soft. Almost tracked it on the new carpet, that would have been fatal.
flydaddyskidz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
Junior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lisle, IL
Posts: 296
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
I've only pressed out the rears so far. I used the HF 12 ton press, various bolts, tubes, sockets, etc. Took longer to gather the parts than to press them out. For the wide rears I used a bolt that would go through the pivot of one bushing and then a 1" diameter piece of solid rod and pushed it into a piece of tubing with the right ID. All rear bushings took me 20 minutes max to push out, maybe 30 minutes of head scratching, scrounging and cutting tubing to get ready.
Good to know, current HF coupon gets you the 12 ton press for 79.99.
sn95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 11:46 AM   #6
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,889
Total Cats: 28
Default

If it eases the job as much as Stein says it is totally worth it at that price just for this job alone. I think you might also be able to use the 20% off coupon in Popular Science on top of that, unless that is the coupon you mean.
ZX-Tex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 620
Total Cats: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stein View Post
I've only pressed out the rears so far. I used the HF 12 ton press, various bolts, tubes, sockets, etc. Took longer to gather the parts than to press them out. For the wide rears I used a bolt that would go through the pivot of one bushing and then a 1" diameter piece of solid rod and pushed it into a piece of tubing with the right ID. All rear bushings took me 20 minutes max to push out, maybe 30 minutes of head scratching, scrounging and cutting tubing to get ready.
What Stein said... I used a press doing all of mine and it took longer to find/scrounge/machine bits to support the control arms than actually pressing them out did. Time consuming job but not a particularly difficult one, the diff bushings were actually tougher to get done.
Rennkafer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 01:42 PM   #8
Junior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lisle, IL
Posts: 296
Total Cats: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
If it eases the job as much as Stein says it is totally worth it at that price just for this job alone. I think you might also be able to use the 20% off coupon in Popular Science on top of that, unless that is the coupon you mean.
No, the 79.99 coupon specifically states that it can't be used with any other coupon. Staff at my local HF always reads the coupons carefully, too.
sn95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #9
Elite Member
iTrader: (46)
 
Stein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 4,812
Total Cats: 138
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sn95 View Post
Good to know, current HF coupon gets you the 12 ton press for 79.99.
It wasn't available in my local store (the A frame one). Surprisingly, it was less than $12 shipping. Not bad for UPS'ing 124 lbs. Actually a wash because of no sales tax.
Stein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 04:37 PM   #10
Elite Member
iTrader: (24)
 
kotomile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 7,578
Total Cats: 40
Default

Good tips. After all of the cursing and sweat, how's it drive?
kotomile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,889
Total Cats: 28
Default

No idea yet I still have a bit more to get done. But going from crap front tires, stock springs, and old stock bushings to NT-01s on 6ULs, Tein SS, RB front sway, and new poly bushings, it should feel awesomely better.
ZX-Tex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 12:37 AM   #12
Elite Member
iTrader: (13)
 
cjernigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 8,147
Total Cats: 6
Default

It's going to be one heck of a track car that's for sure.
I pressed out all the bushings on the GTIs and the S4 so I feel your pain. I made tools and used a real press though so it really wasn't all that bad.
cjernigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 12:58 AM   #13
Elite Member
iTrader: (10)
 
rccote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 1,595
Total Cats: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
1. PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU!
.
Never again...
Truer words of wisdom have yet to be spoken.

All I had was a torch, some busted *** C-clamps and hammer. I can't say I'm willing to go through that again.
rccote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #14
Elite Member
iTrader: (9)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Concord, North Carolina
Posts: 4,173
Total Cats: 5
Default

You forgot the part where you have an extra set of control arms or entire subframes so you don't have to worry about the car being down so you can take your time between hurting yourself without worrying about getting anything done in a hurry.
miatamania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #15
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,889
Total Cats: 28
Default

Thanks Chad. I am looking forward to getting it on the track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamania View Post
You forgot the part where you have an extra set of control arms or entire subframes so you don't have to worry about the car being down so you can take your time between hurting yourself without worrying about getting anything done in a hurry.
Yes I tried to find some through the local Miata buddy network but had no luck. This is a good suggestion though, especially if it is your only car.
ZX-Tex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 12:44 PM   #16
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 620
Total Cats: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatamania View Post
You forgot the part where you have an extra set of control arms or entire subframes so you don't have to worry about the car being down so you can take your time between hurting yourself without worrying about getting anything done in a hurry.
Amen... exactly what I did. I just watched the ads and picked up a full set of front and rear arms. Blasted/epoxy painted them, replaced the bushings, etc over about a month at work.
Rennkafer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2010, 12:50 PM   #17
Elite Member
iTrader: (24)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 3,778
Total Cats: 35
Default

I have a set of ES poly bushings in the garage and I am feeling very confident about doing this. My HF press doesn't get used much, but when it does its a life saver.
Bryce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 03:04 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 671
Total Cats: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
I just pressed out the last stock bushing for my full poly bushing swap and I feel I have gained some wisdom I would like to share.

5. The Harbor Freight C-clamp press method works... on some of them... The ones it does work on it works great, just like the video. But do not let that video delude you into thinking they are all that easy. Others, it is not so easy. Some, not easy at all.
In some cases placing a 1-1/8" socket on the threaded rod side for the rod end to push against helps. Otherwise it just presses out the center sleeve, then gets stuck, with most of the bushing still left in the arm.

4. If 5 does not go well, resort to the propane torch burn-out method. It smells terrible and can make a mess but it works. Have some cardboard or something on the floor to form a drop zone for the bushing. When it comes out it bounces around spreading melted rubber goo with a vengeance. When you heat it up, heat the outside of the steel sleeve (welded to the a-arm) evenly and then stop when you see rubber boiling out around the edges. Pound it out with a small sledge and a pipe/chisel/dowel/whatever while it is still hot. Repeat as necessary.

3. If you do not have a bench vise, a compressor/impact and the Harbor Freight press, a real press, or a torch, stay the freak away from this operation.

2. When you get completely frustrated, and you probably will, the usual rule applies. Go do something else for awhile.

And, now... the NUMBER ONE TIP for replacing suspension bushings is...

1. PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU!
.
Never again...

And the other thing that should be added to your list is:

while doing the job, install zerk fittings so you can easily lube them

if you don't do it you'll hate life when you have to dismount everything once again in 6 months for lubrication, then again and again

and if you don't lube them every some months, they start binding and you end up with worse suspension vs if using the OEM rubber bushings ...
j_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2010, 06:06 AM   #19
Elite Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (15)
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 4,889
Total Cats: 28
Default

Yeah I did that. There are grease fittings on all bushings.
ZX-Tex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2010, 05:03 PM   #20
Newb
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 11
Total Cats: 0
Default

The HF c-clamp is a lifesaver - I've done three different complete sets of bushings so far. The secret not noted here is with regards to the installation of new rubber bushings. It goes a thousand times easier if you lubricate them. I used an, ahem, adult lubricant that was safe with rubber and it made the job simple. Of course, how you explain to your significant other why you are going out to the shop with a tub of KY Jelly is up to you...
wreckerboy is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 57 07-19-2017 05:11 PM
OTS Bilstein to motorsports ASN conversion stoves Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain 5 04-21-2016 04:00 PM
Walbro 255lph Fuel Pump $50 lsc224 Miata parts for sale/trade 2 10-01-2015 10:17 AM
Leaky Wilwoods mx592 Suspension, Brakes, Drivetrain 1 10-01-2015 01:45 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:21 PM.