Urethane Suspension Bushings
Being made within the first six months of GT-Four manufacture, my suspension bushes were starting to show their age. This was most apparent with the strange tyre wear at the rear. Despite numerous alignments, I found that I was wearing the inside of the right tyre. It turns out the worn bushes were allowing the wheels to move slightly under load, so alignments done at rest did nothing.
Options? Well TRD used to do a bushing kit, but this is hard to find now and would cost a bundle. The TRD bushes are hard rubber, not Polyurethane.
Problem is, TRD don't replace the metal pivots (two per hub, they press out) that are the main cause of slop at the rear. These had to be custom made.
The six front bushes are off the shelf from Super-Pro. Too easy!
Of the 14 rear bushes, 12 were custom. The local Bilstein agent machines existing bushes to fit (or casts new ones). This involves a lot of measuring and time so cannot compare pricewise to an off the shelf kit. Joys of owning a unique car ;-)
The reduced wear on tyres is great, but the effect on handling is not so noticeable. I can't really feel any difference, however it was only the metal pivots that were really stuffed. Also sometimes while cornering the rear of the car "wiggles". I haven't traced this but suspect it is from replacing the metal pivots with Urethane (although quite thin) allowing a little play. I will investigate metal replacements.
This photo shows the three bushes on each rear hub. The bottom one is fairly normal (and part of the TRD kit) but the other two are unavailable from Toyota, requiring several owners to install new hubs, at over US$1000!
At this point I realised I should have replaced the wheel bearings. One failed, just three weeks later dammit!
One of the lower control arms, viewing either side. You can see a circular disk which had to be welded on. Without this there was a sharp edge which would damage the Urethane. The grey stuff everywhere is grease, 14 Urethane bushes (at the rear alone) squeak like you wouldn't believe!
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