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suspension & bushing? best fit, performance, least problems


ctm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383565 posted 09/18/06 12:19 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I searched the archives and below is a summary of all info found. Please note the questions following some of the items. Please comment on the preferred set to use at each of the specified locations. It would be great to hear from the experienced members who installed these, and especially those who tried more than one type of aftermarket bushings at any given location and have a strong opinion on which type fits/performs better.

For each set of bushings, please include the part #, price and retailer from whom you purchased them.

As to the format of this thread, I will continue to edit this post as you provide your comments 'til a concensus, or boredom :-) is reached. TIA!


FRONT
1) Front Lower Control Arm Front Bushing – Whiteline SPF 1437K $45; Noltec also makes them; does Energy Suspension make them (if so how do they compare to the Noltec or Whitelines)?
2) Front Lower Control Arm Rear Bushing (FLCARB) – Noltec N52419 bushings (see my response below regarding Oztek's comments about caster adjustability); Energy Suspension makes a set; how do either compare to any of the 5 Whitelines options listed below?)
FLCARB – Whiteline SPF 1313K $28, no caster change
FLCARB – Whiteline SPF 1314K $28, increases passenger side caster (by how much?)
FLCARB – Whiteline SPF 1315K $28, increases p. side & decreases d. side (by how much?)
FLCARB – Whiteline SPF 1315aK $28, increases both p. side & d. side (by how much?)
Note: Whiteline also makes KCA321 $40 (Caster Adjustable) and gives you +/- 1 deg adjustment; RvlutionMtrsport notes that KCA321 is the best selling/most ordered among the FLCARB options from Whiteline; how does this compare to any of the above Whiteline options?
3) Front Sway Bar to Chassis Bushing – Noltec does not make them (will get clarification on this?); Whiteline SPF 1343-xxK $8 (where xx = sway bar diameter in mm's)
4) POLYGRAPHITE® Performance Front End Kits – $199 from http://www.p-s-t.com/sport/sifekpg.html; kit iuncludes the following:
2 Lower Ball Joints
2 Upper Ball Joints (if required)
2 Outer Tie Rod Ends
2 or 4 POLYGRAPHITE® Lower Control Arm Bushings
4 POLYGRAPHITE® Upper Control Arm Bushings (if required)
2 POLYGRAPHITE® Stabilizer Links (most models)
2 POLYGRAPHITE® Sway Bar Bushings (most models)

The following are not bushings but thought I’d include them as well:
1) Upper Strut Mounts/Camber Plates - Hot Bits, Tein, Noltec, or other; skivittlerkimb says that the Hot Bits have been the best single mod he has done and has only been able to get -2.0 degrees out of them (he would prefer to see -2.5 degrees of camber); ken inn elected not to use Noltec front upper strut mounts (the studs are "6mm and the holes in the car are 8mm, so they flopped around... the alignment would change" (sleeves may help); see Oztek's reply below indicating that this may have been due to a batch/manufacturing defect.
2) Camber Bolt Kit – front (KCA412) $65 shipped; Ingalls FastCam Bolt (+/- 1 or 2 degree options) where skivittlerkimb indicates they seem to work okay, but he really couldn't get more than -.5 degree of camber
3) Front steering tie rod ends - consider using the beefier but compatible Montero units and the associated spherical and other 4x4 bushings made for Monteros.


REAR
Consider finding a DSM rear subframe/control arms combo that is in nice shape and clean, grease and/or replace parts as needed and use that as a foundation for your rear suspension.
1) Rear Control Arm Upper Bushing – Noltec makes a direct replacement with no camber adjustability, use Whiteline KCA365 $60 (Camber Adjustable) give you +/- 1 degree adjustment (although Oztek and others have gotten up to +/- 3 degrees); Energy Suspension also makes them (how do these compare to the Whitelines?)
2) Rear Hub, Front Bushing of Lower Rear Trailing Arm – Whiteline SPF 1439K $45; are there better options from Noltec, Energy Susp., or other make?
3) Rear Lower Inner Control Arm Bushing – Whiteline SPF 1438K $40; are there better options from Noltec, Energy Susp., or other make?
4) Upper Rear Control Arm Inner Bushing – Whiteline SPF 2031K $50; Energy Suspension also makes them (how do these compare to the Whitelines?)
5) Rear Crossmember Bushings (these could be the same as 6 below) – Noltec creaks (see below and Oztek's response regarding the potential need to shim and the requirement to press these in); Whiteline does not make one; any other options besides stock?; as an FYI ken inn points out that you cannot buy crossmember bushings separately and must be ordered as part of a complete cossmember assembly (check to be sure if this is worth it); does Energy Suspension make these (if these are in fact the same as 6 below, then ES does make them)?
6) Subframe bushings – apparently these may be the same as the rear crossmember bushings described above, which could explain why the descriptions for each are similar (will remove/update when definitive info is avail); Whiteline does not make one, Noltec's has to be shimmed to fit right; requires several thin metal shims along the depth of the housing and is slid into place as the bushing is pressed in (have a local machine shop make up the shims and press the bushing in place); Energy Suspension also makes them (how do these compare to the Whitelines?)
7) POLYGRAPHITE® Rear Bushing Sets - $40 from http://www.p-s-t.com/sport/sifekpg.html; anyone know what is included in this set?
8) Mustache Brace Bushing – does Noltec make them?; any other options besides stock?
9) Rear Sway Bar to Chassis Bushing – Whiteline SPF 1344-xxK $10 (where xx = sway bar diameter in mm's)

As was done with the fronts above, the following are not bushings but are included in this discussion:
1) KYB Strut & Shock Mount – rear hardware kit only and contains washers and bushings
2) Ingalls SmartArm Link - $97 Camber adjust -2.0° to +3.0° Rear (left only?) fitment Rubber bushings. Includes Ball Joint; $67 Rear Right Fitment, Camber adjust -2.0° to +3.0° Rubber bushings.
3) Active toe eliminator kit from Larry Parker - are these for the front or rear?; anyone with experience using these?
4) Adjustable rear control arms - the AFCO or Andre's chromoly units; please detail your experience with these?


CREDITS (Related threads):
link one

link two


Edited by ctm (09/22/06 11:33 AM)

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ctm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383656 posted 09/18/06 02:21 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
As to the POLYGRAPHITE® Performance Front End Kits ($199 from http://www.p-s-t.com/sport/sifekpg.html), they only make them for the 90-94 Eclipse. So all the items included in the kit may or may not be useable for the GVR4. If anyone knows exactly what are or are not usable please chime in.

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skivittlerjimb
Senior Member
280/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383813 posted 09/18/06 09:23 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I can't really give you the depth of information you're looking for, but pretty much all the rubber in the front end of my car was replaced by Whiteline bushings I got from the FogDarter (God rest his soul) group buy a few years ago. The bushings all seemed high quality and the caster bushings in particular tightened up the steering considerably. All the bushings have held up very well and I have no squeaks whatsoever.

The rear suspension is so rusted up that I've got a lot of rotting stuff back there. Once I source a good rear subframe from a T/E/L, I'll build it up with the WL bushings I have now, an active toe eliminator kit from Larry Parker, and perhaps those slick adjustable rear upper arms someone recently began producing, before installing it.

I've also got the Ingalls camber bolts in front and them seem to work okay, but they really couldn't give me much more than -.5 degree of camber in front for some reason. The Hot Bits camber plates have been one the best single mods I've made yet, but I'm still only able to get -2.0 degrees. We'll see if that may have been the alignment tech. not wanting to push it too far, or what. Next summer's alignment I'll shoot for neg. 2.5.

-Jim B.
1432/2000
167k

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atc250r Galant VR4.org Moderator
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383818 posted 09/18/06 09:39 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I've got Whiteline control arm bushings with Ingalls cam bolts and Tein camber plates up front and Energy Suspension in the DSM rear subframe I've swapped into my car. All of them do their job well and I can't say brand "A" is better than brand "B". Jim brought up a VERY good point, find a DSM rear subframe/control arms combo that is in nice shape and use that as a foundation for your rear suspension. Not a single adjustment would move on my rear suspension, now that I detailed and installed a DSM one with all the cam bolts cleaned and greased its actually a pleasure to align my car. Oh, and you can only go so far with the camber and the stock diameter springs before the springs hit the wheel wells, that's why I teamed up the two adjustments in the front.

John



"...if they're so into masochism, they should just really go all out and start modifying Mitsubishis. And using them as daily drivers." - Mike R.

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cheekychimp Galant VR4.org Moderator
Director of Housing and Urban Development, and carbon/kevlar balls


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383848 posted 09/18/06 10:47 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      


I think I posted this before or sent it to you but this is what I have re bushing options for the VR4 for various manufacturers, it looks as if we should add the PST kit as I imagine most if not all of those will fit and the price is pretty good.

Now as for what's best, that is hard. One thing you are going to find out about replacing bushings is that it is one of the biggest pain in the arse jobs you are ever going to do on this car. If you have any access to a decent mechanical press, get a pickup, put all your parts in the back and drive there. If you have a professional press out and press in the new bushings you will not know what we are talking about, if you try to do it at home, you will swear and cuss for days, make knuckles bleed, dent bushing housings and eventually give up and go find a press.

So I can pretty much guarantee that unless a bushing is creaking to the point of distraction (something that would piss me off) no-one is going to remove one brand and try it with another until it rips/breaks. So comparison reviews between brands are going to be few. What I will say is that most people seem happy with whichever brand they have installed whether it be Energy, Whiteline or Noltec and I wouldn't worry unduly about which you choose. There are some fitment issues on some bushings but you seem aware of those so I wont go into that too much. I have wondered however if putting window weld on the bushing housings prior to inserting the bushings themselves (and then left to 'cure' before the components were put back under load) would work as well as shims.

Next I'd consider your objectives. Aftermarket bushings do tighten up the car considerably, in doing so they also make the ride considerably harsher. I like that because I drive the car, your wife, girlfriend, significant other, grandmother, children, dog etc may not share your enthusiasm. On a track car, no problem, but on a daily driver, family transport you might want to canvass opinions or not before you do the whole shebang.

In terms of alignment, camber etc. I will most certainly not suggest that changing suspension geometry or tweaking it is not a good idea. Virtually every person I know who has complained about suspension being bad either didn't have the supporting accessories necessary to set it up properly, or worse still had everything but never bothered to set it up. The experts here will tell you that suspension tweaks will gain you much faster times at any track (drag strips excluded to a certain extent but not completely) than any horsepower hikes. That said, most alignments become necessary because people 'lower' their vehicles. It messes up the factory geometry and it requires adjustment through the suspension components in order to put things back. I avoided a lot of the adjustable cam type bushings because I have no intention of lowering my car. First I like the rally look and secondly, I am sick and tired of scraping my bumpers on every entrance, exit ramp and curb.

I know I'm going on but CTM you PM'd and asked me to put everything in, so as far as my personal setup is concerned, in it's current trim it has all whiteline bushings which have been excellent in my opinion. I will assess the wear on any of these as I reassemble components and replace any that are ripped with the Noltec spares I have. But if the Whitelines are okay, the'll stay and I'll stow the Noltecs. I hate creaks, groans, rattles and squeaks and consequently I will look very carefully at mounting the troublesome Noltec bushings and make custom sleeves if necessary.

I have also upgraded the rear control arms with Andre's chromoly units and the front steering tie rod ends with the beefier but compatible Montero units. Consequently some bushings have been replaced by spherical bushings (including the active toe eliminator kit from Larry Parker) and others might have to be replaced from a 4x4 aftermarket supplier if such stuff exists for Monteros.



I can recommend Whiteline, I have bought Noltec bushings but not tried them, and I have a hotch potch of quality sperical bushings and beefed up components on the subframes and steering components.

In conclusion, I would say sit down and look at all the parts available, decide on your aims for the car and if handling is a major priority, replace everything you can with the best you can afford.

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atc250r Galant VR4.org Moderator
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1552/2000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383907 posted 09/19/06 08:16 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
One thing I have to add to Paul's comments is that when I went to the urethane rear bushings it eliminated any problems I had with negative camber. Before I installed the rear subframe I set the camber adjustments to full positive and when I put the car on the ground you could easily see that there was quite a bit of positive camber. I put it on the alignment rack and it was positive (though I can't remember how much). My point is that just the stiffer bushings made the rear camber adjustable from a positive number to the -1.5* I run in the rear and there is still room to go more negative if I need to. So you may want to hold off on the adjustable arms until your car is together and you see if you really need them or not.

John



"...if they're so into masochism, they should just really go all out and start modifying Mitsubishis. And using them as daily drivers." - Mike R.

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CP
Still lingering, kinda like a chili and beer fart


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383912 posted 09/19/06 08:23 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Jim, be wary of those camber bolts in front. I had the ones from Eibach, and they were rusted in there pretty good after just one winter, with TONS of antiseize them too. I've reverted back to straight bolts now that I've got the camber plates.



-Cy
Resident Spec Miata Racer | '93 Audi UrS4 | '04 Ram CTD | #1788/2000: SOLD

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s_firestone
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383929 posted 09/19/06 09:22 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Don't forget the option of plain old OEM replacement bushings, which are still going to perform perfectly for 10 to 15 years.



Stephen Firestone
1992 GVR4 #918 of 1K

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ctm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 383959 posted 09/19/06 10:22 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Oztek, a long time and experienced member from whom you can buy Noltec stuff, clarifies offline that Noltec makes bushings for all of the suspension points of the car. Will post additional info if they offer more pieces other than those listed in cheekychimp's table.

Cheekychimp (sorry my bad on the typo), thanks for posting the table once again. It would be great to update it with the Polygraphite info.

Where possible the original post is updated with the above info.


Edited by ctm (09/20/06 09:14 AM)

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ctm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 384103 posted 09/19/06 04:00 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
RvlutionMtrsport, a member from whom we can purchase Whiteline stuff, mentioned offline that the quality is top notch with clearances that are very tight and some will need to be pressed in. He added that he has never had a complaint with them. Further, he mentions that the most commonly ordered bushings are KCA321 and KCA365, which should assist those like me who are looking to prioritize which bushings to replace first. He also points out that the sway bar-chassis bushings are also popular (they come with sway bars and can be ordered seperately). You will just have to decide on the size of the front and rear bars you want.


Edited by ctm (09/20/06 09:13 AM)

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ctm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 384397 posted 09/20/06 08:57 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
ken inn, a long time and experienced member who also kindly contributed offline, has the following to share. he was very happy with a mostly Noltec setup with select Whitelines.

NOLTEC
1) One of the pieces he advises against is one of the rear bushings, for which he used Whitelines instead (will post details when more specific info is available).
2) The other Noltecs that he doesn't recommend (he hated them) are the rear crossmember bushings that "did not fit very well, and the car creaked all the time."
3) He also had the Noltec front upper strut mounts, but did not use them as the studs are "6mm and the holes in the car are 8mm, so they flopped around... the alignment would change." Perhaps sleeves can help to stabilize them.

WHITELINE
1) He had the Whiteline F and R sway bars. The rears he liked and retained. Unfortunately, he reinstalled the stock front units as the Whiteline front sway bars kept eating up the bushings.
2) He used the Whiteline front castor bushings as Noltec does not make them.

OTHER
As an FYI he also had new tie rod ends, rack boots, front wheel bearings, and axles done when he redid the bushings. This was finished with an alignment. He admits that this is a costly and labor intensive project but he is glad he did it. He was impressed with the dramatic improvement in the car's handling."


Edited by ctm (09/20/06 09:15 AM)

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Oztek
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 384521 posted 09/20/06 01:00 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Lets please be specific about which of the bushings in question when talking about these please. Please don't post infomation when you don't have the specifics...people may not come back to see the specifics and go away with the wrong/incomplete information.


Quote:


1) One of the pieces he advises against is one of the rear bushings, for which he used Whitelines instead (will post details when more specific info is available).





He may be refering to the rear upper control arm bushing. The whiteline piece is offset and allows you to adjust the camber of the car greatly. The Noltec bushing is a direct replacement, so you don't get extra adjustablility.

I think Rob and I got something of +- 3 degrees of adjustability out of the whiteline bushings.

Quote:


2) The other Noltecs that he doesn't recommend (he hated them) are the rear crossmember bushings that "did not fit very well, and the car creaked all the time."





These would be the rear subframe bushings. These are always a weird fit. If you car is a non-saltbelt car they should fit fine. But if you remove alot of the paint/rust from where the bushing is pressed, the inner diameter will become slightly larger and these bushings won't fit as tightly as they need to. The solution is simple, just shim the bushing when you press it in.

Let me stress PRESS it in. If you can put these in with a rubber mallet, they aren't in tight enough. Like the other sleaved bushings, you need a press to put these in. If not, then they will shift when the car is doing it's thing.

Quote:


3) He also had the Noltec front upper strut mounts, but did not use them as the studs are "6mm and the holes in the car are 8mm, so they flopped around... the alignment would change." Perhaps sleeves can help to stabilize them.





This may have been a manufactuere defect from Noltec. I've sometimes received pieces from them for other vehicles with incorrect bolts/etc. We had a set installed on Robs car and they worked fine....I think Bob in Chicago had a set on his car also...it's been soo long that I can't remember.

An solution would be just to bore out the holes to 8mm and use new bolts.

Quote:


2) He used the Whiteline front castor bushings as Noltec does not make them.





There is a set of castor bushings from Noltec...always have been. They are the ..419 bushings.

Quote:


As an FYI he also had new tie rod ends, rack boots, front wheel bearings, and axles done when he redid the bushings. This was finished with an alignment. He admits that this is a costly and labor intensive project but he is glad he did it. He was impressed with the dramatic improvement in the car's handling."





Yeah he is right about cost...this is probably the most suckiest job you can think of doing on a car...the fronts aren't that bad, they come off pretty easily. Heck you can do the rear front control arm bushing without removing the control arm from the car...the rear though.

It's just easier to dump the whole rear of the car and do it on the shop floor...6 bolts and the whole assmebly is removed.

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ctm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 384549 posted 09/20/06 01:56 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Oztek,
Thanks for chiming in. I will stay on top of the open/unanswered questions and update this thread as needed.

Scott Evans did the work for Ken Inn, who does not recall the specific bushings. Will post the specifics when they are available.

Cheekychimp will forward an html copy of his bushings spreadsheet. I'll create a Word or Excel version adding the Polygraphite info. I can send you a copy to correct or update with info not currently entered.

As to the Noltec front upper strut mounts, Ken Inn did not use it because the studs on the strut mounts are smaller in diameter than the holes on our car not the other way around as you indicated.

Your input is valuable so please keep an eye on this thread.


Edited by ctm (09/21/06 02:29 PM)

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ctm
Unregistered


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 384986 posted 09/21/06 02:39 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Hi Oztek,
I forgot to mention that I revised my original post as follows:

1) that the Noltec rear upper control arm bushing are direct replacements and are not camber adjustable
2) clarified that the subframe/rear crossmember bushings may need to be shimmed and that they must be tight enough to require pressing them in
3) that Noltec makes lower front caster bushings (part # 419) and once I hear from you I will further specify if these are the front or rear bushing of the front lower control arm assembly and whether or not they allow caster adjustability.

Thanks again for your help.

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ctm
Unregistered


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 385267 posted 09/22/06 11:37 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post   
Further clarification:

The Noltec lower front control arm caster bushings (part # N52419) are the rear bushings. Oztek adds that they do allow you to push the control arm a little foreward. However, the specific range in degrees of caster adjustability is not known. Please post your experience with these if you have used them.

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