Universal Bushes and Bump Stops
Bushes are car components that help to reduce friction between the moving parts of a vehicle. They are usually made of rubber or polyurethane. Bump stops perform a similar role in a vehicle. They are installed to the car’s suspensions to prevent metal on metal contact whenever the suspension is extremely compressed. The suspension experiences stress in instances where the vehicle hits a bump or goes over deep potholes.These cushioning devices are made of materials which lose their effectiveness with time. Factors that can contribute to the quick expiry of universal bushes include harsh weather, long compressions, and contact with chemicals. Once they expire, you will need to purchase and install new components.
How Do You Know When Your Suspension Cushioning Components Are Worn?
It isn’t hard to tell when your bushes need to be replaced. There is usually a noticeable difference in handling. You may notice a lack of smoothness in driving and braking. You will need to carefully inspect the bushes in order to determine whether they are due for replacement.To properly inspect these components, you will need to raise the car off the ground and support it on axle stands. With a pry bar, you can compress and release the bushes in different directions. If they are properly functioning, they shouldn’t move much. If the movement is excessive, you will need to purchase and install new parts. It is important to go through this entire process when you suspect your bushes are due for replacement. Sometimes, they may look perfectly okay when they are extremely worn and ineffective.Suspension cushioning components usually last for between 60,000 and 100,000 km.
How Are Suspension Cushioning Components Replaced?
These components are not expensive to replace. Depending on the specific part, you should expect to spend anything between £20 and £160 on the component. The cost will also depend on the model of your car. They are usually installed by mechanics. These professionals will have to inspect your car thoroughly before any replacement is made.
For the control arm of your vehicle, here are the steps you will follow when replacing the bushes:
- Raise the car to suspend the wheels
- Remove the wheel on the affected side of the car
- Undo the ball joint and remove the mounting bolt of the control arm
- Remove the old bushing and press the new ones till they fit
- Refit the control arm and wheel, then test the car to make sure the bushing is perfectly installed
For the stabiliser bar bushes, here are the steps you should follow:
- Place the car on axle stands
- Remove the stabiliser bar bushing mounts>
- Remove the old bushes and install the new ones
- Refit the mount and lower the car, then road test the car
The bump stop will need to be replaced by at least two people. Here are the specific steps you will need to follow:
- Remove the shock rod nut
- Raise the car and get it on axle stands, then remove the sway-bar end link connections
- Thread the spring as low as possible
- Lift the control arm to compress the shock rod, then pull it down fast as you remove the old bump stop
- Lift the control arm and drop it fast as you install the new part
It is important to note that replacing these components will require great physical strength. Most bushes are fiddly, meaning you will have a hard time replacing them. You may also need to use special tools to press the new parts in. The easiest bushes to replace are those positioned between the car and and the anti-roll bar. Other bushes can be quite hard to replace.