I've been getting a thump in the back of my Buick when going over uneven terrain. My eventual plan is to replace all the bushings in the back of the car, but the budget requires small chunks. I've been following Centerville Auto Repair on eBay, and Russ Martin sells some unique to Buick items, one of them being rear track bar bushings. Since it is both winter and the doors are off the car at the body shop, I needed a small project since I haven't been driving the car.
It is nearly impossible to take a picture of
the rear suspension under the car without it being on a lift, here is a scan of
the factory manual showing the layout. The track bar attaches to the rear end
assembly at one end and the body of the car and the frame of the car on the
Step one, jack up the rear of the car with the wheels off the ground. It is hard to tell, but the tires are off the concrete by about 1/4 inch.
This is the frame side of the track bar. Gas tank
is above. Of note in my installation is there was a factory shim between the
frame mount and the other flat piece of metal that goes across.
Here is what the 48 year old bushing looks like. I
would say it was overdue for replacement. Notice the daylight.
I'll alternate between the ends for best clarity
of pictures because they are identical. The next step after getting the bar off
the car is to drive out the rubber. That was easily accomplished with a
screwdriver because of the worn out condition.
What is left after you drive out the rubber is the
original ring for the bushing. This took some time for me to comprehend as all
that old metal looks like one piece. This needs to be cut out. I carefully used
a Sawzall. This is the front view.
I start the cut shallow and try to go deeper as I try to band the old ring out. This is from the back.
The eyelet without the original bushings ring. I gouged the metal a little, but not too bad.
After de-burring with files and and sanding. I eventually sanded the whole cup.
The original bar was covered in rubberized undercoating which was flaking off in the vise. I didn't want to paint the whole bar and have it stick out under the back of the car, but after I spot treated some of the rubbed off areas it just looked bad. Below, I have scraped off all the undercoating and sanded the bar.
Dupli-Color semi-gloss black.
After a few coats of paint.
Here are the track bar bushing from Russ Martin of Centerville Auto Repair in Grass Valley. These are black urethane bushings. The part number stamped into each bushing is 65029 but this doesn't cross reference to anything I see commercially available. It comes with Prothane grease so they may or may not be the manufacturer of the bushings. I was impressed with this transaction. Russ comes highly recommended through the Buick community and I was pleased to see the product as described, shipping charges reasonable, and good instructions. These were $32.50 plus $6 shipping buying them from Russ through eBay.
This is the bar after the bushing were pressed
in. I was able to press them and the brass sleeves with a shop vise. The
instructions call for no lube between the bushing and eyelets, and lube only on
the outside of the brass sleeves. A word of caution: Prothane sells their grease
as adhesive grease, and it lived up to its name. This stuff is sticky and
gets a little messy on your fingers when pressing the sleeves in. Keep shop rags
around to wipe off. It came off my hands with Formula 409.
One of the "fun" things that happened in this installation is when the bar was removed, as expected the suspension moved just enough so that the bolts wouldn't line back up without some finesse involving pushing the tires in, and a lot of manipulation with the bolts to get them all the way through. Below, the left picture is the frame end, right is the rear differential end. These are all 15/16 bolts and nuts. On the rear diff side you will not be able to get a socket on the backside through the round hole Buick left. I'm using a stubby wrench that will lock against the hole as I tighten. The factory service manual stated to torque the bolts between 100-150 ft-lbs, so I set my torque wrench at 120 pounds and went to town.
Finished product. Looking forward to getting the
doors back on and going for a test drive.