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'A' Arm Rubber Bushing Interchanges

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  • Frame / Springs: 'A' Arm Rubber Bushing Interchanges

    I have a total front end rebuild pending for the 62GT, including upper & lower 'A' arm rubber bushings (last replaced Oct 2011). Also, as of yesterday, I discovered the 63GT needs lower 'A' arm bushings (last replaced Nov 2012). I am all for supporting our vendors, but considering the labor involved, want to use only the best bushings available, with NEW rubber. I am squeamish about the recent run of repro uppers, that supposedly have a taper instead of a shoulder that butts up against the hole in the 'A' arm. The older style uppers may still be around, but that means "older" rubber. So I have been looking into interchanges, with new rubber, that can be made to fit right.

    In light of the above, today I ordered a set of brand 'X' upper and lower bushings. Pretty sure I can modify them to fit as good as OEM, using only a bench grinder and hack saw. Will not bother to say more, till I have successfully installed them. But it shouldn't be long, I plan to get to the 63GT ASAP, and have spare 'A' arms to work with.

  • #2
    Hi Joe,
    If I can interject here, I thought I would add my experience with the urethane products from Energy Suspension.
    Several years ago I did the entire suspension (front and rear) of a 1972 Hurst Olds Indy Pace Car Convertible. The results were that with much bigger sway bars, Bilstein shocks, much improved larger performance tires, modified steering box etc. it cornered like it was on rails and would out handle recent Mustangs and Camaros. Now the down side: I totally ruined the daily driving comfort on streets not racetracks. It literally rode like a Studebaker Buckboard. So now in my older stage of life. I endorse OEM rubber replacement, bigger bars and premium shocks (Bilstein & Koni) rather than race track material.
    Good luck in sourcing appropriate rubber components. You may want to try Robert Kaptyn in Joliet as when I was there he had a ton of OEM parts so maybe he could supply you with the appropriate bushings.
    Cheers, Bill


    • #3
      You can do Delrin on half, and rubber on the other half. ( Upper/ Lower ) You get the advantage of slower wear, tighter ride, and some rubber 'cushion' .....


      • #4
        I prefer the stock ride, so not interested in firming up with delrin or other firmer material. Just want bushings with soft new rubber, to hopefully last a long time, and be easily adaptable to fit Studebaker. Also, made by a reputable company, i.e. MOOG, would be a plus. Of course cost is important, but not everything.


        • #5
          I know where you are at with this. In a few short years the rubber is all cracked. I used to get my lowers from NAPA. But Dorman quit making them. I guess we'll have to find out who is making them for the x makes and see what can be done.
          Claude Chmielewski

          Fillmore, Wisconsin
          47 M-16 Truck
          53 Commander Regal HT
          53 2R5
          60 Lark VIII Convertible
          60 5E7 Champ pickup
          62 5E7 Champ no box
          62 GT Hawk 4 speed
          63 Lark VI parts car
          63 GT Hawk R2 4 speed
          64 Commander Wagonaire
          64 Daytona Convertible
          50 Champion Regal (parts car)
          36 Dictator
          36 Dictator in pieces


          • #6
            5- 7 years is about the expected life. There is nothing wrong with the bushings.


            • #7
              Joe the Gm uppers work but never did find anything that will interchange with the lowers. Only one close are some fords that are no longer available at the local parts stores.


              • #8
                Using alternate bushings will generally not be detrimental to the ride. Early Studes used steel bushings and they did not ride harsh.
                I have done four Stude front ends using polyurethane.

                Except: Do not use Delrin in an impact application.

                Delrin is one of the acetal type engineering plastics which is suitable for rotating shafts and low speed bearings. It is NOT impact resistant and will shatter if hit with a hammer.
                It is NOT suitable for suspension bushes.
                There are a lot of plastics in engineering use all with different properties.

                The most appropriate material to use is polyurethane.
                It is available in different duro. (hardness)
                You can buy moulded blanks and refinish by machining them.
                Freeze them to make machining easy.
                This material is used in most off road suspension systems and aftermarket components.
                Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_9440aa.jpg Views:	2 Size:	70.2 KB ID:	1708616
                You must also reverse the support washer because it will lock the bush if put on the original way.

                The old bush outer and inner are reused. You have to remove the inner bush in a press, or drill the rubber out.
                The poly bush MUST be able to rotate on the inner steel shell. The car will ride like a brick if you lock the bush up.
                Assemble with graphite grease.
                There is a 55 Commander, two Hawks and a Lark (not all mine) here with these bushes in and they are smooth as silk.
                I have driven 15,000 km's in my 60 Hawk now and just love the supple ride.

                Allan Tyler Melbourne Australia


                • #9
                  An update on (lower) bushing interchange: Per an online MOOG chart, Studebaker's K-3045 has same critical dimensions as K-322. The ID is same .875"; OD is stepped at 1.438" & 1.484". Overall length and inner sleeve length are close enough, and easily modified with pen knife (to trim rubber), hacksaw and/or bench grinder.

                  The K-322 is for 1954 Ford cars, miscellaneous 1955-60 FOMOCO, and 1968-1970 Checker Marathon. I found a 2013 vintage thread on H.A.M.B. where a Ford guy was looking for K-322, and said they were NLA, and no repros available. Several folks answered and tried to help, including a former MOOG rep. The thread ended without being solved.

                  Despite the above, on eBay I found lots of MOOG, NAPA and other brand upper & lower 'A' arm bushing kits for the above FOMOCO and Checker cars, They are available as NOS and off shore repro. So I ordered a MOOG set. Upon arrival, made in Mexico, the box was like new, and the rubber is soft and pliable. Re: dimensions, the length and OD looks easily adaptable to Studebaker. HOWEVER, the ID is not .825" as specified in MOOG's old chart, instead it is .750". Aparantly this kit has been FOMOCO and Checker's solution for decades, and they simply turn their 'A' arm shafts down .125" (.875" to .750"). It is tempting to do the same to the Studebaker, but I am gonna hold out and see what other options come along.

                  BTW, the above "kit", is MOOG #K-321, which used to be the number for just the FOMOCO/Checker uppers. Obviously a quiet switch around occurred sometime over the decades, as there are tons of the kits out there, using the old K-321 number. To me, the benefit of using a 10-20 year old NOS MOOG is the rubber compound. I'd avoid the more recent repros, since they likely contain the same rubber as Stude repros. For me, a 5-7 year life span is just not enough. So the quest continues.
                  Last edited by JoeHall; 11-17-2019, 08:10 AM.


                  • #10
                    Energy Suspension makes a fair number of bulk products (i.e. 2076 & 2892) that might be able to be modified to work and even have a steel insert machined to fit the shaft. I've done a fair amount of Delrin on my lathe and seem to remember doing some Energy Suspension polyurethane also. I just can't remember for the life of me what I did it for. CRS I guess.



                    • #11
                      Joe That is the only numbers I could find also for the lowers after going though a pile of part numbers and kept fitting a wall on availablity. The upper are the same as a chevelle or s-10 pickup.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by swvalcon View Post
                        Joe That is the only numbers I could find also for the lowers after going though a pile of part numbers and kept fitting a wall on availablity. The upper are the same as a chevelle or s-10 pickup.
                        You are likely taking about MOOG K-6108, which fits many 66-73 GM. I now have a pair of those also. It is too long, and shortening it would include shortening the outer case. That would be easy on a lathe, but also doable with a steady hand and metal cutter. Also, the OD is not stepped, other than a gentle .020" taper beginning at the middle. Again, easy with a lathe. In absence of a lathe, most here could grind a step in, with a steady hand and a fine stone grinder. So I agree K6108 is doable, but not a drop in fit. Still, I'd rather work with recent NOS K-6108s, than install off shore repros again.
                        Last edited by JoeHall; 11-17-2019, 05:10 PM.


                        • #13
                          No the ones I used on the 62 hawk uppers where Moog K-5196 They fit right in with no changes what so ever. Fit a ton of GMs like 72 Chevelle and 442 olds uppers. Rock auto has them in their low end line for $2.53 ea and daily driver at $5.76 I got mine local from O reillys auto parts for about the driver cost with no shipping.


                          • #14
                            Hi guys.Here is an assembly pic of the urethane bushes on an upper control arm.Click image for larger version

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                            Allan Tyler Melbourne Australia


                            • #15
                              FWIW the MOOG K5196 bushings are available on Amazon for $6.18/pr.
                              Jim Bradley
                              Lake Monticello, VA
                              '78 Avanti II