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Unread 09-25-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
jclaudii
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1999 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Russellville, ar
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LCA Bushings - how aftermarket bushings should and should not be

There are tons of aftermarket LCA's out there and almost all seem to have different bushings and setups that make them work. For this discussion I am looking specifically at poly bushings inside a tube on each end of the LCA. Inside the poly bushing is a spacer or sleeve. My question today revolves around the proper usage and sizing of this "sleeve" so the jeep is setup correctly and is safe. It may also save in having bushings destroyed in a short time frame.
here is the "new bushing"


All looks good and fine, but what this picture does not show you is the fact that the inner sleeve is about 1/8 to 1/4 short from either end of the rubber "lip" on the bushing you see. This means when I torque down this bolt to 120 foot lbs, I squish the bushing considerably to where the lip is almost pinched off. My thinking is the inner sleeve should ALWAYS be flush or very slightly recessed with the outside "lip" of the bushing. This will allow the bolt to torque properly without squishing the bushing "lip" material. It will also hold it's torque better and will not change if the lip gets pinched off.

Soon these new bushings will look like my old ones on the passenger side:


I hope I am making sense. If you look at a factory control arm, the metal bushing in the middle of the rubber contacts the LCA brackets. Shouldn't the same hold true for the poly bushings. The metal sleeve in the center of the poly bushing should contact the metal and be roughly flush with the rubber of the bushing? I am currently working with my lift maker to see if they will correct the issue, as I am sure they send me the wrong parts from the beginning when I ordered all new bushings last year. Just hoping someone else will chime in with some suspension building knowledge.

Thanks

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Unread 09-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
Darnice
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Windsor, Ontario
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You hit the nail on the head!
Stock control arms are designed that the pin in the bushing is fixed and does not move with suspension defection, only the rubber twists. The pin is not just a round pin in the rubber, it has protrusions that meld right into the rubber bushing.

Aftermarket bushings like poly want to rotate on the pin or have no ability to deflect for suspension movement. Rustys sells heavy duty arms, but the bushing they put in there is not molded to the pin, so after a few good bumps, the rubber delegates from the pin and the bushing wears out fast.

Hind joints are a totally different animal, but again, the pin does not move.

Lots of people think the suspension moves on the bolts holding the arms in place, the don't and shouldn't.
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Unread 09-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
jclaudii
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I'm thinking the factory bushings were not so bad compared to the poly bushings that just are not made for the stresses of a 4x4. Nevertheless, the above bushings are mainly 10-12k of highway miles with some dirt roads as my driveway. there has been very little articulation.

I think you are right. The metal sleeve is designed to be "pinched" between the two LCA brackets with the bolt through it @ 120 foot lbs of torque. So the sleeve is more/less stationary and acts like a metal spacer and the poly bushing is free to twist and deform over the sleeve and between the brackets. I wish there was a good article or instructions for fabricators on how to select the right poly bushing and sleeve for your application. How much "squish" is acceptable when torquing down your bushings, etc. You would think one of the big distributors would have something like that.
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Unread 09-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #4
Jeeples
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Why not just make a longer metal sleeve for the bolt to go through? I'd think 1/4" on both sides with maybe a large fender washer would work out great.

I too noticed this when I replaced the lower CA's on my wife's WJ with adjustables. I made sure to coat the bushing and the bracket with a healthy amount of Sil-Glyde to help keep the bushings moving freely.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
jclaudii
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Do they really slide that much?
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