Apr 11, 2012 update to the Mercedes-Benz 230 S project car

New Subframe Bushings

Our bushings were near catastrophic failure.
By carefully lifting the engine we were able to pry the subframe down enough to slip old bushings out and new bushings in.
The subframe bushings are located underneath plastic plugs in the front unibody frame rails. We used an awl to center the new bushings so we could get the bolts to line up.
While we had the car in the air, we checked all the fluids, too.

Had we gone over just one jump, we would have probably knocked the whole front subframe out of the car.

Before entering the upcoming SCCA rallycross event with our 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 S, we decided we had better “nut and bolt” and look the major systems over one more time. Good thing we did, because we discovered that the subframe bushings had come apart and were on the brink of catastrophic failure.

Had we gone over just one jump, we would have probably knocked the whole front subframe out of the car.

We sourced a new pair of bushings for less than $100 and set to work changing them. We decided that if we were sneaky, we could do the job with the front end assembled by simply loosening the anti-roll bar and removing wheels and tires. From there, we could loosen the old bushing bolts, lift the engine slightly and pry the subframe down, giving us just enough space to remove the old bushings and slide in the replacements.

We feared this process would take more than a day, but it ended up taking just a few hours. With new subframe bushings installed, the engine did not wander around in the engine compartment anymore and the car was safe to run. On smooth pavement, we hadn’t noticed this deficiency. We sure would have noticed it in a hurry the first time the front end got light on a rallycross run.

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