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2G 2g SPC Upper A-Arm replacements discontinued

tsunari

5+ Year Contributor
1,029
32
Feb 12, 2003
Jessup, Maryland
Thanks for the drawing, that's perfect. I'm still trying to remember what I saw back in 2008 or whatever when I installed these. I may investigate replacement bushings prior to dissassembly and just replace whatever I find in there since it's my daily driver.

I figured the distortion of the rubber was dependent on how tight you snugged up those bolts that go through them - not that I'm arguing, I'll defer to the goblin gladly, but if the bushings were bonded to the inside of the anchor bolts then how would SPC expect them to be removed for lube? I'm probably just being thick. Can we all agree, at least, that the bushing was red? :D

Also, who all lubed theirs prior to installation? Any bushing noise? Long-life? Shortened life? Excessive dirt build up?

Nope, no red here. Just black rubber stock looking bushings. The only red I had was the dust boot for the balljoint. Perhaps you got an earlier/later model where SPC changed the bushings out? There was definitely no lube to be put on mine.
 

Zac692069

5+ Year Contributor
162
0
Dec 20, 2009
Brighton, Colorado
These are the bushings I got from spc last week. I thought I was getting the whole anchor bolt. But I misunderstood. I just got the bushings. No biggie.

You must be logged in to view this image or video.
 

tsunari

5+ Year Contributor
1,029
32
Feb 12, 2003
Jessup, Maryland
yeah, i just took a look at the anchors I have and it was actually the center sleeve that would become un-bonded from the rubber bushing allowing it to rotate freely. The rubber bushing is still bonded to the outer shell and of course the entire sleeve/bushing/shell unit is pressed into the anchor.
 

greengoblin

Supporting Vendor
1,573
392
Mar 10, 2006
McKinney, Texas
Thanks for the drawing, that's perfect. I'm still trying to remember what I saw back in 2008 or whatever when I installed these. I may investigate replacement bushings prior to disassembly and just replace whatever I find in there since it's my daily driver.

I figured the distortion of the rubber was dependent on how tight you snugged up those bolts that go through them - not that I'm arguing, I'll defer to the goblin gladly, but if the bushings were bonded to the inside of the anchor bolts then how would SPC expect them to be removed for lube? I'm probably just being thick. Can we all agree, at least, that the bushing was red? :D

Also, who all lubed theirs prior to installation? Any bushing noise? Long-life? Shortened life? Excessive dirt build up?

When you tight the bolt down it squeeze the clevis against the enter pin. There is NO way the center pin can rotate. And if it did it would eat into the aluminum arm or the nut would come loose.

Once the rubber becomes unbonded from the inner sleeve or the outer sleeve the arm will move freely both forward and back causing all kinds of problem.

Urethane bushings would have large shoulders on them that keep the anchor center in the clevis . Also the center sleeve is not boded could rotate freely up and down. So in theory they would be better.

Kevin
 

jtmcinder

DSM Wiseman
5,402
90
Nov 4, 2003
Iowa City, Iowa
Absolutely. The ES bushings aren't that much stiffer than OE, but at least they are designed to rotate.

My guess is that Mitsu loves them some bonded-rubber bushings long time because they don't need yearly attention; only decade (or less) replacement. You have to relube the ES bushings on a regular basis.

A lot of the Evo's bushings are sphericals buried in rubber. As I said, Mitsu loves them rubber bushings long time.
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
These are the bushings I got from spc last week. I thought I was getting the whole anchor bolt. But I misunderstood. I just got the bushings. No biggie.

You must be logged in to view this image or video.

Have your anchor bolts always been black? Mine are polished/machined with no paint or anodizing. How much did the bushings run you? I just got off the phone with SPC and they wanted $36 EACH!! Yes, that's $156.00 for anchor bolts.

Also, while we have the anchor bolt dimensions, thanks to the goblin, is it too late to get a bushing measurement from you?
 

Zac692069

5+ Year Contributor
162
0
Dec 20, 2009
Brighton, Colorado
Have your anchor bolts always been black? Mine are polished/machined with no paint or anodizing. How much did the bushings run you? I just got off the phone with SPC and they wanted $36 EACH!! Yes, that's $156.00 for anchor bolts.

Also, while we have the anchor bolt dimensions, thanks to the goblin, is it too late to get a bushing measurement from you?


Bushings cost either $8 or $12 each. I painted mine black. And last week I installed them. Sorry
 

tsunari

5+ Year Contributor
1,029
32
Feb 12, 2003
Jessup, Maryland
I'll check my spare sets tonight and see if I can get a measurement . . .
 

tsunari

5+ Year Contributor
1,029
32
Feb 12, 2003
Jessup, Maryland
all of my extras still have bushings in them . . .
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
You must be logged in to view this image or video.

To be honest, I assumed that your drawings were specific to your application and that they might not translate.
The measurements I'm interested in are:
Inner dia. of anchor bolt or the outside dia. of the bushing - check, but do I go with 1.330 or 1.322?
Width of anchor bolt or width of bushing - check, .822
Dia. and length of the standoff/cylinder that the bolt goes through (assuming I've used that term appropriately.) - check, .400 bore and .645 length.

I figured measuring the stock bushing would land me at exactly at what I'd be aiming for rather than crossing my fingers that the measurements of your custom bearings will work just as well. I'll gladly take your word for it.
 

Scott McIntyre

DSM Wiseman
309
43
Mar 15, 2002
Halifax, NS_Canada
One of the ball joints on my SPC arms developed some slop after only a couple summer's use. I was kinda surprised as I had addressed the boot problem before I ever used them.

Anyway, on the off chance that SPC still had replace ball joints (#720361) I called them up. Turned out Jeff found two on the shelf... the last two he said; so I bought them at $45 ea.

I asked Jeff if these items will be restocked in the future and he said, "Not unless we get some back on a return. The item is discontinued and is no longer available. What I have is all I have."

So it looks pretty grim for replacement ball joints. At least I'll have one spare.
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
One of the ball joints on my SPC arms developed some slop after only a couple summer's use. I was kinda surprised as I had addressed the boot problem before I ever used them.

Anyway, on the off chance that SPC still had replace ball joints (#720361) I called them up. Turned out Jeff found two on the shelf... the last two he said; so I bought them at $45 ea.

I asked Jeff if these items will be restocked in the future and he said, "Not unless we get some back on a return. The item is discontinued and is no longer available. What I have is all I have."

So it looks pretty grim for replacement ball joints. At least I'll have one spare.

About a month ago I picked up the last 2 of 4. It's weird, these balljoints do go bad. And quickly. It's such a waste in the end.

However, I've had a bad joint go good? Obviously the joint is still compromised, but after discovering play in my second set of balljoints I immediately dumped the water that the boot had collected, and injected more grease. A month later there is ZERO play. I mean, I'm around 220lbs. and I yanked, tugged and hung from the join with no movement at all. Freakin' weird.

I don't much care, either, until it starts to have play again (sooner than later, I'm sure).

I'm still getting a really weird, right-way pull and tire wear on my passenger side with zero'd toe across the board ( a little positive toe in the rear for braking stability) and I'm considering the failure of the eyebolt bushings again. We'll see. It just seems weird that with zero toe I'd be constantly trying to avoid the right-side shoulder while driving. I've yanked and pulled on that A-arm, too, with no movement in the least. I'd have better luck bending my sway bar over my knee. But, for the last year I've also been running a degree or so of more caster on the passenger (re: the affected side). Oh, and this is on the "good" side, without the doctored up balljoint.

But yes, that's it folks. If you don't have you spare balljoints yet - you never will. Enjoy your paperweights. :cool:

Scott, how have your wheel bearings been lasting? :hmm:
 

Scott McIntyre

DSM Wiseman
309
43
Mar 15, 2002
Halifax, NS_Canada
Scott, how have your wheel bearings been lasting? :hmm:
No failures, although I've been replacing them every couple years as a precaution. I'm just using cheap $50-60 wheel hub assemblies in the front.

However, one season for me is more like a 1/2 season due to all the mechanical issues I've had the past few years. :rolleyes:
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
Goblin, did you ever measure the the center part of the eyebolt bushings?

I just called ES about some options and my answers were "No, we don't do custom small scale." and "If you want to see if an existing product fits then start sifting through here:
http://energysuspension.com/assets/files/2010-energy-suspension-catalog.pdf
and here:
http://suspension.com/4-bar.htm



..I'm still currently sifting.

EDIT: I've come to the conclusion that I can't "sift" on my own. I've too little experience to choose one that would work. Maybe another set of eyes can bring something to light? There's lots that seem like they'd be darn close to fitting.

I also just got off the phone with SPC. Chris Hiends "The Engineer" is one hell of a guy. He put more of his own time in than anyone I've ever spoken with. And I've called numerous times.
Chris has single handedly tracked down 2 alternatives for the balljoint situation.

The part number #67170 refers to the balljoint that is meant for the stock OEM arms. This ball joint fits but it does not have the hex on it and the threading of the top post does not go down far enough so you'd have to use a spacer/washer to get it tight. The post is slightly longer thus allow for this.
-loss of caster adjustment.
-taller post with less threading requiring a spacer.

The part number #722707 front balljoint for the 93-05 Lexus GS. This one fits with full functionality apart from the taper of the bottom stud and the placement of the cotter pin hole. The taper of the bottom stud is 0.5* steeper than our spec.
-fully functional.
-stud taper is .05* steeper than our spec. but SPC uses a tolerance of +- 0.5* on their tapers so Chris feels that while not perfect this should be plenty safe.
-cotter pin hole will likely be covered up by the nut so just throw another nut on it or a locking device or safety wire it, etc.

The part number #720205 is the part number for the eyebolt bushings.
-Chris thought that it was likely that the eyebolts themselves were the same as OEM. I ran out and checked on a pair of old arms - nope. :(

There are no eyebolts.
There are no balljonts.
There are no arms.
There are 13 bushings left @ a retail of $14.95 ea.

And no, that's not how much I paid. ;)
 
Last edited:

Scott McIntyre

DSM Wiseman
309
43
Mar 15, 2002
Halifax, NS_Canada
The part number #722707 front balljoint for the 93-05 Lexus GS. This one fits with full functionality apart from the taper of the bottom stud and the placement of the cotter pin hole. The taper of the bottom stud is 0.5* steeper than our spec.
-fully functional.
-stud taper is .05* steeper than our spec. but SPC uses a tolerance of +- 0.5* on their tapers so Chris feels that while not perfect this should be plenty safe.
-cotter pin hole will likely be covered up by the nut so just throw another nut on it or a locking device or safety wire it, etc.
Thanks CB! The Lexus ball joint (#722707) sound promising. If the taper proves to be a problem we might be able machine our knuckles to fit.


On a related note. I received my pair of SPC replacement ball joints... the last two in existence.
You must be logged in to view this image or video.

Here's a short video clip showing the slop in my original one:
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Cb25fcx40-U?rel=0&amp;hd=1" frameborder="0"></iframe>​

Once I got the old one off, I removed the boot and saw the problem... Lack of grease and exposure to moisture.
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I also noticed that the joints are being extended beyond their full range of motion. You can see in these pics where the shaft is hitting. IIRC, this was my "good" ball joint on the passenger side, so it appear the shaft is hitting when the suspension is at full compression (i.e. control arm is stuffed into the strut tower). Remarkably, there's is no play in this joint.
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The new ball joint was, of course, also lacking grease. So I filled up the boot with marine grease before putting it on the car.
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While I was in there, I removed the control arms and inspected the anchor bolt bushings. One bushing had separated from the metal anchor bolt. And the metal inner sleeve had separated from the bushing on another anchor bolt.
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Over winter I plan to replace the anchor bolt bushings with spherical bearings like Kevin did.
 

jtmcinder

DSM Wiseman
5,402
90
Nov 4, 2003
Iowa City, Iowa
Depending on your reading of the Street Mod rules, there may be a very useful change to make when you redo the anchor bolts. The math says that extending the length of the anchors, such that the eye is moved downwards, will not only get you a bit more camber, but will also steepen the bump-camber curve so that you gain more negative for the outside front as the car rolls in a corner, while also taking out more negative from the inside front, so it's a win-win.

I didn't do this because I took the SM rules at face value and, therefore, thought that the unlimited suspension allowance stopped at the eye of the anchor bolt. But if it now firmly established that the anchor, itself, is free, then this mod could be very useful.
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
Wow. Great post. Very informative - I've not dissected either of my failed joints. But I did pour out water from each. I always wondered if it was purely a moisture thing or something to do with the quantity of grease, too.

So, just to clear the air, I'm a whackjob. I honestly believed that the eyebolts themselves were only a half inch wide, the bushings about the same but red and made of poly and "easily" removed for greasing, ala poly bushings.

Having received my replacement bushings and comparing them to Scott's pictures above I was left with the overwhelming expression of "Oh..". :ohdamn:

Anyways, my vibrant memory aside, I'm still failing to see the big deal if these bushings fail. The rubber is intact, not chunking or anything, it's just detatched from the outer ring. The rubber still dampens, and presumably retains enough rigidity to prevent twisting of the arm itself. So that leaves the radial component, the natural swing up and down that the arm is designed to perform. So now with the separated rubber the arm can swing up and down just that much more easily. Not unlike a poly bushing, no? Minus the lube..material differences, etc.

Teacher!! Learn me this! ....for I just can't seem to visualize this catastrophic result of having bushings that still provide all the support they were supposed to, just minus the elastic flipback tendancy when articulating the arm above or below 90*.
 

jtmcinder

DSM Wiseman
5,402
90
Nov 4, 2003
Iowa City, Iowa
By my memory for the OE bushings, smoothly ripped (i.e., having the rubber no longer bonded to at least one of the sleeves, so it's more like a ES bushing) would be better than unripped because then the bushing would cease to act as a highly non-linear spring.

Or did I fail to understand the question?
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
I'd say you understood just fine if you're telling me that ripped would be better in this case since all the functions of the bushing are still present, just without the "highy non-linear spring" effect.
 

ACM

20+ Year Contributor
679
55
Dec 11, 2002
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Sorry to rain on your parade, but the steel spacer has a rough finish (to increase the 'rubber' adhesion) - that rough finish acts as a file as it rotates in the bushing, enlarging the hole as it goes. You will find that after a few hundred miles that steel spacer will be rattling around in there, and there will be little or no rubber left.

Charles
 

PieEyedPiper

DSM Wiseman
5,577
47
Nov 13, 2004
North Bay Area, California
Sorry to rain on your parade, but the steel spacer has a rough finish (to increase the 'rubber' adhesion) - that rough finish acts as a file as it rotates in the bushing, enlarging the hole as it goes. You will find that after a few hundred miles that steel spacer will be rattling around in there, and there will be little or no rubber left.

Charles

And THAT must be the missing link. When the goblin told me all kinds of bad things would happen, well I was left scratching my head.
"Like what?" I thought.

So there you have it. I'd have not considered something like sanding down of the bushing. I did, however, guess that "bad things will happen" if only one bushing is ripped and the other intact.
 
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