Summary: If your Soarer has travelled 90 000 km (55 000 miles) and you want to retain that original smooth Soarer ride then replace all four lower control arm bushes for the front wheels with the bushes described below. Your steering, handling and driving enjoyment will improve. An essential maintenance task. Click small pictures for larger images.
Still nothing but good news about these Bushes. These are the only bushes that will make your Soarer like a new one. I wouldn't race or drive on anything else.
Had the bushes (control arm and steering rack) installed yesterday and the car is a dream to drive. Steering wheel doesn't fight with you when you drive over shitty roads (majority of Sydney), tramlining is gone and the ride quality has improved tremendously. The steering wheel is lighter (can drive around with two fingers) and there are less rattles coming from the engine bay. All in all a fantastic job, many thanks!!!!
> From: Prasad Dongre
> Sent: Friday, 5 September 2003 10:52
|By Rod Dean (Rdean) on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 05:00 pm:|
I just want to thank Andrew for his fantastic rack and control arm bushes, I had them
installed yesterday and the transformation is amazing.
The road from Newcastle to Jax Tyres and Suspension at Kurri Kurri where the work was done is a 100km/h zone but is very undulated with a lot of pothole patches and generally poor surface all round.
Driving there was kind of hard work trying to avoid the holes in the road and the consequential harsh thuds incurred when you hit one. As well as the car's tendacy to wander around on the road requiring constant correction and steering kickback the comfortable and safe speed is pretty much limitted to 110km/h.
Replace Steering Rack Bushes.
Replace Upper and Lower Control Arm Bushes.
Front and Rear Wheel Alignment.
Replace High Pressure Power Steering Hoses with remanufactured units from Enzed.
Driving home was a completely different experience, it was like getting into a brand new Soarer. All the nasty habits are gone, no more tramlining or kickback. The stability on the rough roads was amazing with the car holding a straight and true line with minimal driver input. Hitting a hole doesn't result in the former crash, but rather a well aborbed and dampenned thump. Brilliant! Safe cruising speed would be at least 20km/h more on this road, goodbye white knuckles, hello refinement and poise. This is what a Soarer is all about.
I know the results are a combination of the bushes and the wheel alignment settings published on Planet Soarer and I'm thrilled with the results.
Low speed steering effort is also lighter. John at Jax said he managed to acheive the front end specifications, but the rears he had to make do with at the maxiumum of adjustment for one of the parmeters.
Can anyone interperate the results they are either donoted as a varation from spec or are different units of measure:
Front Camber -1.3L -1.0R
Rear Camber -2.3L -2.3R
Front Caster 2.0L 2.2R
Toe 3.1F 0.0R
Front Camber -0.9L -0.7R
Rear Camber -1.7L -1.9R
Front Caster 2.3L 1.9R
Toe 1.2F 0.5R
While the car was there we also had the friendly neighbourhood Enzed man drop by to manufacture some replacement high pressure power steering hoses. Brillant job here, the oddball fittings have been updated so that if they ever need replacing again standard fittings will go straight on. The system was a bit noisy initially but seems to have sorted itself now, probably purged some air trapped in the pump.
Bottom line: If you're at all displeased with the way your Soarer behaves on the road, if its tramlining, kicking back, heavy on the steering, loading up around bends, harsh over bumps then put in Andrew Vlamos replacement bushes the improvement is amazing.
10 000 km later and racing at Phillip Island the bushes are still great.
The car still has that new Lexus feel and drives beautifully with no problems. The rubber bushes are an integral part of the suspension and an important key to maintaining balance on the Soarer. Fitting too hard bushes has upset balance and handling and caused problems in other parts of the Soarer.
But these new rubber bushes are hard to fault - they performed on the racetrack admirably.
Whether I was overtaking that pesky White GTR (that push understeered) on the Saturday or balancing the car on the throttle through Lukey Heights the car was always balanced and provided excellent feedback.
I would have taken the lefthand sweeper turn 12 onto the main straight close enough to 60 times over the weekend. With my UZZ32 kitted out with sticky race rubber and no body roll the g-forces generated were enourmous. It was getting difficult to see properly because my head was angled so far towards the inside of the corner. I'd average 148 mid corner creeping up to 168 by the mini "welcome to Me!bourne" bridge.
You'd have to set up the corner way in advance - turn in late at the right speed, aim for the inside apex and let the car drift out wide - the whole time with the throttle jammed open since MG corner exit. It was exhilarating stuff! Couple of times the car drifted out to the rumble strips on the outside of the main straight but most times I got it pretty much ok.
This corner is the perfect place to yell "YaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrRRRR! " (I learn't this from Juzza....haha)
I have never come close to cornering this hard on the road, or braking as hard as you do entering Honda corner. The car is bouncing of the speed limiter for 2-3 seconds at 178 km/hr before finally arriving for the big brake at Honda, pick your mark and squeeze for all your worth, then toss it in and go wide.
Throughout all this the bushes just kept on working beautifully. The car and I just got faster and faster and faster. The car stayed balanced and was a joy to drive.
Without doubt the best thing I ever did to my Soarer was fit these bushes. The cheapest way to make the Soarer like new again. To drive 900 km to the racetrack, sprint 60 laps and drive another 900km home again and only need petrol? - What a magnificent car!
We are talking about the Front Wheels Only - nothing to do with the wheels at the back of the car. The four bushes are labelled R,R,F,F for front and rear. The UZZ32 has an extra bush where the Active suspension strut connects to the control arm - regular Soarers have a square bracket on top that bolts to the Shock. So it would appear that all control arms are the same except for the UZZ32. Best to replace all four bushes, the rear bushes are the biggest culprit but don't be tempted to just replace those - do the set.
I had heard so many bad stories about replacement bushes for the Soarer. Countless times I read how after getting bushes fitted the suspension creaked, the ride was terrible, the suspension squeaked, the suspension was too harsh, the suspension seemed better after a few months, the ride was terrible, the suspension had to be greased regularly to stop the squeaking, the bushes had to be removed then re-installed to stop the squeaking, the suspension only creaked over big bumps going around left hand bends, the suspension was too harsh, the suspension transmitted all the little bumps in the road, the ride was terrible, the suspension was noisy, the old bushes are real hard to remove, if not fitted perfectly they would squeak, the ride was terrible and my nolathane bushes squeak every time it rains, - too harsh, feel everything in the road -lost that luxury feel etc etc etc.
I mean what a load of bullshit, not one good story about bushes - all of them were tales of grief, disappointment was the bush changer's closest friend - thank goodness my bushes were ok - it was probably my superior Active Race Spec suspension that meant my bushes were still ok.
I read the only way to keep that original Soarer feeling was to buy new control arms
from Toyota - but these were real expensive - you couldn't just buy the rubber bush but
the whole arm with the bushes installed at the factory. I could never go down the
polyurethane route - installing them with special grease, hoping they wouldn't squeak,
putting up with the harsh ride - I have a Soarer for goodness sake! - I didn't want some
nonsense teeth jarring ride on my Soarer no way. There was the TRD ones available - these
were rubber at least - but they are designed to be sporty - harshness was always
going to be part of the bargain.
Well I didn't have to worry, my bushes were just fine - let everyone else worry about it and cry in their beer - not my problem.
Then Rob rings me and tells me Andrew has made some bushes and would I like to try them? What? - replace my perfectly good bushes with some unknown bushes just for the sake of the test? Awww man, what if they were no good? What if they were too noisy? What if they were too harsh? I would destroy my bushes and I could be stuck with some aftermarket bushes that didn't perform, my lovely lovely Active crippled by crook bushes. I tossed and turned at night having that recurring nightmare, my once perfect Active transmitting every bump in the road and squeaking over speed bumps! I would wake up in a cold sweat screaming NOOOoooooo! and crying like a baby - just the thought of my Active squeaking like an old early 70's Ford....... - it was too much to bare.
The new bushes, genuine specification right down to rubber compound and shock control slots (these are the old type - the new ones have knurled or ridged centre tubes)
So Rob said we could get some spare control arms - that way if it was no good I would still have my untouched original bushes.
hmmmmmm - well alright then.
Meanwhile my front tyres were still wearing funny - I had always had them aligned - so back I go and get them aligned again. But this time they couldn't do the factory specification alignment - the negative camber adjustment had no adjustment left - they did the best they could but it wasn't quite right. What the...?
Hang on a minute - my Active not quite right? - that's bullshit. What was wrong? The guy thought the whole sub-frame might have been shifted to the left - perhaps accident damage? No bloody way I thought - I had the engineering papers and complete history from Japan - my car was a grade 4.0 virginal Active masterpiece. What about the bushes I said? He reckons they were ok. So they put some more castor in it to stop it pulling to the left - the factory settings were out the window and unobtainable now. The car was more aggressive now for sure with the castor increased - needed more force to turn corners and letting go the wheel after a corner and the wheel would snap back to middle. Hmmm - this is no good. I mean a couple of real smart Japanese Engineers put blood sweat and tears into the design of my Active and it is the best car in the world - I needed perfection - not near enough, but perfection!
What to do? All I could do was wait for the bushes from Andrew and suck it and see.
I thought Rob was a perfectionist, but compared to Andrew he is just a regular guy! Andrew uses cotton buds to clean his Soarer, he has recreated floor mats strand by strand using the finest materials from all over Australia to get the ultimate floor mat. He replaces the rubber sleeve with the door wires in it to keep it perfect - his whole car still looks brand new. Then Rob starts telling me about the bushes he has created. He took some genuine bushes and had the rubber compound analysed at a lab for rebound and compression etc to determine the exact properties of the original rubber compound used by Toyota in the Soarer - but it was new rubber, and rubber technology has come a fair way since the early nineties. So now he had the formula for the rubber. Next he had to find a machinist to carve the bush casings exactly and those middle spindles or whatever they are called. Then he had to find someone to assemble the bushes with vulcanised rubber to the formula he had AND still keep the shock control slots AND make the rubber dimensions correct so that the exact ride and handling characteristics could be recreated as determined by Toyota - not near enough, but exact!
hmmmmm - maybe these bushes were going to be ok after all.
Machined outer case - press fit perfectly to control arms - no grease needed.
Anyway I did a round trip to Melbourne - the steering wasn't perfect - the tyres still looked a bit funny, the tread was scalloping on the outside.
Shock control slots in original spec rubber
The bushes arrived and they did look very nice indeed - the attention to detail was obvious, the machined cases looked a treat - someone went to a lot of trouble to make these - they did look "Active worthy". I was going to muck around and fit my self and them limp to the wheel alignment place - but stuff it - I decided to get Pedders to fit them and do the alignment in one day - much easier for me.
They do Soarers all the time - they keep Soarer bushes in stock - the split polyurethane type that comes with a special grease. Quote was 5 hours to remove arms, use an air chisel to remove the old bushes, if that doesn't work then they burn them out, fit new bushes and replace arms plus $80 for a four wheel alignment. So that would be $250 plus alignment to fit the four lower control arm bushes for the front wheels - $330 all up.
Cheap bushes for the Soarer - cost $90 dollars for two. Harsh ride. Squeaky squeaky. For four that'll be $180. Comes with grease to help reduce squeaking! There is no way I'm gonna get bushes for my Soarer that need grease - sheeeez!
That quote came down when he saw I had spare arms with bushes already removed.
Didn't take long to realise that my Active has different control arms to every other
Soarer on the Planet. Active UZZ32 arms are bigger, stronger, meaner and badder than your
every day Soarer - they have an extra bush, size extra large, where the Active shock
connects to the arm. The more common garden variety Soarers have a bracket with bolts that
the shock bolts to, and get this, a sway bar connection! A sway bar? - I thought they went
out with the dinosaurs - you don't need no sway bar when you have four independent struts
controlled by a powerful Active suspension computer, yaw sensors, accelerometers and
Anyway now I was cornered, I had to commit, go ahead and destroy my bushes or back out and try another day.
So they yanked my super big heavy duty control arms out as the bushes are all the same
despite the control arm difference. Once the arm was completely removed they put the arm
in a really big heavy duty vice connected to a great big heavy table bolted to a strong
concrete floor. They air chiselled out my old bushes and installed the new ones.
Everything went smoothly. The new bushes installed a treat - the original doughnut shaped
stopper bushes that are part of the original assembly were used again - these bits last
forever. The suspension guy reckoned the bushes looked very nice - even though I had
brought my own and not bought his. Then the big shock came.
My bushes were indeed stuffed! Not just worn but stuffed! I mean really stuffed. But I couldn't tell, the original wheel alignment guy couldn't tell, there was no noise - just annoying front tyre wear that wouldn't go away and the car couldn't be wheel aligned any more to factory spec. So I had a sneaking suspicion this was the case - but I wouldn't have changed them if Rob didn't keep hounding me to test them for the sake of the club etc etc. Well maybe I would have now that the wheels were out of adjustment and couldn't be adjusted any more - that annoyed me.
The only symptom I had was front tyres that were wearing uneven and it couldn't be aligned any more - it had run out of camber adjustment - very worrying!
Well looking at the old bushes it was clearly apparent they were well and truly stuffed. They were the reason the camber couldn't be adjusted any more - the bush just crushed instead of moving the wheel. The wheel is no longer sufficiently controlled by the bush - it moves around as you drive and brake. Braking and handling is affected.
My bushes were stuffed, the rubber had perished, the bush had cracked and the control arm could move at will - the wheels move backwards and forwards when braking and driving - the alignment drifts as the control arm is not held in place any more. Bushes as bad as this were not considered bad when in the car - I asked the previous wheel alignment place twice to check them - they said a bit of movement but looks ok. But the car still wouldn't line up and the tyres still wore funny. The damage on the outside is from the air chisel - ignore that bit - look at the splits in the rubber.
Pedders said this was very common. All Soarers that came in had the same problem. My car has travelled 100 000 km (60 000 miles) and was typical. These bushes hadn't just failed though - I don't know how long they were stuffed - but the car wouldn't align in the 90 000 range any more - and since 75 000 km the car alignment had drifted. This was probably because the bushes would move while driving - get the alignment right in the shop, go for a drive, the bush moves - the alignment changes, tyres start to wear. Once the bush cracks and perishes the wheel moves while braking changing the alignment further and wearing out the tyres even though the alignment still looks ok in the shop. The last few alignments I had done to my car, the settings were always different than before - it kept changing - Maybe no-one else aligns there car 4 times in a year - but now I know why the car wouldn't stay aligned.
The front bushes don't get so bad - the rubber had still come away from the case and centre bit and was perishing - It would be pointless to leave them in. The labour cost is just about the same whether you change 2 or 4 bushes. So change all four while you can.
Andrew's rubber bushes are torque type - they have no moving parts. No moving parts means no grease needed ever. The outside and inside are clamped firmly just like the originals - the movement comes from the rubber being stretched - the outside casing and inside bolt holder thingy don't move - the rubber between them gets twisted as the car goes up and down - just like brand new originals. The polyurethane ones come with grease - you grease everything, the bushes have grease grooves - they move and rotate non-stop - those why you have to grease them - sometimes you have to take them out and grease them some more. Not with Andrew's genuine spec rubber bushes -you fit them and forget them. They are silent stealth bushes with shock control slots - just like the original ones but higher spec.
Computer read out for the alignment - 4 wheel alignment takes about an hour and costs $80
So now I had the car aligned back to factory spec and new bushes - time for a drive. First things I was looking for was noise and road shocks/vibration - would there be any? If you still have rubber bushes then you would have experienced bush flex.
During alignment the wheel is held in the middle and the brakes are clamped on.
Drive you car at walking pace, jam on the brakes and stop. Notice the car stop then bounce back a little bit? - not the suspension bounce - but the rubber bushes flex, then regain shape. It is more noticeable on my Active because I never ever get nose dive, the computer forbids it - so all I get is the rubber bush flex rebound. This is typical of all street cars. At University we built a rose jointed race car - no rubber bushes, and it didn't have any of these characteristics - no brake bounce back, no flex, and very harsh.
So out the workshop driveway I go, first thing I notice is that there is no noise to
hear, no squeaking, no groaning, no creaking. The bushes are silent - that's good.
The ride is next, would there be any harshness? I drive and drive - it feels very, very good. Not a hint extra vibration coming into the car - but these are unfamiliar roads, best to wait until I get to my home turf.
The steering is glorious, factory spec wheel alignment, new bushes and good tyres (Kuhmo 712 ectas) mean I can run 38 mm offset 18 inch wheels on the front and steer with two fingers over mixed surfaces, along tram lines - no worries. The steering is improved - no trade-offs necessary now - the geometry is now fully adjustable - just like original factory spec. The steering is lighter now too - what a pleasure to drive, what a car. A couple of stops and the bush flex appears to be the same - just what I wanted. If anything the car feels smoother and quieter - I thought it was ok before, but it seems smoother and quieter now. Perhaps the old bushes had worn out slowly and I had got used to it and didn't notice the degradation in the ride.
Getting near home now. I now think the ride is definitely better now, no noise, no squeaking - time for a quick fang up the Mountain - it's been raining so the road is patchy with wet and dry spots - no traffic anywhere. I flick off the traction control and go for a sporty drive. The car is fabulous, this bit of road I know - the ride is for sure smoother, quieter. The control is outstanding, the steering is precise - now all my doubts are gone and my face hurts yet again from the grin that I just can't wipe off - the Active grin! I find yelling helps alleviate sore smiling face muscles, things like "Yeeeaaaaaahhhhh Baaaaby! " and "YeeeeHaaaaaa" and other more colourful expressions are good exercises for the face when driving an Active. You don't need to practice this - it just spurts out as you drive an Active in sports mode.
I clearly remember taking my mate Jacko for a drive - he's a nurse - we approach corner 1 at Active velocity and around we go - he is groaning, I pull over, there he is, eyes shut, curled up and trying desperately to think of a happy place. Then he starts telling me about the things he sees etc and he is still raving on as I get out and give him the keys to drive. I leave traction control on - best for beginners. He starts driving tentatively and after a minute I see the Active grin creeping over his face, won't be long now. Then it happens:- "Sheeeeeeet Maaaaaaan", " Faaaaaahnnn Caaaaaahnnn", he is laughing like a maniac going in harder and deeper - he is impressed with his own driving skill. Meanwhile the TRC is flashing on the dash, and the Active computer smiles down on him as it works overtime controlling the Active rear wheel steering, the Active suspension and the ABS to save his sorry butt time and again! :)
Pulling into the driveway over those common well know undulations and bumps I am
convinced the car is now a smooth surgical precision driving machine again. I cannot fault
the bushes for quality, fitment, ride, handling and sex appeal - it's a shame no-one sees
them on your car. The bushes are worthy of the UZZ32 Active - I love them. They will fit
every Toyota Soarer and Lexus SC.
10 out of 10 Mr Vlamos!
I'm going out for another drive......
The dust has settled, time for an early morning drive to work through traffic. It's drizzling in the hills. Running the car over the cats eyes between lanes on the freeway tell me the car is as smooth if not smoother than before the new bushes. No harsh jarring, no thumping, no squeaks or squawks, just beautiful smooth as new Soarer ride and control. The way it should be.
I know you want more bush stories. Here is Bill Lewis's bush stories - he lives in the UK and has a fantastic site for Soarers - especially the Twin Turbo variety.
Bill's squeaky bush story
Bill's Excellent Soarer Site
|Front||Toe In (mm)||1||1||1||1||0|
|Camber (deg)||0deg 00min||0deg 00min||0deg 00min||0deg 00min||0deg 05min|
|Caster (deg)||2deg 55min||2deg 55min||2deg 55min||3deg 00min||3deg 05min|
|King Pin (deg)||9deg 00min||9deg 00min||9deg 00min||9deg 00min||9deg 05min|
|Rear||Toe In (mm)||4||4||4||4||1|
|Camber (deg)||-0deg 50min||-0deg 50min||-0deg 50min||-1deg 10min||-1deg 20min|
I have used these with great success on my Soarer, so have others, so print it out and take it with you next time you get your alignment done and if you change your bushes.
Typical Soarer bushes at 100 000 km or 60 000 miles:
Nice new genuine spec clone bushes: These are Planet Soarer Approved.
Made from spun steel and rubber, they are available for front and rear of the lower
control arms (front wheels). No moving parts (just like originals) so no grease ever, no
squeaking ever - original factory spec. smooth ride maintained. Now also available with
10% harder rubber for a more sporty feel.
Set of Four $370.00 + postage.
Contact Andrew Vlamos for details.
or phone on 0411 227007
So all up the cost for the four silent rubber bushes with shock control is
Using the cheaper nolathane type it would be
Some quotes for the nolathane type bushes:
I had my rubber bushes replaced by those red polyurethane bushes at 40k's. I soon noticed the ride was harsh and not long after they started to squeak something shocking. Every time I took the car in for service they sprayed the shit out of them with Graphite, RP7 you name it, they start to squeak on a wet day and that's it. Nicholas Bolis
Andrew Vlamos has this to offer on correct installation:
Ever spent the weekend replacing those old flogged out suspension bushes ?
Like the factory originals, the centre sleeve in most replacement rubber suspension bushes is not designed to rotate within the bush. Rather the outer casting and centre sleeve are bonded together via a rubber membrane. Its the flexibility of this membrane that allows the suspension to move up and down.
So if you jack up the car and tighten up the bolts with the suspension sagging at full droop, the bushes will twist to nearly the full limit of the flexibility when you drop the car off the jack and the suspension moves back up to static ride height.
A few miles down the road, when the suspension tries to move up over a bump, there's no give left in the bushes and they start tearing themselves in half.
The moral of the story is : If you are fitting new bushes or if you are simply lowering your car, it is important that you first loosen the cam bolts / sleeve bolts when altering the height of your car in particular SC400s as their bushes have (shock absorbing slots) and to a lesser degree the SC300 as their bushes are (solid) and it is paramount to wait until the car is sitting back on the ground before finally tightening the suspension mounting bolts.
This way the bushes are not pre-stressed or deformed at the static ride height and have plenty of give in them to allow the suspension to move through its full range of travel without tearing those spanky new bushes to pieces.
Andrew also has steering rack bushes.
Shom Bhattacharjee fitted some to his car:
Mark (Sports & Luxary Cars) fit Andrew Vlamos' steering rack bushings. Mine needed
replacement even in a low-km 13 year old Soarer.
Tramlining is now virtually eliminated, except on really crappy/rippled roads. My steering wheel is much more easily controlled and doesn't vibrate at all over bumps, and doesn't kick like a mule over nasty bumps. It just feels so smoooooooooth ... and this is on NON-standard offset 17" wheels with Kumho Ecstas.
My wheel alignment is a little off, but I am holding off on that for a bit (experimenting with new settings).
And if anybody needs confirmation about this or the goodness of T-IV ATF - talk to Mark at S&LC, who took my car for a good 5km drive. Quod erat demonstrandum.
So the upshot is as follows :-
a) Andrew Vlamos makes quality front lower control arm and steering rack bushings - this is axiomatic.
b) If anybody orders any of his products, get them BOTH - rack and control arm bushings - and install them TOGETHER. Then sit back with yet another mad grin as you drive this car the way it was meant to be driven.
Thank you Andrew, for your tireless research into make our cars ride and handle better !
Andrew took a few pics fitting steering rack bushes to his car:
......today I changed my steering rack bushes over also.
Mine were in perfect condition, or at least i thought they were. The difference now is awesome to say the least.
The steering rack bushes can easily be replaced by removing the 3 fixing bolts levering out the original bushes some might fall out once you remove the bolts. Whilst lifting the position of the steering rack (by hand) will give you enough clearance for the new bushes to be slipped into position from either side of the rack...replace the bolts and tighten up. All done in 45 minutes.
I believe the replacement of the steering rack bushes ought to be mandatory if you are changing your lower control arm bushes.
|By Robert Hayden (The_Boss) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 11:28 pm:|
Well I finally sucumbed to untold ammounts of pressure and put a set of Andrew's bushes
on to the old girl today.
I had been running Nolothane bushes for years in mine and when they came out they still looked to be in good condition, although the sqeaking and groaning from the front end sounded like a room full of cheerleaders.
Some months ago I fitted a set of Noltec steering rack mount bushes. In hindsite, probably a mistake. Very harsh and allowed a huge amount of NVH (Noise - Vibration - Harshness) to feed back into the car.
Combined with my oversize (overwide) 18's and the effect was far from pleasing.
Going back over things, I do tend to be a little fussy with the car. In the ever present pursuit of perfection, over the last 12 months my car has been fitted with the following, at great cost to the management I must add!!
**Please note that items were added to improve the car, not because they were knackered and required replacement, it's just a restoration phase I'm going through.
New front actuator valves.
New air dryer.
Reco steering pump.
4 new struts.
Replaced one rear line.
Both coil packs and distributor caps.
Iridium Plugs and New Lexus leads.
TT front brakes and rotors.
Getting the picture? Yep.. the bastard thing is like new, lacking only in front suspension setup as I had put the Noltec bushes in when the car was new.
So, not being too happy with the front end, out came the oldies and in went a set of 4 of Andrew's finest along with a set of his rubber steering rack mount bushes. My original stopper discs had disapeared when the nolothane was put in, so I also had to pick up a new pair of these.
So how are they....
Well, if I said they were better than sex, I wouldn't be doing them justice enough. It's now a joy to run over 'catseyes' on the road with my 18's. Barely an audible bump now. Silky smooth, barely a hint of tramlining (I had it really bad before) and now it's just the ducks guts.
My car has been restored to a condition that I hadn't thought was possible. It's an absolute joy to drive again. Possibly better than it's ever been, thanks to the combination of new struts, shockers and bushes undoubtedly.
A trip up to Oakleigh to visit my resident alignment technician at Bob Janes and I came away with a grin from ear to ear.
PS: Don't tell Andrew though. Bastard will get a big head if we let on what an absobloodylutely top job he has done in putting these units on the market for us.
Ah... I can feel the need...
The need for a trip through the Black Spur at warp factor three... Beam me up Scotty.
Well I have finally had the new bushes fitted. I took the car to Craig Deans workshop and had the famous Vlamos "Original" bushes fitted, Craig had a set which he sold to me for the same price as it would have cost me to get them from Andrew. The job was a little longer than expected as we encountered a slight problem with the rear bushes. When they were originally replaced with those red pieces of junk, the idiot who replaced them overheated the strut and therefore expanded the hole slightly making it more loose than acceptable when the new bush was inserted. They were almost able to be pushed in by hand, so a couple of small mig tacks were required on either side to stop rotation. As you know on the UZZ32 to remove the steering rack bushes is a major job so we inspected the original ones and as I have no oil leaks anywhere in my car they were like new so the concenses was if not broken leave it. I had the front end done, but it is still pulling slightly to the left, this is a small problem which can easily be fixed. Rob Hayden gave me some new settings which I will try he said it should fix it.
Sue and I have driven that vehicle for over 18 months now and both of us thought it was and as you are aware the best vehicle ever produced. But it was nothing compared to the UZZ32 we now have, no more squeeks and groans, no more tram tracking, better cornering, tighter steering and an overall more responsive and beautifull car to drive, We to love our car even more now. My vote on Andrews bushes are 10 out of 10
Next is the BFI, I have acquired an air filter with air flow meter and rubber hose still atached for $250, so down to Safeway I will go to buy some egg cups.
See you next weekend
Home to PLANET SOARER