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MazdaSpeed 3/6 - Suspension & Brakes Discussion for suspension items like coilovers, springs, sway bars, mounts,chassis bracing and brakes.


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 Old 05-27-2012, 10:54 PM   #1
 
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Default MS6 driver-side sway bar bushing removal

How the hell do I get the front bolt out? I can back it out a couple turns but then it hits the steering gear assembly. Do I have to unbolt and lift the steering gear out of the way? Is this a total PITA or just a couple bolts?
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 Old 05-27-2012, 11:10 PM   #2
 
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Drop the subframe?
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 Old 05-27-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
 
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Looks like steering gear / rack is bolted to the subframe (?)... don't have service manual in front of me. So drop sub, unbolt steering components, replace bushing? Any chance of moving the steering w/o dropping subframe?
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 Old 05-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by wdautrem View Post
Looks like steering gear / rack is bolted to the subframe (?)... don't have service manual in front of me. So drop sub, unbolt steering components, replace bushing? Any chance of moving the steering w/o dropping subframe?

Agh I shouldn't have suggested dropping the subframe in the first place. I'm completely unfamiliar with this area.

I hope you are able to offer some insight when you're done.
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 Old 05-28-2012, 08:40 AM   #5
 
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Well, the Svc Man says to remove the front sub-frame, but that's to remove the sway bar entirely. One of the first steps in the sub-frame removal is to unbolt the steering rack and tie it up/hang it up so it stays in place.

Sounds like you might need to loosen the rack and lift it enough to get to your bolt

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 Old 05-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
 
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That did the trick. I loosened up the one steering rack bolt on the passenger side a couple turns and removed the two bolts on the drivers side. I could then pry the rack up enough with a big screwdriver to back the bolt out the rest of the way.
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 Old 05-29-2012, 08:28 AM   #7
 
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@wdautrem - I'm planning to do the same install since I've got a wicked wobble/clunk sound coming from my front passenger wheel area whenever I drive. I bought the energy suspension parts the other day.

Is this what you used? >> Energy Suspension 9.5160 Universal - Greaseable Sway Bar Bushings 15/16 in / 24mm

Trying to gauge how much of a PITA this is gonna be. I figure after the Dread install nothing else would really be that bad.
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 Old 05-29-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
 
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Interesting.....

I'm troubleshooting a minor "clunk" from the front as well. Hadn't considered the FSB bushings, but will be checking that!

been through the usual stuff from suspension to sub-frame mounts etc. No big deal, gonna do a post on it once I nail it down & fix it....
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 Old 05-29-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
 
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I'll see if i can snap some pics when i get to the project. We have a 24MM FSB rigth? Kinda stupid since I already bought the bushing but would rather find out now than once it's all taken apart.
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 Old 05-29-2012, 09:09 AM   #10
 
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Yeah, front is 24, regular 6 is 23

this pdf has answers to crap loads of questions like that. You probably already have it, but for those searching in the future...
Mazdaspeed 6 Technical Training
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 Old 05-30-2012, 02:12 PM   #11
 
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Yah, those are the bushings I used except I got the black ones because they are graphite impregnated while the reds are not. The worst part of this is backing out the two bolts that hold the bushing in. They have some sort of loc-tite on them and will fight you to the very last turn. I highly recommend only using a 6 point socket on these bolts as they seem to be pretty soft and I was close to rounding one off by the time I got it out. For a wrench I used a swivel head ratcheting box-end and a set of these to attach the socket:

4 Piece Box Wrench Socket and Bit Adapter Set

I also had to use the dirty mechanic trick of linking a box end over the open end of the ratcheting wrench to get more torque and reach.

If you plan on re-using the OEM bolts I'd suggest chasing them to get all the crap out of the threads first.

This seems to have fixed the clunking, although it was the most pronounced when it was cold so I'll let you know in a couple days as we're supposed to have a cold snap.

FYI, unbolting the steering rack did move the neutral position of the steering wheel just a bit (~5 degrees), so it must be possible to bolt it back down in a slightly different position. Oh well, I was due for an alignment anyway.
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 Old 06-01-2012, 09:05 AM   #12
 
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Just ordered a set of the black ones.....
Thanks for the ES link

Hoping now for good weather next weekend
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 Old 06-01-2012, 09:56 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by wdautrem View Post
Yah, those are the bushings I used except I got the black ones because they are graphite impregnated while the reds are not.
I wont be able to install them for a couple weeks. What are the benefits of using the black, graphite impregnated ones over the regular urethane ones? Do you not have to grease the graphite ones? I may return mine and get the black ones if there is a significant benefit to them.

Originally Posted by wdautrem View Post
FYI, unbolting the steering rack did move the neutral position of the steering wheel just a bit (~5 degrees), so it must be possible to bolt it back down in a slightly different position. Oh well, I was due for an alignment anyway.
Also, does just changing the bushing change the geometry enough to warrant an alignment. Or is is due to the steering wheel angle being changed?
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 Old 06-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #14
 
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Per the ES site:

The only difference between the red and black parts is that most Black Energy Suspension parts are Graphite Impregnated. This serves to help self lubricate the bushings. The Red parts do not have this characteristic. Aside from the actual color and the lack of being Graphite Impregnated - the red parts are essentially the same as the black.

TOE adjustments are made by the moving the ball joint relative to the steering rack, in or out, and centering the wheel is accomplished in this way as well. You'll note one of the signs of a poor quality alignment is when the tech fails to keep your steering wheel centered.

Install of the bushings, and the loosening of the rack as part of that process, will not change your TOE settings, but you may get the off-center steering wheel as a result, just as you might with a crappy alignment.
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 Old 06-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #15
 
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I'm not sure how much the graphite actually contributes to keeping the bushing lubed, especially if you get the ones with the zerks and grease them semi-regularly.

Replacing the bushings won't in its self change geometry, but because I had to unbolt the steering rack and didn't get it back exactly where it was, it added a little offset to my wheel position. Plus over the winter I hit a pot hole hard enough to deform an OEM rim, so my alignment is a little suspect anyway.

I am happy to report though that after two days of colder weather and 400 some miles the clunk is indeed gone! Crazy that some warn out bushings can make it sound / feel like one of your struts is about to fall out.
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 Old 06-01-2012, 10:23 PM   #16
 
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Did you use ramps so the front stayed under load, or jack stands?
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 Old 06-01-2012, 10:44 PM   #17
 
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Hmm, I may have to do this as well, after I got my transmission replaced I noticed a clunk in my front suspension when going over bumps.
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