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Thought I would bring this bit of knowledge from other forums where I posted this. It's not that difficult a job, but plan on it taking the entire weekend if/when it's your first time due to the learning curve. It will be worse if you live in the Rust Belt. This is a job where I advocate: "As long as your in there..."
  1. Replace the rear sway bar bushings
  2. Replace the rear sway bar linkages
  3. Replace the upper control arms
  4. Replace the lower control arms

The symptoms my vehicle exhibited were odd knocking and rattling sounds from the rear of the vehicle whenever I hit minor bumps or ruts in the road. Handling wasn't bad, per se, but the car felt more tight after I replaced not only the bushings, but also the parts listed above. If your First Gen MZ3 is cresting 100K miles and nothing other than the rear shocks has been addressed, then you're in for a lot of work. If you're buying a First Gen MZ3, put this on your list of potential projects.

I did plunk down my hard-earned money for the special press. It's worth every penny.

I replaced the bushing on the driver's side. The control arm must be removed no matter what the bushing press advertisers say. The old bushing cannot be pressed with the arm still on the vehicle.

OK, here is the arm as it was removed. Since I've done this before, I had that sucker out in under 15 minutes.


The old bushing was so weak I was able to remove the inner portion with my bare hands (Hulk STRONG)



Here is the tool fitted to press the old bushing. The pressing cylinder has a beveled edge so it can fit inside the bushing. The base fits over the opposite side. A cheater bar will be need to get the bushing to break. At first crack, there will be a loud *POP*. As the bushing is pressed, there may be a few *POP*s which are successively weaker.



See the blue line I marked on the arm? First, clean the area and fit the press piece over the old bushing. There is a line on the edge (barely visible in the picture). This is important, because the flats of the new bushing must align where the old were located. Other means of marking are white paint marker, filing the arm to mark the flats -- whatever works.


Make sure everything is squared and hand fitted. Use a hand socket and not an impact. Trust me, this thing will slide like butter. I cleaned the arm with Liquid Wrench.


I'm probably half a degree off from the mark, but this will work. Using a fat marker didn't help.


Notice the gap between the arm and the edge of the bushing. This is important and I don't know if people take that into account. The old bushing is set at the same depth.



When reinstalling the trailing arm, set the rear part on a jack to help guide installation. Reattach it to the rear lower arm but don't torque the bolt completely. Swing the trailing arm upward and work it inward. Use patience. The bushing bolts have tapers to aid with alignment. Clean the threads ahead of time as they will have dried remnants of green Locktite. I reinstalled them with blue Locktite. Get one started and thread it partway. Then, install the second. Snug both bolts and torque (72.06 to 97.57-ft/lbs). I went high and even at 95-ft/lbs.

Since I redid the entire suspension system, I replaced the upper and lower control arms along with the insulator for the rear spring. Reinstalling the control arms is tricky. I installed the lower arm first. Then, I installed the top bolt for the upper arm, and then the lower bolt. Installing the lower arm first helps get the geometry set up properly. I prefer to get all bolts started and all pieces in place before torquing to the final values. The torque values for the bolts for both control arms and the rear lower arm bolt is 55.69 to 75.15-ft/lbs. I set them all at 75-ft/lbs and used blue Locktite as well.

*Caution - pay particular attention to the parking brake cable when reinstalling the arm. I didn't see until the last minute I had it routed outside the arm. I undid most of my work before I realized all I needed to do was disconnect the cable from the caliper.

I have tried to find a link which showed the use of this tool including using an angle finder to ensure the bushing is level. That probably would have helped me since, with the press the mechanic has the means to remove and reinstall the bushing until it's properly aligned.

Some of you may know this is the same bushing and tool combination as the Ford Focus and Volvo V50.

Yes, that special trailing arm press was expensive, but it made the job go smooth and was far cheaper in the long run.
 
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