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Series Land Rovers - Bushings

Removing Spring Bushings

Some suggestions.. (YMMV)


I've been watching this thread on spring bushing replacement and thought I should weigh in on the subject as I just replaced all of mine. To put it bluntly, there is an easier way to do it. It just has one small catch, you need to have access to an air compressor. The way I managed after much cursing with hammer and hacksaw was to go down to my local department/hardware store, anyone who handles air compressors and related equipment, and for $16.99US, buy an air chisel. These little guys are for the do it yourself body mechanic who has some serious cutting to do, they rip through sheet metal like a hot knife through butter. Anyway, these come with an assortment of cutting, munching, ripping implements, and the one that applies to our little bushing problem is the 1/2 inch punch. It's just a pointed spike, 1/2 inch in diameter and about 3 inches long, with a large shoulder where it mounts into the air chisel itself. All you do is get the appropriate bushing in position, (ie. unbolted, frame jacked up to let the spring hang neutrally, rotate the shackle out of the way) then take the punch/air chisel without its retaining spring and mount a 1/2 drive impact socket of the appropriate diameter over the spike so that the shoulder of the spike rests against the socket where the ratchet would normally be. Slightly smaller than the bushing outside diameter is perfect. Then lay it on the bushing, lean on it, and pull the trigger. In about five seconds the old bushing will be rolling on the floor. The spring may clamp onto your socket, no biggie just stack another smaller socket on it and use the air chisel again. The punch fits right into the inner bushing, acting as a centering guide for installing the new bushing, just use the same or SLIGHTLY larger socket to drive it in. Clean the spring or frame hole and put a light coat of grease in the hole and on the outside diameter of the new bushing before pressing it in. As you drive it in, friction heats things up and it expands the metal, causing things to stop momentarily. Just have a sip of an adult beverage for a minute till things cool down and the continue till its driven all the way in. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to do each bushing in 15 minutes, start to finish. 2 hours a night for two nights and I have all new bushings in springs and frame.and some more info passed on later -

The air hammer does a swell job on the frame bushings as well as the ones in the springs. I too had a couple that were as they say "at one with their surroundings" ie the were totally welded to the frame. In this case, you have to out flank the pesky things. Switch bits in the air hammer to the body sheet metal bit, which has a forward facing tooth on top and bottom making a V shape. This little guy actually takes a narrow swath out of the material you're cutting, as in the frame bushing. Just lay the tooth so that it's cutting only the bushing and not your frame and let 'er rip. I ran it through twice, once on top and once on the bottom, thus splitting the bushing into two pieces. Then switch back to the punch bit and use the socket method to drive out the pieces. It takes much longer to describe than it does to do. About 15 minutes per bushing. Hope this helps.

Mike Fredette
72 Ser lll 88
Portland, Oregon

and another tip You bet! It took me a long weekend just to get out the f.... bushings with the old burn out- saw-wedge&sledgehammer method.

When you put in the new ones, DON'T hammer them! They'll get stuck halfway in, won't go in any further, and you won't get them out again either. Make yourself a contraption with a screw-rod that goes through the center of the bushing, a 1/2" cut from a thick pipe, four nuts, and a pair of _thick_ washers, all of _really_ hard alloy, grease well, and _pull_ the bushing in rather than bashing it. Slightly beveling the ingoing edge of the bushing and some copper paste will also help. And most of all: Watch those fingers!

Stefan R. Jacob,
LROC of Hessen
Wiesbaden, Germany

Here are a few more tips - Try dry ice (to remove stuck bushing bolts). It may shrink the metal and allow you to remove it.

Machine shops sometime use the technique to shrink metal for resistance fit units, it might just do the trick. Dave VE4PN

This is how I got the bolts, plates and bushes off and out of my new/old frame for my 62. It isn't easy and not pretty.All of the bolts in the spring and shackle combos were rusted solid. Only two of the nuts would even turn off. I tried the wd-40 soak and heat and pressure to no avail. I then took a machinist hacksaw blade. This is a fine tooth,thin blade saw and started cutting. The nuts that would not turn off got cut first. This was in the vain hope that then the bolt might just come out. Two came out this way but the others held firm. So the remaining two got their heads cut off. This left me with two bolts still in. I forgot to mention that the bolts in the hangers came off fine, it was the bolts in the bushings that gave trouble. So with all of this cutting and stuff I was finally able to get two more bolts out. So I was left with cut off bolts in the frame bushes. This is the part that you need to take slow. Get a propane torch and very slowly start heating up the rubber in the bush. It will start to burn and melt. Using some sort of bar or pipe, knock out the inner sleeve and bolt when the rubber is good and soft. Do it slow just to make sure that you don't overheat the frame. Then what you have left is the outer sleeve of the frame bush in the frame. Next thing is to take the same fine hack saw and cut through the sleeve but be careful not to cut the frame sleeve. The about a 1/4 inch from the first cut do one more. This is a slow process but it works. You need to be very careful and take it slow. After doing my frame all around, I had to remove one again and it took me about 45 minutes. After you get the two cuts made take a diamond point fine chisel and at the edge of the sleeve very carefully pry up the 1/4 piece between your cuts. Once this is up take a med. diamond point and start rolling up the piece. It is frustrating but does work.This may not be very well explained but I can't do pictures on this term connect. I believe there is a line drawing of the procedure in the Haynes book.

Roy - Frame on the Wall waiting to sit under my 62, IIA 88

I finally got my second front (OEM style) frame bushing installed, and have a couple of techniques that might come in handy for those about to undertake this job:

1)   Once you get the old shackle bolt out, use a 1/8th inch drill to drill holes close together all the way around into the rubber between the two metal tubes of the old bushing. If you drill close together you'll weaken the rubber enough to grab it with a pair of vise grips and twist it right out.

2)   Buy a reciprocating saw ($89., and a great tool), and with the inner tubes out, use a metal cutting blade to saw into the outer bushing tube at 1/4 inch intervals. This way you don't have to saw all the way through it and damage the frame tube. If you cut into it in enough places it will weaken the whole tube and you can collapse it with a cold chisel and pull it out.

3)    Use a brake cylinder hone ($10. at any auto parts store) in an electric drill to polish the inside of the frame tube.

4)    Grease the frame tube and tap the bushing in to start it. It won't go far. Then use a long Grade 8 bolt, washers that fit over the inner tube of the new bushing and seat on the outer tube, and a Grade 8 nut and washers on the inside of the frame  to pull the bushing into position. I found that a large C-clamp will push the bushing in partially, but I was unable to get it any further. The Grade 8 bolt and nut pull it right in.

Maybe this will help someone else. This is the hardest, most irritating job I've done yet on the Dormobile. I'm not looking forward to the rear bushings (no pun intended).

Brian Jenkins

Bushing Sizes and types:

Q: Here's my stupid question...

except for the polybushes, I've never seen a two-piece frame bushing! When did Land Rover make the switch, as all I've ever seen genuine was the one-piece type. Also - I've never had a problem with the one piece bushing being too narrow, just a major PITA to install.

Charles Cirvin

A: Charles

Two piece front frame bushings have been around since at least the start of the 86 inch Series Ones (1954) and probably back to the 80 inchers. They continued thru at least the Series 2's (1961) and possibly into the early 2a's. I do think they did stop at the Series 2's in 1961 but Rover is notorious for making changes and overlapping them for no apparent reason. Removal is not a big deal if you know the correct process. If you assume it it a one piece it can turn into a mess. Procedure is to check first so you know what you have, saw thru the outer sleeve on both pieces and knock each piece of the outer sleeve from the inside out. If you try to say knock the outer piece thru to the inside, it runs into the inner piece. It can fold up and make a mess. At this point you cannot reverse the process because you do not have a lip to catch on to for this piece and reverse the process. For informational sake the front frame bushings increased in size significantly with the advent of the Series 3. The bushing increased in size from 1.2 inch to 1.5 inch. They did this because 109's with the smaller bushings would develop cracks in the frame emanating from the bushing from hard usage. This is important to know when ordering bushings especially if you have reframed the vehicle. I think all replacement 109 frames have the larger front bushings.

Bill Davis

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