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I've been researching this topic here and other places, but I haven't come up with a definitive answer, so I'll ask outright.

Do I absolutely have to remove the outer steel sleeve from the control arms to install new poly-graphite bushings? From what I can tell, the poly graphites don't have an outer sleeve of their own. It seems to me that the bushing would function better with the old sleeves in place (radiused edges, smoother finish, etc.) rather than removing them and having the bushing ride against the raw control arm. Its a well documented PITA to remove the sleeves, so before I go down this path, I want to find out if anyone has tried it without removing the sleeves. Thanks for the help.

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Were these poly bushings or original style bushings. I could see the need to remove the outer sleeve for original style bushings as these should come with a new outer sleeve. But, its my understanding that the poly bushings don't come with an outer sleeve. If the old sleeves are removed and not replaced, the result would be a weaker part.

Aluminum? Yikes that's criminal.

I don't think that the polly are necessaraly an advantage. They simply have a harder durameter then stock.
Therefore, theoretically, there should be less deflection in the joint. That may or may not translate into more accurate handling.

I changed my bushings simply because it was "part of the program". I simply changed everything in the car. Everything that wasn't replaced was rebuit and refinished.

I think I bought one of everything in Hall's catalog also. (I know I did) I'm still trying to figure out what some of the stuff is for but it looks cool. Smiler
Some vendors' poly bushings are larger in diameter than others and require the entire stock assembly to be gone- which really requires a press and a weekend to do right. Others as from Pantera East are sized to slide into the steel sleeve left in an a-arm when you remove the stock rubber; much easier to install. You re-use the small dia center tube for both types, which is slightly longer than the bushings and takes the entire bolt torque. Then, the a-arm rotates on the bushing or the central tube or both, which is called 'free-floating'. There's one type that uses a special poly bushing and a hexagonal central tube, so the a-arm is restricted to only rotate on the bushing OD. With stock rubber, NOTHING rotates- instead, the bonded rubber twists.
FWIW, I see nothing wrong with aluminum as an internal bushing spacer, as long as the bolts are kept tight; all the bolt/nut torque-load on the tube is in compression (think squashing a beer can made of only 0.015" thick aluminum) and most of the road- load is on the bolts fastened to the frame tabs. You should see the rig used on the LeMans GR-4s! But IMHO its wasted on street cars- the weight savings might be on the order of 1/4 lb total per a-arm.
There's one type that uses a special poly bushing and a hexagonal central tube, so the a-arm is restricted to only rotate on the bushing OD.

Yes those are the Graphite inpregnated with the aluminum hex sleeve that the bolt rides in ... NFG ... you can tighen them all you want ..but for street use ..plan to change them every year.

Agreed the amount of deflection ...could translate into changing the Suspension Geometry .... theres a good article on Vintage Racing in this months Vintage Motorsports magazine where it explains the advantages and disadvantages of performance advantages vs. durability ( reality ) .

The easy way to remove the stock factory rubber bushings is by pressing them out.
You can buy a Harbor Freight 24 ton shop press for
less then $200.

The rubber is bonded to the steel sleeves. To remove just the rubber is the difficult way to go. You probably will need to burn them out with a torch. Do you like the smell of burning rubber?
Or elseyou could attempt to drill them out but I don't know why. I suppose there is a group that likes to stick thier hands in a fan for fun. I don't.
An update. It turns out I only needed the bushings removed from the front A-arms as they had already been removed from the rear and replaced with poly. Whoever removed them from the rear did the hacksaw trick and got into the A-arm a little. Hopefully that's ok.

I removed the rubber by heating it with a torch (yeah, it stinks) and pressing them out with a C-clamp and a couple of sockets. Once the rubber was heated, they slid right out, so there is no need to melt them out completely. Oh, yeah, don't forget to cut the flange off.

I tried to remove one of the outer sleeves bushings myself using a hacksaw. I managed to cut through the sleeve, but I still could not get it to budge. I even applied a little heat to no avail. I then tried taking them to a couple of machine shops. They both said they couldn't help. So now, I am back to square one.

I know Mike Dailey posted a removal process on his website that involves special tools, so that may be my only option at this point.
I had a local machine shop make me up the bushing tool that's shown in Fred Terry's article @ Pantera Place. I used it last winter to replace all the bushings in my car & it worked great. Chances are that if you had this in hand when you went to the machine shops they would have been able to press them out for you. If this would help you at all let me know & I'll be happy to loan it to you. Just drop me an e-mail with your shipping address.

bob at
If someone "got into" the a-arm mounts with a saw while removing the bushing sleeves, be aware all the a-arms are only mild steel and weld up easily. With a little care, a file can be used to cut a repair weld down to size. A 6" vise and some hardware store pipe fittings make enough sizes to press the bushings out, which really aren't in very tight. I do each in 3 stages: inner sleeve first, then the rubber, then the outer sleeve, if you really need to do this last part. Note that on one side of each steel outer sleeve, the washer is only installed with a tiny bead and pops off with a light sideways smack from a hammer & chisel. Note also that if you don't know what you're doing with a press, the washer on the other end is exactly the same size as the a-arm loop, so its easy to bend the a-arm trying to get the sleeve out. Again, the a-arm is mild steel and can be straightened (usually). Good luck- J DeRyke
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