Replacing wishbone bushings question

Starting work to replace front wishbone busing on front left. Is cause if clunking sound as reported on earlier post.
The manual say to drop entire front suspension from the car. That is not going to be possible.
Must do with suspension unit in the car. Have any of you successfully replaced the lower wishbone bushings with out dropping the front suspension??
Thought I had replaced these bushing back when the front springs where replaced, but I was wrong as they where never replaced.
Looks like this may be done by dropping the power steering rack to make room for the shaft to be removed. Looking forward to your replies.
Also interested in opinion if OEM rubber or Urethane type is recommended. THANKS

You’ll have to remove the spring, and the lower fulcrum shaft comes out the rear. You probably won’t have room to remove it without lowering the back of the crossmember.

I easily replaced mine with the subframe out, but i was doing a lot of other things to warrant dropping the frame. I wouldn’t drop the frame just for lower bushings, its a heavy beast.

It can definitely be done in car, but you’ll need the car quite high up to remove lower pan/spring with Jaguar tool. Also i think the fulcrum bolt is more difficult to remove/replace, but it is possible.

I did mine with the crossmember out. You can remove the spring pan and spring in the car if you raise the car enough, but the fulcrum shaft will not come out without moving the rack (which involves disconnecting the coupler and hoses) and dropping the rear of the crossmember (fulcrum would hit trans pan). In the end, not hard to drop the crossmember.

Agree with Robert, the added effort to remove the subframe will be worth it. Curious why it’s not possible.

One of the fulcrum bolts on mine took some serious blows with 8# sledge hammer to free from the subframe, after cutting the ends off and removing the wishbone. I would say it would have been almost impossible to remove it with the subframe in place.

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As Jay has stated if you have a stuck fulcrum shaft you will regret not having taken the subframe out. I ended up having to replace my subframe as I was loosing the will to live trying to get all of the stuck items freed.
Additionally dealing with the springs is quite terrifying (in my case I work on the ground with jacks/ramps (no lift)) so good access is essential and safe. If you do completely remove it it will allow you to inspect it fully and make a nice refurb of it. mine had a significant amount of corrosion so a replacement made a lot of sense. the spring towers can fail and were a common source of problems.

My fulcrum bolts luckily drifted out with a small hammer. But I may have been lucky.

It’s still a big job imo to drop subframe. Disconnection of power steering system is i think the hardest part, as well as engine mounts. And that means something to hold engine up. And the ground strap is easily forgotten (i did).

But my subframe had peeling paint/surface rust. Excellent time to sandblast and repaint. And it was a cinch replacing p/s hoses and bushings.

Honestly, if lower bushings are all that’s needed, I’d not drop subframe. If fulcrum bolts won’t come out, then drop.

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Lowered car back down onto garage floor and will work on dropping front cross member after new year. Home made spring compression tool and jack stand metal spacer shown after car raised to remove jack stands. Date stamp on photos is wrong as all where taken 12/31/2023.

Many thanks to all for your input. Worn front lower bushing shown.

Your homemade tool looks excellent.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fulcrum bush quite that bad!

Thanks for you compliment on the tool. Had a customers machine shop make the wedge and do the welding of the nuts and washers. I cut a 90 degree pipe elbow at home.
Now asking if any of you have experience using bushings called Nolathane. They are available from Auto Zone part number REV034.0030 (set for both sides) $69.60.
Hope to be able to get cross member out by this time next week. Plan is to clean up cross member for repaint and replace all lower bushings.

What bushing?! Ha ha, yeah, no wonder it’s making noises. I’ll look up where i got my poly bushings tomorrow. They are still fine, but I’m only two years into them so can’t yet recommend for longevity. :crossed_fingers:

This is a place that I would definitely go with OEM bushings if you can find them.
Mine are 35 years/ 150.000 km old and still good.
You don’t want yo be doing this job twice.
Also, harder bushings will transmit more vibrations and noise from the road.

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I don’t have an opinion on the specific parts you mention, but I did see a potential problem with similar-looking top-hat shaped urethane bushes from Whiteline. I included them in a study of 6 different bushings sold for the E-type, but dropped them when I couldn’t get them to seat properly in the housing. Worth checking before you put it all together.

I also found one of the “own brand” conventional-type bushings gave inconsistent results in stiffness tests. I thought maybe that was related to the walls of the central sleeve - they’re significantly thinner than the originals, possibly crushing under fixing torque.

At this point you might be thinking “I’ll just use an original Jaguar bushing”. Reasonable, although the “new” bushing that came in a Jaguar bag tested significantly stiffer than the old part that came in the used housing I bought on eBay. Perhaps the old one softened with age, or perhaps the new ones have succumbed to “make it stiffer” fever in the belief that will automatically improve the handling.

I bought my Poly lower control arm bushings from XKSlimited (Now Moss). Can’t remember the brand, but they were black. SNG sells equivalent. About $25 each. Like I said, 2 good years in is all I can report. I used the best synthetic silicone lube I could find. I don’t think the ride is compromised too much. I did go back to OEM rubber for the upper control arm bushings, that made a difference to ride quality (or maybe helped dampen lower poly bushings?)

Do NOT buy URO. They are $5 each, and will last about that long. Every URO bushing I’ve tried, the rubber soon separates from the metal sleeve.

If you go with rubber, make sure they are OEM Metalastik. I couldn’t find them, hopefully they’re still being sold. C8673.

[quote=“Phil.Dobson, post:6, topic:441945”] Additionally dealing with the springs is quite terrifying (in my case I work on the ground with jacks/ramps (no lift)) so good access is essential and safe.


do you rememeber how high you had to raise the front of the car to be able to slide the subframe out ?
My situation is very similar to yours, and I will need to park backward and “pull” the subframe to the outside (not enough room on the sides)

From memory not too high approx18inches

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When I did this on my '90 many years ago, the bushes looked alot like yours.

I dropped the cradle, and built a spring compressor as well. Before I did any of that, though, the Book’s section on those lower A arm shafts concerned me, and I doused both ends of both shafts in PB blaster, one treatment a day, for a week, leading up to the removal of the cradle. Pivot shafts drove out easily.

Other things I found: the upper wishbone bushes looked fine (replaced anyway), the lowers were nearly all gone. The cradle mounts, especially the fronts, where in terrible shape- replaced those, too. And the sway part bushes.

All that made a night and day difference in how the car behaved.

Just ordered new bushings for both upper and lower. Are OEM design according to vendor.
May not need to replace all, but wit the effort required to remove front assembly suspension out of the car thought it a wise investment. Total charge for the bushings including freight is $98.15.
Ordering parts was the easy part. Now have to jack up car and get to work. Wish me luck.

It’s really not bad to get it in and out. Removing the oil filter allows better access to the steering column coupling and disconnecting under the dash is a breeze. When reinstalling use a pin in the rack (goes in the grease fitting/plug hole, 3/16” drill bit if I recall) to locate rack center, center steering wheel and tape to column shroud when you reassemble splines. Disconnect both hoses from the power steering pump. There is a heat shield on the left catalyst held by 2 of the exhaust flange nuts- soak in PB Blaster every day for a week prior to attempting to remove. And don’t forget the 3 leg ground strap on the left….
Note rack position on the subframe, bolt holes are slotted.
Easier to remove springs after the crossmember is out, and they have to be out to remove the fulcrums.
Now getting the fulcrum out can be a bear, might be an idea to have a spare fulcrum on hand in case you have to cut it.

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Since the subframe always comes out like Robert King just mentioned…. I’ve fantasized about making a jig to hold the subframe onto the shop press. Basically a short pipe cut at an angle so the fulcrum shaft is completely upright…. A third “leg” to hold the other side of the subframe…. And then a series of threaded pushers to attach to the threaded end of the fulcrum.

The reality of the last two times I did this was to just cut the damn things.

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