boxedfox
boxedfox New Reader
4/19/18 1:01 a.m.

About 10 years ago, a certain well-published suspension guru showed me a trick to stop polyurethane suspension bushings from squeaking or binding. It worked so well and so consistently for me that I've been doing it to poly bushing I've worked with since.

I realized the other day that this method wasn't widely published, so I broke out some of my video equipment and made a little video about it:

 

Hopes this helps some of you with polyurethane suspension bushings in your cars.

~R

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
4/19/18 6:41 a.m.

That is absolutely berkeleying amazing! Dunno why i never thought about it. 

RossD
RossD MegaDork
4/19/18 7:56 a.m.

Great work!

frenchyd
frenchyd SuperDork
4/19/18 8:12 a.m.

In reply to boxedfox :

Instead of poly bushings I use aluminum bushings with grease zerks.  A little time on the lathe and I can whip up all the bushings I’ll need at the cost of some scrap aluminum. 

I can also customize them to use offset bushings or larger bolt holes etc. Cheap bench top lathes work fine for this sort of work. 

Then you can anodize them if you want.  

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
4/19/18 10:54 a.m.

I've wrapped sway bar bushings in Teflon tape, but I didn't know that you could use it on chassis bushings.

Very good video, thanks. 

Almost forgot, the yellow Teflon tape is tougher. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/19/18 11:07 a.m.

My favorite fix is rubber bushings.

boxedfox
boxedfox New Reader
4/19/18 12:09 p.m.

Thanks for the compliments!

You know, aside from one pipe in my house I've never used the heavy duty yellow teflon tape. I'll have to go play with that since I'm doing more bushings for a friend in a few weeks' time. Thanks for the tip!

I  will admit I do tend to prefer rubber bushings on street cars and metal bushings on track cars. The main reason I had these control arms laying around is because I had just finished replacing most of the poly and rubber in the front end of my racecar with spherical bearings. Though when I compare how much I paid to get a set of front lower arms built and what I paid for an entire car's worth of polyurethane bushings from Energy Suspension, I can definitely see where poly is still an attractive option for the budget-conscious of us grassroots enthusiasts.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
4/21/18 12:12 a.m.

Thanks for the trick!

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
4/21/18 12:48 p.m.

This, I like!

 

pilotbraden
pilotbraden UltraDork
4/26/18 8:44 p.m.

Thanks I'm getting ready to do bushings I will use that trick

Tyler H
Tyler H UltraDork
5/1/18 8:48 a.m.

Neat trick, but when you consider the loads that the bushing endures...being able to put it in one-handed doesn't speak well to the gaps that are present.  The load transferred to the loose bushings goes from zero on-center to binding very quickly.  

I agree with Keith when it comes to control arm bushings -- rubber is better.  Poly is good for low-deflection bushings like subframes and bushings that only deflect in one dimension.  

I learned this the hard way..  I'm a slow learner, so there was a lot of bushing-burning early on in my car hobby.

That said, I will absolutely try this for some poly sway bar bushings that I need to put in my truck.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/1/18 10:28 a.m.

You have to think of (most) poly bushings as basically being bearings. They work well in one axis as Tyler said, and you have to keep them lubricated somehow. Rubber bushings work in a totally different manner.

I've been known to fine-tune the fit of poly control arm bushings to get them to fit well. Mostly adjusting the length of the poly and the crush sleeve. It's high effort but it does make them a little less sloppy.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
5/1/18 10:31 a.m.

I tried this on my truck swaybar, and have not driven it yet, but when I took it apart after just moving it about by hand, the teflon tape had gotten all wrapped around itself and ruined. I hope you folks have better success.

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh HalfDork
5/18/18 9:20 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I've been known to fine-tune the fit of poly control arm bushings to get them to fit well. Mostly adjusting the length of the poly and the crush sleeve. It's high effort but it does make them a little less sloppy.

I've found the center sleeve to be too short in most aftermarket control arm bushings, and you can't tighten the bolt to spec. On my Global West Delrin-Aluminum front control arm bushings, I added length with a welder, then filed the end of the sleeve flat again. It took *forever*, but now, with the bolt tight, the arm slowly falls until it points at the ground. No bind there. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
6/30/18 11:07 p.m.

Just found this. I'll try it on the poly bushings on the front of the S10 next time i do something to the front suspension. 

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
7/3/18 9:40 a.m.

The video doesn't show up for me, but based upon the comments it appears that you just wrap teflon tape around the center sleeve.  I don't know how you could get the bushing on over that without destroying the tape.  They fit tightly

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
7/5/18 3:38 p.m.

In reply to carguy123 :

He’s able to press in the bushings in the vid by hand. 

boxedfox
boxedfox Reader
7/6/18 9:51 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to carguy123 :

He’s able to press in the bushings in the vid by hand. 

There's a little video editing magic / laziness in there. I was actually able to get the first bits in by hand, but the last cylinder I actually had to press against the concrete floor of the garage and stand on it to get it to go in.

But the way you get it to go in without the tape coming out is in how you wrap it. if you leave a bit of space between wraps, the tape isn't as likely to bunch up and push out. It also helps to wrap the tape over the open end of the sleeve, and to leave some tape sticking out of the other side.

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