Fitting Poly Bushes to the Suspension Dampers

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge The original Rover MGF suspension damper bushes are made of rubber, and can wear significantly over time, to the result that they can have a marked effect on the stability of the car.

Whilst rubber provides a softer feel to the ride, a far more responsive suspension can be achieved by fitting poly bushes, not just to the dampers, (to which this page is devoted) but also to all suspension bushes. To change the damper bushes only takes about 15-30 minutes per damper, and will be much easier to do if you have the use of a vice.

Click to enlarge You will also require an oil filter strap-type socket or wrench in order to be able to grip the outer tube of the suspension damper when both undoing and refitting the upper nut.

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge You must purchase and fit the bushes to all 4 dampers at the same time. They usually come in a set of 4, with each pack containing three individual bushes and suitable grease, which, in order to stop any creaks or groans, must be applied thoroughly as you re-fit the bushes.

When working under the car, ensure that it is well supported on axle stands.
Do NOT rely on the car jack alone.

  • Raise the vehicle onto axle stands and remove the wheel.

    Click to enlarge If you are working on the rear dampers, remove the engine compartment access panel/grill from the boot, and remove the nut securing the damper to the wing valance.

    Click to enlarge You will probably have to make use of the oil filter strap wrench in order to grip the outer tube (upper section) of the damper. Then remove the rubber bush and washer from the top of the damper.

    Click to enlarge Remove the nut and bolt securing the damper to the upper suspension arm.

  • Remove the damper.
  • If the lower bush has badly deteriorated, you will probably be able to simply lever the bush out of the lower end of the damper.

    Click to enlarge Clean out the bore, removing any loose rust etc., and apply grease to the bore. Then using a vice, clamp the damper and poly bush, making sure that the bush is square on to the bore. Slowly close up the vice until the bush is fully inserted. It should protrude an equal amount on either side.

    Click to enlarge Then, in a similar manner, insert the metal sleeve into the bush itself.

    Click to enlarge The completed assembly should look like this prior to refitting.

  • The upper bushes re-assemble with one fitted to the top end of the damper under the valance, and the other above the valance.

    Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Fit one upper bush to the damper, grease, and position the damper to the valance. Grease and fit the top bush and washer, and tighten the nut to 37Nm.

  • Fit the brake hose bracket, spacer, damper and washers to the fixing bolt. Fit the nut but do not tighten at this stage.
  • Fit the road wheel.
  • When both sides (working at front or rear) are complete, remove the stands and lower the vehicle.
  • Tighten both damper lower fixing nuts to 45Nm
  • Repeat for the opposite end of the vehicle.
  • Get the 4-wheel alignment checked and adjusted as soon as possible.