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Old 11-02-2009, 10:31 PM   #1
sr5guy
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Default Forward Front Control Arm Bushing Discussion

I've noticed that the front control arm bushings are quite soft or even cracked and broken on most Legends that come through my shop. If you have an automatic the softness is very evident. Put the car in gear with both front wheels off the ground and power brake it in reverse and then in forward. Watch the control arms jump back and forth almost a 1/2". The soft bushings make the legend more prone to wheel hop and suspension vibration "amplification". I imagine they also take some of the bite out of off the line acceleration as the rubber is absorbing some of the take off energy, similar to soft motor mounts. I believe harder control arm bushings would have an effect similar to an engine damper on acceleration.

I really see a need for these bushings to be made of a harder durometer rubber. I don't think a polyurethane bushing would do well with the Legends wishbone suspension setup because the control arm bushings need to be "set" in order for proper suspension dynamics. In other words, the bushing has to have some "spring" to it so that it always returns to ride height by itself. The inner sleeve (where control arm goes through) needs to be directly connected through whatever medium, rubber or poly, to the outer sleeve. This "spring" is what coaxes your steering wheel to straighten out by itself when you let go of the wheel after a turn. Most polyurethane bushing setups are designed so that the inside sleeve can move freely within the outer sleeve with a special lubricant that must be periodically replaced = almost no spring at all. This probably works great on McPherson strut suspensions, but not the Legend's wishbone.

The steel sleeved front control arm bushings are pressed into the front subframe brackets. Real pieces of engineering those brackets are, if you have the opportunity to look at one you will be amazed at the intricacy of it. It ties the front motor mounts, front subframe crossmember, side subframe stiffener, control arm and uni body all together in one neat little cast aluminum assembly. Needless to say, in Honda's great wisdom the only way to replace or repair this bushing is to buy a new bracket. The brackets are $500.00 each. I should mention that the type II control front control arm bushings are more firm than the type I, but not significantly. The brackets have different part numbers from a 95 LS Sedan to a 95 GS sedan. The rearward front control arm bushings remained unchanged.

So does anyone have any idea how we can make some replacements? Can they be gutted and filled with rubber? Who makes rubber casting stuff? Some type of polyurethane? Are there bushings already made for other cars that can be made to fit? Lets talk I think this would be a great upgrade for the Legend's suspension.

-Matt
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:39 PM   #2
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:31 PM   #3
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are you referring to what the FSM refers to as the radius rod bushing?
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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are you referring to what the FSM refers to as the radius rod bushing?
Being that the radius rod is nearly built into the control arm -I would refer to them as control arm bushings. Call them whatever makes you happy .

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr5guy View Post
Being that the radius rod is nearly built into the control arm -I would refer to them as control arm bushings. Call them whatever makes you happy .

-Matt
well... just wanted to be on the same page. its just that i don't understand why you think a poly bushing would be bad... i would assume you would want the least amount of deflection that would cause caster changes.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:45 PM   #6
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well... just wanted to be on the same page. its just that i don't understand why you think a poly bushing would be bad... i would assume you would want the least amount of deflection that would cause caster changes.
If you read the second paragraph I explained my reasoning. I have a feeling that a cast polyurethane bushing would be too stiff and thus break away from the sleeves relatively quickly.

-Matt
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:48 PM   #7
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well even though polyurethane has a full floating sleeve/bushing whereas the sleeve is fixed on the stock bushing... it doesnt matter because its not a side loading bushing like a regular LCA or shock bushing is.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:50 PM   #8
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well even though polyurethane has a full floating sleeve/bushing whereas the sleeve is fixed on the stock bushing... it doesnt matter because its not a side loading bushing like a regular LCA bushing is.
Have you ever driven a Legend with bad lca bushings? There is absolutely no steering return, its downright dangerous if your not on point. My goal is to find something better than stock but still daily driver material.

-Matt
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Very interested, PM me if these become a go, it may be a month or two though.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr5guy View Post
Have you ever driven a Legend with bad lca bushings? There is absolutely no steering return, its downright dangerous if your not on point. My goal is to find something better than stock but still daily driver material.

-Matt
im not disagreeing with you... any sort of caster changes will affect steering return... which is why i asked what is so bad about a bushing that can deliver zero deflection?

stock specifications for caster is 345' which is positive... and as long as it remains within spec a bushing that is more solid wont affect steering return negatively. the "springiness" of the bushing has little to do with steering return is basically what i was trying to get at.

just take a look at what tractions bars do. many of them use spherical bushings for their radius rods.

i hope you're not taking my posts the wrong way... im just here to help.
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