Removing suspension bushes the easy way

Removing the Ferrari’s suspension bushes without a haudraulic press is pretty simple with a puller made from a a few bolts, washers and sockets. Here are the parts laid out:

bushing puller
Parts for home made bushing puller

We have 100, 120 and 150 mm 10.9 M12 x 1.75 bolts, M12 fender washers, regular M12 washers and M12 bolts. We will use the 120 mm bolts for this bushing. It’s important the bolts are 10.9 strength and coarse threaded… they are going to be under quite a lot of tension and we don’t want them getting too hot or stripping. Also, removing the bushes will also be much more straightforward if the bolts are fully threaded. The washers can get quite bent pulling the bushes so its good to have several. All of the above came to about $25 at Belmetric.com.

Essentially the bolt goes through the middle of the bushing and the nut tightens against something (a washer or socket) that is the just smaller than the bushing being pulled. The other end of the bolt goes through and tightens against a socket large enough to fit over the opposite end of the bushing and spread the load to the wishbone.  As the nut is tightened on the bolt, it draws the bushing into the socket.

Ferrari 308 outer suspension bush
Rusted in outer suspension bush

Above is a Ferrari 308 outer rear suspension bush that is completely rusted into the wishbone. It’s a large bushing so I needed a 46mm socket to fit around it and support the wishbone. So the order for this puller is

  1. Nut
  2. Fender washer
  3. 46 mm socket
  4. [suspension bush]
  5. Washer
  6. Bolt
Bushing puller for Ferrari 308
Socket end of the bushing puller with the end
of the bolt, nut and fender washer against the socket

 

Bushing puller for Ferrari 308
Bush end of the puller with the bolt head, washer and other
end of the socket supporting the suspension wishbone

Once assembled, removing the bushing is as simple as turning the nut on the bolt. As the distance between the bolt head and nut decreases, the bushing is pulled all the way through the wishbone and out. Even heavily corroded bushes come out without drama using this technique. The trick is to make sure the bolt starts and says parallel with the bush.

You might hear a crack as the bushing first starts to move… this is normal. You should feel a smooth but firm constant resistive force as you rotate the bolt. Furthermore you should see the bushing moving through the wishbone.

Ferrari 308 outer suspension bush
The outer bushing half way out

If the going gets tough an 18″ breaker bar and/or some penetrant oil such as PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench or Sea Foam can be used.

Ferrari 308 suspension bush removed
Both outer bushes removed

The same technique can be used to push in the new bushing by using an appropriately sized socket on the opposite side of the wishbone. Before that happens though, the wishbine will need restoring.

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