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Old 02-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Ok there was no how to on replacing the miata bushings so I thought I would make a how to.

Parts needed
1. Replacement Bushings
2. A really good wrench set and socket
3. Mics bolts and nuts from home depot. (I went to the create a bolt section).
4. Small metal piece taking the shape of a small pvc tube.
5. Floor jack and jack stands.
6. Copious amounts of PB Blaster.
7. New cotton pins and castle nuts
8. 3 jaw puller


Tips: Make sure to spray penetrating fluid when necessary, label everything and use little plastic bags to sort the nuts and bolts and washers, the control arm bolts are not like a normal bolt and washer.

What to do

1. First step: The first thing you will want to do is to position the car in a location that is easy to work with and gather all of your parts and tools. For the install I chose to go with the IL-Motorsport rubber bushings.


Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

2. You will want to loosen the lug nuts, and the place the car up on jack stands.


Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

3. You will need to remove the under tray to gain access everything, and remove the sway bar end links from the control arms.

4. Take off the rims and have access to everything suspension related.


Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

5. With the rim off you will want to disconnect the brake caliper brackets from the hub and place the brake caliper in the sub frame so as to not put stress on the brake line.

6. You will want to remove the sway bar front bracket bolts because the bolts interfere with a later step.

7. With the sway bar bolts removed you can start to remove the long bolt on the suspension. It is marked in the red circles in the photo.


long bolt by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

8. Now remove the lower bolt for the shock, then open the hood of the car and remove the two top hat bolts on the shock. Do not remove the Middle Bolt.

Pic to come

9. With the top hat bolts removed the Shocks should come down but not out yet.

10. Remove the bolts that are circled in blue in the picture. You will want to remove the ball joint from the upper control arm on the hub, the tie rod end hidden in picture, and the lower control arm. (To remove the castle nuts you will need to bend back the cotton pin and slide it out. Then you will need a 21mm wrench to remove the big one and I forget the other size for the other one).


long bolt blue circle by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

11. Now the brake caliper is off to the side, the lower control arm is removed, the shock should easily come out and the tie rod is disconnected from the hub, the hub comes out. You should have something that looks like this now.


Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

12. The same process is done on the other side of the car.

13. Now lets move to the back side of the car. First open the trunk and remove the two bolts that attach the top hat to the trunk. Do not remove the middle bolt.

14. In the back you do not need to touch the brakes. I recommend supporting the rear hubs with jack stands. Start by removing the upper control arm from the sub frame. There should be 2 separate bolts that attach it to the sub frame and one bolt that attached it to the hub. Make sure to apply copious amounts of penetrating fluid to everything that needs it.

15. Start loosening the lower control arm bolts. Make sure to be careful removing the lower shock bolt because it has been known to break. The nut is welded to the control arm.

16. With the lower shock bolt removed at this point the shocks should be able to be taken out easily.

17. With the shock taken out simply remove the lower control arm and everything else remaining. We will keep the rear hubs attached to the car.

18. With all of the control arms off of the car the first thing we will do is remove the rear bushings off of the rear wheel hubs. That is the only bushing that is still attached to the car. You will need the 3 jaw puller. What you do is mount the teeth on one side of the mount and screw down the middle of the puller to force the bushing out of its place.

19. With the rear hub bushings removed you will want to clean the area and the put the new bushing in place. My method for putting them in is to get a hollow cylindrical piece of metal and place it on the outside of the mount and place a large washer and nut. Then put a large washer and nut on the other end and start to tighten the nuts and bolts. The force of the nuts spinning will push the bushing into place.

Pic borrowed from the internet. It is not the same place but the principle is the same.


20. To remove the rest of the bushings I had to use the hollow metal cylinder on the outside of the bushings and have the washer and nut pull the bushings through.


Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr


Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr


21. After all the bushings were removed I sanded down all of the control arms with a metal brush attachment on a drill. That cleaned the up nicely.

22. After the metal brush I gave them a nice coat of paint.

23. Again make sure the inside area where the bushing will be seated is clean. Then start pushing in the bushings with the washers and bolts and metal cylinder. (The purpose of the metal cylinder is to allow the bushing to come out slightly of the hole it is in to line up perfectly where it needs to be placed).

24. Once all of the bushings are pushed in, the process of putting everything back together is the reverse of taking everything out. Refer to step 4-18 again but in reverse order.

25. Once the car is all back together make sure to go get an alignment.

Pm me or email me if you have any questions that were not clear.


By the way the bushings have been in the car for about a year and they have been great.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Make sure to tighten the bushings with the weight of the car on them.


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Old 02-22-2013, 10:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

xbeatles4x for president
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

I'm in the process of doing this now and couldn't imagine pushing out all those bushings with hand tools. Impact wrench ftw.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh if you are installing poly bushings make sure to drill and tap zerk fittings


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Old 02-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

You're shitting me, right? This isn't even in the correct subforum.

Bushing swap with a $5 tool, no fire needed.

But thanks I guess?
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Figured i would ask here before i posted a new thread. I plan on doing my bushings in a few weeks, Do any of you know of the proper way of painting the control arms if i were to sand blast them? Preferably under $50, i was hoping to paint them red.

thanks,

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Old 02-24-2013, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't quite know what you mean by proper way to paint them. If you are in the rust belt I would use some sort of catalyzing primer and then a nice red paint. I have heard great things about por15.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

I understand that there are many ways to do it "properly." What i mean is, something that will hold up to all the road debris that is kicked up and thrown around and can be done relatively cheap. I have used POR-15 before but it would cost too much to do a whole set of control arms. I plan on removing all rust, if any, before it is painted.

Thanks,

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Old 02-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Quote:
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You're shitting me, right? This isn't even in the correct subforum.

Bushing swap with a $5 tool, no fire needed.

But thanks I guess?
+1

...but I guess for complete noobs this helpful.

As an FYI...you don't have to remove the calipers from the lines, doing so is just extra work, just get something to rest the caliper on while you remove the arms.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you would like I am tearing apart my suspension in two days to install new shocks and springs. I can snag a quick photo of what mine look like after 6-7k miles. Car was daily for a while. I think they held up great. I just sanded them and primed them, then I painted them with a spray.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jexeffectz View Post
+1

...but I guess for complete noobs this helpful.

As an FYI...you don't have to remove the calipers from the lines, doing so is just extra work, just get something to rest the caliper on while you remove the arms.
I didn't remove the caliper from the lines. I removed the bracket and rested the calipers in the subframe. Nothing was disconnected.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Gotcha...I think it would actually be helpful if you linked procedures to remove struts. I also find it helpful, performance wise to buy brand new alignment bolts if they weren't bought already. Also, get a mod to move this to the DIY section.

My actual biggest hurdle was separating the upper ball joint from the knuckle.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Not to offend, but if one cannot remove a strut, one cannot remove control arms. This could be an 8-page long how-to if every basic detail was included.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Yeah, that would be great! do you mind sharing what kind of paint you used? Have you ever used duplicolor self-etching primer?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Alright. Thursday or Friday I will take some photos and add to the tutorial on how to remove the shocks a compress the springs and everything. I'll try to make a video as well.

Paint. I used a wire brush dill attachment, then went I advanced auto part and purchased a primer. I don't recall which one. A self etching primer is essentially por 15 if my memory serves correct. Then I purchased a gloss black paint. It did not really matter the purpose was to not have the primer look. It appears to have held up well but I will get better photos.


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Swank Force Racing's Tuesday Top Tip: PNP ECUs for 20 year cars are NOT a good thing.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to: Replace Miata Bushings or Suspension

Very helpful thread! Here's a few more things I came across while researching for my project tonight, to add on top of beatles' and thedguy's awesome threads:



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