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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put my '84 Spider back on the road today after a 7-year hiatus. Received an unpleasant surprise in the form of throttle steer that feels for all the world like worn rear bushings. This was not a problem when I put it up 7 years ago, at that time the urethane bushings were less than a year old and very lightly used. So, wondering if anyone on the board can address a couple of questions....

1) Is it possible or likely that the bushings have failed after 7 years of sitting undisturbed in the garage?

2) Any suggestions as to how I can test, short of pulling things apart? It's taken 7 years to address relatively minor issues that put it out of commission in the first place. Don't want to go through another long period of inactivity.

Thanks,

Brad
 

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I would start by pushing on the back of the car left/right as hard as you can and see if the back shifts vs the axel
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just got home from work and looked underneath. Sure enough, telltale bits of red underneath. Poly does not age well, apparently. Contemplating going back to rubber.
 

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I woulda never suspected polyurothane could decay from just sitting.

Query: when originally installed, were they lubed up well or put in dry? (mayhaps corrosion in the bushing holes from sitting ate 'em up?)

I'd be interested in pix of the bushes when they come out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am also surprised.

IIRC, I bought the bushings from Centerline and installed them with the red (silicone?) grease that came with them. Only one has degraded, crumbled into little bits the size and shape of bleu cheese. I will post pics when I replace, likely this weekend or next week.

In the interest of science (not because I am lazy, busy or cheap) I have ordered similar pieces from IAP and will probably only replace the bad side first, holding the second in reserve. It will be interesting to see how long the one on the other side lasts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bushed bushing

I'd be interested in pix of the bushes when they come out.
Since you asked, here's the one that went. The missing part has become so much red dust.

I've done some reading re: poly bushings. It seems that this sort of failure (from age) is more common than the vendors might have you believe. In addition, polyurethane does not respond well to heat. The sort of heat generated by friction, once the initial coat of lube has gone away. Some recommend using poly bushings only if they are greasable (through a small hole in the liner) and doing so every 1500 miles. I have not seen such a beast for our cars.

My sense is that OEM style rubber bushes will last longer. However, I'm sticking with poly for the front of the trailing arms simply because I can replace them rather easily while the trailing arms remain on the car. With the OEM style, I would likely have to remove the trailing arms and prevail upon my neighbor to use his press.
 

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Can't see the picture right now on the website...

Is is useful/feasible to slot or groove the bushings so they'll either hold more lube, or so that lube can be fed in and make it around more of the bushing surface? Or would that promote premature wear? How difficult is it to add a zirc or other grease fitting? Not anywhere close to worrying about that on my car, but of interest certainly. Adding a zirc while the car is apart shouldn't be a hard thing to do if it can be placed where it does some good, just don't know the pros and cons - like which type lube should or must be used, and if a fitting can be added that feeds the friction surfaces.
 

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Wow, that be nasty.

Looks like it's 100 years old, dried up, then took out and beat on the sidwalk.

Interesting that it appears there's bits of it stuck to the inner bushing tube.
A result of low lube level, friction, or something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can't see the picture right now on the website...

Is is useful/feasible to slot or groove the bushings so they'll either hold more lube, or so that lube can be fed in and make it around more of the bushing surface? Or would that promote premature wear? How difficult is it to add a zirc or other grease fitting? Not anywhere close to worrying about that on my car, but of interest certainly. Adding a zirc while the car is apart shouldn't be a hard thing to do if it can be placed where it does some good, just don't know the pros and cons - like which type lube should or must be used, and if a fitting can be added that feeds the friction surfaces.
I think that any sort of cavity in the squishy bits (slot, groove, bubble whatever) would lead to failure. I've seen some where there is a hole in the inner sleeve to push the grease through. The problem is the solid bolt that goes through that sleeve that holds the suspension together. A variation on a banjo bolt could work but only while sacrificing critical bolt strength.
 

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could it have been sprayed with something that was not chemical capable.
like break cleaner or something?
 

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This is definitely an odd failure. I have had poly bushings on my GTV for a similar amount of time and they all look good. I have also not heard of other instances of crumbling bushings. It may have just been a bad bushing.

The theory of incompatible chemicals may be valid. Any petroleum product (grease, oil, gas) will degrade poly bushings. The lubricant supplied with the bushings should be compatible, it is basically white lithium grease, and that is what you should use to lubricate periodically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The only lube they received was an initial coat of the grease that came with them. It was transparent red and came in a little plastic pouch. It's been a long time, so I'm not positive, but I think the documentation said it was silicone.

The only likely contamination would have been from black spray paint, as I rattle canned the trailing arms before putting in the bushings. I didn't use solvents or any other grease in the vicinity of that joint. I'm more inclined to believe I just got a bad one, as the other side received all the same treatment and appears solid.

Thanks for the tip re white lithium, Joe. I will use that going forward.
 

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crubley bushing

from long distance, i would say, looks like a bad part. have seen this once or twice. somehow got screwed up in manufacturing, and they just break up.
not typical certainly, when right,they have a very long life.
andy
 

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Crubley Bushing

from long distance, i would say, looks like a bad part. have seen this once or twice. somehow got screwed up in manufacturing, and they just break up.
not typical certainly, when right,they have a very long life.
andy
I hope you are right, I am half way through my car replacing them ( where it won't hammer my ride quality), and I had assumed these things last forever( 20 years).
 
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