for an overview of the Energy Suspension Hyperflex Kit.
*** WARNING *** - This mod requires temporary removal of the front and rear motor mounts at the same time. Please use caution while working and follow any guidelines listed in your Hayne's/Chilton's manual.
First off, there is a reason that not many people post about installing subframe bushings: it is a major pain in the butt! But if you are a hardcore suspension guy or if you're like me and don't mind doing your own work as long as the parts are reasonably priced, then continue reading. This article is not an exact step by step guide, but provides some insight on the more difficult parts of the install.
An optimum time to replace your subframe bushings would be when other work is being done. If you have pulled your engine out of the engine bay for example. If you are replacing your steering rack, that would also be a good time. At the very least, I would wait until you are doing something else suspension related like replacing control arm parts, etc.
Subframe bushings and instructions
Basic rachet set
Rope or thick wire
Below are the new Energy Suspension subframe bushings. Note that I did not use the top washers included in the kit during the install. I found that the top washers did not allow enough thread room to get the lower nut on the subframe bolt. There are no top washers for the original bushings, so I figure they are optional.
Below are the Old subframe bushings removed from subframe.
In your car's manual (I pefer Hayne's) follow the instructions for steering rack removal. This includes removal of the center member (and front motor mount), front exhaust piping and tie rod ends.
Once you have removed the steering rack, follow the instructions for stabilizer bar (sway bar) and control arm removal.
Now that everything is cleared off of the Subframe you can proceed to remove it. It is held on by 4 subframe bolts and the rear motor mount which sits on top of the subframe. From the engine bay, remove the bolt that connects the rear motor mount to the engine.
Loosen the nuts on all four subframe bolts, but DO NOT REMOVE them at this point. There is a power steering hose bracket that mounts to the top of the subframe that must be removed before the subframe is dropped. On the driver's side, loosen the front and rear subframe nuts until the subframe drops low enough for you to see the small bolt holding in the power steering hose bracket, and then remove it.
Remove the nuts from all four subframe bolts and drop the subframe. When you remove the subframe from the vehicle, it should look something like the picture below. Note the position of the motor mount, the power steering hose bracket and the four subframe bolt holes.
Clean the subframe with grease remover and sand out the bushing holes with a dremel (optional). I have found that the orange smelling hand degreaser that I use in my garage works best at removing under car crud without peeling paint or giving me a migrain from the smell.
Install new subframe bushings using the instructions included from Energy Suspension. No prelube is included with the subframe bushings, but I used some that was included with the Hyperflex Kit (optional). As can be seen below, the top disc, inner sleeve and bottom bushing have been hand pushed onto the subframe.
Repeat Part 7 for all four subframe bushings. The completed subframe with all bushings installed should look like the photo below.
Now it's time to put the subframe back on the car. It is probably better if you have an assistant to help you or if you can work under a lift, but I did it by myself. Take the rope or heavy wire (must be able to hold the weight of the subframe) and tie it vertically around the motor mount on top of the subframe. Position the subframe under the vehicle. From the engine bay, grab the rope and feed it in between the brackets where the motor mount goes, up over the engine and towards the front of the car. Pull up on the rope so that the subframe is lifted a few inches and then tie it off to something sturdy, I used part of the exhaust manifold. Slide a floor jack under the subframe and jack it up. Working back and forth between the rope and the floor jack, position the subframe to the correct height. Reinstall the powersteering hose bracket. Install the rear motor mount bolt and remove rope. Install nuts on to all four subframe bolts making sure that the bushings and washers are still intact. Tighten down all four subframe nuts. When you are done, it should look like the following three photos.
Driver's side front subframe bolt and bushing.
Driver's side and passenger's side rear subframe bolts and bushings.
Driver's side front and rear subframe bushings.
That is all for the subframe install. From here the install of the control arms, stabilizer bar, tie rod ends, front exhaust and center member are reverse of removal. Let me know if you have any questions.