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Old 08-07-2003, 05:25 PM   #1
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Upgrading your suspension? Read this!

Too many times I've read complains regarding harsh and bumpy ride after people upgraded their suspension components and blamed the ride quality on the shocks or springs.
In my opinion, at least half of the problems can be traced to unsufficient or reduced suspension travel caused by preload of the control, trailing and A-arms as result of rusted bolts inside of the inner sleeves of the rubber bushing, causing the bushing actually act as springs. When upgrading or replacing the suspension components, make sure the front and rear suspension assemblies travels up and down freely (with the strut/shock+spring combos removed). If you feel any increasing resistance when pulling the suspension up (by the hub or brake rotor), some of the mounting bolts are most likely seized inside the inner sleeves of the rubber bushings of the trailing, control or A-arms. Separating each ball joint and testing each arm individually (by moving it up and down) is necessary to pin-point the source of the problem. Since in most cases, even an impact wrench is not able to loosen the seized bolts (and in many cases will actually break and separate the rubber bushing from the outer collar of the arm), an air chisel may work better. The very last resort is cutting the bolts in order to remove the control, trailing or A-arms from the car, in which case a factory replacement or optional upgrade to polyurethane bushings are the only options (if you cut through the inner metal sleeve as well).
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Old 08-08-2003, 10:38 PM   #2
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The man knows what he's talking about. I am still working on my poly bushing install due to a siezed rear upper control arm bolt. It has gaulded inside the inner bushing eye and will not come out until I cut it out.
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Old 02-13-2004, 07:01 PM   #3
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how freely should they move with the shock/springs off ?

Both my rear Upper arms wont budge, when I muscle it up/down it bounces right back to its original position. Feels like the rubbers just twisting. Is this the kinda thing you're talking about???

I put back stock shocks/springs and I can feel the front became alot softer, but the rear is still harsh as when I had prokit/agx(set at 3 outta 4). so now I'm thinking the pro/agx wasnt the reason for the bad ride.

Thanks
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Old 02-14-2004, 07:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Akiori74
Both my rear Upper arms wont budge, when I muscle it up/down it bounces right back to its original position. Feels like the rubbers just twisting. Is this the kinda thing you're talking about???
Yep, exactly. See if you can get the bolts loose and out of the bushings with impact gun and air chisel. If not, you'll have to cut the bolts and replace the bushings. Check all other arms as well - since chances are that their bolts are in the same condition. You might as well opt to replace all bushings with the polyurethane units at this point as well - a real bitch to do (on 2G), but very rewarding at the same time.
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:16 PM   #5
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Would of been nice if I read this thread earlier.

Now I have to re do everything My cars suspension was never right, atleast I might have found the main reason.

Thanks for the great info taboo!!!, now I just need to test the cure.

BTW, anyone know what exactly the ES fr/rr control arm bushings replaces?
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Old 02-14-2004, 10:36 PM   #6
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Well you could check roadraceengineering.com They have a pic of the front set but none of the rear. I've seen a list some where, but I can't remember where.
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Old 02-15-2004, 05:23 AM   #7
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Re: Would of been nice if I read this thread earlier.

Quote:
Originally posted by Akiori74
Now I have to re do everything My cars suspension was never right, atleast I might have found the main reason.
You'll be amazed how well the car can really ride and handle after you're done with the suspension bushings replacement and the arms can actually move up and down freely and let the springs and shocks do the work . Cutting the bolts in order to remove the arms and replace the bushings is a terrible job on 2G cars, and if you're going to really need to cut all the bolts, you'll need all the help you can get and use an assortment of saws, grinders, punches, mallets, etc. You'll hate every single minute of doing it, but it's really worth it.
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:12 PM   #8
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That's odd I always thought they were supposed to bounce back in to place like that. It's been that way on every car i've ever done suspension on. Are you talking about the rear training arm that bolts to the subframe?
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by AXiS
That's odd I always thought they were supposed to bounce back in to place like that.
What part are you refering to? could you clear up which are suppose to freely move and which are'nt(from experience/knowledge)?
-rear trailing arm
-rear lower arm
-rear lower toe control arm
-rear upper arm

Quote:
Originally posted by AXiS
Are you talking about the rear training arm that bolts to the subframe?
not sure about Taboo but I'm refering to the rear suspension's upper arm(u-shaped) with the knucle unbolted.


Front seems to be ok but I really need to do something about my rear as its just too harsh. One of the reasons for putting back stockers instead of another shock/coilover setup was to figure out if I had problems with my suspension components other than the spring/shocks.
Never had an accident,no issues with alignment, the car was however parked for about 5 month but I dont think the ride got any worse afterwards.

any input would be most appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:08 AM   #10
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I think this should be made a sticky since the same questions pop up every week.
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by AXiS
That's odd I always thought they were supposed to bounce back in to place like that. It's been that way on every car i've ever done suspension on. Are you talking about the rear training arm that bolts to the subframe?
Not just about the bolts of the trailing arms, but also the bolts of the upper and lower control arms (by the differential). If any one of them is seized inside the metal sleeve of the rubber bushing of any of the arms, the suspension won't move up and down freely. The one single bolt will affect the entire side.
If you disconnect/remove the spring/shock assembly from the suspension, you should be able to move the entire suspension up and down without feeling any gradually increasing resistance. Once you disconnect/remove the spring/shock assembly, the suspension should completely drop (since there's nothing to hold it up any longer) and you shouldn't be able to push it any lower. If the suspension doesn't drop or you can push lower and it bounces right back up even when completely unloaded, chances are that one or more of the bolts are seized inside the sleeves of the bushings. Of course, there's going to be some friction and let's say 1G front A-arms won't drop on their own because they're too light. But if you push just the arm up, it should stay there - if the arm is too light to drop on its own - or start dropping down. The rear suspension - with the brakes and discs attached is heavy enough to drop on its own once the shocks are disconnected. If you feel some spring-like increasing resistance when pushing the entire suspension down and pulling it up, start disconnecting the arms and repeating the test - 'til you find the offending arm - or, if you have a helper, check if the sleeves of the bolts move together with the arms and the rubber bushings while the helper moves the suspension up and down. If the metal sleeve stays still while the arm moves up and down, all you do is twisting the rubber bushing while the bolt of the arm is rusted and seized inside the sleeve.
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:33 AM   #12
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Oh, forgot to say you also have to disconnect the sway bar links in order to test the suspension...
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Taboo
Oh, forgot to say you also have to disconnect the sway bar links in order to test the suspension...
That's probably why mine have always felt stiff in the rear.. all my a arms have always moved freely so i don't think the other bolts would be stuck on the rear trailing arms. When I get my new shocks in I'll test it out though just to be sure. It's a bitch getting the sway bars to bolt back up sometimes though.
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Old 02-20-2004, 12:41 PM   #14
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I've checked this on my car recently as I am redoing my bushings and I've found that my front A-arm bounces back as well. The bolt was not seized however. After disassembling everything, installing new bushings and then reassembling, the same thing happened. I found that the bolt which holds the front of the control arm to the frame was too tight. You can loosen it to a point where it will allow the suspension to move freely and not back itself out.
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Old 02-20-2004, 02:16 PM   #15
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If the bolts are seized inside the metal sleeve and you have to cut. Do you go to the dealer to get new bolts or is some thing from the hardware store good enough?
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