Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Have You Checked Your Bushings Lately?

It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Have You Checked Your Bushings Lately?

Ww Bushings Ts
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Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
20 days ago

Ugh, the Lancer’s got some play in the suspension and it’s probably about that time. I need to crawl under there and start doing some poking.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
20 days ago

2024 feels like it’s going to be the Year of Bushings for me. My Fiat Spider is getting rebuilt front suspension, steering and brakes, so all new front-end rubber there. I’ll do the rear end next year after the car’s driving. My BMW E12could use new control arm bushings and thrust rod bushings, and I have new ones to put in, but if I don’t get to it soon it’s not critical. My Saab has 40-year-old bushings but it’s good enough as it is so I’ll leave that to the next owner. The 911 has polybronze bushings and monoballs that just get a lube every year. SE-R got new front end rubber a few years ago.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
20 days ago

Mine appear to be fine, but I’m watching my wife’s like a hawk, they all *look* like they’re on their last legs. I’m preparing myself for the looming hit of a full suspension rebuild. I’m still used to German parts cost, so hers are surprisingly cheap to replace, I just dread having to break all those rusty bolts loose while laying underneath.

Last edited 20 days ago by Ricardo Mercio
Jb996
Jb996
20 days ago

Yes.

Winter 22-23 I dropped the entire front subframe on my 996, replaced all front and rear control arms, tie rods, drop links, etc., as well as new coilovers, and replaced all body bushings with polyurethane (the soft/road stuff, not the hard/track option; I’m not a savage.)

My daily driver Mazda? … uh, they seem to still be there. I think.

Musicman27
Musicman27
20 days ago

“It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Have You Checked Your Bushings Lately?”

Yes, I have!

Their all shot 😛

Last edited 20 days ago by Musicman27
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
20 days ago

Got a front end bang? Check the struts first.

I had a loud rattlebang in my front end that new bushings, links or engine mounts could fix. Changing the struts did the trick but a few months later the noise was back. After much frustration I finally discovered the culprit: a loose center strut nut. It was tight enough at rest but with use it had backed off just enough such that on compression the nut unloaded from the plate and slammed back on rebound. The strut was new so a couple of turns with a wrench was all it took to fix. It was probably all that had been wrong with the originals. Somehow it continues to loosen up over time despite my use of blue locktite. My best guess of why is I have a Mazda 5 which shares that part with the lighter Mazda 3 and was designed for the 3. No big deal, now that I know the trick a few minutes of wrenching fixes the problem….for a while anyway.

Last edited 20 days ago by Cheap Bastard
IanGTCS
IanGTCS
20 days ago

Tried to replace the passenger lower control arm with integrated ball joint last night and failed horribly. The rear bolt just wouldn’t budge. Impacts, long breaker, days of penetrating oil on there before hand etc. Ended up dropping it off at a local shop so hopefully they get to it in the next couple of days.

Mustang I did the endlinks a few years ago, they were clunking something awful on bumps.

My old Protege5 went through endlinks at a rapid pace. Seemed to be a Mazda thing, a lot of people I knew changed them almost yearly.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
20 days ago

I’ve never checked or worried about bushings since they haven’t caused problems in any of my shitboxes-they get a once over during yearly inspection…was usually just focused on keeping the cars running/basic stuff…though for a while now I’ve had a decent car and the 1st one w/ working A/C!

BagoBoiling
BagoBoiling
20 days ago

What a timely article. Just found out this morning my Jeep’s subframe bushings are toast.

Mike Dris
Mike Dris
20 days ago

I have never replaced a bushing on any of my 15+ previous cars (all used) as there were only a few that would benefit from them. The E36 M3, Integra GSR, and 5th gen Civic (with highly modified suspension) would have been the only ones to deserve them.

However, worn bushings were brought up by the dealer of my wife’s KIA just last week and we had them replaced. It has been owned since new and there is no deferred maintenance so it made sense.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
20 days ago

Sway bar link bushings are sneaky little turds. Those boogers were the root cause of an entire year’s worth of a dealer chasing a groan/squeak in the suspension of my 2018 Kia Sorento, which started at 12,000 miles. It was under warranty, mind you. They were 100% convinced I had a bad strut, so they changed just that one “bad” one.

Unfortunately, they did it wrong and damaged the strut, and futzed the alignment too. They made good on it and replaced both when I drove right back to the dealer and talked with the service manager. He was like, who the hell replaces one strut? I just looked at him and kinda shrugged, thinking this question was rhetorical and not literal.

Once done, the front end still moaned and groaned, so I got some spray grease and did a quick spritz on the links and bushings, then drove it. Dead silent. Took it back and told them let’s do front sway bar bushings and that was that.

Struts were never the issue. But those should last a good while now.

Paul B
Paul B
20 days ago

LPT: After you pull the wheel, compress the suspension a bit with jack.

With the suspension at full extension, the spring is pushing your ball joints hard and you may not be able to notice the slop when trying to move it with your hands.

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
21 days ago

Do not underestimate this advise. We set up a gopro looking at the wheel travel of one of our lemons cars. We were shocked that the knuckle moved backwards about 1.5″ under heavy braking, camber changed about 5 degrees during a turn, etc. Granted this is on a cheap as shit gutted to hell race car that can sustain roughly 1.5g’s, but we thought it couldn’t be a problem as they were either fresh or replaced with poly ones 5+ years earlier.

Parsko
Parsko
21 days ago

BMW: this year rear, probably the fronts again after 7 years.
Caddy: Yes? I think I did them all since I bought it 5 years ago. Wait, no I haven’t. But, I do run over a bump on my road every morning and the same two bushings squeak. I have come to accept it and play along.
Pickup: lol

Last edited 21 days ago by Parsko
Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
21 days ago

I checked my bushings yesterday. I have a clunk in my new project car that appears to be the lower control arm bushing. I will be replacing the lower and upper control arms (oddly, new arms were cheaper than just the bushings), sway bar end links, front shocks, and tie rod ends (possibly) this weekend. I replaced the entire rear suspension two weekends ago, and luckily the body mounts and engine mounts are all good, so the only thing remaining after the whole new front suspension is the transmission mount.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
21 days ago

When the rear leaf spring suspension bushings were worn out in my ’64 F100 coach-built crewcab, taking a corner was an experience as the whole body shifted at each turn. Fun times!

Because of the way the cab was added onto to create the second row of seats, the rear corners of the under are of the body were directly in the path of the bushing bolt heads. They had to bash in the body to get to the bolts to remove them. Handling was much better.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
21 days ago

You can ask Mercedes when I changes some bushings last, because she was there helping. My ’74 Buick Apollo now has all new bushings, ball joints, tie rods, and shocks in the rear end after a weekend long thrashing session a few weeks ago. I’ve been slowly working on the rear end bushings and shocks ever since. Last time I drove that car, you could feel the rear end moving around a significant amount on any kind of curve. I look forward to it handling less like a bag of ball bearings.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
21 days ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

You just drop that bit of cool on us without any further explanation?! Mercedes makes housecalls now, presumably if it’s a rare funky vehicle like a Buick Apollo?? 🙂

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
20 days ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I’ve known her since she only owned one car, so no I don’t think she makes house calls for just anybody.

Danger Ranger
Danger Ranger
21 days ago

Yes, just checked all of them on the 5.9, ordering replacements today. Ball joints, tie rods, shocks, all of them are pretty much shot.

LTDScott
LTDScott
21 days ago

As a matter of fact, yes. A couple months ago I replaced pretty much the entire front suspension on my 2004 Toyota Sequoia, including all the bushings. I even pressed out/in new steering rack bushings.

And in the course of trying to diagnose a rear axle clunk on my 1985 Ford LTD (which turned out to be loose driveshaft bolts – I last touched them 2 years ago!) I noticed my rear upper control arm bushings are starting to crack, but not enough to care yet.

VanGuy
VanGuy
21 days ago

Uh, never. My mechanics say they glance over everything at the oil changes, and I at least trust them to not miss a chance to get my money, so it’s actually comforting the several times they’ve said “nah, [x part] looks fine.”

For my ’97 Econoline and now my 2012 Prius v I can’t say I’ve ever felt suspension problems, aside from replacing the front shocks on the van a couple times.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
21 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Same here, not a routine replacement. Check over and when replacing shocks. Otherwise I have a few other things to fix.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
21 days ago

Do shift linkage bushings count?

If so, why yes, and wow what a slog it’s been.

My 25 year old 911’s shifter suddenly went completely loose. As in, unconnected to anything.

Long story short, its various bushings had turned the consistency of candle wax and then disintegrated.

I replaced all of them that were bad (accessing them was a pain per usual Porsche), but I then made the idiotic mistake of not heeding the classic wrenching wisdom of “when one of something that exists in pairs is bad, check the other.”

So I’m currently waiting on my friends at Pelican to send me another ball cup bushing so I can complete the job in the front and happily motor once again. Or at least not face the prospect of once again having to remove the 20+ nuts to get the center under-car guard off. Which is only one of the under-car guards it has.

Last edited 21 days ago by Jack Trade
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
21 days ago

I’ve definitely had few in garbage old cars that ended up splitting the rubber completely so the center pin could press it out of the way and hit mount metal itself. Made for some scary drives home after buying a new clapped out but runner/driver.

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
21 days ago

Every used car I buy comes with completely thrashed sway bar links. It doesn’t seem like anyone ever thinks about those.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
21 days ago
Reply to  Sarah Blikre

They’re usually the first to go, too.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
21 days ago

I finally moved the Z4 to set up for that that unfinished work from *mumblemumble*monthsago, and of course, naturally, why wouldn’t there be, coolant spewing out of an as-yet undiagnosed location.So, shit, I guess I’ll have a look at the bushings while I’m in there.

One day this car will drive again, dammit.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
21 days ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Ah yes. Never neglect your radiator bushings.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
21 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Hahaha, thank you for seizing so expertly on my poor phrasing. I’ll have to move the turbo encabulator to get a good look.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
21 days ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Just be careful with the waneshaft or you’ll get side fumbling when you reinstall it.

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