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Old 26th February 2009, 01:44   #1
Bluerumble
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Thrust arm / bushing question

I read most of the threads, and looked at the vines automotive part on ebay. What I am looking for are some experiences with the Vines part currently listed on ebay, they say e39 but do not list v8 applications. That makes me think it not the right part. If someone has the correct Vines part listing I would appreciate you letting me know what it is. Alos have there been any failures associated with these arms?

Based on the posts I read the replacement arm with bushings installed appears to be a better way to DIY the replacement. Unless I can find someone local to push out the old bushing and install the new one. In that case I will likely do the X5 bushings. Has anyone tried to push the bushings out themselves with a vise? Similar method to removing a u-joint.

Symptoms: A clunk when braking and visible movement of the left (drivers side) wheel when applying the brakes at low speed.

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Old 26th February 2009, 02:44   #2
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I have Powerflex bushings and absolutely love them



M5 Powerflex bushings
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Old 26th February 2009, 02:52   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xotickiller View Post
I have Powerflex bushings and absolutely love them.
x2 on these. I never posted a write-up on them since they caused such an uproar on this board when I first inquired about them.

These bushings insert by hand into your thrust and/or control arms, but you still need to either push or drill out the OEM rubber ones. I drilled all four of 'em out myself with the arms still on the car...it is a PITA that I will admit. Nice to have virtually indestructable, QUIET, polyurethane bushings in place though.

FWIW you won't find many fans of these in this forum so if they interest you after you do your research you'll have to do more reading on other sites/forums.

If you go OEM I believe the consensus is that the X5 bushings are better than standard M5 units. Howevevr, you can't get M5 arms shipped w/ X5 bushings AFAIK. Your arms are reusable though so if you can remove/have them removed w/o damaging the ball joints or their rubber seals you can have X5 bushings pushed in pretty easily. There is also a DIY rig to pull push 'em at home w/ the arms still on the car!

My research led me to a corded drill and various titanium bits though.
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Old 26th February 2009, 13:35   #4
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I am interested your method of removal. It looked to me like there is a metal sleeve and a rubber insert. Did you drill through the sleeve to weaken it? or am I thinking about this all wrong.
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Old 26th February 2009, 18:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xotickiller View Post
I have Powerflex bushings and absolutely love them



M5 Powerflex bushings

How long have you had these on your car? I don't remember why the general population of the board is so anti poly bushings but I'm considering these, the X5 bushings or the super expensive dinan monoballs and need to decide soon. Do you get any additional noises or anything at all from these? I wouldn't be bothered by a small difference and I have to imagine there might be some.

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Old 27th February 2009, 00:54   #6
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Quote:
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Do you get any additional noises or anything at all from these?
As far as noises like squeeks etc. I have none. They come with their own special grease thats copper colored. I used that on most of them, but had to remove/reinstall the thrust arms ones once to check something out. I had no copper grease left so I used a non-washout grease I had in my garage. Wheel bearing grease IIRC. Real sticky stuff.
Have never heard a peep from any of them in about 4k miles.

General thought is that you get more NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) in the car using poly over rubber. This could be true, but I have nothing to compare it to. FWIW I don't feel like I have excessive NVH anytime I'm driving the car. And also FWIW the OEM rubber ones are pretty damn hard/solid anyway so I think the excessive NVH is prolly mostly imagined by naysayers. Especially the thrust arm bushings. They are made as much from metal as they are from rubber. You'll see that if you drill rather than push them out.

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Old 27th February 2009, 01:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluerumble View Post
I am interested your method of removal...
No. You're really NOT interested in my method of removal...you just don't know that yet.
I drilled out the four front bushings with a CORDED electric drill with the arms still on the car.
If you do this on the garage floor like me this means a long time laying on your chest or shoulders.
You need eye protection and a good assortment of bits. Your bits will break while doing this because you'll hit concealed metal in the bushings (mainly the thrust arms) while drilling thru what you think is rubber.
Your bits will dull for the same reason so you will also need a bit sharpening tool (Google Drill Doctor) unless you're the type who tosses dull bits into the trash.
Hot rubber chunks and metal shavings will hit your hands and forearms as well while you drill.
When you've drilled enough 1/4" holes around the metal center of the bushing if you're smart you will then insert a jigsaw into one of the openings and literally saw out the center pin. You'd think you could just drill out all of the rubber, but that just doesn't seem to work well. As you "swiss cheese" the rubber more and more it tends to slide away from your drill bit.
Once you jigsaw out the center getting the remaining rubber off of the bearing shell isn't too hard IIRC.
The bearing shell is what's press-fit into the arm. It looks like a shorter, wider version of a soda can, but with no top or bottom...and also made out of thicker metal of course. With no rubber left you can use your jigsaw (or a hacksaw...not easy!) to score the inner surface of the shell from end to end. Two parallel "fault lines" about 1/2" apart create a weak spot in the shell. From there you can crush the two sides of the bearing shell towards each other with a pair of channel lock pliers. The two parallel fault lines create a crumple zone and the pressure of the pliers causes the shell to collapse onto itself. Then it just pops out of the arm.
The goal here is to cut about 50% of the way thru shell when making your fault lines...not 100%. If you do that you risk scoring the inner surface of the arm itself. Not a good idea.

FWIW I would NOT do this if this is your daily driver. It just takes too long. You'll want to just quit and leave the car up on jackstands and try again the next day w/o putting it all back together.

If you decide to go for it PM me for more tips that will speed you up.

P.S. FWIW I tried pressing them out first, but that didn't work for me so I got pissed and just went medieval on them with everything in my garage. If you can rent/create/borrow a press that works w/o removing the arms I HIGHLY suggest that over the lunacy I unleashed onto myself.

Last edited by TMcNasty; 27th February 2009 at 01:25.
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Old 27th February 2009, 15:09   #8
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I do appreciate the feedback on your method. I am no stranger to lunacy when it comes to shad tree mechanicing. Although I am getting smarter after about 30 years of practice. I am leaning towards the arm replacement method, myself, but I do like the thought of urethane bushings instead of rubber on the thrust arms (I always wanted a Ferrari with mudders ;-). I will PM you with a question or two so we don't cause a ruckus.
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Old 1st March 2009, 21:48   #9
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I was thinking about monoballs but was put off by the price. I would think the poly bushings aren't that much different from the monoballs in terms of NVH, but don't know. Seems like if anything, the polys should be quieter. It sounds like they are a viable alternative.

I have a set of Vines arms in the car right now, but I saved my OEM arms. Seems an easy experiment to get a shop to press out the OEM bushings and install some Powerflexes. I'm a bit tired of the occasional juddering upon brake application that you get with the OEM/rubber bushings
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Old 1st March 2009, 22:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKM5 View Post
How long have you had these on your car? I don't remember why the general population of the board is so anti poly bushings but I'm considering these, the X5 bushings or the super expensive dinan monoballs and need to decide soon. Do you get any additional noises or anything at all from these? I wouldn't be bothered by a small difference and I have to imagine there might be some.

BK


I've had them for about 12k miles. I go tired of wrestling the steering wheel at high speed, worn stock bushings with rear's up front it's no laughing matter at 160mph... And no, I have not felt any NHV at all. But then again I can not hear much over Britalman exhaust
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