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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had replaced the passenger side bushing on the lower control arm a few weeks ago. I will add a picture of the bad bushing I replaced. But I wanted to show that even a new bushing can be bad. And you might not know what to look for as you’d assume it should be good being that it came right out of a sealed box.

The process that bonds the rubber part of a control arm bushing to the metal parts is called vulcanization. When the process doesn’t happen correctly, the rubber may not bond to the metal. If you go ahead and install the bushing into the control arm, or whatever part is having the bushing replaced, it will not last very long. It may be overlooked and not noticed until after the parts are assembled and installed, then causing problems where the bushing separates completely and then you will have to replace it again. So inspecting the part is fairly important.

As it was, I finally found time to replace the driver side bushing. I had the control arm out of the car already. But I figured I had better inspect the new bushing to make sure it was the correct one that came in the box. And to my dismay, it turns out the rubber had separated on the new bushing. Not only that, the metal outer piece is deformed. Luckily I didn’t proceed to push the old bushing out of the control arm. I will now have to return the part and have the parts store exchange it. This doesn’t happen all of the time, but I do see it a lot. Not only that but I noticed the part is the same brand, but they have used a different manufacturer. It appears a cheaper version was boxed. I worked selling auto parts in the past. And I would see this where they would sometimes switch suppliers. And this is pretty obvious that this was the case. Hopefully I can get a quality part in exchange for the cheap crap that I got this time. I’ll later be buying the aluminum control arms to replace the steel ones on the car now.

As you can see there are two places where the rubber is lifting off at the edge. And you can also see that the outer portion is not perfectly round.

19878

19879

19880
 

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Ooh yeah, that's pretty much trash. Brand new garbage - gotta love it!

Probably will end up looking something like this (both control arm bushings on my brother's '01 Century at about 125k miles), but almost right away:

19881


19882


Generally, I find that doesn't work too well. It smoked his front tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Luckily I had time to go before work today and exchange the bushing. They had one that was the same as the one I was returning, and the other was the same as I had already installed on the passenger side. You can see it has more rubber that runs higher up.

19883

19884


Here’s the bad bushing. It will dry rot and crack. It has separated from the metal as well. It is supposed to have the gaps on the original ones those. Dorman makes one that is an exact copy of the factory part. The ones I got were only $10 each.


19885

19886
 
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