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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I went to my mech to inspect the source of annoying thudding/clakking from suspension that intensified recently and as per my predictions its the worn LCA bushings. Both LCas were replaced by PO 60k miles ago (OEM Volvo) so considering my aggresive driving style and country roads I travel on, I think its pretty standard life expectancy of those?

lca.jpg

Question now - I was told to get replacement bushings only, not whole arms, so I was wondering if there is any point in sourcing polybush replacement over normal FEBI/whatever available replacements? If so, what are advantages/disadvantages of polybushings in that place?

I was also considering replacing bushes on front ARB while they are at it, I guess its generally advised to polybush that part, am I right?


thanks for info
 

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I didn’t know it was advised to polybush the arb. I’m following this thread so I can find out about polybushjng as well because I don’t think my bushings have ever been replaced in the LCAs and I’m almost at 140k...


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I didn’t know it was advised to polybush the arb. I’m following this thread so I can find out about polybushjng as well because I don’t think my bushings have ever been replaced in the LCAs and I’m almost at 140k...


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So I bought a pair of crappy $50 for a pair LCAs. The reason I got them is because they had bolted on ball joints (easy replacement) and I had a shop press out the existing bushings. Here's what I learned along the way:
#1 - the front bushes (single bolt hole) can come in a press-in design or a sandwich design that is super easy to do.
#2 - the rear bushes (two bolt holes, press on), come in two forms - there's a press out the old and press in the new one, that just slides over it's mating bit on the end of the rod on the LCA. There is also an EXPENSIVE set of bushings that's like $300/a pair and they don't have any mating bits - the rod just goes into the Polyurethane hole and it bolts straight into the frame from there.

The problem with ALL of these is options is that you must disassemble and grease them to prevent weardown and squeaking. I greased mine excessively when I put them on using Silaramic Brake grease - it was dried out within 6 months and the textured inside of my mating bits had begun to wear down, meaning grease wouldn't last as long next go around.
Unfortunately like most things - the handling with them in was absolutely superb - so much so I have considered poly-filling my next Meyle HD's LCA's bushings when time comes for them to go in to get the best of both worlds with no maintenance. That would be your best bet too - OEM design with aftermarket stability IMO. Easy to do after watching a few youtube videos - but requires a few weeks of dry time depending on your need.

Powerflex and Nolathane are two companies that offer Poly Bushings if you want (nolathane requries you buy two packs @55 each). The third company escapes me at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Avenger - sorry, you lost me :)

first off - you are talking only about LCA bushings yes? Evy was referring to my AntiRollBar comment, but thats not part of your answer, or did I miss it somewhere?

secondly - to clarify on my LCA questtion, I was advised to replace just this part : LINK, are you saying the front bushes are also pronne to damage or that its worth to replace with polybush for stability only? Polybushing needs maintenance (greasing you mentioned) or all this was about OEM replacement parts?

confused :}
 

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I greased mine excessively when I put them on using Silaramic Brake grease - it was dried out within 6 months and the textured inside of my mating bits had begun to wear down, meaning grease wouldn't last as long next go around.
Congratulations. Wrong grease. Some bushing grease types are ok and last for up to three years or so, the longest life so far in my experience has been with heavy duty industrial MOS2 grease, 5+ years and still going strong without a hint of squeaking.

OTOH, once the control arms are out it's pretty easy to drill and tap holes for grease zerks, so you can grease them without disassembling anything in the future.

Handling... well, you described the effect very well. Polyurethane bushings are by far the #1 upgrade for chassis and steering response, they can transform a barge into a go kart. P1:s have a fairly decent suspension geometry as-is, and upgrading bushings (and maybe replacing shocks with coilovers if you're serious about this) is a simple and effective - if slightly laborious - way to take the handling characteristics to a whole new level. The only downside is a slight increase in NVH but nothing unbearable like with delrin bushings or spherical bearings.
 

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Huge steering/suspension firmness upgrafe, slightly more vibrations and harsher impacts, requires some maintenance, molybdenum disulfide grease is your friend everywhere.
 

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In my experience, poly bushings for any chassis component improve handing performance at the expense of noise, vibration and ride comfort. As already noted, they must be properly lubricated to avoid annoying squeaks.

If you have other suspension/chassis performance mods, then poly bushings will help get the most out of those mods. If you don't and your car is a daily driver, I'd avoid them.

As always, YMMV.
 

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If you don't and your car is a daily driver, I'd avoid them.
It all depends on what the starting point is, what kind of tires and suspension components you're going to use and so on. With full-blown, external reservoir 60mm+ coilovers, 8kg+ springs, solid subframe mounts and rigid R-compound tires the experience may be a bit on the harsh side. A sedan/wagon like P1 with full poly kit, mild suspension upgrades (KW V1, H&R or equivalent) and street tires is still very quiet, comfortable and streetable as a daily driver. Impact harshness doesn't change much if at all and the most noticeable difference is that minor bumps on the road can be felt through the steering feel.

I found my personal tolerance limit with Aragosta full race coilovers, spherical bearing arms and Michelin Porsche cup semislicks on aluminum block -mounted subframes on an approximately P1-sized car. A crapload of fun at triple the speed limit but sheer agony anywhere below that. The accuracy and immediacy was incredible, though; if you drove over a sheet of paper you could read it by steering feel alone. :D
 

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Congratulations. Wrong grease. Some bushing grease types are ok and last for up to three years or so, the longest life so far in my experience has been with heavy duty industrial MOS2 grease, 5+ years and still going strong without a hint of squeaking.
+1 for MOS2. Not sure if anyone has done an evaporative longevity test on silicone/ceramic based grease? In a sealed environment (like brake pins) it worked great. High heat tolerance and all, I just cleaned my brakes up that I did like a year and a half ago and it was still plenty soft and lubey.
Oh well, you learn something new every day. Silaramic no bueno for non-sealed enviornments.

Avenger - sorry, you lost me :)

first off - you are talking only about LCA bushings yes? Evy was referring to my AntiRollBar comment, but thats not part of your answer, or did I miss it somewhere?

secondly - to clarify on my LCA questtion, I was advised to replace just this part : LINK, are you saying the front bushes are also pronne to damage or that its worth to replace with polybush for stability only? Polybushing needs maintenance (greasing you mentioned) or all this was about OEM replacement parts?

confused :}
The front bushes are significantly less prone to damage - in fact mine were great when I got rid of them. I will say the increased stability is part of a system, but much less impacting than the rear bushes. This is part in the design that they weren't designed to give any so they really don't - and polys give even less - however the rear bushes were designed to give - so they are where the primary failures are. I would replace them all if I did it at any given time, but it's not requried.

I would be glad if you could find a shop to press yours off without screwing up your LCA's. I had 2 shops do 2 separate sets and they both managed to score the shafts pretty badly (one used an air hammer and a chisel tip to peel it off and ate into their shafts, the other used a press like I asked but scored the length of the shaft). bright side is with poly's once theyre in there you'd never need to replace them again unless they crack or fail somehow inconsistent with the material.
 

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Oh well, you learn something new every day. Silaramic no bueno for non-sealed enviornments.
As a sidenote and an additional failsafe measure, polishing the metal surfaces that are in contact with polyurethane reduces wear, friction and risk of premature failure. If you install zerks you'll have to deburr anyway, including a quick sanding job with a small, fine-grit, cylindrical flap wheel. Taking it one step further and giving the surfaces (arms, mounts, flanges, sleeves, bolts) once-over with a cotton wheel and medium-grit polishing compound works wonders. Combine that with a proper grease and you're all set.

The reduction in friction and wear is noticeable. Normally you can move an installed, torqued suspension arm by hand, after a polishing job by a single finger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would be glad if you could find a shop to press yours off without screwing up your LCA's. I had 2 shops do 2 separate sets and they both managed to score the shafts pretty badly (one used an air hammer and a chisel tip to peel it off and ate into their shafts, the other used a press like I asked but scored the length of the shaft). bright side is with poly's once theyre in there you'd never need to replace them again unless they crack or fail somehow inconsistent with the material.
Well, my mech insisted on ordering just the bushings as with his words "its pointless to spend money on full LCA, we can easily replace just bushings" and to my knowledge they did that before so I kinda hope they know what they are doing. Guess I will find out soon ;)

from the replies it seem to me that going polbush may be a bit excessive/pointless for my daily driver with total stock suspension. Probably more expensive too as I cant even get them in my area cheaply enough. I may just try the easiest option with those FEBI replacements and see how it goes.
Will update in some time after job is carried out, just to share experience. tx!
 

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Well - I got under my car last night in a final last ditch effort to find the reason for my steering wheel shake when @50-65mph and when braking. There was never any pulsation through the pedal and while new rotors helped significantly the problem was still there.

I got these pictures - which I couldn't believe given how these LCA's are less than a year old and were of good quality (though they do have the obvious turned bushing issue, which seems to be the exact SAME issue I got with my new arms this go around - maybe it's a manufacturers standard now)? Zoom in to see the goodies




So I picked up two more from a local auto parts store (lifetime warranty so shouldn't be an issue if they go bad). They curiously had the same orientation for the rear bushing inserts.

Anyways - got them filled with polyurethane (very small amount in each did it as they do not pass through to the other side of the bushing). Two bubbles came up in each but that was it. Otherwise the fill was very easy. It's pretty soft when cured rated at Shore 50 hardness, but taking up that free space should keep it from having too much flex when driving. That being said - I'll let you knwo about the handling - it will be much easier to do when you just have fresh bushings in your hands as opposed to having them on the arms. I did the easy sides first:



Due to the nature of the center of the bushings - they will have absolutely no issue with torsion and should not be able to pop out given the design and how filling them with soft and flowable leveling polyurethane allows for both air to escape easily and for even distribution around all the ridges and everything.

Here's how i hung them to dry for the next 2 days and cure up before I flip them over and do the other sides:
 

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I got these pictures - which I couldn't believe given how these LCA's are less than a year old and were of good quality
As a sidenote, properly installed and lubricated polyurethane bushings will easily last the lifetime of the car. That's why I use them everywhere and even our old, ratty minivan is about to get a full poly treatment.
 

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Well - I got under my car last night in a final last ditch effort to find the reason for my steering wheel shake when @50-65mph and when braking. There was never any pulsation through the pedal and while new rotors helped significantly the problem was still there.
I have the same exact problem when braking at high speeds, that my steering wheel wiggles like hell. I'm thinking maybe brakes and rotors since they're getting thin. So you think that's the culprit?
 

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As a sidenote, properly installed and lubricated polyurethane bushings will easily last the lifetime of the car. That's why I use them everywhere and even our old, ratty minivan is about to get a full poly treatment.
I would agree for the most part. There have been posts on here where people's torque mount inserts have split, their replacements have split, and they went back to stock and so on. I do agree that for suspension for the most part Poly is the way to go. I am going to be buying cheap new arms of all the kinds for the rears and replacing them with polys because what you said above is the honest truth to most things. No more rubber drama.

I have the same exact problem when braking at high speeds, that my steering wheel wiggles like hell. I'm thinking maybe brakes and rotors since they're getting thin. So you think that's the culprit?
That's always #1 to check. Check to see if it gets worse with brake temperature rather than with speed. Mine definitely were bad and when I changed out the rotors and rebedded in the pads, I felt nothing through the pedal anymore.

Easy way to check loose suspension is to jack up that wheel and put your hands at 3 and 9 and wiggle (steering slack). Then at 12 and 6 and wiggle (ball joint slack) (or both for bearing issues) - with the wheel on it's usually more than enough force to reveal some slack in some line somewhere. I had some slight clanging/knocking from my steering rack - so I undid the boot and checked it again by wiggling the tire at 3 and 9 and the rack had no play and the inner/outer ends had no play so I figured it wouldn't be that. Finally got under and took photos and upon close inspection of them there are massive cracks in the bushings. It's the only thing that makes sense at this point. Shaking is noticeable on accel and bad on decel...only thing that changes there is suspension geometry - last option on the books is those LCA's...so it's gotta be them. It was the cause on my wife's subaru as well - I put some mevotechs in there without doing any sort of polyfill on them and the shaking went away. Her next set are going to be good'n'ready so I don't have to worry about flexing that weak bushing again.
 

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Update: second half of polyurethane fill is in and curing now. According to the material data sheets it's a Shore 40 hardness and it "never" becomes inflexible - it is meant for outdoor life given it's application, so I shouldn't run into any drying or exposure issues. Has a cure time of 3-5 days, but given the depth of the cure being beyond the 1/2" deep recommended on the side of the bottle, I'm giving it till Sunday to cure and then I'm going to put them on the car. The ridged/lipped nature of the center bushing should keep the poly plug from disloding as I did a single pour on each side so it will cure around the center of the bushing's lip and hopefully remain there permanently. Time will tell, but I'm looking forward to Sunday!
 

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Update LCA's are on. 4 days of cure time was just shy of enough, I had a small bit of liquid poly come out when I put them on the car and dropped it off the driveway edge and then back up into the garage. That being said it only appeared to be about 3 drips worth so I don't envision it affecting driving qualities. Tomorrow or monday the car will get a test run. Should be interesting.
 

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Update: for $7.48 from home depot, what I can tell you - is that this is an unsurpassed upgrade for your stock LCAs. Shore 40 essentially feels the same as rubber in terms of stiffness - giving you what is essentially a solid bushing when all is said and done.

Handling was very firm and responsive. Bumps felt less like a jarring incident and more like the energy was directly transferred to the frame of the car, ergo the entire front of the car absorbed the impact rather than just the LCAs and shocks. It was magical, the entire drive was significantly less harsh. The new LCA also fixed the insane vibration I had at high speed and during braking.

For those of you the have traveled between Denver and Castle Rock, you know there is a road where the seams in the concrete makes your body feel like the bass-line in a dubstep song. This was a gentle and slight vibration, barely noticeable but you did know it was there. I can say the shocks are so severe from the rear (ha) I can easily distinguish between the two ends of the car. I also noticed MUCH better behavior from launch and WOT in 1st-3rd gear.

For 10 days of cure time (3 days for the first side, and then flip over and do the other side and then let cure for the remaining 7 days - safe to move after a total of 6 days have passed, but don't put on the car until after the 10th day). I highly recommend this if you have a safe place to store it that you can risk getting messy if someone or animal knocks it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice one, thanks for update. Wish I had the option to experiment as you do. Unfortunately, weighting all pros and cons I went for "safe" choice of replacement aftermarket standard bushings (febi-bilstein). Dont have them on the car yet, but as long as those work and last for quite some time, it will be best and cheapest option for me at the moment.
In the meantime, browsing around, I have spotted a full polybush set for Focus that is apparently fully compatible with ours, UK company has it for something around 350GBP.
Maybe one day..
 

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