Removing suspension bushings without buying press or paying a shop
Your driveway, NOT indoors
The night is young
Most people will only replace their bushings one time, therefore the cost of a cheap press ($70) may be a little steep considering it's likely to get used once and tucked away forever. For about $25 in tools, you can harness the power to send your old bushings to meet their maker and prep your suspension arms for new awesome urethane or solid bushings.
To begin you'll need the following:
Something to set stuff on fire with (lighter), fuel to keep fire burning (charcoal/lighter fluid), and something to really heat up thick spots (torch). In addition you'll need something to protect your eye ***** (eye protection), something to pry with (screwdriver/pry bar/etc.), and a hacksaw with metal cutting blade that can be removed/reversed (very important).
Next, lay out your victims and decide who gets it first...
I chose the biggest baddest bushing so that the others would instantly submit once they saw how quick I triumphed over him...it's very simple...blast it with lighter fluid and ignite:
Let it burn for a little bit, and start prying the center sleeve with your tool. The goal is to destroy/weaken the rubber so that the metal can be taken out completely.
The torch comes in handy because even though the rubber is burned, it's still difficult to really break the sleeve free. So hit the tough spots with the torch:
Once, you have made significant progress, you can do this:
At this point you should be able to completely pry/rip out the sleeve:
Next your going to take your saw blade and remove it/ re-assemble it upside down through the bushing hole like so:
Basically, you want to make two cuts on the bushing sleeve to relieve it's pressure, try not to go too deep and cut into the arm, but it's not the end of the world if you nick it or make a small gouge:
Once your through the sleeve, take a screw driver (flat) or chisel and drive it vertically through your cuts:
To get like pictured above, you may have to gently pry the edges out. Again, try not to damage your arm too badly.
Once you've evenly separated the sleeve on both sides you should be able to tap/pull/push it out:
At this point, once your sleeve is out inspect the arm for any gouges you may have made with the hacksaw or screwdriver while removing the sleeve. If you find any take some fine grit sandpaper and lightly debur them. This is done to smooth the area and ensure your new urethane bushings do not develop tears from the burrs. Some people stress about weakening the arm, but the bushing will absorb/articulate the force the arm receives; so the likelihood of a gouge or small cut in the inner arm developing into a catastrophic crack is slim to none.
Once you're done you should have a new arm ready to install the bushing of your choosing:
My car is a dedicated HPDE car but I drive to and from the track, with that being said solid bushings aren't for me. Its not my daily but seeing how its driven on the street occasionally, I do not like solid suspension bushings. I have used energy suspension urethane bushings in every car I've built and been more than pleased. HOWEVER, I tossed the energy suspension compression rod bushings in favor of whitelines. While being a tad softer and designed for more articulation they will last longer and reduce undue stress on the arm and suspension. I just purchased the energy suspension hyperflex master bushing kit (stiffer than whitelines) and then purchase the whiteline compression rod bushings separate.
Consult instructions for whatever bushings you choose prior to installation.