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Triumph TR6 - Front Suspension Bushings

I think I mentioned in an earlier thread that I began replacing the ball joints in my '71 to get it to pass state inspection. Well, in the 'while I am at it' category, I decided to re-bush the front end because all the bushes looked pretty sad. The previous owner bequeathed me all the parts (rubber, not poly, but its hard to beat the price considering its a daily driver only) so here I go.

I got everything apart without incident, but am having a heck of a time getting the lower wishbone inner bushings into the lower arms. Any tricks for this, or is this best left to the shop? I got one about 3/4 of the way there, and it took an hour. I'm not even sure I can get it the rest of the way.

Also, any experience/advice for getting the springs back in would be appreciated. I'm carefully following the Bentley book procedures, and the removal was ok but I'm collecting information to try to survive the re-install as well.

Thanks as always,
Mark H

Use a threaded rod with large washers to draw the bushings in. Coat the bushings with green dish soap or rubber grease and as you tighten the rod it will draw the bushings each bush separately. This worked for me for both the front and the rear. Also this method works to remove them but you have to use washers slighly smaller than the bush.

Make sure you also change the outer bushes ie near the trunions...most of the wear occurs there.

Mark, I replaced all of my front bushings on a 73 this spring and you are correct that the lower wishbone innner bushings are ' a bear '. I found that the bushing were almost an interference fit, but I oiled them, aligned them with the inner bore and gently tapped them in with a wooden rod that had a small diameter. If you use the wood rod you can go through each side to tap in the bushing. That way gives you a straight thrust. When I installed the bolt to secure the wishbone I also had to gently tap it in. Sound like you are doing better than I did. The first one took me 3 hours to change the ball joints, shocks, spring and install the bushing. The second one only took about half that time. Guess I learned from the first one something. Good luck with the replacements. As everyone has previously stated, be sure and use the threated spring compressor as it make the job much easier and much safer.
Bill L

Beat the hell out of it. A little anger helps. Even though I'm kidding, it sometimes isn't far from the truth.

On the springs - rent or make a spring compressor. You can make a spring compressor from ready-rod, washers and nuts. With the shock mounted and the spring in place, you need to use the ready rods to compress the suspension together enought to get the lower arms bolted to the spring plate.

I installed poly throughout the car - everywhere - suspension, steering rack, rear-end. Really transformed the car. The ride is not harsh at all. Just solid - more precise - with no wallowing around. Got rid of the rear end twitch. If your going to the trouble, use poly.

my 2c

Calgary, Canada.

John Parfitt

At the very least, you should go poly on the upper fronts. Those bushings are so soft that they will start extruding out in a few months/year time. Then you get to do them again. Due to the poly bush stiffness, I have found them much easier to fit to the upper fulcrum when it is removed from the car. IT is somewhat tedious to remove the upper fulcrum as the inner bolts are not readily accesible, but just go in there and be patient while you work.

The balance of the bushings work fine for normal use. The lowers as you have found out are fairly stiff and have that steel sleeve. We used to joke that the second sorriest set of suspension bushings in the world were the lower fronts on MGBs, the worst were the uppers on a TR.

For the spring compressor, make a plate that fits over the damper mount studs on the lower spring pan and use a long 1/2" threaded rod (about 20 inches or so), some nuts and washers. Failing that, bite the bullet and order the one in the Roadster or Moss catalog. They consist of a plate that fits over the damper studs on the lower spring pan, a long threaded rod, some nuts and washers. I think that either of those are in the $40 - $50 range.

As usual, the BBS advice did the trick. The dish soap (hope Dawn was ok) knocked it down from 1-1/2 hours on the first to 10=15 minutes each on the rest. I was already using the bolt to draw it thru, so the soap is the clear difference.

On the last two, on my father-in-law's suggestion, I put the bushings in the freezer overnight to contract them. He said they did it all the time with metal bushes, and who knows how much the rubber is affected...but nothing to lose. The last two did go really well, but may have been due to practice. No way to know but thought I'd pass it on.

Thanks again.
Mark H

This thread was discussed between 04/06/2002 and 09/06/2002

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