The MGA With An Attitude
REAMING the Front Suspension BRONZE BUSHINGS -- FS-201
Page 9 of 9
Here you see the four swivel links with the steel bearing tubes installed. A nice piece of work in your own garage, and the whole job of hand reaming the bushings takes less than an hour including the set up time. So, instead of making that call to the local machine shop, make the call to the local tool supplier. Instead of a trip to the machine shop to drop off the parts, make a trip to the tool house to pick up the reamer. Rather than making a second trip to the machine shop to pick up the parts, just do the reaming yourself, and no waiting for the machine shop to get around to doing your little job. Then you will forever after have the proper tool to do it again if the need should ever arise.
The life of these bushings can vary greatly depending on the service conditions. With good lubrication and smooth roads the bushings may last well over 100,000 miles. With rough roads or marginal lubrication they may need replacing again after 40,000 or 50,000 miles. With no lubrication and a wet or dirty environment (failed seals) they may be badly worn after just a few thousand miles. The bottom bushing that carries the weight of the car will commonly wear more than the top one that has lighter load holding the wheel up straight and serving shock absorber. The bottom one may also be more exposed to splash and road dirt.
I check for wear in these parts about as often as I lube the chassis. I find this little replacement job so easy and convenient that I will replace one bushing as preventative maintenance whenever it needs it, rather than waiting until they are badly worn and doing them all at once. All it takes to check the condition is to put a floor jack under the spring pan, directly under the coil spring, and raise the car so the tire is off the ground. That unloads all of the outer suspension joints so you can shake the wheel and check for any play in these swivel links. With faithful lubrication and good seals I have only needed to replaced the lower bushing on each side once in 200,000 miles.
End of lesson. Just poke the little house below to return the start page.