Suspension bushings are an overlooked item on many vehicles and unless they are squeaking or groaning, we really don’t pay much attention to them. Cracked, split, or oil-soaked bushings are typically removed using a propane torch to burn the bushing out, a hacksaw to cut the outer metal sleeve, and a heavy-duty press to press the new ones in.
But consider the fact that burning the rubber emits toxic fumes and that most people don’t own a press or want to buy an expensive, specialized tool. We’re here to offer an alternative DIY solution using what’s called the threaded rod technique.
The “threaded rod technique” consists of a simple build-a-tool that uses an oversize socket to “receive” the old bushing and another socket to push the new bushing through. In order to remove the OEM steering rack bushings from our Honda S2000 we built a homemade press out of a piece of threaded rod, a nut, washers, and two sockets.
We began the removal process by finding a socket just smaller in outside diameter (OD) than the bushing in the steering rack (to chase the bushing out). On the opposite end of the rod, we used a socket with an inside diameter (ID) larger than the OD of the bushing to be removed to provide area for the displaced bushing to travel into. To remove the bushing, we inserted a bolt through the bushing and two sockets, and sealed it using flat-washers and a coupler nut before we began tightening while using a wrench to hold one side of the bolt to prevent the rod from turning the nut. When assembling your “threaded rod,” make sure there is enough meat on those washers so the nut doesn’t cave the washer into the socket.
It should only take a couple of minutes, or seconds if using an impact gun, to push the bushing out. You can also use this method in reverse order to insert new bushings.