Project Honda Civic: Energy Suspension Bushings and ST Sway Bar Install
By Annie Sam
Photos by Joe Lu
Now that we have completely beefed up the suspension and brakes of Project Honda Civic with the Skunk2 Pro-C Coil overs and camber kit, and the Fastbrakes big brake kit, it's time to button things up with the last several suspension upgrades we had lined up for our little weekend warrior.
A finishing touch not to be overlooked is replacement bushings. We changed most of our old worn out stock rubbery bushings with polyurethane ones from Energy Suspension. As you can see from the image below, the soft rubbery material coupled with years of abuse has caused these rubber bushings to tear, something that is common for high mileage stock rubber bushings.
|Although our stock bushings held up remarkably well for having over 250,000 miles on them, you could see hairline cracks developing at the stress points.|
Unlike the stock bushings, polyurethane bushings are a good compromise between the comfort of soft squishy rubber and the solid metal spherical bearings that some hardcore racers use. Polyurethane is stiff enough to maintain the proper alignment needed for maximized performance of your suspension, while being soft enough to allow some absorption of vibration in these suspension parts for a tolerable ride. Another benefit to polyurethane bushings is that polyurethane material maintains its mechanical properties between -90 F and +227 F. In my opinion, you'd probably have bigger things to worry about if you ever found yourself in either of these extreme temperatures, but at least you'd know that your bushing will remain reliable up until these points.
|We decided to remove our stock bushings “24 Hours of LeMons” style. Be sure to wear gloves. Although it might seem like total common sense now while I point it out, it is easy to forget how easily heat transfers through the metal, and how easily it can burn you if you touch it.. Note the burning spray painted rims; probably not the best thing to breathe in, either.|
Although one of the more “proper” ways to remove stock bushings would be to use a press with tubes of a similar diameter of the bushing you're pressing out, there are other ways for those of us that don't have a press – tree huggers be warned, the following images are not for the faint environmentalist's hearts.
|MotoIQ's very own Martin Gonzales helps with the bushing removal process. Kids, don't try this at home. For everyone else, make sure you have good homeowner's insurance.|