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Author Topic: Miata control arm bushing upgrade to polyurethane "how to"  (Read 18819 times)
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QQQQ
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« on: October 29, 2009, 07:15:29 PM »

If you run wide sticky tires on your Miata,you will need to upgrade the control arm bushings.The suspension deflection is amazing with the factory rubber units. Polyurethane eliminates this movement and gives you a better feel for what is going on at the road. This is not a difficult job to do and can be tackled by anyone who can use hand tools.Tools needed are jack,torch (propane will do),sockets,wrenches.

Lets dig in!

We'll do the right rear. Jack the car up by the rocker to remove the weight off the suspension.Remove wheel.

We will do the top arm first.

Remove outer bolt

Remove inner bolts

The arm comes right off.

Heat the ears with a torch

Push the bushing out of arm..it slides right out with no force...I suggest you do this in a well ventillated area..or outside..


Clean off ears with some brake cleaner and mist some flat black paint on...

While that dries,it's back to the car.You need to remove the bushing that is in the upright.Heat it with your torch.Be careful of the ABS wire..you can protect it with some alu foil or other metal..


Bushing slides right out

Lay out your bushing kit and READ THE DIRECTIONS concerning bushing placement.They are different, depending on placement.It is not difficult,just pay attention and drink a little less beer and all will be fine...

The urethane bushings press right in, and so do the pins,with hand pressure.If you do not have my "Atlas" grip,you can use a common C clamp to assist you..


The arm slides right back into position with a little effort.If the ears hang up on the bushings,try using a putty knife to start the bushing into the ear.Works wonders!

OK,time for the lower arm.Remove the sway bar link nut (14mm)

Remove the shock bolt.There is NO force on the bolt.The suspension is all static and nothing will spring on you.

Remove the lower upright bolt. The suspension will droop under it's own weigh here,so you can prop it up or just let it hang,makes no difference..  

Remove the inner pivot bolts.You can mark the eccentric adjuster bolts/washers with a piece of chalk to return them to where they were. They will be close enough to drive till you can do an alignment..  

Arm off,and ready for bushing removal...same as the top arm,with heat on the ear,and they push right out..

Bushings out,dab on a bit of paint..

Ready for new bushings.Make sure you use the correct ones...

New urethane bushings are in..then the pins..don't forget the washers...

Slide the pivot side into the car first and catch the eccentric bolts..then lift up the arm to the upright...and put the long bolt through..again,don't forget the washers...


Tighten up all the nuts..and you are done! It's that easy! An alignment should be done for best tire wear and to get everything back to specs.



The front control arms are about the same procedure as the rears with the exception of no upright bushing to worry about.Mark the eccentric bolt washers and replace them in the same position and you will be fine.


Once you drive your MSM with urethane bushing,you will wonder why they don't come with then from the factory.The car is much more responsive and your feel of the road will be about as good as it gets!    afro afro


« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 07:22:30 PM by QQQQ » Logged
mr_hyde
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011, 03:04:32 AM »

I just completed this project and 4Q's info was fantastic.  I used a different method to remove the old bushings and I wanted to post it here since there is no need for a 2nd complete how-to.

I used this press from Harbor Freight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-in-1-ball-joint-u-joint-c-frame-press-service-kit-38335.html
If the link changes over time, it is a '3-in-1 Ball Joint/U-Joint/C-Frame Press Service Kit'.  I greased up the threads with anti-seize since 'China' is stamped front and center and it worked great for my whole project with no signs of shear on the tool's threads.

Here is a video of the unit in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxZ3fZPNlYY

As you can see, I have the C clamp in a vise with the control arm positioned in front of the block and spacer.  Run the threads up finger tight and then hit it with your impact wrench when you are sure everything is lined up.  I had them out in as little as 5 seconds and as many as 45 to 60 but they all came out without no mess or fuss.  Take caution that the spacer stays centered and the control arm doesn't get torqued at odd angles.  It would be possible to bend the arms if everything got out of position.

The main benefit of this is there is no cleanup and prep of the arms.  You can just lube up and insert the new bushings.  I took the time to install zerk fittings for future lube needs but that is a topic for another thread.  The bushing project is a lot of work - mostly because of the shear quantity of nuts, bolts and components being worked on but it's not especially difficult and I believe this bushing removal technique saves a lot of time and effort.  Enjoy!
-hyde
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