MCarp22 Reader
June 27, 2010 11:58 a.m.

The topic is pretty self-explanatory. This week, the rubber 160k stock bushings are fired, and i've got an energy suspension set ready to install. I figure the hard part is getting the old bushings out, as the two-piece poly bushings usually just slide right into place. A "once you get the arms off, take it to {retailer name here} to have the bushings pressed out for a nickel" would be fine too.

Any suggestions, advice, and anecdotes from experience would be appreciated. Thanks GRM!

unevolved HalfDork
June 27, 2010 12:12 p.m.

It's not hard at all to do with a press. A hydraulic press is ~$100 from Harbor Freight.

If you're going to be repainting them, you can always burn them out with an acetylene torch, but that's usually more trouble than it's worth.

Junkyard_Dog HalfDork
June 27, 2010 1:16 p.m.

Read the instructions carefully as some suppliers want you to re-use the metal "shell" from the stock bushings. Just thinking about it makes me curse.

Marty! Dork
June 27, 2010 1:19 p.m.

A propane torch worked for me. Put in vise and burn the rubber out. Watch out though - little flaming balls of rubber will try to drip their way onto your feet. Also plan on holding your breath as it will start to smell like a tire fire after awhile.

Keith SuperDork
June 27, 2010 1:20 p.m.

Get yourself a copy of "Mazda Miata Performance Projects" and read all about it :) You can use a Harbor Freight "ball joint service tool" to remove the old bushings - it's basically a big C-clamp with adapters. I don't like burning out the old ones because of what the heat might do to the metal in the control arms, and it stinks.

I've never seen a set of Miata bushings where you had to retain the metal sleeve in the middle. I can't imaging trying to remove that from the stockers, yikes. This is not a problem with the Energy parts.

One suggestion before you start - do an inventory of those Energy Suspension bushings. They're not very good at portion control and it's common to be short one or two pieces. Unless you bought your bushings from Flyin' Miata, in which case we already checked the contents of your kit..

weconway New Reader
June 27, 2010 3:07 p.m.
Keith wrote: You can use a Harbor Freight "ball joint service tool" to remove the old bushings - it's basically a big C-clamp with adapters.

I rented one of these from AutoZone for the grand total of $0. Made a nightmare of a job a piece of cake.

Woo hoo! I finally get to comment intelligently on a technical issue! Maybe I'm not the dullest knife in this drawer.

William

MCarp22 Reader
June 27, 2010 3:11 p.m.
Keith wrote: Get yourself a copy of "Mazda Miata Performance Projects" and read all about it :)

But it's all the way out in the garage, and I'm in here in the air conditioning! ;)

Keith wrote: You can use a Harbor Freight "ball joint service tool" to remove the old bushings - it's basically a big C-clamp with adapters.

I've read about that. Does it work for all of them, or are there a couple that are too big or whatever?

Keith wrote: One suggestion before you start - do an inventory of those Energy Suspension bushings. They're not very good at portion control and it's common to be short one or two pieces. Unless you bought your bushings from Flyin' Miata, in which case we already checked the contents of your kit..

Thanks!

Keith SuperDork
June 27, 2010 3:37 p.m.

I've never used the Harbor Freight kit myself - I use a hydraulic press :) But I've had very good feedback from it.

motomoron Reader
June 27, 2010 3:44 p.m.

I just did this job on my Mee-otter. It's not horrible - just tedious and repetitive. I have a pretty big hydraulic H-frame press, a large milk crate full of assorted sections of round, square and flat stock, every socket imaginable, and a sizable vise - and I used all of it.

Miata bushings have a huge advantage over most others I've done - the outside is rubber, not steel. I'd get the press setup dialed for each operation then heat the control arm around the bushing being extracted 'til it was smoking a bit then push it out.

The 2 in the diff carrier/crossmember have a split steel flange hidden in rubber - use a Sawz-y'all to cut through the splits in the steel, support the diff carrier on a concrete floor and drive the bushing out w/ a BFH and a big drift, like an old strut shaft.

The swaybar endlinks are a bit of a pain to get out - the new ones go in in the vise.

I've got pics from the process HERE

MrJoshua SuperDork
June 27, 2010 4:02 p.m.

Using the Harbor Freight Ball Joint Remover

Pic from This Thread

MCarp22 Reader
June 27, 2010 5:21 p.m.
motomoron wrote: The 2 in the diff carrier/crossmember have a split steel flange hidden in rubber - use a Sawz-y'all to cut through the splits in the steel, support the diff carrier on a concrete floor and drive the bushing out w/ a BFH and a big drift, like an old strut shaft.

I'm going to wait until i get a 1.8 diff to worry about those.

Appleseed SuperDork
June 27, 2010 5:30 p.m.

Can't find the thread from Clubroadster or M-net but it was suggested to use the three jaw puller set from Harbor Freight. Pull em in, pull em out.

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece-three-jaw-puller-set-8832.html

Keith SuperDork
June 27, 2010 11:12 p.m.

Putting in the new poly bushings is easy. I use a bench vice or just my hands. The trick is grease on all surfaces - outside of the bushing, inside of the control arm, etc.

Appleseed SuperDork
June 28, 2010 12:04 a.m.

I wish I could find that exact post. There is a lot I left out.

kabel Dork
June 28, 2010 8:46 p.m.

Also did all of mine with the Harbor Freight Ball Joint Remover. The task was pretty easy overall.

MCarp22 Reader
June 29, 2010 2:12 a.m.

Bushings and other misc repairs are all present and accounted for:

Photobucket

Appleseed SuperDork
June 29, 2010 3:35 a.m.

Christmas in (almost) July.

ZOO Dork
June 29, 2010 5:29 a.m.

I'm thinking of the FM tubular control arm set for two reasons -- new bushings and ball joints, and I can probably recover some cash by selling the old ones to someone else who wants to keep their car on the road while replacing all the bushing in their Miata.

Wally SuperDork
June 29, 2010 5:34 a.m.
MCarp22 wrote:
Keith wrote: Get yourself a copy of "Mazda Miata Performance Projects" and read all about it :)
But it's all the way out in the garage, and I'm in here in the air conditioning! ;)

buy another one

Tyler H Dork
June 29, 2010 8:12 a.m.
Keith wrote: One suggestion before you start - do an inventory of those Energy Suspension bushings. They're not very good at portion control and it's common to be short one or two pieces. Unless you bought your bushings from Flyin' Miata, in which case we already checked the contents of your kit..

Quoted for truth:

The kit for my MR2 included the wrong center sleeves. Luckily they were too long and I was able to cut them off.

I burnt my old bushings out because I was younger and not well-tooled. This is the kind of job best performed in a neighbor's yeard. It takes a looong time, spews carcinogens and starts grass fires.

After doing several sets on MR2s, I won't use poly bushings any more. They're sloppier than new rubber bushings. That's for a different thread, though.

wreckerboy SuperDork
June 29, 2010 9:02 a.m.

Before you go ahead and replace those old bushings, do you really need to do so? The reason I ask is that if you are just looking for firmer bushings and the existing bushings are intact the old ones have probably hardened up like a rock at this point and are less compliant than anything short of Delrin or poly.

I replaced the (then) 15 year old bushings in my SSM and probably should have left them in place.

If you are going to replace them, I highly recommend the HF tool. It is the easy button solution to this job. When I replaced the bushings above my then girlfriend (now wife) was able to press them in and out herself using it. The only other thing to consider is lubricant for the new bushings. I used "adult lubricant" and it works like a charm. It does not affect the rubber in any fashion and is water soluble.

You just have to explain to your wife why you are going out to the garage with a tub of the stuff.

MCarp22 Reader
July 4, 2010 5:39 p.m.

This is actually really easy. Installation is going quite well. thanks for the tips GRM types!

Junkyard_Dog HalfDork
July 4, 2010 5:48 p.m.
wreckerboy wrote: The only other thing to consider is lubricant for the new bushings. I used "adult lubricant" and it works like a charm. It does not affect the rubber in any fashion and is water soluble. You just have to explain to your wife why you are going out to the garage with a tub of the stuff.

ROFLMAO!

Imagine what the neighbors must think.

MCarp22 Reader
July 4, 2010 6:49 p.m.

Photobucket

kabel Dork
July 4, 2010 9:57 p.m.

^atta boy.

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