Introduction: Rover/Honda Upper Wishbone Bush Repair Trick

Picture of Rover/Honda Upper Wishbone Bush Repair Trick
All mk1/mk2 Rover 800s (Sterlings in the US) and mk1 Honda Legends have a really crummy front suspension design and the upper wishbone chassis mounting bushes wear out in no time.

You can only buy the complete wishbone new, not the bushes, and these are £130/$260 each - hardly worth it when the newest cars are £500/$1000 at 10 years old and the oldest over 20 years old!

This is a neat little trick to refurb the old ones - cost £0.00/$0.00 plus some time!

The problem:

Step 1: Removal

Picture of Removal

Removal is easy - one nut for the upper ball joint (17mm), two nuts in the engine bay for the mounting bracket (19mm).

Split the balljoint using the method described it this instructables (two hammers)

https://www.instructables.com/id/EAIM3WWF6B7SWDH/

Step 2: Clean and Dismantle

Picture of Clean and Dismantle

You'll end up with a piece that looks like this. Remove the through-bolt (19mm, and grade 10.9 so it's a tough/itght one!) and clean up all the bits that you find - petrol/gas is fine, but try not to soak the rubber too much.

Most likely it'll be full of rust rather than grease...

If the bearing sleeve is rusty, give it a light sandpapering. If, like here, one of the washer bushes is completely worn away or it's bearing surface is rusty, give it a quick sand too. (better still, keep pulling upper wishbones off scrap cars until you get a good set, but if not don't worry - metal on metal is fine here, rubber just cancels some road noise)

Step 3: The Trick!

Picture of The Trick!

And this is all there is to the trick...

The bushes wear. The steel bearing tube does not. You can either put in thicker (new) bushes - or - put in a smaller (ground down) bearing tube...

Line up the bearings tube with one end of the wishbone bush, and note how far it sticks through the other end. Grind this off!

Then it's just a case of reassemble with stacks of grease and bolt it back on the car.

If you're being sneaky, you can also put the left wishbone on the righthand side and the right one on the lefthand side - they are symmetrical. This way you even out the wear on the inner bore too.

This reapir isn't exactly textbook, nor is it permanent, and you'll have fun if you ever do need to put a new wishbone on and you've ground down this bearing tube. In all honesty though, the car will probably be scrap (or sold...) in the 10 years time when it needs doing again.

Spend the £260/$520 saved on somethign fun!

Step 4: A Few Other Bits

Picture of A Few Other Bits

A few other things it's a good idea to do whilst you're in there - lower wishbone ball joint (these wear on later cars only - the accountants started specifying cheese instead of steel on later model cars...) usually wear out about the same time.

Remove the whole suspension upright, remove the brake caliper carrier and disc, clamp the upright in a vice by the mounting ears for the brake caliper carrier, then hammer the living daylights out of the lower balljoint until it drifts out (remove circlip firtst...) Clean the hole and grease the new part and it'll tap in easily enough. I'll use a 12lb sledgehammer to remove the old one and a 24oz ball pein to fit the new one.

Replace the CV boots (the ends of the driveshafts 'pop' off if you tap the centre sharply)

Remove the trackrods and clean/copper-ease the threads befor refitting them (this will help doing the suspension alignment that you should have done after working on it)

Clean and regrease the caliper sliders (another dumbass design - floating calipers - eew!)

Comments

Bachrun (author)2008-01-27

I read the first line of this and thought "ooh... Marko might find this interesting". Then I saw who the author was... :D Nice Instructable. It reminds me that I need to put new front discs on my car. Got any tips for what happens when I jump on my breaker bar and a bolt doesn't shift? :D

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