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Suspension Bushings?

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  • Suspension Bushings?

    I'm looking at replacing the factory rubber bushing in my suspension since it has 170K miles and doesn't drive as straight during accel/decel as it used to. I'm wondering if any of you have replaced the suspension bushings with something a little better than the factory rubber? How hard was it to remove/install the bushings? Particularly, the A-Arm bushings are my concern. FM sells a polyurethane bushing upgrade ( but I am afraid it would be a little too rough for me in my daily driver Miata. To give you an idea, I am removing the FM springs and going back to the factory Sport springs because I miss the better ride, suspension travel (particularly when taking a cross country trip with full luggage) and they will work better with the Bilstein HD shocks I have. My experience with poly in the past is that they tend to squeak if not removed and regreased every 3-6 months. Needless to say, I don't want to have to go through all that with the suspension A-Arm bushings. Thus, I am looking for bushings that are perhaps a similar material as the Mazda Comp motor mounts. A sort of rubber/composite that is a bit firmer than rubber, but not too firm either .

    Any suggestions? Any experience with the FM poly bushing kit? Maybe I am wrong with my assumption that it would be squeaky and cause a bit of NVH?

  • #2
    Bill --

    My opinion is poly bushings have no place on a street car. Particularly if you're looking to return to a factory-like ride. They have essentially no compliance, are much higher maintenance, and can indeed be infuriatingly noisy.

    I can't remember where I saw them, but there are other non-poly bushing sets which have a slightly higher durometer than OEM, but still have some compliance to them. I believe they are still rubber. If I can remember where I saw them I'll post back.

    The job itself is pretty easy if you have a shop press, though still a bit time-consuming since you need to disassemble everything. For really sticky bushings, a torch can help loosen them as well.

    The inevitable question about replacing the control arms w/tubulars will probably also arise. That's a bunch more money but almost zero incremental labor. You might even be able to get V8Roadsters to sell you a set with your preferred bushings already installed.



    • #3
      Hey Bill, Like the MS motor mounts I believe they have the samething in susp. bushings.
      bigblue. 12psi - FFS duel kool - Water/Meth - MSM clutch - 37 Koyo
      4/1 RB header - catless midpipe - Borla muffler -
      MSM engine mounts. 1999 10AE


      • #4
        Mazda used to have suspension bushings that were on the order of 40% stiffer than stock (had them on the SM). Don't know if that is still true or not. I believe we ordered direct from Mazda.
        2002 LS Black & Tan Olins**16x7" Enkei RPF-1**215/40-16 Toyo T1R**Koyo 37mm Radiator**FFS Coldside 65/105**Innovate DL-32 & SSI-4**Speedhut Custom Dash, GCA3380-2 255lph Walboro Fuel Pump


        • #5
          I see Brian Goodwin carries the Mazda Comp bushings for the A-Arms. How did you like them in your SM? Were they too harsh you think for a street car? Maybe I should just replace with factory stock rubber ones?


          • #6
            Take a look at the Mazdaspeed Motorsports site. They have stock bushings and the competition bushings - which are not urethane, but a harder rubber.