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Old 07-01-2013, 09:27 AM   #1
ShawnV
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Default Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

I just installed the master kit for my 2000 SW2 and wanted to share some thoughts. The kit was a 18.18101R and I got it on Ebay for around $100. This was almost a year ago and I finally got the time to get it installed.

I read up a little on this installation and saw that folks were recommending a shop press to help with removal and reinstallation of the bushings. I don't have one, so I jumped on HF and picked up their bench top shop press:



http://www.harborfreight.com/6-ton-a...ress-1666.html


I started with the rear suspension and the directions that came with the kit are sufficient to get you started. I didn't know the terminology of what they were calling stuff, so I had to read the directions a few times.


Basically, you remove the front subframe bolts and loosen the rear ones so that you can swing the subframe back and away from the fuel tank. This gives clearance to remove the bolts from the front late0ral links.




Everything else was fairly easy and I removed one piece at a time, scratched an Inner & Outer onto it, along with a couple of arrows pointing forward to help me get it back in place correctly.





I had never used a shop press before, but this was pretty easy as well.

Here's the bushing removed and replaced with the new energy suspension one.






For the trailing arms, you have to round over one end of the link with your bench grinder. This keeps it from cutting or damaging the new bushing as you push it through.



Installed with my BFH.



Finished in the rear!





The front sway bar bushings and control arm/ sway bar outer bushings were super easy, but the inner control arm bushings were a huge pain. This is because the old bushings are glued in place and very difficult to remove. I took my butane torch and burned the rubber for about 5 minutes after pushing the bushing out. This helped with removing all the rubber, but was still a major pain.





As for the ride quality, the ride is much harsher indeed. The suspension feels tighter and much bumpier. That's what I was expecting and what is expected with this type of suspension set. The cornering was verrrry much improved. I was very impressed with this. Even with the bumpier ride, I went ahead and ordered another master kit for my '96 SW2 but my plan is to install everything except the inner control arm bushings.


Install time for everything was under 6 hours. I could do it in 2 or 3 hours if I didn't fool with removing the control arms and assembling the new shop press. This was an extremely enjoyable afternoon project and I do so few mods to my saturns, that I had a blast with it! Plus, I got to buy a new tool!


I definitely need an alignment after that kind of suspension work, and I'll buy some new tires too before alignment.




Shawn

Last edited by ShawnV; 07-01-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

There have been reports that the control arm inner bushings wear out rapidly. Will be interested in knowing how yours hold up in service.

You are lucky with those LCAs, I had to resort to cutting torch to get one of mine out of the cradle bracket. There is no room for gentler tooling.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

I have put these in my 98 SC1 minus the FLCA and Front Sway bar bushings as well as on a friends White Hot.

Recently I put the full kit on our 94 Lemons Racer so we will see how it is goes.

+1 on the stiffer ride but response is much more responsive than the 240,000 mile OE bushings.

One thing I need to would like to ask though is the amount of material that had been oxidized off the connecting point for the trailing arms. My 98 had about 2-3 mil that came off but when we did the racecar, more material came off, something to the range like 5-6 mil.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Looks good, great job!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Great write up, thanks for doing this.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

I'm getting ready to change out the rear suspension bushings, and think that the a press would be the best option when compared to burning or C-clamps. The bench-top model at HF is on sale for $70. I'll take one. I'm trying to think of other things I could possibly use the press for in the future. Is it big enough to press a wheel bearing out of the steering knuckle?
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Should be if you are creative and really clean teh knuckle before attempting to push the bearing out.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Attempting to do this myself, after putting lowering springs on and before getting an alignment.

How have the inner LCA bushing's held up?

How in the world did you not have to burn out the rear knuckle->latteral link bolts? Every single rear frame I've looked at with these you can't tell the difference between the bolt & the knuckle...
I'm still attempting to find new bolts, have a lead on a dealer that has a pair (part number 21012067) and if that fails Fastenel has a M14x2x220 that I think will work but may be too short (stock bolt measures 230mm with maybe as much as 10mm past the nut).
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

I don't see any zerks on the front SB bushings and you cleaned off too much grease- I wanna see some oozing out
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Attempting to do this myself, after putting lowering springs on and before getting an alignment.

How have the inner LCA bushing's held up?

How in the world did you not have to burn out the rear knuckle->latteral link bolts? Every single rear frame I've looked at with these you can't tell the difference between the bolt & the knuckle...
I'm still attempting to find new bolts, have a lead on a dealer that has a pair (part number 21012067) and if that fails Fastenel has a M14x2x220 that I think will work but may be too short (stock bolt measures 230mm with maybe as much as 10mm past the nut).

I'm in the South I suppose. I have several of those long rear knuckle-to-lateral link bolts and I'll be glad to send you a couple.




Shawn



edit:

there we are:


Last edited by ShawnV; 10-15-2013 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

just got the black version off amazon. excited to get all my suspension stuff on
...
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Got the bolts, brand new from the dealer. Kinda feel like I overpaid for a bolt but Fastenel wanted 2x as much for essentially the same bolt (with their shipping cost they wanted $46 total) as what I paid ($20 out the door). Gotta love when a place has a part you've been looking for for so long they give it to you "at cost" just to get rid of the dang thing
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Quote:
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Got the bolts
I'm glad you got it! Do you think there is a market for selling these on ebay?



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Old 10-19-2013, 06:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Quote:
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I'm glad you got it! Do you think there is a market for selling these on ebay?



Shawn
Might be, sounded like the dealer stock was dwindling down to nothing and given I got the ~$20ea bolts for $20total they don't expect to need them.

Got most of the rear end bushings done, should have known the job was going to suck when I mistakenly put the trailing arm bushing into a lateral link...everything fought me every step of the way. ~3hrs into it so far and the rear end is just now being put back on and I'd be flipping out in rage if I didn't have a bunch of spare rear wheel bearings as rust is holding one in place and 2 bolts plus rust is holding the other
I had to replace a vise I broke a few months ago anyway so I upgraded from a 4" to a comparative behemoth 6" Olympia Tools vise (free 2day shipping from my Prime membership....paid for itself with this ~50lb vise). Had no problems with any of the bushings with it, but I would have spent hours fighting with the 4" vise so it was a great idea to get the 6".

Not sure what exactly was holding together the trailing arm->knuckle bushings but once I get it aligned later this week it'll feel very very different
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Another Prime membership abuser.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Despite going all week with the alignment totally shot and only putting in the rear bushing's, I could notice a positive difference before even leaving my yard and it only got better out on the road. My SC2 was too rusty to really reccomend doing this to another one in the rust belt area but at the same time I'm thinking, the full kit was under $100 and only took a few hours to install and ti made this much difference? If you're bushings are in the same "parts are loose because the bushings are so worn" stage you'll love the upgrade.

Now I have to spend 20 minutes to go less than half a mile to get an angle finder to finish the alignment that yet another incompetent mechanic couldn't do in 1.5 hours with camber bolts & that rear toe adjustment tool. Even said he can't get to the front strut bolts with the wheel on and judging by the damage to the one camber bolt I checked he was trying to get the impact wrench in there like a total MORON. Then they wanted me to reschedule another time to come in...sorry, I don't reward incompetence with a return visit.

Overall...bushings are worth it, mechanics are not.
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Last edited by fetchitfido; 10-25-2013 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:10 AM   #17
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
...
Overall...bushings are worth it, mechanics are not.
So true. Find a dead level floor or construct a dead level plain to work from and you can do your own alignments.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Firestones do lifetime alignments for about $160. If you do lots of suspension work, or keep your car for a long time, it is really worth it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
Attempting to do this myself, after putting lowering springs on and before getting an alignment.

How have the inner LCA bushing's held up?

How in the world did you not have to burn out the rear knuckle->latteral link bolts? Every single rear frame I've looked at with these you can't tell the difference between the bolt & the knuckle...
I'm still attempting to find new bolts, have a lead on a dealer that has a pair (part number 21012067) and if that fails Fastenel has a M14x2x220 that I think will work but may be too short (stock bolt measures 230mm with maybe as much as 10mm past the nut).
I'm still trying to find replacement lateral link to knuckle bolts. The one that I have out measured 215mm in shaft length. I don't think I beat 15mm off the end with my 5-pound hammer. I suppose that the 220mm from Fastenal would work if they would have followed up on my request to order them. Can anyone confirm the length of the OE bolt?
...
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Energy suspension bushings installation, thoughts, PICS!

Quote:
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I'm still trying to find replacement lateral link to knuckle bolts. The one that I have out measured 215mm in shaft length. I don't think I beat 15mm off the end with my 5-pound hammer. I suppose that the 220mm from Fastenal would work if they would have followed up on my request to order them. Can anyone confirm the length of the OE bolt?


I have a them if you need a pair.

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