The first step to better handling is to replace worn rubber bushes with polyurethane ones. We follow Powerflex as they show you how to fit polybushes to a Mk3 Escort.
Lowering your car, fitting excellent tyres and making it adjustable is all a waste of time unless your suspension bushes are in excellent condition. Your car’s likely to be well over 20-30 years’ old and chances are it has the original bushes. They simply don’t last that long. If you want tight handling, you’d best replace them.
Normal cars use rubber to dampen noise and vibration, which is a cost-effective material but it has a limited lifespan. Polyurethane is much better at controlling movement, and can be stiffer, depending on the bushes’ intended application (for example, Powerflex do a race-range, which are black). It’s not cost effective for car manufacturers to use poly bushes, but if you want your car to handle better, then replace the lot with polyurethane — it eliminates the slop and they can last a lot longer. Gone too are the original parts that can corrode, as these are now replaced with stainless steel.
New poly bushes don’t have to be fitted all at once — you can replace one at a time, usually when you fit lowered springs and uprated dampers. As a Guinea Pig, we’re using Neil Boath’s project Mk3 Escort Estate that’s part-way through a Zetec install. He’s uprating the suspension, replacing the front end with RS1600i kit and adjustable control arms — hence the car currently has rusty standard suspension coming off and nice new and refurbished units going back on. Naturally, that’s complete with an excellent set of Powerflex bushes.
There are several stages in the conversion to poly bushes. First off, you’ve got to get the old system out, which can be easier said than done. Generally there are only a few types of bush, so we’ll cover fitting the basic ones. This way, there’s no need to repeat ourselves and show fitting the same ones on every component.
First off, let’s get some bits off the car and show how to remove the old bushes.
To download the feature as a PDF, click here: How to fit polybushes
This tech guide first appeared in the January 2017 issue of Classic Ford
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