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Polyurethane Upper And Lower Control Arm Bushings

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Mar 9, 2009
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Polyurethane Front Sway Bar Bushings

Several years ago I installed a set of polyurethane sway bar bushings and they still look like new.................even with 75,000 miles on them! I had to remove them to install my new control arm bushings and I was shocked to see they don't look any different from when I installed them. So in some cases the polyurethane bushings are vastly superior to the rubber OEM bushings. I would think all polyurethanes aren't equal; some being good and some not. Now I'm hoping my new control arm bushings are good ones that will last a lot longer than the rubber OEM bushings.
 

LLC5

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
2,299
Location
Wa.
Corvette
98 black 6spd convert.
Several years ago I installed a set of polyurethane sway bar bushings and they still look like new.................even with 75,000 miles on them! I had to remove them to install my new control arm bushings and I was shocked to see they don't look any different from when I installed them. So in some cases the polyurethane bushings are vastly superior to the rubber OEM bushings. I would think all polyurethanes aren't equal; some being good and some not. Now I'm hoping my new control arm bushings are good ones that will last a lot longer than the rubber OEM bushings.



Your not sure that you bought "good ones" polyurethane bushings? How did you even decide which ones to buy?

I am a little surprised that you are not putting in steel rods with holes drilled in the centers for better handling and longer than OEM longevity.
 
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I am beginning to realize I'm getting WAY too old for this kind of work using the tools that I presently have. But I got the job done and set my caster angles to 2-1/2 degrees and my camber angles to .3 degrees and will check/set my toe in this morning. Then I'll find out if these polyurethane bushings are really as good as the advertising claims.

Spring compressors: Before I bought my spring compressor from Autozone 6 years ago I would jack up a car and set the spring under the frame then lower the car to compress the spring. Then I would use heavy coat hanger wire to tie one side of the spring before raising the car back up (and bending the spring). That method usually worked pretty good but I have had that wire break when I was in the process of installing the spring...............BAM.
 
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When I was designing machinery I often used the latest "high performance oil impregnated" plastics to replace bronze bushings because of food industry regulations that forbade bronze and leaded bronze bushings. So I'm hoping these new control arm bushings will hold up better than the OEM style rubber bushings. I'll keep an eye on the caster and camber angles as time goes on.
 

GTR1999

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Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
1,146
Location
New Haven CT
Corvette
1969,1972,1975
I am beginning to realize I'm getting WAY too old for this kind of work using the tools that I presently have. But I got the job done and set my caster angles to 2-1/2 degrees and my camber angles to .3 degrees and will check/set my toe in this morning. Then I'll find out if these polyurethane bushings are really as good as the advertising claims.

Spring compressors: Before I bought my spring compressor from Autozone 6 years ago I would jack up a car and set the spring under the frame then lower the car to compress the spring. Then I would use heavy coat hanger wire to tie one side of the spring before raising the car back up (and bending the spring). That method usually worked pretty good but I have had that wire break when I was in the process of installing the spring...............BAM.

You're not going to have to worry about getting any older if you continue to use a coat hanger compress coil springs. The internal compressors don't work all that great on these cars. You are always making tools, make yourself a real corvette coil spring compressor.

Buy a 3' length of Acme threaded 5/8 rod, not the all thread 60* home depot specials. Buy 6 nuts. weld 2 nuts on one end of the rod so you have a long screw with hex head now. Find a piece of steel plate to use on the other end of the rod. Cut it to fit under the lower control arm and/or through the coils. I use it under the arm. Drill a hole in the center for the rod to pass through. Get some thick washers and grease them, place under the welded end and past the rod through the shock tower until it comes out under the lower arm. Place the plate under the arm and use more washers and the nuts. Now you can tighten the rod and compress the spring and safely load and unload it. I have used 60* threaded rod but it only lasts a couple of times and is not as strong as the ACME thread. You can find pictures of these online.
 
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After I put several hundred miles on my new polyurethane bushings I checked the alignment and found the caster and camber angles had increased several tenths of a degree. So while I was re-aligning it I had the chance to install my new 1/8" X 8" one-piece shims so I could recover 1/2" worth of individual shims for later use. Note how I keep my shims wired together which prevents a shim from dropping out and me not noticing it had dropped out. And I always put the thinner 1/16" and 1/32" shims in the middle of the pack.

I have polyurethane bushings in my front sway bar and at the ends of my rear leaf spring and after several years of use they still look like new. So I'll find out just how well they stand up in my upper and lower control arm. I have heard of them crumbling into little pieces but so far I haven't seen that happen. Maybe the bushings in question were cheap Chinese knock-offs?
 

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Antz81

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Dec 21, 2013
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Auckland, New Zealand
Corvette
1981 4 speed
Buy a 3' length of Acme threaded 5/8 rod, not the all thread 60* home depot specials. Buy 6 nuts. weld 2 nuts on one end of the rod so you have a long screw with hex head now. Find a piece of steel plate to use on the other end of the rod. Cut it to fit under the lower control arm and/or through the coils. I use it under the arm. Drill a hole in the center for the rod to pass through. Get some thick washers and grease them, place under the welded end and past the rod through the shock tower until it comes out under the lower arm. Place the plate under the arm and use more washers and the nuts. Now you can tighten the rod and compress the spring and safely load and unload it. I have used 60* threaded rod but it only lasts a couple of times and is not as strong as the ACME thread. You can find pictures of these online.

Thats how i did mine a little while ago. I was using metric since it's easier to come by here. Worked well.
 

KANE

Moderator
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Mar 2, 2002
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3,244
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KY
Corvette
Dark Blue 1982 Trans Am(s): Polo Green 1995 MN6
There are things I will do. I have no problem with pulling engines, revamping air & fuel delivery, intakes, and even working on the calibration itself.

I will be brutally honest... I hate working on suspension.

That's my least favorite thing to do. And that's when I subcontract out. I don't own the tools I think I'd need to do it right. More importantly, I don't have the motivation to do it at all.

I think that's where it is important to have an honest appraisal of one's abilities and where one's interest lies. If someone takes shortcuts that are unsafe because they want to save a buck- they will pay for it at some point.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
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13,453
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CenCoast CA
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71 04 12 19
(snip)
Before I bought my spring compressor from Autozone 6 years ago I would jack up a car and set the spring under the frame then lower the car to compress the spring. Then I would use heavy coat hanger wire to tie one side of the spring before raising the car back up (and bending the spring). That method usually worked pretty good but I have had that wire break when I was in the process of installing the spring...............BAM.

Wait...what?
You used "coat hanger wire" to hold the spring compressed? And you say that worked "pretty good" in spite of the wire breaking "...in the process installing the spring........BAM".

BAM, indeed.

"toobroketoretire", I submit that you need to change your screen name to "dumbasswithadeathwish".

What bothers me :mad is you unabashedly post to the CAC on a regular basis about some of the dangerous ideas with which you experiement. What's worse is you don't seem to care about other, less-technically astute CAC members who, being anxious to learn, may try some of the foolish procedures (suggested by someone who claims he is a "mechanical engineer" and "engine builder) then damage their Corvettes or injure themselves in the process.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
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Location
Yemen
The polyurethane bushings come with a very interested semi-clear "grease" and by putting the "squished out" grease back into the container as I installed the bushings I actually ended up with some extra grease. I have run these new bushings for over a week without a failure so hopefully they'll last 250,000 miles.
 

Vettehead Mikey

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Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Messages
3,486
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Not that far from Ottawa
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1973 Coupe
Wait...what?
You used "coat hanger wire" to hold the spring compressed? And you say that worked "pretty good" in spite of the wire breaking "...in the process installing the spring........BAM".

BAM, indeed.

"toobroketoretire", I submit that you need to change your screen name to "dumbasswithadeathwish".

What bothers me :mad is you unabashedly post to the CAC on a regular basis about some of the dangerous ideas with which you experiement. What's worse is you don't seem to care about other, less-technically astute CAC members who, being anxious to learn, may try some of the foolish procedures (suggested by someone who claims he is a "mechanical engineer" and "engine builder) then damage their Corvettes or injure themselves in the process.


If you look up 'discussion boards troll', it's pretty clear that the OP precisely and consistently fits the description.

Why People Troll and How to Stop Them


It is also obvious that the trolling behaviour is intentional and not accidental. The CAC is just one of a long list of discussion boards, not all of which have anything to do with Corvettes, that he has disrupted. The behaviour goes back at least 5 years from what I can see.

I agree with your thought that a new owner may inadvertently follow one of his dangerous ideas and end up getting hurt or killed. At a minimum, I'd suggest that the mods delete (not just close) such treads.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Jan 10, 2001
Messages
13,453
Location
CenCoast CA
Corvette
71 04 12 19
If you look up 'discussion boards troll', it's pretty clear that the OP precisely and consistently fits the description.

Why People Troll and How to Stop Them

I am familiar with the term "troll" but was not aware of the full definition of trolling which was fascinating reading.

It is also obvious that the trolling behaviour is intentional and not accidental. The CAC is just one of a long list of discussion boards, not all of which have anything to do with Corvettes, that he has disrupted. The behaviour goes back at least 5 years from what I can see.

Hmmm....
I was as not aware of that.

I agree with your thought that a new owner may inadvertently follow one of his dangerous ideas and end up getting hurt or killed. At a minimum, I'd suggest that the mods delete (not just close) such treads.

Well...strangely...I think that, unless there are some pretty specific requirements a post would have to meet before a mod could decide said post is "dangerous", deleting such threads could be a "slippery slope". Also, with all due respect to the work CAC mods do, there are some highly technical subjects some mods might not be qualified on which to "pass judgement".

To be honest, if some product or procedure is just dumb rather than being dangerous, I'd rather see it posted and refuted rather than deleted. Of course, then someone has to decide "Is just dumb" or is it "not only dumb but dangerous."

Finally, is there educational value in allowing potentially "dangerous content" to just be closed with some sort of disclaimer as to its level of hazard? For example:

CAC member X posts:
I work under my Corvette when it's spported by a floor jack.

Do we delete that because such behavior is dangerous?

Or, do we let CAC member Y post:
That is dangerous as hell. Always support the car with jack stands before working under it because floor jacks can fail squashing unsuspecting DIYs like pancakes.

Then close the thread.

I guess this issue of "dangerous threads" is an issue for the Site Administrator and the Mods to consider.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
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Location
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Polyurethane

I would think there is good polyurethane and bad polyurethane and the good polyurethane will cost more. If a vendor gets a lot of complaints about the polyurethane items he sells he'll switch vendors until he is satisfied he is selling a good product. Summit Racing has a good track record of selling quality products so I trust them.

Other than my OEM style engine mounts I am using polyurethane everywhere on my '68 and '71. I have a 3/8" NC bolt and self locking nut thru my engine mounts so they cannot pull apart so they will likely last forever.
 

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