Suspension & Brakes - How to tell if rear LCA bushings are bad




WhiteStallion00
04-22-2012, 12:05 PM
I've been searching for about 45 mins and can't find the answer. Stock LCA's, replaced bushings with Moog about 4 years ago.

When tightened to 90lbs, on the rearend, other end not attached, should there be any side to side wiggle? How do you tell if the bushings have gone bad?


i6overboard
04-22-2012, 06:02 PM
since no replied i'll try to help. I've never had stock lca's on my car, but you prolly will have some side to side play with the stock bushings as they are soft rubber for good noise dampening. If your concerned about it, why not just buy a set of lca's from one of our vendors. Around 100 bucks i believe and will improve the car.

WhiteStallion00
04-22-2012, 06:09 PM
Thanx :)

I'm positive it will improve the car; short on funds at the moment. She needs a number of things, I'm just trying to limp along. I appreciate the input.


SparkyJJO
04-22-2012, 06:56 PM
4 year old moogs should be fine. side to side wiggle is normal because they are rubber, and you need some side to side movement for normal suspension articulation anyway. Poly bushings don't have much (if any) side to side movement, so they suck for street applications because they bind.

WhiteStallion00
04-22-2012, 08:23 PM
Cool, I'm chasing a bind, so I'm looking at everything extra careful. I think I found part of my problem in the torque arm. The holes are ovalled a bit and, the hard part, I have an option of taking the angle that the top prefers against the rearend or the angle that the bottom prefers because it's "spread open" a bit. Unfortunately, there's a noticeable difference between the two and I don't know which (if either) is right. All I have is a cheap-ass protractor to measure the thrust angle with and that's not going to cut it :(

dr_whigham
04-23-2012, 10:36 AM
http://www.foundersperformance.com/product_images/b/682/82-02_F-Body_Lower_Street_Arms_Red__85229_zoom.jpg

63 bucks, brother. You go buy bushings alone and you're over half way there. Just a thought.

Founders Performance.

http://www.foundersperformance.com/products/1982%252d2002-Chevrolet-Camaro-Firebird-Lower-Control-Arms.html

SparkyJJO
04-23-2012, 04:30 PM
Poly bushings? Not a good idea.

Not good for a street car. They don't articulate the way they need to. He'll have more, not less bind with those.

dr_whigham
04-23-2012, 04:38 PM
Just throwing a cheap alternative out there.
I'd personally get the poly/swivel combo.

StuntmanMike
04-23-2012, 07:18 PM
I wish they offered those with rubber bushings. I'd be all over them just to not deal with pressing out the old bushings out of the stock arms.

FirebirdTransAm
04-23-2012, 10:06 PM
Poly bushings? Not a good idea.

Not good for a street car. They don't articulate the way they need to. He'll have more, not less bind with those.

Are you speaking from experience? Because I put on the same LCAs pictured from founders and my car felt/rode/handled better. I was pleasantly surprised because of all the jargon I hear on here about poly bushings.

Latch
04-23-2012, 10:07 PM
My stock bushings were noisy as hell. Any little bump in the road and you would hear clunking and rubber squeaking. Replaced them with Moogs and they're dead silent. Didn't need a press BTW, but it would have made removing the old bushings a lot easier.

Skip the poly and rod ends, fuck all that for a street car. Shame on all these companies for pushing a product that's inferior to stock and saying it's the greatest thing you can buy. A bunch of snake oil salesmen.

SparkyJJO
04-23-2012, 10:19 PM
Are you speaking from experience? Because I put on the same LCAs pictured from founders and my car felt/rode/handled better. I was pleasantly surprised because of all the jargon I hear on here about poly bushings.

No I haven't had any poly bushings, just rubber. But I've looked at the way the rear axle moves, looked at the single axis that poly gives, and concluded that it probably wouldn't be too great. Others here then have done actual tests and my analysis on paper was correct.

I'm not saying I'm a suspension expert, certainly not. But when you need a secondary axis and poly doesn't give that it isn't hard to see why poly would be a problem.

I don't know what your car is like, nor the condition of your suspension before you got the poly ended LCAs, but one possibility that comes to mind is that your stock rubber bushings were really bad so they weren't doing their job. At that point any bushing - more bind or not - would be an improvement. I was there with my old 98, the factory rubbers literally fell out when I took off the LCAs.

FirebirdTransAm
04-23-2012, 10:33 PM
No I haven't had any poly bushings, just rubber. But I've looked at the way the rear axle moves, looked at the single axis that poly gives, and concluded that it probably wouldn't be too great. Others here then have done actual tests and my analysis on paper was correct.

I'm not saying I'm a suspension expert, certainly not. But when you need a secondary axis and poly doesn't give that it isn't hard to see why poly would be a problem.

I don't know what your car is like, nor the condition of your suspension before you got the poly ended LCAs, but one possibility that comes to mind is that your stock rubber bushings were really bad so they weren't doing their job. At that point any bushing - more bind or not - would be an improvement. I was there with my old 98, the factory rubbers literally fell out when I took off the LCAs.

I had replaced the factory bushing within the last 30k but I decided I'd rather have the stiffer suspension (possible bind) because I don't auto x or road race my car, only drag race when I do get the chance. Like I said, I had heard the same things over and over on here so I was pleasantly surprised when I replaced the stock lcas with the founders and it felt less harsh and definitely a lot tighter when turning. The stock stamped pieces are relatively chincy, if we are being honest they are kind of embarrassing. I will never go back, Ill stick with the polys that really aren't all that stiff, simulate rubber pretty well in my opinion and they are grease-able which is nice.

Also the stock stamped pieces have to flex a lot under significant load and I don't like the thought of my only link between my axle and body bending and flexing under load just so it won't "bind". Sounds worse imo.

Latch
04-23-2012, 10:36 PM
More about polyurethane...

http://hewsoninc.ca/mythinformation.htm

If you want a stiff suspension, you don't want it to come from binding bushings. Tuning your suspension should be done with shocks, springs, and sway bars.

SparkyJJO
04-23-2012, 10:45 PM
I think we can all agree that the stock stamped U shaped pieces are pretty craptastic :lol:

FirebirdTransAm
04-23-2012, 10:51 PM
More about polyurethane...

http://hewsoninc.ca/mythinformation.htm

If you want a stiff suspension, you don't want it to come from binding bushings. Tuning your suspension should be done with shocks, springs, and sway bars.

Like I said, I have read and understand the logic behind poly bushings, trailing arm suspensions, rubber vs poly comparisons, panhard bars, binding senarios etc.

However, my car rides less harsh and handles better with tubular lcas with founders "poly" bushings than it did with stock lcas and 30k moog replacements.

If they didn't I would take them off and caulk up the $55 to bad judgement. However, they feel great and I recommend them.

FirebirdTransAm
04-23-2012, 10:53 PM
I think we can all agree that the stock stamped U shaped pieces are pretty craptastic :lol:

:cheers:

WhiteStallion00
04-23-2012, 10:57 PM
Seems like it wouldn't be too tough to fab a set of rubber bushings for the above arms, looks like they're a little smaller than stock, so shaving down some moogs... Ah, nevermind, just talking out my ass...

libertyforall1776
04-23-2012, 11:20 PM
What's wrong with them with Moog 1LE bushings?! :confused:

I think we can all agree that the stock stamped U shaped pieces are pretty craptastic :lol:

Latch
04-23-2012, 11:37 PM
I highly doubt that stiffer bushings are going to make the ride less harsh. If that's the case, just go straight to rod ends... that should make it ride like a Cadillac.

JD_AMG
04-24-2012, 05:28 AM
Like I said, I have read and understand the logic behind poly bushings, trailing arm suspensions, rubber vs poly comparisons, panhard bars, binding senarios etc.

However, my car rides less harsh and handles better with tubular lcas with founders "poly" bushings than it did with stock lcas and 30k moog replacements.

If they didn't I would take them off and caulk up the $55 to bad judgement. However, they feel great and I recommend them.
A "stiffer" feel is not better handling. Going around city streets at 35mph is not a measure of "better handling". Push the car to its limits on less than ideal road surface and you will see the rear getting skiddish. If you are not pushing the car then don't say it handles better.

lees02WS6
04-24-2012, 07:03 AM
Are you speaking from experience? Because I put on the same LCAs pictured from founders and my car felt/rode/handled better. I was pleasantly surprised because of all the jargon I hear on here about poly bushings.

I have had rubber, poly, rod ends, and now elastomer ends (rubber rod ends). Poly would bind, I could hear it causing the metal in the torque box to creak and pop from force. It would, even with lots of grease, squeak, and of course that pleasant sound of metal being relieved of stress as the car stopped.

Of course information is key, and understanding how suspension moves and works is tremendously helpful. Sometimes we still have to put our hands on the stove to learn our lesson though.

I would never recommend someone use rod ends on a street car if they can avoid it. They are harsh as hell, "quiet ones" are still noisy, and road grime kills them. I'd still take them over poly though.

FirebirdTransAm
04-24-2012, 06:32 PM
A "stiffer" feel is not better handling. Going around city streets at 35mph is not a measure of "better handling". Push the car to its limits on less than ideal road surface and you will see the rear getting skiddish. If you are not pushing the car then don't say it handles better.

For the sake of argument, you might not want to "quote" me saying something that I haven't said.

Also I wouldn't advise pushing any car to its handling limits on bumpy or a "less than ideal road surface", especially a car that is setup for drag racing like mine. I did that with my Vettes, the T/A is a muscle car to me, street/strip and good looks only.

FirebirdTransAm
04-24-2012, 06:41 PM
I have had rubber, poly, rod ends, and now elastomer ends (rubber rod ends). Poly would bind, I could hear it causing the metal in the torque box to creak and pop from force. It would, even with lots of grease, squeak, and of course that pleasant sound of metal being relieved of stress as the car stopped.

Of course information is key, and understanding how suspension moves and works is tremendously helpful. Sometimes we still have to put our hands on the stove to learn our lesson though.

I would never recommend someone use rod ends on a street car if they can avoid it. They are harsh as hell, "quiet ones" are still noisy, and road grime kills them. I'd still take them over poly though.

I understand where you are coming from and I don't know what parts you had on your car but my car doesn't squeak or creak or pop with the founders poly/poly tubular lca's. I can't explain it, all I can say is that if you drove my car before and after you would agree with me.

In the real world, my car feels tighter and rides less harsh. Take it or leave it.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQh-gBNspSTDtGzxg57fKi9ko9qxYp8VeUk0qHiwjdKAzBX3IOsCw