Wrench Tips – Tip #16: Cutting Rubber Bushings
by Dave Coleman
You might find this hard to believe, but from time to time, I try to put together things that weren’t designed to be put together. This often requires trimming things that don’t really want to be trimmed.
Putting NB top mounts in an NA Miata is a perfect example. NB shocks had a longer threaded stub on the top of the shocks that’s designed to pass through a stack of two bushings positioned above and below the top mount. The NA shocks passed through only a single bushing, so their stub is too short.
To put NA shocks in NB mounts, you have to cut one of the shock bushings in half and use it on both ends of the mount. But how do you cut the damn thing? Clamping it in a vice and hacksawing it won’t work, since the rubber pinches the saw blade. Being a certified ghetto genius, I came up with a bushing slicing trick so precise, I could cut each bushing not in half, but in quarters!
Here’s the trick: Find a drill bit that’s slightly larger than the ID of the bushing, and slide the bushing onto it. Stick the bit in a drill press and spin it. Now, take a hacksaw (or just a blade and some vice grips if you’re super ghettofabulous,) and hold it against the part of the bushing you want to cut. You don’t even need to move the saw blade. Your home-brew rubber lathe will do all the work.
Got any tips of your own? email them to firstname.lastname@example.org!