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Making Bushings  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 06-10-2011 09:38 pm
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Jensen Healey
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I found a pair of front crossmember upper mounting assemblies in my pile of stuff. My car has never had the bushings in these replaced so I was interested to see what the process would entail.

The rubber inside looks molded into the metal but is actually two pieces so it was easy to remove with a screwdriver. The crush tube was flopping around inside the worn bushing. I used the best to make some plaster molds and ordered some two part shore A 80 polyurethane from McMaster/Carr for $36.

Following the directions carefully I weighed the liquids and stirred them together. It easily flowed into the molds and a bit of tapping removed the air bubbles. It's supposed to cure at 77 degrees for 48 hours so I put the molds on the water heater for a few days. Then the molds were cracked off the new bushings. They fit snugly into the metal after a good slathering with silicone grease. The outer part is a bit rough, but functional.

Shore A 80 is much firmer than the stock bushings which are probably Shore A 60.

Now under the car I go... Don't follow me!

Kurt

JH 13148

 

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 Posted: 11-10-2012 03:02 am
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Robert Janca
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Cool!

Also, I live in El Cerrito.


R.

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 Posted: 02-27-2013 11:30 pm
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francisg
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Are these the bushings used to connect the cross-member to the chassis? Pictures would be great. I am in San Rafael.
FG

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 Posted: 02-28-2013 05:18 am
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Jensen Healey
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Yes, I never got around to installing them. It's a PITA to drop the subframe.

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 Posted: 05-15-2014 04:01 am
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johnstyers
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I just replaced these bushings this winter when I was replacing all of the original bushings with the poly type.  I found the dropping of the subframe the least of the problems! 

I have a parking lift so I just put a 5 foot floor jack stand with a 2x4 to dissipate the weight.  I lowered the lift to support/raise the engine and undid the necessary bolts.  I had already removed all of the front suspension as I was determined to get all that 39 year old metal out of there and had it powder coated.  I went a little nuts.

I removed the right side suspension parts first to keep the left side in tact as a guide.  I wasnt in a rush, so i went slow....all the parts went to the powder coater, but when the parts came back and I went to install...I couldnt do it!  I mean, here are these beautifully powdercoated parts and I am going to bolt them on to this scuzzy, dirty subframe....nope...couldnt do it. So, out came the left side suspension parts, took off the steering rack and voila!....six more bolts and out came the subframe.

When it came back, wow, i just laid our all the parts and stared at them...took pics....drank a beer....best Saturday night date EVER!  Shined....looked young....fresh...didnt say anything....not cheap, but wow!

While I was there, I took the opportunity to clean up the sump, repainted the motore mounts, and repainted the wheel wells with a POR15 chassis paint.

I also ordered all new hardware....ALL NEW....in grade 8 so I could have that cadmium color against the shiny black. I had to dig through McMaster Carr and Fastenal to find everything...including the all metal lock nuts.....Whoa.....now when i have it lifted to park my Mini underneath, I get to see this magnificent piece of mechanical art. It also helps me forget my upper subframe woes...

oh yea....subframe bushings....the issue I had with the upper subframe bushings was that mine were completely shot.  Bushings were shot, rubber was all worn out...there was light between the bushing and the rubber!  They had to go, and as I was unaware I could a Mythbusters plaster casting and 2 part magic potion, I called Delta.

This is where the problem began.  I ordered two replacements from Delta and one of the inner bushings was too narrow for the 7/16ths bolt.  It was 15mm and therefore, would not accommodate the 7/16th bolt.  The other bushing worked just fine.  I called Delta and they checked the others they had in their parts bin only to find out that they had some which were 7/16ths and some 15mm, so they sent me a new 7/16ths one.  Unfortunately, as I went to install the new ones with the subframe, I found the aforementioned bushings were both too short, causing the subframe to "collapse" as I torqued down the nut.  As i compared the old to the new, I saw that the original bushings were just flush with the bushings and fit the subframe channel with limited clearance.  The ones from delta were a full 1/4in too short.  I contacted Delta and they told me that as these were new parts FROM JENSEN supplier overseas, they had not sold them and not aware of the issue.  They were VERY responsive and helpful....kudos to DELTA!!!!  In the end, I had a couple of bushings made locally by a friend and back up went the subframe!

I took a billion photos to help remind me what had a flat washer, what had a lock washer, etc. I have way too many and need to edit.  They're not exactly in order either, but I do have the photos of the upper subframe bushings and a few shots of the completed project.

Now the rear looks like crap....

Here's the photobucket file:

Jensen Healey Front Suspension Rebuild

It rides great and looks fantastic!  If you are going to the East meet in Monroe, WI,  I will be the guy laying on the ground, looking up at the bottom of my car!

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 Posted: 05-15-2014 10:00 pm
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jcdean
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So, if I bring my own pillow can I lay under your car as well? 

That looks amazing.

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 Posted: 05-15-2014 10:21 pm
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Jensen Healey
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Wow, that looks fantastic! I'm still dreading the job.

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 Posted: 08-06-2014 02:50 pm
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Jim Picot
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Hi John, I recently did everything as you did - didn't plan to pull the front subframe but couldn't bolt newly painted suspension components to a grubby subframe. Just as well too, as the subframe had a few minor corrosion problems and the lower wishbone holes had become elongated through wear of failed bushes. These were all welded up after sandblasting and everything (subframe and all old and new suspension components) painted with POR15.

I see you chose powder coating though. I'm a bit suspicious of powder coating (especially on suspension parts) as it is very brittle and always ultimately cracks through flexing or stone damage. The POR15 is tougher and more flexible so I'm expecting a longer life. I'd be interested to know your experiences after you've had the new suspension in service for a while.

Same with the rear - I couldn't bring myself to bolt newly painted upper and lower arms/springs/dampers to an oily and peeling axle, so that came out and was sandblasted and repainted too. Just as well, as I discovered a leaking pinion shaft seal which was duly replaced (MUCH easier with the axle out!). All looks superb.

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 Posted: 04-11-2016 12:12 am
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dbeliveau74
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That does look fantastic!!
It is defiantly a more complicated suspension set up than My Spitfire!!
 
Do you have the list of hardware you ordered from McMaster Carr and Fastenal?
Thanks,
Cheers Dan

Attachment: 80Spit after2a (450 x 338).jpg (Downloaded 80 times)

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 Posted: 08-01-2016 09:49 pm
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redracer
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very nice; one thing we do when doing a total front suspension rebuild is the weld a thick heavy duty washer((or equivalent) to the front subframe where the bolt for the lower arm bushing comes out. You may have noticed that the hole there is somewhat "wallowed" because there is only one piece of stamped metal(the rear portion is thicker due to the rear subframe arm attachment).

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 Posted: 08-02-2016 12:42 am
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Jim Picot
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Yes, this is what I did with mine - but instead of a washer, it was a piece of steel bar machined to the precise size and much thicker than a washer (thanks Ross Hockley!). This was a necessary fix as the holes were badly elongated through wear - the bushes had never been replaced and had worn out completely, putting all the wear onto the subframe. As redracer points out, there is only one thickness of metal at the front to take that wear - which it doesn't. See before and after pics!

Attachment: sub-frame.jpg (Downloaded 45 times)

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 Posted: 08-02-2016 12:42 am
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Jim Picot
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After:

Attachment: Repaired sub-frame.jpg (Downloaded 44 times)

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 Posted: 08-02-2016 07:02 pm
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redracer
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Great--you're reading my mind!

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