The winter months have been used to do some upgrades and some maintenance on the rear of the car. Of course the modifications took longer than I wanted them to, and I missed the first race of the season. The big upgrade to the rear suspension is to replace the factory rubber rear trailing arm with a spherical bearing unit from PCI.
You can see from this picture of the factory bushing that its cracked and rotting away from abuse. The factory bushing also has holes on both side to allow flex and give a quiet smooth ride. The PCI bushing will eliminate all compliance and deliver a precise ride.
I will be keeping the rear camber adjusters I have had for some years. I would like to upgrade to spherical bearings on these too but the budget isn’t there yet.
For the first side I took the whole trailing arm off the car. This gave me plenty of access to soak the bushing in penetrating fluid then tap each side a million times to force it out. I tried to tap out the bushing on the passenger side with the arm still attached to the car, but the time I saved by not disassembling everything I lost by not having the access to hit the bushing that hard.
After a few hours of tapping the bushing out I used a wire wheel to clean up the area of road grime, penetrating fluid, hammer marks and over spray of the factory undercoating. A few coats of flat black spray paint after will protect it from any rust.
One benefit of the spherical bushing is that it is bolted in, if I had purchased any other kind of rubber bushing I would have had to tap it back in.
The instructions did say there might be an interference problem with the chassis, nothing a few hits with a hammer couldn’t fix. I ground down a little bit of the arm also just to give me a little more clearance, and painted that also to protect from rust.
One upgrade I did spring for was the spherical bearing rear toe adjuster. The are not a lot of companies that make adjustable toe links, and I wanted to buy one set and not have to worry about upgrading ever again.
The maintenance part of this installment is the replacement of the sway bar bushings. The bushing came with the comptech bar that I have had on the car for close to 10 years. The rubber bushing have actually melted from the heat of the moving bar and created a lot of slop in the suspension that I could hear on fast transitions. I replaced them with new polyurethane ones from Energy Suspensions.
The Kit came with grease to lube the bushings, but always wrap your bar with teflon tape to keep them quiet also.
The brackets need their corners ground down to fit on the Comptech subframe brace. I scuffed up the rest of the coating on the bracket and spray painted it black to protect it. I have now driven the new setup on the street and can say that the new bushings are a little bit more noisy, but not anything I couldn’t handle for the time I drive the car to and from the track. I would not want this setup on a daily driver. I will wait til the end of the month to see how it does on the track.