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Thread: Do I need new bushings?

  1. #1
    Member Perkster029's Avatar
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    Question Do I need new bushings?

    So I spent a long afternoon removing all 8 existing ball joints from control arms and knuckles. I have some Moogs on their way, installing will be next weekend.

    While I was doing the ball joints, it occurred to me that I have no idea if I should replace the bushings while I'm at it. In fact, I don't even know how to tell if bushings are "good" or need replacement. I'm leaning towards leaving the old ones in and not monkeying around with them, but figured I'd ask here to see what others thought.

    I have no first-hand knowledge of how the donor car drove, I bought the parts from someone. It was a 2000 with 99k miles on it.
    Ryan

    GTM #511 Status: Kit delivered in early August 2018.
    Latest update: LS376 installed!

    Build log: gtm.perkinsons.com

  2. #2
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    Hey Perkster,

    I did the exact same thing you did, pull the old ball joints and put in Moog replacements. Before putting in the replacements, I decided to have my control arms and spindles powder coated, and therefore needed to pull all the bushings. I decided to go with the PFADT replacements since I had everything apart. I figured, better do to it now than have to tear everything apart later if I wasn't happy with the handling. I purchased my donor parts off one of the companies on eBay, so I had zero knowledge on the car.

    Just my .02 cents, go ahead and do them. They run about $450 for the full set and I found I needed to order more of the special grease to install all of them. They were a royal PITA to install at first, but once I figured out a method, it was pretty easy to install.

  3. #3
    Member kabacj's Avatar
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    Even brand new corvette bushings could use an upgrade to polyurethane for use in a GTM.

    Always change the bushings.

    Huge sticky GTM tires, more power and G loads have even better ability to deform the stock corvette bushings than the c5 they came from.

    Tight suspension will also hold your alignment settings more accurately.

    If I only did one upgrade to the C5 parts it would be the ball joints and bushings.

    John
    GTM # 344
    Build Start December 2010
    First Start October 2012
    First Go Kart March 2013
    First track day April 2013

  4. #4
    Member Perkster029's Avatar
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    I'm not sure, doing research and reading online, it seems a laaarrrge chunk of people regret putting on poly bushings.

    I also don't have the intention of doing road courses or frequent autocrossing, which is where poly seems to be most advantageous.

    Is there a way to know when bushings are bad when they are NOT on the car? At a visual inspection, these look like they are in excellent shape. (see images)
    IMG_20180610_102456595.jpg
    IMG_20180610_102358661.jpg
    IMG_20180610_102444521.jpg
    Ryan

    GTM #511 Status: Kit delivered in early August 2018.
    Latest update: LS376 installed!

    Build log: gtm.perkinsons.com

  5. #5
    Member kabacj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perkster029 View Post
    I'm not sure, doing research and reading online, it seems a laaarrrge chunk of people regret putting on poly bushings.

    I also don't have the intention of doing road courses or frequent autocrossing, which is where poly seems to be most advantageous.

    Is there a way to know when bushings are bad when they are NOT on the car? At a visual inspection, these look like they are in excellent shape. (see images)
    IMG_20180610_102456595.jpg
    IMG_20180610_102358661.jpg
    IMG_20180610_102444521.jpg
    im Not sure if you could evaluate new vs marginal bushings just based on visual inspection. Older bushings might have cracks or physical wear. Remember that these cars have years on them. Rubber parts degrade with time.

    On the one hand you can wait and see if you have any of the suspension deflection issues caused by worn bushings or you could simply replace them as part of rebuilding the doner parts.

    Depends on your time and budget.

    I wanted to have a “new car tight “ driving experience so I replaced all the wear parts.

    I understand if you want a more comfort focused GTM that you would want to retain the stock Corvette bushings.

    Nothing wrong with that. This is your car. You build it to your priorities and budget.
    GTM # 344
    Build Start December 2010
    First Start October 2012
    First Go Kart March 2013
    First track day April 2013

  6. #6
    Member Perkster029's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabacj View Post
    im Not sure if you could evaluate new vs marginal bushings just based on visual inspection.
    That's what I was figured, unfortunately.

    You're spot on about my priorities, a tight suspension is not high on the list.

    I think I've decided to leave the old ones on. Hopefully, in a year or two when this car is done, I can report back here with how they perform!
    Ryan

    GTM #511 Status: Kit delivered in early August 2018.
    Latest update: LS376 installed!

    Build log: gtm.perkinsons.com

  7. #7
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    I have a 1999 donor C5 with only 39,000 miles. I chose to replace mine as they were 20 years old. For me, the decision was 1-2 weeks now vs a major tear up later if they needed replacement. After I figured out a few good ways to remove the rubber from the mandrels, it was actually fairly easy and a fun project. I think I paid around $100 for the urethane bushing kit. Oh, and you do need a press as well.

  8. #8
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    I put the PFADT bushings in my setup, maybe $500 with having to buy extra special grease.

    Very similar thought process at Mkraus01. Easy to do now, verses a major project down the road. Plus, I didn't know the pedigree of them in their prior life.

    No need for a press to do it, but I did have to get creative with a combination of sockets, c-clamps, and other clamps. Once I got the first one figured out, which took a while, the rest were a piece of cake. Also, the ball joint removal tool you can rent at the parts store was key in getting them all our easily. The front uppers I also found no need to burn them out. Just throw them in the bench vice and wrench on them. Maybe mine were pretty wore out, but they came out nicely.

    I do want to hit the track frequently in my GTM and therefore suspension was a priority for me.

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