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1G Just removed entire rear end on 1G AWD DSM, subframe bushings look iffy, options?

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Both the subframe and diff support bushings look so-so. The rubber parts of the stoppers are disintegrating. At the very least I'll need to replace the latter, but I'm thinking of replacing the former as well, since I have everything down and I'm probably never going to take it all down again so I'm thinking I might as well.

I've already replaced the front subrame and control arm bushings (but not the crossmember bushings since no one seems to make them although RTM sells a "hack" that's basically have the subframe bushings, but I didn't bother because they don't really affect handling much), and will be replacing the upper and lower control arm bushings, ball joints and sway bar bracket bushings link connectors.

The only places I've found that sell them are JNZ, which sells an 85A hardness set by Oster for $200, and RTM, which sells their own 90A hardness set for $250. Unfortunately JNZ is on vacation and won't be shipping till 6/28, and I don't know if I want to wait that long, so I might just spend the extra $250 and get the RTM set.

Thing is, is it really necessary or noticeable in handling? And how can I tell if the stock ones need replacing? I can't say that I gave them a really close look, just a quick one. But judging from the condition of the stoppers I'm guessing that they're not doing well. If the stock ones aren't cracking, should I just keep them and save the $250 + S/H?

Btw I took everything down because I decided that I want my restoration to be as thorough as possible. I wanted to clean up, derust and paint everything, including the body underside, both for esthetics and to extend the life of the car, replace those bushings, BJs & connectors, along with all the fuel tank hoses, and just get all those decades of gunk out.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
So, I cleaned up the bushings and they actually look fine. I suppose that a new set of poly bushings might improve handling a tad, but I don't think that I want to blow $250 on some to find out. So I'll keep them after all.

However, the rubber rings on the stoppers that come between the crossmember bracket and frame are coming apart. I checked with a local dealer and they're out of production. The actual metal disc part looks ok. What can I substitute to get the same performance and longevity? Would a large o-ring work, or something similar? I don't mind improvising here and there.

Also, I'm thinking of removing that triangular brace or bracket that the crossmember bracket connects to, that's connected to the frame, to derust and paint it. But the FSM doesn't list torque values. Any idea what they might be? Just wail on them until they feel really tight, and check up on them from time to time to make sure it took? Alternately, I might just leave them on and derust and paint them as is.
 
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DogWhistle

Supporting VIP
830
355
Sep 13, 2012
St. Paul, Minnesota
Sorry you aren’t getting response on your questions. It is a small subset of DSMers that have even dealt with bushings on their cars.

Although we’re 2G, we’re dealing with the same questions. Not sure if your goals are high performance or good ride, or something in between, but from personal research, including ‘Tuners threads, Energy Suspension has more elasticity to their mounts, so that’s the way we’re going.

Sent a PM to @boostx because he was making bushings, but haven’t heard back.
 

Mech Addict

Supporting Member
988
426
Jun 9, 2019
Jackson, Wyoming
I wouldn’t assume o-rings are made if the right material to tolerate that use, even if you found something in similar dimensions. Might help to post a photo of the part. You could try junkyards to see if there is one in better condition than yours, but of course its AWD model only, which makes is pretty rare in junkyard land.
As far as torque spec, it’s surprising when using a torque wrench how fasteners never really require that much effort, even for ones that you might think that would. There is a sort of generic torque spec based on bolt diameter, and that should be tight enough. If you’re worried about staying tight, blue loc-tite them.
 

Christo

Proven Member
42
46
Oct 2, 2002
Fairhope, Alabama
So, I cleaned up the bushings and they actually look fine. I suppose that a new set of poly bushings might improve handling a tad, but I don't think that I want to blow $250 on some to find out. So I'll keep them after all.

However, the rubber rings on the stoppers that come between the crossmember bracket and frame are coming apart. I checked with a local dealer and they're out of production. The actual metal disc part looks ok. What can I substitute to get the same performance and longevity? Would a large o-ring work, or something similar? I don't mind improvising here and there.

Also, I'm thinking of removing that triangular brace or bracket that the crossmember bracket connects to, that's connected to the frame, to derust and paint it. But the FSM doesn't list torque values. Any idea what they might be? Just wail on them until they feel really tight, and check up on them from time to time to make sure it took? Alternately, I might just leave them on and derust and paint them as is.

I re did my rear subframe and all that back there years ago, used the BoostX bushings. I found the torque values somewhere for everything, also IIRC the final torque should be applied with the car on the ground.

Let me check when I get back to the house if I have them in my paper work.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Sorry you aren’t getting response on your questions. It is a small subset of DSMers that have even dealt with bushings on their cars.

Although we’re 2G, we’re dealing with the same questions. Not sure if your goals are high performance or good ride, or something in between, but from personal research, including ‘Tuners threads, Energy Suspension has more elasticity to their mounts, so that’s the way we’re going.

Sent a PM to @boostx because he was making bushings, but haven’t heard back.
The only two sets of rear AWD 1G subframe & diff support bushings are made by RTM & Ostar. But they're both $200+, and after giving the stock ones a better look, I think they're both in decent enough condition that I'm ok keeping them in for now. Like the front crossmember, they're not really meant to have their bushings replaced. I'm guessing that since they're technically not really suspension parts, replacing them is less critical than with suspension parts. I'm sure that poly replacements would have some affect on handling and feel, but probably not nearly as much as member and sway bar bushings. You'd probably have to be a pretty aggressive and attuned driver to notice. If ES made a set for a comparable amount that their other bushing sets cost, I probably would have gone for it. But $200+ just seems excessive for non-essential replacement parts.

I wouldn’t assume o-rings are made if the right material to tolerate that use, even if you found something in similar dimensions. Might help to post a photo of the part. You could try junkyards to see if there is one in better condition than yours, but of course its AWD model only, which makes is pretty rare in junkyard land.
As far as torque spec, it’s surprising when using a torque wrench how fasteners never really require that much effort, even for ones that you might think that would. There is a sort of generic torque spec based on bolt diameter, and that should be tight enough. If you’re worried about staying tight, blue loc-tite them.
One of the stock rings is actually in decent shape, and the other can probably be patched back together with some weatherstrip adhesive, so that's what I'll probably do. I don't recall it being listed as a separate part # in the catalog, otherwise I'd have ordered a set. I bet that out of every 100 DSMs, maybe 3 or 4 ever get their rear subframes removed, so it's not a common use item.

I re did my rear subframe and all that back there years ago, used the BoostX bushings. I found the torque values somewhere for everything, also IIRC the final torque should be applied with the car on the ground.

Let me check when I get back to the house if I have them in my paper work.
The parts are shown as removed in the FSM, but it doesn't give torque values. I might just keep them on and derust them on the car.
 

XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Yeah I have the FSM, but that's not the right page or part. This is:
You must be logged in to view this image or video.

It's the triangular part with the stud that goes into the front crossmember bracket (part 11 here). No torque values and I don't even know what the official name for it is. The parts catalog calls it a "Pin", but that seems a bit vague. There are two, and each connects to the frame with 3 12x25 bolts (on the '92 AWD). I suppose that I could always torque it to the recommended torque values for the bolts with the nearest dimensions that also bears a substantial vertical load.
 
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Christo

Proven Member
42
46
Oct 2, 2002
Fairhope, Alabama
Ah, that's right. Honestly I can't remember what I did there but I think your plan is a safe bet, torqueing to value of the bolts that is after you remove/clean them up and reinstall.

Edit. I know I removed them and had them blasted and powder coated, I probably just cranked them down and then torqued everything else to spec. This was at least 10 years ago and everything has been fine.
 
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XC92

Proven Member
1,428
300
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
It probably doesn't have to be removed, but I'm kind of OCD about restoration. Either do it all, and do it right, or don't even bother. Not saying this is how others should do it, just how I am. I hate knowing there's rust somewhere even if I never see it.
 
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