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Getting springs & Billies? Get new bushings too!

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Gundy315, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Gundy315

    Gundy315 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OME 885, 5100s, 3-leaf AAL, Camburg ball-joint UCAs, Moto Metal 957 (17x9; black), 285/70-17 Kumho KL78, color-matched grille w/ grillcraft mesh upper & lower, All-Pro rear bumper, Leather Seats, WeatherTech mats, JVC DDIN H/U (w/ BT, & Sat), Pioneer 6.5" comps, 500w amp & 10" sub,
    Just thought I would share a bit of my recent experience in installing OME 885 springs on Bilstein 5100's. When I ordered everything, I did not get new bushings for the top plate and upper strut mount. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal, since I could just re-use the stock pieces.

    So, I installed everything, but within a day or so, I started hearing a aggravating, high-pitched squeak/screetch every time I rolled over any sort of bump in the road (no matter how small a bump it was). It definitely sounded like metal-on-metal... no bueno.

    I looked at the top of the strut assembly, and noticed that the shock piston was not centered in the top plate, and the top bushing (just below the top nut) was nearly hanging off the top plate on one side.

    So, the next weekend, I pull the strut assemblies back out... which was a complete pain in the ass, because the top bushings were catching on the top mount, not allowing the struts to drop out of the mount... so I had to put the strut compressor on the springs while the struts were still on the truck (don't try this at home, kids... danger!), and pull the top nut and bushings off so the strut would drop out of the mount.

    Anyway, this is what I found:

    Top plate... yeah, that little off-center notch should NOT be there:
    [​IMG]

    Shock piston... not exactly what you want to see on 5-day-old Bilsteins:
    [​IMG]

    So, today, I installed new top plates and new bushings, and now everything is groovy.

    If I had just spent the 20 freaking bucks and bought new bushings in the first place, it would have saved me about 6-8 hours of work and about $120 on new top plates.

    NOTE: My truck has about 90K miles on it, so the bushings were pretty worn out. They just allowed the shock piston to move around just enough to wear that notch in the top plate and shock. The new bushings are much stiffer and made for a much more solid mount.

    If you have a NEW truck (with, say, less than 30K miles) your bushings may very well be good enough to work without any problems. But hey, if you're going to drop several hundred bucks on new suspension, what is an extra $20, just to make sure you don't encounter the same problems I had.
     
  2. BenWA

    BenWA Well-Known Member

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    Ouch, that sucks man. That is some serious wear for just a few days. You sure it's okay to keep using that strut worn down like that?

    Glad I ordered new bushings, especially considering my stock ones have over 100K on them. Too bad it's taking so damn long for them to be delivered. :mad:
     
  3. kite

    kite Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a part # or link for the bushings?

    Thanks for the heads up. I'm over 100k and will be doing this for sure.
     
  4. Gundy315

    Gundy315 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OME 885, 5100s, 3-leaf AAL, Camburg ball-joint UCAs, Moto Metal 957 (17x9; black), 285/70-17 Kumho KL78, color-matched grille w/ grillcraft mesh upper & lower, All-Pro rear bumper, Leather Seats, WeatherTech mats, JVC DDIN H/U (w/ BT, & Sat), Pioneer 6.5" comps, 500w amp & 10" sub,
    Is it OKAY? Yeah, I think so... Is it IDEAL? Probably not.

    The pic makes it look a little worse than it is.

    My truck is just a mall-crawler, and will see very little off-road use, so I won't be beating on them much. I will probably pull them out in a couple of weeks to see if there is any sign of further wear, but I don't think they have lost much, if any, stuctural integrity (for lack of a better term).

    On the bright side, I've gotten REALLY fast at removing/installing the front struts, after doing it for the third time in as many weeks. (a good, strong impact gun and a well-greased spring compressor will make all the difference in the world)
     
  5. Gundy315

    Gundy315 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OME 885, 5100s, 3-leaf AAL, Camburg ball-joint UCAs, Moto Metal 957 (17x9; black), 285/70-17 Kumho KL78, color-matched grille w/ grillcraft mesh upper & lower, All-Pro rear bumper, Leather Seats, WeatherTech mats, JVC DDIN H/U (w/ BT, & Sat), Pioneer 6.5" comps, 500w amp & 10" sub,
    I do indeed.
     
  6. BenWA

    BenWA Well-Known Member

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    Looking at this again, I'm fairly perplexed as to how this happened. That worn part of the stanchion rod looks to be about 5/8-3/4" long or so, yes? That means that thing must have had that much slop to wear like that, which is a lot. How could it have that much slop to move past the top plate if it is constantly under so much compression from the coil? Somehow doesn't make sense to me. I just can't imaging the top of that rod continually moving up and down a full 3/4" past the top plate. But I can't think of any other way that it could have happened. I wonder if it had more to do with the fitment of the OME spring than it did with the bushings...(?)
     
  7. Gundy315

    Gundy315 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The same springs are still being used, and there is no movement after changing the bushings and washers. So, I don't think it had anything to do with the springs.

    I would say the wear on the rod is probably 1/2"-5/8". I haven't put a tape measure to it.

    It probably wasn't moving just UP past the top plate. It probably moved DOWN, too. So, it could have been moving ~1/4" in either direction past the "center position" on the plate in order to get that wear pattern. If both the top and bottom bushings weren't doing their jobs, then that amount of play sounds reasonable to me.

    Also, as that notch was cut into the top plate, the whole shock tilted at a slight angle into the notch. I know that shouldn't make much of difference in the length of the wear on the stanchion rod, but it probably had SOME effect.
     
  8. 619Tacoma

    619Tacoma Baja bound

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    - Billstein 5100's all around with OME 885 coil springs. - K&N Air Filter - HID Headlights & Fogs - Kenwood Stereo & Infinity Speakers - CB Radio, - Fog On Anytime mod - Anti Tailgate theft mod. More comming...
    Oh CRAP!! I Hope my top plate is not as f*ked up as yours is. I've been having the same noise your describe for MONTHS! I finally noticed that the bushing on top is not compressed as it should be and this allows the rod to move around. I also have about 1/2" movement on it. I Just picked up the one bushing from Toyota this morning. I'm going to take apart my strut assembly this afternoon and install the new bushing. Hopefully I won't need a new top plate like you did. Though I'm fearing that I will need it.

    Does the bushing kit you purchased come with two bushings and two bushing retainers for each side? or more? Thanks!
     
  9. Gundy315

    Gundy315 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OME 885, 5100s, 3-leaf AAL, Camburg ball-joint UCAs, Moto Metal 957 (17x9; black), 285/70-17 Kumho KL78, color-matched grille w/ grillcraft mesh upper & lower, All-Pro rear bumper, Leather Seats, WeatherTech mats, JVC DDIN H/U (w/ BT, & Sat), Pioneer 6.5" comps, 500w amp & 10" sub,
    The bushing kit has both a top and bottom bushing for each side, but the top plate comes with the bottom bushing already in it... So, if you use the new top plate, you will have extra bottom bushings.

    The bushing kit has the retainers and everything. The link I posted above (to the bushing kit) has a picture of everything that is included. If your plates are ok, that is all you will need.
     
  10. crainz277

    crainz277 Well-Known Member

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    Deck plate mod, Bilstein 5100 struts with 3" eibach coils,toyotec diff drop, 5100 rear shocks, 3" tuff country AAl, 265/75/16 GY wrangler authority on Moto Metal 955 chrome wheels, husky liners, 10" kenwood sub and kenwood deck.also ARE cap, Avital keyless entry and remote start, winter tires- 265/75/16 BFG at's on stock wheels, homemade bpv valve bracket, extended rear brake line, light racing UCA's, tinted windows... It's all in the build
    What about the strut plate bearing? did your new strut mount come with a bearing in the center of it?
     
  11. Gundy315

    Gundy315 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OME 885, 5100s, 3-leaf AAL, Camburg ball-joint UCAs, Moto Metal 957 (17x9; black), 285/70-17 Kumho KL78, color-matched grille w/ grillcraft mesh upper & lower, All-Pro rear bumper, Leather Seats, WeatherTech mats, JVC DDIN H/U (w/ BT, & Sat), Pioneer 6.5" comps, 500w amp & 10" sub,
    There aren't any bearings involved here. Read post #9.
     
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