Subframe Bushing Replacement Procedure

Rear cross member bushing replacement

What you need:

- One piece of PVC pipe about 1.5" long by 4.5 inches INNER diameter (search around the plumbing section and find a coupling with this ID and then hacksaw it off to the right length)
- One 1" pipe floor flange (this is actually about 4" in diameter with about a 1" hole in the middle of it
- One piece of 1/2" dia. threaded rod about 8" to 10" long and a couple of nuts for it
- Two pieces of steel "U" channel about 6" long each (I got a 3 foot piece that measured 2" wide by about 3/4" high and hacked it up). Drill a 1/2" to 9/16" dia. hole in the center of each piece of channel. To make life real easy on yourself, weld on the nuts in the "U" of the channel where you drilled the hole so the threaded rod can screw into it. If you can't or don't do this, try duct taping the nut in place so it will be easy to get the rod in from uder the car. BTW, the channel will nicely hold a box wrench or open end wrench to keep the upper nut from turning while you tighten the lower nut. (you can tape the wrench in. ed)

- Armour All for lubrication (a reader recommends AstroGlide glycerin. It's usually sold in stores near the condoms as a "personal" lubricant. But, man, this stuff is awesomely slippery for getting rubber bushings in!)

The procedure (removal):

Jack the back end of the car up and support the frame with jack stands. Put the jack under the end of the cross member on the side you want to replace the bushing. Raise the jack to apply pressure to the cross member. Remove the bushing bolt and the two guide plate bolts. Slowly lower the jack to lower the cross member. Find large a socket that will fit over the top of the old bushing (like a 7/8" or so). Put the socket down over the top of the old bushing, then put a piece of the channel on top of the socket ("U" up to protect the tube coming out of the car body where the large bushing bolt goes). Spray some WD-40 on the old rubber of the bushing and jack the cross member back up. The bushing will pop right out of the cross member. Honest!

Alternate Procedure: I drilled a 3/8" hole in the end of an old crow bar, threaded a 5/16"
bolt up through the center of the bushing with a washer and nut on top
and yanked up on the bar and out it popped.

The procedure (installation):
Lower the cross member and clean the area for the new bushing. Spray it with Armor All or another non-petroleum lubricant. Put the piece of PVC pipe on top of the cross member. Put the piece of the channel with the nut on top of the pipe ("U" up again). You may have to pry the cross member down some to get this stuff in. Thread the rod up into the channel & nut. Spray Armor All on the bushing & slide it on the rod. Next slide the 4" flange onto the rod, another piece of channel, and nut. Tighten the nut on the bottom end of the rod which will cause the flange to press the bushing into the cross member. The bushing will not "pop" in like it popped out, but will gradually creep into place. Loosen the nut and feel around the top of the bushing to make sure it is all the way in all around. If not, snug it up again real good and let is sit for a few minutes till it seats. Lower the jack, remove your home-made tools, raise the cross member and bolt it up. Lower the car & you're done!

Urathane Bushing Comments:

This procedure was exactly what i did but with far greater effort exerted because of Urethane bushings.I thought i was actually going to strip the 1/2" ready rod I was torqueing so hard. I used the BAT Urethane units. I found that once installed there was no way posssible to get the stock bushing bolt back in. Not wanting to gain an extra 3/4" ride hieght I cut off a 1/2" off the top of the bushing that allowed the bolt to just catch and gave a 3/4" between cross member and frame. Remember if you want to use the urethane you have to buy 1/2" longer bolts.At least I couldn't get them to go and I tried every conceivable combination.