Installed new trailing arms, but problem with bushings -

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Installed new trailing arms, but problem with bushings

Installed new trailing arms, but problem with bushings

Old June 12th, 2018, 11:19 AM
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Installed new trailing arms, but problem with bushings

Hey guys,

I got a new pair of greaseable rear boxed lower control arms from southwestspeed for my 72 VC with the goal of installing a rear sway bar.

The trailing arms were powder coated, looked really nice. I got to installing them and made a rookie mistake with trying to jam them in the mounts without spreading the mounting ears open a little bit to accommodate the new bushings. I ended up crushing the poly bushings and destroyed one set of them outright before realizing what I was doing wrong. While I was waiting for the new bushings to arrive, I installed the 2nd trailing arm and drove the car about 200 miles with one stock trailing arm and one new one (no sway bar yet).

When the replacement bushings arrived for the 1st trailing arm, I got to work completing the install. But I noticed that the already installed trailing arm's bushings had completely disintegrated - that is, the lip around the outside of the bushings was completely gone.

By now I'm freaking out about my incompetence and all the rework. What did I do wrong? I used the washers and nylon nuts provided, threaded to just barely tight, dropped the car, greased the bushings (until grease came back out the nipple), and torqued to 80 ft lbs.

After discussing with the manufacturer, I was told that I torqued them way too tight. That I should only have just tightened them - that the nylon nuts would prevent them from backing out.

Now I'm not sure if I need to install new bushings or not. Does the lip around the bushings, which has a lot of surface area on the mounting ears, impact performance if it's missing? The tech at southwestspeed said I should be pivoting on the inner metal bushing, not the poly bushing. By over-torquing the bolts, I was crushing the poly bushing and that's what led to the collapse of the outer lip. He wasn't sure that I needed to replace the bushings.

Now that I think about it, did I put the washers in the wrong place? I have the bushings up against the inside of the mounting bracket, and I used the washer on the outside of the mounting bracket, against the nut. The washer doesn't go on the bushing side of the bracket, does it? Big "doh!" if it does...

What do you all think I need to do (no wisecracks, please)? Should I replace the bushings or drive it around and see what happens? I'd actually be fine with rubber bushings, but I'm willing to give new poly bushings one more chance. I'd just hate to ruin another $60 worth of bushings by over tightening them. I thought I read somewhere here on the forums that 80 ft lbs was correct.


Thanks a bunch...

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Old June 12th, 2018, 12:08 PM
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I guess I am missing how they can be over tightened. The inner metal sleeve should contact each side the the "ears" and that should prevent the ears from crushing the bushing lip.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 09:50 AM
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That makes sense. I can't recall how much gap there was between the edge of the inner sleeve and the poly bushing edge before I installed them. Seems to me they were pretty close to flush. Any thoughts on whether the bushings are compromised if the outer edge is gone? Grease is leaking out the sides without that lip in place, but I'm not sure if the lip adds anything else.
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