Interference fit? Pah!

Time to try to fit the first of my suspension bushes and what a disaster it was! I understood from my Haynes manual that the bushes were something of an interference fit. I therefore bunged them and the freezer several days ago and today cut some scrap pieces of oak flooring to allow me to force them in with a G clamp.

It was a complete none starter. Even with heating the mounting hole with my blow lamp and applying copious PTFE lubricant I couldn’t even get the bush started!

Applying my vernier calipers to the problem I discovered that the hole was 62mm diameter whilst the bushes appeared to be 63.4mm diameter. No wonder they wouldn’t go in! If they had been 62.4mm diameter they would have been a very tight fit but there was no way on God’s earth I was going to be able to force something that big in.

The old and new suspension bushes.

At this point I became rather despondent. Researching online (which I should have done more of before I started) I found many commentators who agreed on two points:

  1. The stuff in the Haynes manual about being able to force them in with a threaded rod and a couple of nuts was complete rubbish.
  2. There were only two workable solutions: (a) buy a special tool based on a hardened threaded rod which might work 50% of the time if you were really strong or (b) use a hydraulic press.

I was contemplating removing the entire back suspension and taking it to a garage with a suitable press when I came across a YouTube video which seemed to offer the answer. It showed a man replacing his old metal and rubber bushes with modern polyurethane bushes. Instead of fitting them with the aid of a hydraulic press, he bashed them in in a few seconds with a lump hammer!

I had noticed the plastic bushes on the Euro Car Parts web site but had assumed they were aimed at high performance cars and they were certainly twice the price of the rubber ones. But, given the option to not remove the suspension it seemed worth every penny so I promptly ordered a set.