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Which trailing arm bushings?

  #1  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:59 PM
ChristianL's Avatar
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Default Which trailing arm bushings?

My trailing arm bushings are shot, so I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new set. The car's a daily driver on stock stuff (for now), but will probably see some handling upgrades in the future.

There's various brands out there with what I'm assuming is close to OEM specs, but I've seen Energy Suspension ones (which I've been advised to skip), and I've received a good recommendation for hardened ones from HardRace.

My question is, is there a reason why I shouldn't spend more for the hardened rubber ones from HardRace, and go with cheaper ones instead? Just seeing if going higher quality with the LTA bushings is worth the extra money.

Thanks in advance!
 
  #2  
Old 01-05-2012, 07:25 PM
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Having replaced the bushings on my civic, discovered thru some research that the new Honda OEM ones are the same as the mugen ones they use slightly stiffer rubber than previous version of OEM. Can't really justify the price difference from HardRace to OEM. Just a thought.
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 07:35 PM
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There are a few to choose from. OEM, Mugen, Megan Racing, PIC, HardRace, and Energy Suspension. There are also others making spherical bushings but that really shouldn't be considered in your situation.

Honestly, out of those, I'd either go with OEM, HardRace or PIC. Reason being, they are all made of solid materials and they follow the same basic OEM design. The only reason I leave the Mugen one out of it is because it is overpriced.. Megan Racing has a similar design and material as those as well, but it is also over priced and I really wouldn't trust Megan Racing on a product like this.

I'd recommend the OEM one most out of all of them. Mainly because there is nothing inherently wrong with the OEM ones. For instance mine lasted nearly ~200k miles/12yrs before I replaced them, and they still weren't terrible. If this is purely a street car, there is really no need for an aftermarket set at all. These are also the cheapest option.

HardRace and PIC are both nearly the same price as eachother, not much more than OEM ones, and they both utilize the same or very similar design as OEM and hard rubber. I like that they use the OEM design rather than changing it drastically like Energy Suspension does. I trust that the Honda engineers did their homework and there is nothing wrong with the design. HardRace and PIC are only doing a mild upgrade with material(hardened rubber) and simply leaving the function by design the same. This way, the trailing arm can still move in all the same directions as the OEM one, but it is a little more reinforced by the hardened rubber material.

The Energy Suspension bushings go away from the OEM design completely and they also use Polyurethane. I think the main problem is their design. It seems as if by this design change, it changes the characteristics of the trailing arm in motion. This has been discussed by people who have tried these bushings on their race cars and noticed their cars getting too much oversteer. They have also mentioned the cause of the oversteer is because the bushing is in a bind. This also seems to impact on irregular wear and possible "egging" out of the center of the bushing. With some negative reviews on this bushing, along with the design change(the negative reviews may easily be a result of this), puts me off for recommending or using these bushings. That being the main reason. The other is you have to burn off your OEM bushings and re-use the metal in them with the Energy Suspension bushing. Making the job of replacement that much more time consuming and difficult. They are the cheapest option out of them all, but, the extra effort and time in replacement and also the chance of premature wear makes the lower price seem insignificant to me.

For reference.

OEM bushing.

PIC bushing

HardRace bushing

Energy Suspension bushing
 

Last edited by civicexracer; 01-05-2012 at 07:41 PM.
  #4  
Old 01-06-2012, 01:55 AM
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Thanks for the input. It was actually civicexracer that turned me on the HardRace ones, and warned me about the ES ones.

The reason I asked is because I see there are some that range from $15 each at RockAuto all the way up to something like HardRace at $75/set. I didn't realize the OEM ones were available separately (all the schematics I've seen have the bushings coming with the whole trailing arm assembly) until I came across part number 52385-S21-003 and found them online for $30/ea.
 

Last edited by ChristianL; 01-06-2012 at 01:59 AM.
  #5  
Old 01-06-2012, 06:05 AM
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In case anyone cares (which I doubt...), I ended up going with OEM rates from Magauto. Just figured that I need some semblance of comfort for commuting on the roads around here, and thought I'd get some quality ones so I wouldn't have to do it again anytime soon. As a bonus, maybe they'll be the mythical upgraded OEM ones that are on par with the rates of the Mugen ones.

Plus, the HardRace site just looked sketchy.
 
  #6  
Old 01-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ChristianL View Post
Plus, the HardRace site just looked sketchy.
They are a fairly new company and growing. I will agree their home website is not the best, but I wouldn't let the deter anyone from their products. Their selling website is a little better: BuyHardRace.com. They make a lot of very good products and IIRC, the owners/founders of the company are heavily involved in racing. It's safe to say these products are being put to the test in extreme conditions. Since they are more oriented in racing, these products have been more saught after by fellow motorsports enthusiasts. It has only been recently that they are becoming more known with the "tuners".
 
  #7  
Old 01-19-2012, 05:12 AM
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Just as yet another follow-up, I spent this past weekend installing the OEM bushings. I ended up doing them with the arms still in the car (unbolted the alignment bolts at the leading edge, the two bolts at the bushings, and the two bolts where the upper control arm mounts to the car), and borrowing the vaunted Honda/Acura bushing removal tool.

Long story short, I can't imagine doing this job without one of those tools, but it still took me about 8 hours over two days. The passenger side went fairly smoothly (alignment bolts were rusted pretty good), but the driver's side fought me all the way. I ended up not being able to free the inner alignment bolt, and the bushing didn't want go in straight, but I eventually got it all to work out correctly. I didn't see any evidence of trauma on that side of the car, but it made me wonder if it got tweaked on the LR side at some point over the last two owners and 15 years.

Anyway, the old bushings were completely shot and cracked, and the car rides much, much, much better now (firmed it up quite a bit, too).

As far as bushings go, I recently met a local guy who's currently putting the HardRace ones on his EG, so I'll be interested to see how much more firm his car rides.
 
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