baumy
baumy
3/27/18 8:04 a.m.

I am wanting to upgrade to spherical bushings where possible on my EK STU/STL/H1 car.  What kind are people using, where are you getting them, and which ones are you replacing?  I've been looking at the Kingpin ones, but $$$!!  Any cheaper alternatives or is that just the cost of going that route?

boxedfox
boxedfox New Reader
3/29/18 1:12 a.m.

The tradeoff with going to a cheaper spherical bearing conversion is that the bearings in the cheaper kits wear out more quickly and have to be replaced more often. Hardrace used to sell press-in spherical bearings for a lot of Honda cars, and they scaled that back after getting a myriad of complaints about premature wear and fitment issues during installation. They worked as long as you replaced the bushings once every two seasons and didn't force the bushings in on the press.

On the other hand Kingpin Machine's control arm conversions last longer because they completely overbuild everything. They start with NHBB racing bearings which are probably the nicest and most expensive spherical bearings you can get. Then they custom machine sleeves to match the exact set of suspension arms that you send in. Then they send the whole thing in for zinc re-plating because they're deathly afraid of corrosion. The whole process is so inefficient that it would bring an automotive engineer to tears. But the end result is a set of suspension arms that you don't have to replace for a very long time. I've been in a DE car with 5 season old Kingpin Machine built control arms. No clunking, no funny behaviors. Pretty unbelievable.

As far as your question about the cost of going this route, what Kingpin Machines charges is actually cheaper than what it would cost to do a spherical bearing conversion if you worked with a good machine shop (you won't believe some of the quotes I got from local machine shops in NJ & PA. Holy hell). The materials and labor costs are so high I'm actually sitting here wondering how they make any money.

So yeah. Expensive. And worth it. Sorry.

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