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Installing Front Suspension Bushings

Article by:GTRaptor Profile | E-Mail

Summary:

Rubber is great for noise insulation, but with time it deteriorates and becomes too flexible. This article attempts to help give you information on how to install new front bushing for your Mustang.

Details:

The front Mustang suspension uses rubber bushings everywhere; control arms, steering rack, swaybar, endlinks. And just after a few years the ride will deteriorate a lot.

At the steering rack for example, the bushings will let the rack move up & down and side to side with every bump in the road, this is not the best thing to happen, and it just gets worse if you car is lowered.

The lower arm bushings will also move, dynamically changing the front wheel alignment making it very unpredictable in road racing applications,

One way to improve the front suspension is to use solid or at least urethane bushings.

Solid bushings are the best if your car is a road racer, but on the street they are very noisy, on the other hand, urethane allows some noise insulation but being harder than rubber they will also get rid of that mushy front suspension response.

Installing new Steering rack bushings

To offset or not to.

In lowered cars the front end geometry suffers when the relationship between the lower arms and steering rack changes. When stock, the arms and rack are almost parallel, but when lowered the arms tend to be higher, this increases whats called bump steer or the tendency of the front to turn when you hit a bump.

In order to reduce bumpsteer, some people recommend offset steering rack bushings NOT!, in these bushings the center hole is offset in order to compensate for the rack & arms relationship. But theres a downside to installing them as they could rotate changing the relationship of rack and arms more and increasing bumpsteer further.

Your best bet is to get a normal (non-offset) set of urethane bushings.

Installation:

We bought a set of PROTHANE urethane bushings from Maximum Motorsports.

Installation is simple, raise the front, disconnect the steering column from the rack (1 bolt), remove the rack bolts, pull the rack forward, remove the rubber bushings and install the new ones.

A mallet is needed to set the new bushings in place, first intall the REAR bushings and put the rack in place, then install the front bushings. Some lubrication might be needed to make them slide. Use some WD40, but DONT grease them with the supplied grease, you dont want those bushings to move.

Tighten the bolts and you are set, reinstall the steering column and dont forget to tighten it.

FRONT LOWER ARM BUSHINGS

Installing stiffer lower arm bushings will keep you alignment in range on those twisties, making the steering respond better and faster to steering input.

Here the same guidelines apply as with the steering bushings, solid ones for Road Race only and urethane for street.

Here you want those bushings to be greased or else they will tend to squeek. We also got PROTHANE urethane bushings from Maximum Motorsports.

Installation:

You will have to raise and remove the front wheels, struts, coil springs struts and lower arms.

Remove the control arm bushings and then get the rubber bushings out of their shell, which you will have to reuse with the new bushings.

In order to remove them you will need a bench press or a propane torch !! yes, the torch you will use to heat and sometimes melt the rubber bushing to get it out of the shell. This process could take some time, so be patient.

This is what we did, we drilled a few holes between the sell and bushing, then we heated the shell a bit and used the press to get the rubber out. Took about 30 minutes for the whole set.

 

One thing to do to the new bushings is install a zerk grease fitting in them to provide an easy way to grease them if noise gets anoying. Place the bushings in their shells and drill a hole in each, big enough to screw in a zerk grease fitting.

Installation is easy but the whole process takes time as you have to remove most of the front suspension components.

THE VEREDICT

The improvement over stock is very noticeable, the rubber allows all the components to move making the suspension flex all around. We had a bit of bumpsteer before and now it is completely gonne.

Steering is now predictable and quite responsive.

 

The front Mustang suspension uses rubber bushings everywhere; control arms, steering rack, swaybar, endlinks. And just after a few years the ride will deteriorate.

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