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Discussion Starter #1
We had my wife's 1984 out for a drive yesterday and the front suspension is feeling a little tired. The strut cartridges definitely need replacement and the steering was not feeling as precise as I recall it being a few years ago.

So I've been looking at various rebuild bushings and the big question I have is: which brand of front control arm bushings should I get? I don't want stock rubber bushings. This is a cruiser not a racer, but a little crisper response would be nice. I think that with poly bushings and OEM level struts & shocks, and BFG Radial T/A there would be a reasonable compromise between rise stiffness and steering response.

There seem to be 3 brands available and I'd like to hear from people who have tried them as to how easy they were to install and how it impacted steering precision and harshness.

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Energy Suspension
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Superpro
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Whiteline

Are they even all available any more?
Did they install easily? I've read older posts that indicated that some were not the right dimension, although I've also read some posts that indicate that this was due to worn or distorted control arms..
Did they squeak, were they too rough, did they last a long time?

The Whiteline bushings appear to have an OUTER metal sleeve. I assume this would cause the bush to hold shape better with an inner and outer sleeve. I would think that this would also be easier to install in the arm.

Any opinions or experiences?


Dale
 

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Poly is pretty harsh, IMO. I have the ES ones installed. If you want comfort, I would stay with rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How were they to install? Did they fit or did you struggle to get them in?
Is the rest of your bushings poly and what kind of springs/shocks do you have?
Good input.

Thank you
 

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Is there still an issue with the fitment of the front bushings for the Energy bushings?
I had a spacer made for mine
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Texasissouth

I remembered you discussing this with ray85p in a previous thread, but couldn't find it!
Thanks for linking to it.

Resto mod from rolling shell
Post #128 starts your discussion.

That's why I asked about installation issues.

The SuperPro part DOES look much thicker. I assume that the large diameter end comes off like the washer on the ES.

I can't tell if the Whiteline comes with a similar washer.


Dale
 

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I didn't do the install myself, so I can't really tell you how difficult it was. I do recall on one of the sets (I had a few different parts changed over to poly at the same time), we had to reuse the factory metal sleeve by cutting it out from the old factory bushing being removed. I heard that part was a pain. But I could have sworn this was due to the ES bushings I got at the time did not come with the metal sleeve...
 

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Virtually all aftermarket bushings are not supplied with the OEM outer metal shell, which is to be reused. Otherwise, the outer shell must be pressed out and back in. Care must be taken doing this to not damage the control arms. I was able to successfully press all the front and rear "inner" bushings out while leaving the outer shells in place. I remember reading that some had to burn them out. The OEM style bushings also hold the arm in position front to back.
I like the ES bushings vs any other poly ones. They're the only ones that aren't so rock hard as to be considered metal hard. However, there's a problem in that their thrust washers aren't thick enough to prevent the LCA from moving front to back. The solution is to have 5mm thick spacers made to fit between the thrust washers and the rear mounting flange. The ID to fit over the rear of the bushings and OD just slightly larger than the thrust washers. I and others have been running these for years this way without issues.
Looking at the pics above, the White Lines should be OK as they're already attached to the outer shells, so would have to be changed by pressing the outer shells out and in. I'd be surprised if they're still available. The SuperPros look like their rear flange (equivalent to the ES thrust washer) don't look thick enough to hold the arm in place front to back unless their two halves are actually a very, very tight press fit into the outer shells.
 

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If it was my money I'd spend it on Superpro over ES. ES just seem like they guess half the time on fitment where Superpro actually fits.
 

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Yeah, the SuperPros is probably what I would do if I did it again too. I have the ES, and no complaints about hardness or life so far, but I pretty much put them in a race car. Actually, my biggest complaint about them, besides the odd ass installation weirdness with that washer (I think I cut mine down actually, but I never read any of these threads on issues with them till after I did the install so its all a little foggy), is that they made almost no perceptible difference behind the wheel. Maybe you'll notice them, but that was pretty much the last oem suspension piece left in my suspension when I changed them so I figured for sure I had left a lot of perf and firmness on the table, but nope, didn't notice a difference in feel. Now the strut rod bushings, those make a huge difference going to poly in terms of steering feel, and no real downside in ride harness either.
 

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Do they all have that strange lip then? It looks like even the red ones have the same lip.
The stock rubber bushings were flat planes on both sides, so I had a spacer made that then has the wider second piece sit flush with the inner part.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is fabulous. A picture (or two) is worth a thousand words. I was having a tough time imagining what you and Ray were describing.
I see!
What I find interesting is that the other brands don't use a large diameter washer to help locate the control arm fore/aft position relative to the frame mounting tabs. Is the smaller poly bushing enough to prevent the arm from walking along the Control Arm locating bolt?
 

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That is fabulous. A picture (or two) is worth a thousand words. I was having a tough time imagining what you and Ray were describing.
I see!
What I find interesting is that the other brands don't use a large diameter washer to help locate the control arm fore/aft position relative to the frame mounting tabs. Is the smaller poly bushing enough to prevent the arm from walking along the Control Arm locating bolt?
I don't believe there is much slack for the control arm to move? Mine is pretty snug, it's going to be difficult to get it back together, especially cause one of my tabs is a little bent. I could take a picture of how it fits into the front subframe if you're curious.
IIRC the SuperPro is what you want
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, George at Raptor Racing says he has the Whitelines in stock so I’ve bought a set.

they’re on sale until Thursday night so what a deal!

I’ve got a set of the Energy Suspensions so I’m curious to see how firm they Look by comparison- not on the car though.

My wife’s 84 control arms are not exactly pristine (for that matter neither are her car’s) and I don’t want to take the car off the road until I have everything ready to go. I don’t know what the sleeves look like.

Whiteline seems to have a pretty good reputation generally so I want to see how they look.

I now can thanks to George.

dale
 

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If those whitelines have a new outer sleeve you're in for a fun time. I just pushed the rubber out of the original sleeves and pushed the new bushing in. Replacing the outer sleeve requires cutting the flange and hammering it out. The procedure is outlined in the TSRM, I didn't trust myself to accurately cut the flange without hitting the arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If those whitelines have a new outer sleeve you're in for a fun time. I just pushed the rubber out of the original sleeves and pushed the new bushing in. Replacing the outer sleeve requires cutting the flange and hammering it out. The procedure is outlined in the TSRM, I didn't trust myself to accurately cut the flange without hitting the arm.
What? The online TSRM shows pressing the whole bushing and outer sleeve out (of course using an unobtainable SST set). I assume that the middle part of the SST are 2 spacers to ensure that the arm doesn't get bent when applying pressure. I think that the slot shown are where the two semi-circular spacers meet. I would do this even if pressing the rubber out of the outer spacer. Depending on the age of the arm, it could be pretty fragile.

I will cut some steel u-channel of the correct width to approximate the SST.

On the other hand, I definitely am NOT a mechanic. Am I misunderstanding what they are showing?


14351



MK2 TSRM On-Line

And the truth is, I agree with you that pressing the rubber bush out and leaving the outer sleeve in may be a better idea. But if I try to press the bush and ruin the sleeve I want to have a plan B to fall back on.

In the greater scheme of things the cost of the bushings is pretty low compared to having the car apart all summer.

Totally different topic. What are the Bilsteins for? They never offered them for the Mk II did they? I had a set on a Capri II I used to have and they are utterly and totally stupendous. I've been trying not to ask but I just have to!

Dale
 

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I must be thinking of a different bushing then! Yup, I was thinking of the rear, which I'm pretty sure I didn't push out either. Most poly bushings should rotate inside the sleeve, where rubber ones are bonded and twist, so the outer sleeve, which would be necessary to be replaced with rubber, doesn't matter with poly.

I do think I used a hydraulic press on some of the bushings, but I don't remember which, vice clamp didn't work.

The Bilsteins are for my daily drive, a mazdaspeed3. It's got like 110k miles and is 10ish years old so I'm sure the stock shocks are shot. Heard a lot of good things about them, so hopefully they live up to their reputation.


 
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