Grassroots Motorsports LIVE! on Wednesday June 6: What’s the Best Way to Remove Bushings?

What’s the best way to remove old suspension bushings? Sawzall? Fire? Press? Drill? This Wednesday on Grassroots Motorsports LIVE! presented by CRC Industries we’ll compare the internet’s favorite methods to remove stuck suspension bushings.

Join us with questions and comments live on Wednesday, June 6, at 9 p.m. Eastern on our Facebook and YouTube hubs and don’t forget your respirator.

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Toebra
Toebra HalfDork
6/4/18 3:10 p.m.

I don't know what the best way is, but I can say with some confidence that the guys in the photo should be using something other than a torch on that Miata.  Timely tale though, doing the job this weekend on mine.

te72
te72 Reader
6/5/18 12:03 a.m.

Replaced every bushing on my Supra a few years back. I just looked through a couple hundred pictures of that process. Appears that I used a couple different hammers, a pry bar, a just-right-sized socket, a bolt and washer, a bearing puller, an air hammer, a hole saw, and quite a bit of PB'laster.

 

Everything but the hole saw worked wonderfully. Also, just looking at those pictures makes me a bit exhausted. Can look through them all in a few minutes, but all that work took probably 2 months!

Toebra
Toebra HalfDork
6/5/18 11:47 a.m.

Doing the job this weekend, will press them out and press new ones in using HF ball joint servicing tool

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
6/5/18 12:10 p.m.
Toebra said:

Doing the job this weekend, will press them out and press new ones in using HF ball joint servicing tool

Do you have experience doing bushings with this tool?  I’m about to do an e36 rear subframe and will pick one up if it works well. 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
6/5/18 1:22 p.m.
Lof8 said:
Toebra said:

Doing the job this weekend, will press them out and press new ones in using HF ball joint servicing tool

Do you have experience doing bushings with this tool?  I’m about to do an e36 rear subframe and will pick one up if it works well. 

Be sure to heat the rear diff before attempting to press the bushing out.  On mine, the bushing was so stuck we cracked the diff cover trying to press it out!  

stafford1500
stafford1500 HalfDork
6/5/18 1:43 p.m.

Sweet, a hammer and fire episode...

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/6/18 9:22 a.m.

Just a bump since tonight's the night. 

JBasham
JBasham HalfDork
6/6/18 10:15 a.m.
Lof8 said:
Toebra said:

Doing the job this weekend, will press them out and press new ones in using HF ball joint servicing tool

Do you have experience doing bushings with this tool?  I’m about to do an e36 rear subframe and will pick one up if it works well. 

For that level of investment, I prefer this BMW-specific E36 tool kit:  PMD bushing/bearing press kit for E36 and E46

I bought mine AFTER I did my subframe bushings, so I can't promise it will get them done.  But it's the ONLY thing I know of that will do the outer control arm bushings quickly and without ever destroying the new bushing on reinstallation.  It does RTABs nicely, better than the Bimmerworld RTAB tool.  I even managed to use it to press in a rear wheel bearing, and that's a really tough job.

As for the subframe bushings, they are large diameter and very long.  The HF tool set doesn't have the long receivers and drive screws that I would need to deal with the subframe bushings.   The PMD kit doesn't have anything with a large enough diameter to do the job on its own.  But it has the length, and I would rather have that available while I kludged something together with an iron pipe nipple and a pipe cap as the press receiver.  Or more likely, I would borrow the AdvanceAuto Powerbuilt 23-piece balljoint/ujoint kit and see if the big receiver pipe in that set was large enough.  

maschinenbau
maschinenbau Dork
6/6/18 10:31 a.m.

I just did this two nights ago to get a LCA bushing replaced.

It worked pretty good

To remove the old one, I hammered out the center to break the rubber, then I cut sliced the ID of the shell with a hack saw (feed the blade through the hole first then re-assemble hacksaw). With two good slices in the ID of the shell, I was about to hammer and "screwdriver chisel" the shell out.

deaconblue
deaconblue New Reader
6/6/18 10:45 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Reminds me of the time I used a 3 ton floor jack and 2x6's to help take the twist out of the side walls of an old 18' wide garage with a 16' wide over head door. 

Seriously though buying the Harbor Freight 12 ton shop press was a great investment.  Use it to replace all the bushings in my old FC RX-7 and it has come in handy ever since.  Recently had to press out the corroded in place hub bearing in the aluminum knuckles of my wife's Epsilon II based Buick turbo Regal.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
6/6/18 11:12 a.m.
Lof8 said:
Toebra said:

Doing the job this weekend, will press them out and press new ones in using HF ball joint servicing tool

Do you have experience doing bushings with this tool?  I’m about to do an e36 rear subframe and will pick one up if it works well. 

There will be an E36 rear subframe being featured in tonight's show! The four main mounting bushings have already been replaced but the horizontal smaller bushing will be pulled out. 

The four main bushings were a piece of cake with a hydraulic press and a couple other odds and ends. I sat the subframe in the press on top of a short piece of 3-inch exhaust pipe so the subframe is kept square and the bushing then gets pushed down into the pipe. This allows you to sit it on the press without the rest of the subframe interfering with the press.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
6/6/18 8:29 p.m.
paranoid_android
paranoid_android UltraDork
6/6/18 9:14 p.m.

I missed it darn it.

Hopefully no Crocs (or feet) were harmed during the show wink

te72
te72 Reader
6/6/18 9:47 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Heh, that's clever. Thanks for the idea that I hopefully never have to borrow!

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
6/7/18 7:44 a.m.

So is it ok to share the way to get free swag or is that just for the cool people that were watching last night?  

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
6/7/18 8:22 a.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

Share away!

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
6/7/18 2:48 p.m.

Well at least they should be required to watch the video and get it from there yes?  wink  You have to earn your GRM swag yes?

Toebra
Toebra HalfDork
6/7/18 5:39 p.m.

Oh, and word around the campfire is that you want to use a lubricant when pressing in rubber bushings.  Glycerine/dish soap is what was recommended to me.

 

HF universal ball joint servicing kit has been suggested for this job by numerous Miata sources.

te72
te72 Reader
6/7/18 9:21 p.m.

In reply to Toebra :

I used a silicon spray, but I was installing polyurethane subframe bushings in this case. Slipped right in with a light tap or three from a plastic dead blow mallet.

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