Powerflex Bushings - Lincoln LS Control Arms

Lincoln LS

  1. DeviLSh

    DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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    Powerflex Performance Bushings – Install & Review
    PFF/PFR-27: Jaguar S-Type (98-02) / Lincoln LS (00-06) / Ford Thunderbird (02-04)
    Product Page - Click Here -

    Overview:

    I wanted to make a thread to document my process with overhauling each of the 24 bushings on the LS. After searching online, discussing with other LS owners, and looking at what was available – I came across Powerflex-USA and decided to purchase and test. Please read on for background, install, and a review.

    Background - Who and what is Powerflex?
    Powerflex (PF) originated in the UK in 1996, and is ISO 9001 certified. They make aftermarket/replacement bushings for various applications. Mostly automotive. I have used their products before in non-LS applications with great results. Powerflex explains some of the benefits on their website of running powerflex over a stock rubber bushing. These benefits include but are not limited to:
    - Increased bushing life
    - Increased handling and precision
    - Better braking and extended tire life
    - Less dynamic alignment change under load, and decreased bushing deflection.

    Their FAQ and “Why Poly” sections of their website are great resources if you are not familiar with poly-bushings. PF uses two proprietary blends of poly, street (purple) and race (black). Race is roughly 15 durometer stiffer than the street blend. Increase in NVH with a poly bushing swap is rare, but your results may vary, depending on application and position of the bushing. Powerflex also warranties their bushings.

    Compatible Parts for our LS:
    When I initially went on their site I found that they offered Jaguar S-Type bushings – but nothing listed for the LS/T-Bird. Being a UK based company, it was no surprise that they offered a few Jag parts. After contacting the company about LS part availability – I was sad to hear they had not done any test fitting of the S-Type bushings to the LS. I noticed that there were two S-types listed: a 98-02 range, and 02-09. The chassis number (27) was the same in each group, and worth nothing, this number is also shared with the Jaguar XF product line.

    With a hunch on cross-fitment to the LS, I decided to research if any Jag guys had reviewed these before taking the plunge. Research on S-Type installs directed me towards various Jag owners who have ran the PF product line, and after some changes and revisions to the product from those pioneers, the bushings available today have yet to receive negative feedback from the community. With a warranty and modified design that should out last the OEM setups found on all DEW98 cars – It was time to give it a shot.

    I decided to order one of every 98-02 product they offer – knowing that the later S-Types have the redesigned front lower arms, I felt safer with this earlier product line being compatible with the LS. Below is their product diagram showing all control arm locations, as well as front and rear sway bar bushings.

    Diagram Picture
    IMG_7569_zpsqhdcn7jq.jpg

    Products after arrival
    Powerflex%20Product_zpsydtaxlhr.jpg

    The only bushings not offered by PF for the car are upper strut mounts, rear differential, and rear toe link bushings (knuckle side). PF told me that they tested a rear toe design and determined it was not a good location for a poly application.

    Without knowing if any of the bushings were compatible to the LS, I decided to order a spare set of control arms to work on. I ordered each of the 8 LS control arms from BWAuto Dismantlers – Great Auto Recycler to deal with and good prices. 3 days later the arms showed up.

    OEM Lincoln LS Control Arm Set

    Stock%20Arm%20Layout_zpsqyxavkh2.jpg
    Each arm is labeled with a corresponding bushing number found in the PF diagram. Basic eyeballing suggests the bushings are all the right size.

    Front Lower Arm
    Front%20Lower_zpssxkaq4yy.jpg

    Front Upper Arm
    Front%20Upper_zpsqmdjipcd.jpg

    Rear Upper Arm
    Rear%20Upper_zpsnqwqnjbg.jpg

    Rear Lower Arm
    Rear%20Lower_zpsoqow5aat.jpg
    (Note the sleeved design of the rear lower units) This allows for easier installation as one side has a shoulder preventing it from going in too far. The shouldered edge mates to the machine face of the control arm. The bushing will seat itself halfway, and the remainder of the unit needs to be pressed in until properly seated.

    #610 half pressed in

    610-Needs%20Press_Machineside_shoulder_zpswml7jnyx.jpg

    Removing OEM Bushings:
    Feeling good enough to move on with the project after measuring, the next step was to remove the stock units. This can be done the hard way (torch, cutting, pounding) or the easy way (Shop Press, 20+ ton typically). I used both methods based on what was available to me over the course of 1-2 weeks. Using the right tooling is critical to prevent damaging the cast arms. If you have access to grade 8 or 10 hardware, you can also make your own press tools with metal pipe, washers, and flanges. I only had success with installing bushings this way, not removing. My bolts broke due to using a low grade bolt. For the rest of the bushings, I heated the arm (not the bushing directly). After a few minutes the rubber bond to the OEM sleeve will melt, allowing you to pop out the center section, and make a relief cut into the metal sleeve. NOTE – none of the OEM bushing sleeves are reused with the Powerflex units. If you do not have a vise, torch, hack saw, patience, or eye for safety, PLEASE leave this to a shop or press operator. I had a few “whoops” moments that made me want to slow down and take it easy. Please exercise caution and care. Stay safe out there! A few in progress pics of this process.

    Custom press tooling. I would recommend more washers as these can compress.
    custom%20press_zpsec3m9dxx.jpg

    Fire
    Fire_zpsdecdzoro.jpg

    Center portion punched out after burning
    center%20punched_zpsemz6idzg.jpg

    This is position #610 – the all rubber bushing found in the rear-lower control arm. This unit I heated the arm to remove the rubber, and then used a hack saw to make a relief cut in the sleeve. Once the cut is made and the sleeve can be pried up into the hole, pressure is released, and the sleeve is tapped out. Be sure not to cut into the control arm.

    610 relief cut
    610_ReleifCut_zpsniqbi0io.jpg

    The front Lower control arm has two unique elements. The first being that the large front bushing is offset towards the front of the car, and also has an offset through hole that is inset towards the center of the arm/outside of the car.

    Offset bushing
    offset%20bushing_zpscho8lfqw.jpg

    The other unique element, is that the rear position bushing is a multi-layer bushing, and is of a two piece design. At first glance it appears the arm has a lip cast into the edge of the bushing housing. But a light tap on this edge reveals it is indeed the outermost layer, or outer sleeve of the OEM bushing.

    #602 Lip
    602-Lip_zps1fg6qhwl.jpg

    PF did not include instructions for this bushing, and without being able to confirm the ID of the arm, I proceeded to remove the center section(s) first, in case I needed to retain this sleeve. I first cut the outside bushing collar off to reveal a cross section. Then I guided the saw blade through the bushing hole and cut a radius cut until hitting the last layer of rubber. See cross section below.

    602 cross section
    602_Cross%20Section_zpshansr5s1.jpg

    Two more layers out
    602_twopiece_cross_zpsjb67czzj.jpg

    At this point, it was apparent the bushing was split into two halves, and pressed in from both sides of the arm at the factory. (Powerflex also uses a two-halve design for their replacement). So I removed one side only to test the diameter. Without the sleeve, the powerflex unit fit nice and snug, so out came the rest.

    602 outer sleeves
    602_outer%20Sleeves_zps1aof37wu.jpg
    If replacing this bushing, you do not need to cut layer by layer like I did, I would start by prying or tapping out the outer lips in a circular motion around the arm. Once you have enough surface area, you can bend the bushing inward and relieve the outward pressure into the arm. Then pop out each half.

    The remainder of the bushings are straight forward. Press or punch them out. A proper shop press will make the best use of your time. When you are all done, you should have a pile similar to this.

    IMG_7781_zps3omphato.jpg

    Arm Prep:
    Any flashes, cuts, grooves, scratches on your arms from the removal process should be ground down with a rotary/sanding tool, then smoothed over. I used a dremel sanding bit, then some 400 grit, and finally a scotch brite pad for final cleaning and smoothing. When you are all done, you should have a clean and debris-free hole for your new bushings. Safe from tearing into the new Poly units.

    610, pictured earlier – all clean
    610_Open_zpszwwgtys1.jpg

    Front Lower Arm – front position (offset bushing)
    601_Clean_zps669yjzln.jpg

    Front upper control arm
    Pressed%20Out%20-%20Clean_zpsns9dwg5n.jpg

    Installing the new bushings:
    Install is essentially the reverse of removal. A majority of the poly units can be installed with a vice and sockets/various plates if you are careful and apply equal pressure. Otherwise a press, ball joint press, or other creative ways will work. Again – SAFETY FIRST. If you have to ask yourself “Is this method safe?” then it probably is not! Ask a local shop to assist you. Most will charge $20-$75 for pressing things out and in if they have the tooling and you bring them the arms already off the car. The rear lower arm bushings need to go in one direction – the shouldered edge of the bushing shell should rest on the machine surface of the arm. Be sure to use the metal sleeve when pressing, and try to avoid contact with the poly as you could over-compress and damage the material, prematurely causing it to fail. Secondly, the large front lower arm bushing needs to maintain its original offset orientation, and is fed in only one way. PF engraves and arrow on the side of the bushing to assist your install. All others are non-directional bushings, and need to be installed as you would a normal bushing.

    After bushings are in the arms, it’s time to lube them up and pop in the metal bolt shafts/center guides. Powerflex supplies one of two types of grease for this. One is a PTFE and the other is a copper based grease. I used each of the PF greases where supplied. (They give you small packets in each product box). You want to apply grease to the center bore of each bushing, as well as the exterior of the center shaft (bolt guide). Wipe away an excess after you insert the guide. Check for tears, or uneven mounting, and admire your work.

    Upper Arms
    Upper%20Arms_zpsd8ia04mi.jpg

    Front Lower
    Front%20Lower%20Complete_zps7wsiisky.jpg

    Rear Lower
    Rear_Lower_Complete_zps6js8arlp.jpg

    Arm Install:
    At this point your arms are ready to be installed into the car. The only thing to note would be that positions #10 and #11 include washers for each side of the bushing where they meet the knuckle and sub-frame. Otherwise, you can use the stock repair procedure for installing these arms onto the car. (See link below). Remember to only loosely tighten all bushing hardware, and torque each after the suspension is compressed at ride height. I used a jack under the knuckle to compress my suspension for final torqueing.

    Rear Bushing close-ups (note washers)
    IMG_7957_zpstpgkauwy.jpg

    Front Installed Pic - Upper
    IMG_8064_zps24xhui5z.jpg

    Front Installed Pic lower – Note new cam bolts used (Moog Part)
    IMG_8062_zpsmtp3lwal.jpg

    If any bushings make noise after install, you likely did not apply even coverage of grease to the center shaft. So be sure to be liberal in your initial application.

    Various recent topics have been discussed regarding the End of Life (EOL) for many of the LS suspension hardware, that per the manual is not to be reused. These bolts are not torque to yield (stretch bolts) but all nuts have nylon inserts due to variable expansion of the arms vs its steel mounting location. If you cannot source new hardware, I recommend cleaning any corrosion and residual OEM thread locking compound of the bolts. I did this with a wire wheel. Then reapply some thread locking compound to the threads before re-installing. The BEST method is new hardware. The dealer reused all hardware on my recent warrantied arms, for what its worth.

    Rear sway bar bushings (17.5mm – Sport models only). Will require slight modification (shaving) to fit

    **NOTE – these are very stiff, but so are the stock units. This is probably not a huge upgrade, and it’s a bit of extra work – so if your stock units are not in bad shape I wouldn’t bother replacing unless you are hell bent on doing the full poly conversion. My stock ones were cracked, and upon removal they fell into pieces, so I was ok with modifying these to fit.**

    Before your new rear arms are bolted up and since there is nothing in your way, now would be a good time to loosen the 4 rear sub frame bolts, lower the subframe, and unbolt the brackets that hold the rear bar to the sub frame. You need the subframe down roughly 1.5”. Maybe less if your hands are small enough. I highly recommend a ratcheting box wrench for this. And small hands for handling the hardware in this area.

    Subframe Lowered
    Subfame%20Lift_zpsgqjdo5rz.jpg

    The powerflex sway bar bushings are labeled as 17.5mm, however, I noticed that mine were barely 17mm at the ID, and the LS sway bar is between 18.0-18.5 mm. I used a dremel to bore out the inside a bit, a round file would probably also work. You want enough room to grasp the bar, and not put too much compression stress on the bushing when bolted. This would be an easy fix for Powerflex as the exterior dimensions are compatible from the S-Type, but not internal. Again, based on the modification needed – purchasing is not recommended if you need new ones.

    Stock vs PF – RSB Bushings
    IMG_7934_zpsgjs53eav.jpg

    Bushing Dimension Pic – before and after modification
    IMG_7943_zpsyjjp7jnf.jpg

    Normally, I would have taken the measurements and sent them back to PF – but I needed my car for work, and the stock ones fell apart on me so they weren’t going back in. I also had to trim the bottom edges a bit to fit snug into the brackets. Each time I test fit the bushing, I could not get it to wrap around the bar completely, and the bushing would not seat fully. I trimmed it lightly until I got a nice snug fit. The final ID above is where I left off.

    Fitment Comparison
    IMG_7939_zpsszbiydgw.jpg

    Bushing Closeup – Note the trimming on the bottom edges to conform to the rear subframe brackets.
    Trimmed-RSB_zpsaamitynf.jpg

    Finally, I was able to initiate the threads of the bolt and locking nut, and I was able to torque it down.

    Tighten the clamps and re-secure the rear sub frame. Install your rear sway links and remember they should attempt to be tightened with the car at rest, to avoid pre-load on the sway bar. I also like to rotate the sway bar before installing links to distribute the grease around the bushing.

    Front Sway Bar bushings – 31.5mm. - NOT COMPATIBLE with GenII LS
    The powerflex S-Type units for the front bar will not fit the gen2. The gen2 (03-06) has an integrated design that clamps the bushings. And the brackets cannot be reused. These may fit gen1, but I was unable to confirm. The bushing does however fit over the gen2 bar, but you cannot reuse the OEM brackets. It may be possible to purchase these units, a set of locking collars, and Gen1 (or jaguar) brackets.

    Front Sway Bushing Pic
    IMG_8051_zpsd6t9iafm.jpg

    Summary:

    So there you have it! Jaguar 98-02 Stype control arm bushings from Powerflex do indeed fit the Lincoln LS (00-06) and are a suitable and warrantied replacement option for those looking to upgrade, or simply have a serviceable unit. I would rate the difficulty of this job a 6 out of 10, in that without access to a press it can be time consuming. After the first few though, you get the hang of it. If your LS is your only car (like mine is to me) then I recommend picking up a spare set of arms to work with from a junkyard or part-out. It allows you to take your time and split this job into manageable parts. Press out, clean, press in, install. The work of swapping the arms is not too bad, but would take most of a day. As always, perform an alignment after installation, and follow OEM tq specifications for all bolts on the vehicle. Enjoy the new sharpness and precision in the LS, and start carving roads without worry of those torn bushings.

    If I had one complaint, it would be that PF did not include instructions for all units. Only Position #1 and #11 were accompanied with instructions. The rest are I guess, self-explanatory, and you can apply #11’s to both #10 and #12. But if you only ordered #12 – you would never know those instructions exist. Since I ordered the whole kit, I was thankfully informed. Use OEM repair manuals online or printed for reference. (see Link Section Below).

    Cost:
    While pricey, consider the cost of a replacement arm, or if you are a long term LS owner, the cost potentially second replacements of the OEM units you replace it with. PF is on par with racing green replacement cost, and with the added warranty from PF, you are in good shape if they ever go out on you. If you were going to pay a shop to remove the arms, swap bushings, and reinstall, then this may not be the best project for the “not in love with your LS” crowd. But I DO love mine, and can appreciate an improved handling dynamic, so this was a no brainer for me. My front uppers wore out, and my rear lowers were shot as well. It was only a matter of time before the front lowers and rear uppers went out. My car is a 2006 and had 78k when I pulled my arms. Worth noting that every single bushing showed signs of damage, or wear.

    Total Estimated Costs:
    Bushings - $900 Shipped
    Spare arms - $350 Shipped
    Press Labor - $50-100
    4 Wheel Alignment - $100
    Misc. Tools, blades, beverages - $25
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Total - $1,425-$1,475.


    Conclusion:
    Please let me know if you have any comments, concerns, or questions and I will do my best to answer or edit my post accordingly. My goal was to test fit this product and let the LS community know that we have some more options (and in my opinion, BETTER options) for bushing replacement. Please see my next post for a full review of driving feel, and an eventual long-term review.

    Thanks to: LLSOC & LVC, BigRigLS, TiJoe, Dave, Lynn and Jonathan @ PFUSA, Billy Brand, Mike Roth, and Dom B. For your all your help with this project.

    Resources:
    www.powerflexusa.com

    Moog Camber Bolt Kit:
    http://www.aftermarketsuspensionparts.com/moog-k80061

    Bushing Removal w/o a Press (Great write up)_
    http://www.aftermarketsuspensionparts.com/blog/how-to-burn-out-suspension-bushings-the-right-way/

    Gen2 Lincoln LS OEM Repair Manual by Owlman
    http://deneau.info/ls/
     
  2. DeviLSh

    DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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    Reserved for Driving Review
     
  3. DeviLSh

    DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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    Integrated Ball Joints
    Each of the four upper control arms on our cars have an integrated ball joint. It is pressed and secured into the arm from the factory, and is allegedly a non-service item. Like mostly everything on these cars, the rubber boots wear away with time, and contaminate the joint. This will eventually contribute to wear of the joint and added play. This transmits to shaky steering feel and audible groans/creaks while driving. The OEM procedure is to replace the entire arm. If you are proactive with boot wear, and have no play in the unit, then you can preserve the life of the joint by swapping boots.

    Thanks again to the Jag forums, I was able to locate some rubber boot kits that matched the OEM arms. These are from eBay, and are a 15x23x31 boot kit. They ship from Bulgaria, but arrived to me in Chicago in 3 days. (Not bad!) They are a little more difficult to seat, and are hard to keep on until the clamps are positioned. I reused the OEM spring style clamps. I may swap these out for snap ring style clamps in the future. They are a solid rubber and are also available in Poly. I opted for rubber.

    Boot comparison
    Boot%20comparison_zpsky8agepu.jpg


    After they are all installed, test the range of motion to reveal any fitment issues, or tears from handling the clamps. You will notice that in this picture, only one of my arms has the OEM centering collar. These need to be on the arms for installing into the knuckle correctly. Be sure the arms you are using retain these, or confirm they are seated in your knuckle. They are removable if you need to swap them over to a new reclaimed set, like I have done since my donors were missing them. I used a jaw puller, properly centered. Securing them I used a socket and vice, with a dab of liquid Lock-tite.

    New Boots
    New%20Boots_zps1nvsl79i.jpg


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/321423871907?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
     
  4. hite337

    hite337 Hite Performance

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    Best write up in years! Good job, you have now given LS owners a new option for their suspension.
     
  5. tijoe

    tijoe Active LVC Member

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    I second that! Fantastic job. Can't wait on feedback on how the car handles.
     
  6. RigsLS

    RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Devil, amazing attention to detail in your documentation of this project, my hats off to you for sure.

    I do very much appreciate all your efforts and will certainly myself also attempt the rear LCA bushing swap some time down the road.
    The cost vs. total OEM arm replacement is something I will continue to review, there are deals out there as long as one if prepared to search and pony up.

    Very cool and a thousand thank you's ... very impressed with your efforts and research.

    KUDO's x 10000


    [bookmarked]



    EDIT - - - -

    The rear uppers, which I've replaced a few of, to me at least are somewhat affordable brand new vs. the cost, time and effort with this press out, press in ordeal. It's the costly rear lowers that pains me.
     
  7. 02LincLS

    02LincLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Glad it went well- looking forward to the drive review!

    Rig, I bought new uppers too since they weren't that bad. But man, the lowers. I've had a set of these PF bushings for front lowers for a while and haven't had the time to do it. This winter I hope!
     
  8. RigsLS

    RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yeah, I hear ya, I've been giving the outer bushings on the rear LCA, both sides an occasional injection of PB Blaster on the 04 LSE but the "Too Many Cheeseburgers" induced squeak comes back every time after a month or so. Time to pony up ... knew that Devil was working on this so wanted to see if I could get away with just the bushings on them expensive lowers.

    Have a spare 1st GEN rear lower I pulled at a U-Pull-It yard, couldn't get the other side off, one through bolt and nut was determined to not let me have both that day and I never did go back for another attempt. They are/were very fresh and clean looking, bushings look brand new. Only got the one off that day but have it kicking around to attempt some swapping.

    Still need to find out if 1st GEN rear lower fits into 2nd GEN. Haven't been able to find/get an answer on that. Listed as different part numbers all through out.

    It was a cheap enough of a heist to keep it around in the case the 01 LS begins to act up.

    Bushings on the 04 LSE are not all torn up or anything but it needs attention. TMC induced squeak is embarrassing when leaving an uneven lot somewhere. Even leaving my driveway onto the roadway I can hear it.

    <shrugs> in due time, I'm sure.



    Still big kudo's to Devil on this subject, very well done, very neat and clean work also. Top notch DIY'er
     
  9. DeviLSh

    DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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    Apparently you can only edit a post within a week of its initial release. Oops.

    It has been almost 2 months, and about 2,000 mi of varied driving on the LS since installing the bushings. Daily commute, highway, rain&dry, spirited/aggressive, and full passenger trips have all been experienced. I have written below a short review of these bushings for anyone else on the fence about ordering. Please note that while worn, my car was NOT driving poorly prior to this install. I installed new tie rods (Inner & Outer), Front wheel bearings, front lower ball joints, and one passenger strut mount in addition to the bushings. I am familiar with the driving dynamics of a car on aftermarket bushings and the LS exhibits these as well. I recognize some may discount my positive review of these bushings and would rather contribute it to the other new parts installed. I am confident both those parts, and the bushings are responsible for improvements.

    In general - I have zero complaints, and the bushings are still working absolutely fine! No failures, tears, or noises.

    Driving:
    The car feels GREAT. The first drive it was immediately noticeable how taught and firm the car was. I was afraid to hit the first bump, fearing it might be too harsh, but I was rewarded with a firm, composed suspension feel. The car rode like it was new, and in my opinion felt even better (as in more comfortable) than stock. The car has become more precise, and driver inputs are recognized and felt with less delay than stock. The car never felt like a town car to me, but a good amount of that "lincoln" feel has left, and when entering a corner you feel much more confident about what the car is doing, and where its going. There is less disconnect from driver to road, and the car feels eager to be pushed. The car responds quicker to bumps and dips in the road, similar to stiffer struts on aftermarket suspension. The car's rebound and travel time has been shortened, allowing for quicker reactions of the suspension and a less overall washy feel. This has been the best change so far, all the while there is no harshness that makes you wish you still had the stock stuff. Things like railroad tracks, speedbumps, curbs, etc. All feel great in the car still. Mother in law rode in the car, and did not complain once about the ride comfort. The dogs still fall asleep in the back seat, and the boss still asks me to drive to lunch. If you are like me, any of those tests should put some relief on how others view your car vs your own biased opinion.

    Driving even harder:
    These are replacement parts with a performance aspect. Some Jag owners cited unpredictable behavior in their cars driving dynamics when installing upgraded bushings into their S-Types. The lower trailing arm design of our rear suspensions has some specific duties, and when you remove the added articulation of the stock metal swivel bushings with the solid poly units. You lose some of those movements. Like most OEM designs, a majority of this purpose is to enhance comfort under rough conditions. I even asked PF about how their design does not allow the same movement of the OEM bushings, and was told that i need not worry. After the driving, and this review, I can personally attest the car feels great. I feel even better knowing that these oem bushings fail all the time, and I now have a warrantied part even if it does fail. I have yet to notice any irregular braking, handling, or otherwise scary characteristics of this car as a result of the upgrade. Things are in my opinion and driving style - better than before. Much, much better.

    The car launches from a stop harder, and the anti-lift/anti-dive design built into the LS from the factory has been reinforced with the swap. In an over steer situation, the car is manageable and poised. Almost as if it has been given stiffer dampers and springs. There are times in the rain where I can get this car sideways very easily and the slide is incredibly easy to maintain in terms of control. There is no slap back, no over correct whiplash or bucking. it glides out and glides in. You can command it into a corner, or ease in and feel the same confidence regardless. The car's sway bar setup now with no "give" does make the under steer preferred engineering more pronounced. But when in doubt...throttle out, right? This is a personal preference, but i have always preferred my cars to have a stiffer rear.

    In times of traction loss, such as oversteer, launch, shifts, burnouts... The car has a better ability to do its job with less suspension travel. the contact patch is more easily maintained, and the travel's increased reactive speed means less time for things to go wrong. My best example of this would be the 1-2 shift chirp. Before, this car felt pretty unstable on these shifts, and would sometimes put me in not the safest situations. Now, the car chirps, and chirps less... and stays straight during the wheelspin. At first I thought it was traction variables, but I started going to all my favorite spots and found each time the car was driving better than before. The shifts are also more firm, and the car feels as if it is accelerating harder. While probably a placebo feeling, it is a welcomed trait that I am happy with.

    So where is the bad news?

    Not much really. Cost I suppose will deter most, and if not that, the labor involved in doing the swap. but here are a few more things I would qualify as reasonable complaints, or cons with this product.

    1) The rotation of the bushings and their packed grease makes a sound every once and a while. like a balloon wrapping around a wet bottle. Or a smack of the lips after you put on chaptstick. My thought is it is air escaping from the channel of the bushing. Nothing is felt when I hear this noise in the steering wheel or in the car. But it is slightly (and I mean slightly) audible from the outside. This could also be the new ball joint boots I used, seating and re-seating themselves after the parts hit a bump and straighten out.
    2) Brake feel. When coming to harder stops, some NVH is now being transmitted. This only seems to be those stale yellows that cause you to really get on the brakes, and its in the last 15-20ft of your stop only. But there is some braking noise that gets transferred to the cabin now from the car.
    3) Less give - when jacking. The LCA's inability to flex now means that when jacking up one corner of the car at a time, you get the occasional weird shift of the vehicle as it gets raised. So chock your wheels and lift slowly.
    4) Road feedback. The car now feels the road. So things like uneven surfaces, shoulders, low curbs, and divets from trucks in the road become way more noticeable and the car wants to track. It means you need to be more aware of the road around you, especially in times of poor weather or spirited driving. I personally prefer a car that transmits the road to me, not one where it gets lost in electronic steering, soft mounts, and quiet cabins. But some like a car that just goes straight. This is worth noting if you live in areas of heavy truck traffic. While it will follow the road, it is also very easy to correct, and you feel confident in where your wheels are. (note - my rear toe links are worn and this could be a major factor in this dynamic)
    5) Other vehicle parts. As with most modifications, you do one, and you quickly notice something else that needs improvement. PF bushings will get rid of one of the many mid points between you and the tires. That being said, things like bad brakes, bad struts, poor tires, or faulty steering components are going to be much more noticeable if they were bad before. This is logical, but some people will blame bad driving symptoms on the new part, when with bushings, its usually now the bad part is more noticeable. Always remember that your car is a harmony of many parts, and introducing these guys to the party, might make the others act differently. :)

    Cliff notes:
    1) Braking, cornering, acceleration, and overall driving feel are improved
    2) At the limit, the car has given me increased confidence
    3) I have succeeded in not getting complaints from those non-car people who just dont "get it"
    4) Cons are minimal, and are going to be cons for you, based on subjective opinion, or levels of tolerance.
    5) I am happy with my purchase and install, and now want to move on to strut/spring upgrades, as this is now a highlighted weak point in an otherwise well handling car.

    Thanks for reading, and if anyone would like more feedback, has questions, etc. I am more than happy to provide.
     
  10. 02LincLS

    02LincLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Any further updates? Under the bad news section of your last post, item 4 mentions road tracking. This doesn't seem normal, especially if you had no significant issues before. Have you replaced anything since this write-up that has resolved that? Reason I ask is because I'm trying to fix a squeak and a darty feeling in my rear suspension. Have new toe links and upper arms about to go in and I was hoping that would resolve it. However, other posts around the forums seem to indicate it still might be a LCA bushing. I already have the front LCA bushings from PF (though not installed) but the back LCA set is pricey at $300 shipped. At that price, I better not have any road tracking. Its one thing to feel pull because of a wide tire, etc. but as long as the steering wheel is held firm, the car should remain on path. Tracking due to worn parts is what gives the unstable feeling, and steering input is required to stay in a lane vs just holding firm. Can you elaborate more having some more miles on it? Thanks!
     
  11. DeviLSh

    DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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    Upon my initial review, I was on original (worn) toe links. I swapped over to the rimmerbro "aftermarket" links shortly after, and had a fresh alignment done. Car felt great for about a week.

    I am now still currently experiencing tracking behavior, or a washy rear-end on certain road imperfections. Mainly when the rear end travels over uneven patches of road or crowned lanes. I have noticed that my "new" links have already lost their boots and look like hell, I also have minor play in them if I grab the wheel at 3 & 9. The knuckle seems to rock in and out and the only play I see movement is the toe link. At this time, I cannot confidently attribute the cars behavior to the bushings as I have not been confident in these links from the get go.

    Just to be clear - I am not the type of person to lie just to justify a purchase or decision of mine either, so If I come to the conclusion after I get new (better) toe links on the car in the next two weeks or so that the car still tracks weird -I will update you and this thread. I will also tell Powerflex about my experience. Like I said though, until I can rule out potential toe link blame, I can't say. The few days after the new links were on,the car felt fantastic and I drove on the same roads I do every other day. I tried to reproduce the sketchy tracking I had before and could not . Stiff and taught and under control.

    The articulating nature of the stock pivot bushings compared to the fixed and minimal flex position of the PF rear lca bushings could definitely contribute to my symptomsI suppose, but so could dynamic toe from the bad links right?

    Will let you know!
     
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    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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      Installed new rear toe links, car tracks fine and drives very well. I am currently not in a position to blame these powerflex bushings for any negative road responding issues. :)
       
    • MONTE 02 LS

      MONTE 02 LS Active LVC Member

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      Are those also the inner and outer tie rod? If so I might have similar issue.
       
    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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      The front of the LS has an inner/outer.

      The rear toe links are similar design, but are more of a two-piece lateral link, not a true inner and outer tie rod style. Rear links are a common failure part on the LS.
       
    • MONTE 02 LS

      MONTE 02 LS Active LVC Member

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      Ok, First off my car was fine driving down the road fast or slow. Now after I lowered it with eibach springs,sport series shocks, Moog end links and the after market rear toe links from rimmer bros for the jag, my car is now like being on a surfboard. I'm feeling the same way at first it was great but now it's almost scary when going to fast. If I let off the gas hard it will upset it. What toe link did you change to?
       
    • RigsLS

      RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Second reporter of bad Rimmerbro rear toe adjust linkages.

      Not cool :( ... mine in the 04 LSE seem to be holding up fine but do have near new OEM's coming out of my wife's 03 parting out LS soon.

      Should send off a note to RimmerBro UK.
      All JAG guys picking them up.
      Was suppose to be Deeza build in my comparisons.

      Bad news.
       
    • 04_Sport_LS

      04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Might want to take it somehwere and have the alignment re-checked. Possible that with the springs "settling in" after a bit,,, the alignment could be [more] out of spec now.
       
    • 04_Sport_LS

      04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Are the Rimmerbro toe links passive or non-passive? As a note... since my rear suspension rebuild,,, the Lemforder Non-passive units I installed,,, are holding up well.
       
    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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      Rimmerbro links were non-passive. Mine failed at the inside/sub-frame end. Lot of in & out play.

      Using Moog 00-02 stype now (also non-passive), so far so good.
       
    • MONTE 02 LS

      MONTE 02 LS Active LVC Member

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      I got the bare metal ones without rear steering(non passive I believe)
       
    • MONTE 02 LS

      MONTE 02 LS Active LVC Member

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      Yup for sure, will have to.
       
    • 04_Sport_LS

      04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Just for reference:

      LEMFORDER 3358901 (33589 01) Tie Rod Assembly (inner & outer) $ 98.79 $ 0.00 2 $ 197.58
      Discount $ -9.88
      Shipping Ground $ 7.99
      Order Total $ 195.69

      I'm not calling them tie rods. That's how they are listed on RA.
       
    • MONTE 02 LS

      MONTE 02 LS Active LVC Member

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      CONFIRMED. I took the car somewhere else for alignment and it showed fine. the person who owns the shop tried to fine tune it and were suspisious of the links, I ordered the OEM replacement ones from rimmerbros. and had them installed and realigned and it's riding on rails.
       
    • JINT0NIC

      JINT0NIC LVC Member

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      Any inputs on street (purple) bushings vs race (black)? Do black have less comfort?
       
    • DeviLSh

      DeviLSh Dedicated LVC Member

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      Replied to your PM

      For everyone else's reference. Last time I spoke with PF, they were only offering black for any of the control arm units on the LS going forward. They determined the purple was too weak for the application. They noted no return requests or failures on the black units.
       
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