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Redid My Tension Compression Rod Bushings Today


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One of my tension/compression rod nuts fell off somewhere and I lost some parts on the road. While inspecting the other arm (the one that didn't fall apart by itself), I discovered that I only had one correct large washer (out of four), and the other smaller washers looked suspect as well. I also did a little searching here on the site and found that the recommended configuration is poly up front, but rubber in back to lower the stress on the rod.

After a bunch of searching, I turned up P/N 45G25036 bushing kit from AC Delco that is very nice and not only includes rubber bushing, but includes all the washers and nuts for one complete side. The washers are high quality, and the bushings are well made. I would recommend this kit if you are looking for rubber bushings. I would also recommend this kit if you simply need the washers or the spacers.

AC Delco calls it a "BUSHING,FRT LWR CONT ARM ROD INSL" or a "Strut Rod Kit"

Rock Auto calls it a "Shock Absorber Bushing"

Shows up on Amazon as a "Pitman Arm Kit"

Here's what I started with:

tcrodstart.jpg

Here's the bushing kits. One per side:

tckits1.jpg

tckits2.jpg

Here's the washer and bushing configuration:

tcrodend.jpg

Ready to go back on the car:

tcrodend2.jpg

I know that this is old hat for most of you, but it was my first time, and I was really impressed with the quality of that kit for such a low price.

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How did you decide to put the thick side of the rubber bushing facing forward, or on the inside of the assembly? I looked at several used parts I have laying around (came with the salvage yard TC rods I bought) and it looked like Nissan had the thin edged part on the inside. I couldn't really "logic" out a preference and don't really know why they're designed that way, so I put the thin edge in the cup and left the thick edge on the washer, like the salvage parts.

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I looked in all the FSM's for guidance on how to install both the bushings and the washers, and didn't find any pics with enough detail to be 100% certain of direction of either of them.

I put the thick side of the bushings (with the rounded corners) on the side which contacted the body because that's where the rod is supposed to pivot. If you picture what this thing does in application, the rod will swivel up and down at that point when the wheel moves up and down over bumps, etc. The receiving cups welded to the frame of the car are cupped on the inside as well to accept the bushings. The rounded corners seemed to me to dictate "I'll fit nice into the cups on the frame and will rotate at this point".

And the washers I installed like all shock absorber and sway bar washers I've messed with in the past... With the concave portion facing inward towards the bushings.

Lastly, I compared the whole installation to a 74 260 which I'm pretty sure has never had any work done to that portion of the suspension and it seemed they had the thinner portion away from the frame. I can't be 100% absolutely positive that's the way the 260 came from the factory, but the car was in the family since the early eighty's and I doubt the bushings needed any attention prior to that point.

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  • 3 years later...

Crap. Forgot about this one.

This thread was recently referenced in a tension rod question and I wanted to change something I said above... I thought the proper way to install the bushings was with the thick side facing the frame and the thin sides towards the washers, and after further review, I do not believe that is correct. I believe the correct orientation is with the thin side towards the frame and the thick side towards the washer(s). I had even taken my bushings back out and reversed them but didn't take any new pics.

At this point, I think this thread promotes incorrect info and leads to more confusion than assistance... @MikeIs there a way to delete the whole thing?

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We need that part number though for the AC Delco kit.  The pictures on the interweb don't show that it comes with the washers, sleeves, and nuts.  Much better than the Moog set, which is just the rubber.

Just post the correct orientation and it's a nice little informative story.

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The stock bushings are mounted with the flat (thin) side against the frame pocket, and the washers are counter-intuitively (I think) positioned with the convex curved face (sticky-outy) toward the curved (thicker) side of the bushings like this:

)B-|-B(      

Brackets are washers, B are the rubber bushings and | is the frame pocket. The right hand B( gives you the correct bushing roundness vs washer convex-ness orientation.  This gives you more bushing washer freedom to move and surprisingly gives you more threads sticking out when you try to get the nut on the end of the rod!

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15 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

At this point, I think this thread promotes incorrect info and leads to more confusion than assistance... @MikeIs there a way to delete the whole thing?

So you want me to delete this whole thread?  Are you going to re-create it?

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9 hours ago, Mike said:

So you want me to delete this whole thread?  Are you going to re-create it?

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately, I don't have the pics to re-create it. The only pics I have are of the INCORRECT orientation. By the time I figured out the correct details I was in too much of a hurry to get my car back together to take pics.

I've got pics of the Delco kit, but the only pics I have of the bushings installed on a rod are the wrong way. so I can recreate the rest of it, but not the installed pics.

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37 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

 

I've got pics of the Delco kit, but the only pics I have of the bushings installed on a rod are the wrong way. so I can recreate the rest of it, but not the installed pics.

  Cap'n Wrongway PPF

The pics of the wrong installation are still valuable as long as they are properly identified with Don't Do This.

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  • 2 months later...
For closure, here's some fresh pics of the tension rod bushings showing how the bushings should be installed. Thicker rubber sides outwards, and the washers concave in pushing towards the rubber. Smaller support washers on first and last:
P1090925_zpsassy05ak.jpg
 
Here's how it should look if you're doing half-n-half with rubber and poly. Poly in the front, rubber in the back:
P1090927_zpsp8kwhitd.jpg

And here's a shot of mine on the car:
P1090935_zpsj5f6kxf1.jpg
  • Like 2
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So the advantage here with half rubber is soft razor like handling?
My client wants a cruiser so I am keeping everything rubber. For me I considered going halfsies- but rubber on the forward side to help soften the ride over bad roads .
All in theory I guess, so I won't know until I try. Anymore I am seeking refinement in my ride, so might go back all rubber


Sent from my iPhone using Classic Zcar Club

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Honestly, I did it that way because John Mortensen said so.
 
I'm not a suspension guy, but I believe the theory is that you can still get some of the "crispness" benefits of the poly bushing but you don't snap your T/C rods off like some of the folks running full poly on the rods. And except when you're in reverse, I don't think there is any advantage to rubber up front and poly in the back. (Remember to consider the lack of my credentials however.)
 
I know it's subjective, but I do not find my ride harsh in any way. My PO put poly everywhere and I've taken most of it out. All of the moving suspension components (with the exception of the front bushing on the T/C rods) are now rubber. I've still got poly on the steering rack, on the rear trans mount cross member, and on the mustache bar. I've got KYB strut inserts all around.
 
Maybe it's just that I compare my car now to how it was when I bought it. It was a disaster when I first got it. It's light years better now than it was. I'm running stock size and profile tires and also have comfy Fiero seats... Might be contributors as well?
 
I think you should pop on over and take my car out for a drive and see what you think.  :)
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Can you update your location?  Just to shrink the member map?  Welcome back.

Urethane on the back puts a strong side load on the rod tip as the suspension moves.  Probably why the factory rubber has the odd mushroom shape, it serves a purpose.  Many T/C rods have broken after fatiguing (my opinion, mine did) with urethane on the back. 

New rubber on both sides would probably give a fine ride.  Many of us are probably going too far in replacing 30 year old rubber with urethane.

Blue.PNG

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I think all the origional T/C rods are past their service life. They were flimsy to start out with.

If you put them on a flat surface and roll them many are bent. I took mine off and into the dumpster.

I went aftermarket. I will suffer the ride aspect. But no longer will ever put that old fatigued steel

on my car for such a critical item.

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10 hours ago, madkaw said:

So the advantage here with half rubber is soft razor like handling?
My client wants a cruiser so I am keeping everything rubber. For me I considered going halfsies- but rubber on the forward side to help soften the ride over bad roads .
All in theory I guess, so I won't know until I try. Anymore I am seeking refinement in my ride, so might go back all rubber


Sent from my iPhone using Classic Zcar Club

I built an early 71 Z for a friend and he liked the ride quality when he brought it to me so he wanted to stick with the original style rubber bushings all around. When I took the car apart I discovered that all of the bushings were urethane. Since he was happy with the ride quality before the build we decided to keep the urethane. Just thought that I'd throw that out there...

Chuck

 

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