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Subframe Bushings - Intro

The front subframe bushings should be considered a normal wear item that need to be inspected every year. The bushings can be inspected by looking at the top of bushing that sits between the subframe and body. In addition, you can loosen one bolt at a time and wiggle the center of the bushings to feel for extreme play. On my car 3 of the 6 bushings were bad. This was causing some massive clunks and the steering feel was very loose.

Bushing test


When buying new bushings you can choose to get the 2006 bushings for the outside corners of the subframe. These bushings fit perfectly and are supposed to be a little stiffer. However, the two bushings in the middle of the subframe must be the correct year of your car. The newer middle bushings have a bigger sleeve and do not fit in the subframe.
While the process to replace the bushings sounds daunting, dropping the subframe is not that difficult. You need to have 4 jackstands to raise the whole car off the ground and it really helps to have two raising jacks to control the descent and lift of the subframe.

You also need to build a wooden support to hold the engine and you may need to purchase some special sockets or extensions to reach some of the bolts. This shouldn't be anything new for the DIYer. Also, you should plan on having an alignment done as the last step.

In addition to the bushings, dropping the subframe gives you access to many, otherwise, hard to reach areas. This includes the alternator, cooling hoses, power steering rack, and A/C lines. It is a perfect time to closely inspect all areas of the car and perform all "While you're in there" preventative maitenance items. This includes checking all of the motor mounts as well.



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