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Bushing replacement

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by JW86, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. JW86

    JW86 Registered Member

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    Need some advice on changing out old bushings on leaf springs/front end steering etc. Was thinking to get a kit that includes various bushings, but not sure if this is a major job or requires special tools... Any advice? what is best material. 86 Blazer Thanks.
     
  2. Stoopalini

    Stoopalini 1/2 ton status

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    The easiest way to remove the old bushings is with a press. If you don't have a press, a vice or large C-clamp will work too.

    Before you try removing the old bushings, drill several holes in the rubber on both sides, then press the center sleeve out. This will make it much easier to press the rubber out.

    As far as replacement, I put all polly bushings in mine and am starting to regret it because they are falling apart. Maybe I got a bad batch, I dunno, but there's less than 10k miles on them and I will have to replace them again soon.

    Thomas.
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I don't like saying "don't use poly" on here because so many people do, and really don't hear much bad about it.

    Of course, poly binds (which is why they squeak and need lube) so maybe thats why yours are coming apart. Does it look like they are being "twisted" and ripping?

    Bushing bind is probably a very small issue with most trucks on here, the trucks are MUCH heavier than most cars that people install poly in, so the binding issue isn't as apparent. Besides, with all the other noise (tures, tranny, no sound deadener) the poly squeak if present won't be a big deal.

    Haven't checked with anyone to see if the Del-a-lum bushings (global west sells them I think) are made for the trucks, but for most, they would probably work great. I hear very few people complain about them on similar car applications.
     
  4. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Stoopalini and Dorian, and whoever might be interested in this info:
    Poly bushings are stiff hard and don't deteriorate from oils fuel or salt. That is about the extent of it. They cannont take a lot of punishment without breaking.
    Rubber is more flexible so it can take more but will not last long since it degrades in time.
    On a street car or a truck driven on road, flex is not a factor and poly makes it tigher and better handling.
    On trucks where you want to flex the springs actually twist and they crush the bushings and if they are poly they will soon split and fall apart.
    There was a thread by Steve for a while and they were trying to figure out if it was a defect from Daystar products.
    I have poly on my springs but I don't have a lot of flex, and when I put the same poly on my jeep that has gobs of flex they split.
    I even had a poly bump stop that was 2 days old when it sheered off because the axle hit it at an angle when I was flexing and it couldn't take sideways pressure.
    My rubber bump stops are still fine after 2 years and the scars on their sides show what they have been through.
    So it all comes back to what you have and follow this info and make your own descision.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    The problem is that in light vehicles, the binding actually prevents proper articulation of components. The binding can (and does) in some cases prevent the vehicle from keeping a stable ride height, sometimes as much as 2". Poly is great for body, tranny and engine mounts, other than that, I don't think its all that good.

    Stiffer rubber would probably do just as well (minus the deterioration from oil etc) and as a matter of fact, GM used different rubber compounds in cars that were performance and ones that weren't. (such as 1LE camaro's)
     
  6. Stoopalini

    Stoopalini 1/2 ton status

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    Do you know where we can get replacement rubber spring/shackle bushings for our trucks? I called the dealer and they told me that they don't sell just the bushing; that I would have to buy the whole spring ... /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    Thomas.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Hmm...you might call LMC www.lmctruck.com and see if they sell them. I don't have a catalog handy or I'd check for you.
     
  8. JW86

    JW86 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info. Most offroad i do is in the sand so expect poly will work ok since not so much flex...
    Any more advice on the actual changing would help as i'm a virgin on that part. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Haven't had to swap mine yet, but I've heard the same...drill holes in the rubber, then force it out.

    using some sort of flame (propane, oxy-acetylene) sounds tempting, but if the spring gets too hot it would warp, and it would have to be REALLY messy.

    A lot of times you hear people mention freezing the bushings before install, so you can try that for install. Since the metal insert in the bushing would contract, it might make the outside diameter of the bushing a hair smaller. Even if it doesn't help on install, freezing won't hurt.
     

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