Suspension bushings

dshillaker

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 6, 2023
Posts
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Chicago Suburbs
I recently took my 2003 to the shop and they said that it would soon need new suspension bushings. They quoted around 40 hours to replace the full 16. Does anyone know if this is correct? Seems a long time, but wasn't sure if gen 3 was difficult
 

BoondocSaint

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2022
Posts
29
Reaction score
18
Location
Washington
It depends on how far their procedure says to tear it down. Some shops have to stick with what the computer tells them to charge hours wise. 40 hrs. does sound a little much, especially if the arms are staying attached to the knuckle. I did mine in my garage, but I did have to take the arms into a shop to have the bushings pressed out. I don't have a proper press and the steel sleeves of the bushings can seize to the aluminum arms, because they are dissimilar metals. As with most things cars, it would be cheaper to do it yourself (poly bushings are easy to install) and spend the extra money on beer.
 

MoparMap

VCA National President
VCA Officer
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Posts
2,435
Reaction score
269
Location
Kansas
The service manual also has special tools listed that will press a bushing out with just wrenches. Like gear or pully pullers, it's just a threaded rod and sleeve setup, but ideally sized for the arms and bushings. I picked a kit up several years ago in anticipation as I knew I'd likely have to do the job eventually, but also because I wanted to collect as many of the dealer tools as I could while they were still more available. Don't think it even cost that much, but if you aren't one who likes to work on your car to begin with (or can't for whatever reason), then I guess that doesn't really help.

40 hours does seem on the steep side to me though. That's 10 hours per corner, but I guess the bigger question might be what all that includes. Actually taking the arms off and replacing bushings is likely not that long of a job, but I could see some padding built in for stuff like stubborn bushings that might need to get cut out or something like that. Still though, I would think a capable shop could do that in a day's work. What might be included in that 40 hour quote would be aligning the car as well. That can take some time to get right, though modern equipment does make it a lot easier. I've spent many hours in my garage trying to get my car dialed in, but that's also just me working in non ideal conditions taking my time. I'd still say it shouldn't take any more than a single work day to get it done, if that. So all told I would think 20 hours seems more than reasonable, but then again I'm not a professional shop trying to cover the cost of my tools or anything that might go wrong. I've had 5 minute jobs take 5 hours and jobs I thought would take hours like pulling an engine only take 30 minutes because I've done it before and know what I'm doing.

It's hard to really estimate without looking at the car and actually getting into it, but a pure sanity check for me is 40 hours is a full work week. Do they really think they need your car for a full week to get the job done? Granted, multiple people could be working on the car to make that faster, like one guy pulling arms off the car while another replaces the bushings, but that's still 2.5 days if two guys are doing it. Still feels long to me for that kind of job, and you can only throw so many bodies at one car to make things any faster.
 

GTS Dean

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2000
Posts
3,765
Reaction score
195
Location
New Braunfels, Texas
I would say a worst case of 20 hours for new bushings/ball joint boots, ballast/bushing torque and standard alignment. If the car hasn't been wrecked, there's no need to run a bump steer check, but that can take another day if required. They should do a ball joint condition assessment before taking everything apart so parts can be ordered and on hand when the job starts. In my experience, toe links wear faster than ball joints.
 

Michael Murray

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
Posts
14
Reaction score
4
Location
Gillette, WY
Mine were in good shape but I changed them to TKO Motorsports bushings.
I have a 2-post and hydraulic press in the garage, and did all of them in I would guess 12 hours... that is not flat-rate speed either, that is tasting all the beer in the fridge to make sure it hadn't gone bad, kind of speed.
40 is absurd, IMO.
I have AllData and it quotes is much higher than I expected... 25.4 hours. That is what they should have quoted you, not including the alignment.
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
You must be registered for see images attach
 

haneifk

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Posts
10
Reaction score
3
I could do the job/help you do the job. sent you a message!
 

Siciliano15

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Posts
57
Reaction score
6
Location
CT/FL/NYC
I agree with you guys that 40 hours for a professional shop is way too much. I think for a regular person in their backyard that about an hour per bushing would be more realistic so for a professional shop maybe 10 hours for using poly or 12 hours for rubber. Ive done this myself using the autozone tool rentals bushing press kit and ive both replaced rubber with new rubber which is a little more time consuming than replacing rubber with poly.
 

WanaGTO

Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 18, 2022
Posts
21
Reaction score
2
Location
Atlanta
I’m glad I found this thread! I’m going to have to do the same thing soon. T doesn’t seem like there are many guys in my area that could help. I don’t have the space or the tools to do it myself.
 

viperBase1

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Posts
23
Reaction score
3
Location
SoCal
If you do want to tackle this yourself, you can probably borrow (for free) a bushing press kit from your local auto parts store.
Plenty of How-To vids on UTube.

Certainly not as nice and zippy as a hydraulic press but it'll get the job done.
 

Old School

Enthusiast
Joined
May 14, 2023
Posts
90
Reaction score
46
Location
North Alabama
I installed Energy Suspension poly bushings 5.3125G without removing the control arms in my Gen3. I just used the old school "through bolt" method with some spacers to pull them out.

 

Attachments

  • IMG_1906.JPG
    IMG_1906.JPG
    90.2 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_1908.JPG
    IMG_1908.JPG
    119.7 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_1911.JPG
    IMG_1911.JPG
    130.1 KB · Views: 21
  • IMG_1915.JPG
    IMG_1915.JPG
    76.5 KB · Views: 19

tersplat

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 10, 2023
Posts
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Chesapeake, VA
I installed Energy Suspension poly bushings 5.3125G without removing the control arms in my Gen3. I just used the old school "through bolt" method with some spacers to pull them out.

That kit seems to be for the 99-02 Viper, but you are saying it fits in the 2003 as well? Is that the same for the front bushings as well? That would be fantastic news, as I am wanting to do new bushings, and can't find many options.​

 

Old School

Enthusiast
Joined
May 14, 2023
Posts
90
Reaction score
46
Location
North Alabama
Yes, I have them in my 2003 rear, I'm planning on putting them in the front as well.

Also, I used polyurethane bushing made for late 80s Chevy truck leaf springs as rear lower shock bushings. These required some washers one both sides to keep it centered. My bushings where shot, metal on metal.
 

tersplat

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 10, 2023
Posts
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Chesapeake, VA
Yes, I have them in my 2003 rear, I'm planning on putting them in the front as well.

Also, I used polyurethane bushing made for late 80s Chevy truck leaf springs as rear lower shock bushings. These required some washers one both sides to keep it centered. My bushings where shot, metal on metal.
That is interesting about the lower bushing as well. Do you have an exact model truck that you got them for, or the dimensions you used to figure out that they would work? I was losing hope on finding those bushings, and was going to print some out of polyeurethane.
 

Old School

Enthusiast
Joined
May 14, 2023
Posts
90
Reaction score
46
Location
North Alabama
That is interesting about the lower bushing as well. Do you have an exact model truck that you got them for, or the dimensions you used to figure out that they would work? I was losing hope on finding those bushings, and was going to print some out of polyeurethane.
Energy Suspension 3.2124


 
Top