report by pablo deferrari
Che looks on making sure that everything is disassembled in an orderly fashion.
the bushings on the front sway bar haven't been changed since it left the factory 20 years ago. they've been subjected to rain, snow, salt, and power steering leaks with nary a complaint...it's time for them to retire.
this job is straightforward and very easy to do, even my pitbull Che can do it. there's only two hazards; the thing falling on your head during removal, and running out of beer. the former happened to me, but still, a bump on the noggin beats an empty grog locker anytime time.
there are three sets of bushings needed to refresh this 26,8mm bar:
for the lucky bastards who have an M030 suspension, here are the following numbers for your 30mm bar:
- 951 343 794 02 center rubber bushings (2 pieces)
- 951 343 793 30 outer end bushings (2 pieces)
- 951 343 795 01 end link mountings (4 pieces)
- 951 343 794 05 center rubber bushings (2 pieces)
- 951 343 793 31 outer end bushings (2 pieces)
- N 012 449 1 lock washer (2 pieces)
the end link bushings are the same for both suspensions, but I would opt for replacing that little lock washer on the ends of the M030 for peace of mind. the difference between the two bars is a mere 3.2mm...apparently that little extra is enough to get you round the corner faster.
i've decided to work my way in and start with the end links. the easiest thing to do here is to grab an xacto and slice off one of the flanges on the bushing, there's no sense in fighting to get this swollen thing out unless you're a masochist.
just Van Gogh that bee-otch
see that? easy as hell
check the inside bore of the links to make sure there's no crud or corrosion. I took a fine piece of steel wool to mine and she shined right up. if your's is too badly pitted, especially from road salt, buy a new one. that part # is 951 343 075 00.
spray some soapy water inside the bore to make installation easy.
made in Germany with a manufacturing date of 9.2.2012...
to slip them in, start by kinda folding and contorting one side of the bushing and push it into the bore. it goes in without too much trouble since the bushing is new and not as swollen as the old one. once done, set them aside and lets move onto the center bushings on the bar.
center bushings simply labeled "rubber bushing"
this is the bushing that prompted the rebuild. after years of being bathed in power steering fluid, the thing swelled up and was rendered totally useless. this is why power steering leaks have to be nipped in the bud, too much collateral damage. besides, there's no reason for any early water-cooled Porsche to leak...doesn't suit their nature.
right. the removal.
ok, there's no need to make things difficult and try to bend the bracket apart just to slice off the bushing. with some soapy water slathered on its exit path off the bar, she'll slip right off with a few subtle twists of the wrist. remember to mark where the old bushing sat on the bar so that when you slide on the new one, you'll know where it lived.
here's another shot of the oil-impregnated bushing
best to cut off one of the collars on the bushing and slide it off.
look at the difference between the new one on the left against the old one. it grew, it grew!!!
once the bracket is off, you'll be able to tell how badly pitted the bore is. mine had some caked-on crud that was a mixture of oil and rubber that scraped off with the xacto knife. under that, there was some mild pitting that revealed itself after scrubbing it with some steel wool. I could've replaced it, but this car's not going to Pebble Beach, so I don't give a shit.
superficial crud, use an xacto here.
now we can slide on the new bushing onto the sway bar. spray some soapy water on the bar on push on the new bushing. I opted to not slide it on with the bracket in place, so I put it on after the bushing was installed. this won't be a problem because the bushing is a bit smaller than the old one you took out. you only need to spread the bracket a little bit to fit it over the bushing when it's place.
sliding in the new bushing...
you only need to spread the bracket a wee bit to get it over the bushing.
and there it is, all snuggly-like
I used my channel locks affectionately called Big Bertha to effortlessly squeeze the bracket together, closing the gap
once these bushings are all in place, it's time to jockey this baby back on your rig. this is where you'll install the last four bushings onto the links that bolt into the control arm.
it'll be easy to line things up once you're under there, so don't fret about the positioning of brackets. what I did was to install the bar at the end links first, snug things in a bit, then finally secure the center brackets to the chassis.
yea, I should've shown you this bit of the process, but I'm willing to be that if you're attempting to do this job, you took it off the car carefully noting how the pieces came off and are very capable in putting it all back.
one thing I do want to point out is the last set of bushings you'll be installing on the outer links that bolt up to the control arm, the four dougnutty-looking ones. they're made in Italy.
I don't have a problem with them being made in my ancestral land as long as it isn't mechanical or electrical, but I do have a beef with their plastics and rubber. somehow, the processes they utilize in their manufacture rival that of the indigenous tribes deep in the Amazon. in other words, they're primitive. they've yet to figure out the secrets to their longevity.
they seem to sort of disintegrate if you so much as sneeze on them which is why I suspect Porsche put an expiration date on the package.
see the string of letters spelling "Verwendbar bis?" that means "Expires by." so, Porsche can only guarantee that these little rubber nuggets from the boot will last 10 years before they either turned to goo, disintegrate, or transform itself into something that scientists will have a hard time in figuring out its new molecular structure.