Auto Repair Q&A



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Body Mount Bushings

Bad Body Mount Bushing

There are two reasons to replace the body mount bushings on a vehicle. The first is because the old ones have worn out with age - a common occurrence on vehicles over 10 years old, especially those that have seen hard use such as trucks and 4x4s. The other reason is to add lift bushings to raise the height of the vehicle, which is also common in trucks and SUVs when the owner wants to install larger tires and a suspension lift.

In either case, the procedure for replacement is the same, the only difference being the size of the bushings and bolts to be re-installed.

What do body mount bushings do?

Body mount bushings are the rubberized barriers between the vehicle's frame and its body. The frame is usually hard steel or rigid aluminum and the body will be made of composite materials that might include metals, polymers, etc. Where these are connected on a vehicle, there will be bushings that go between the connections to create a cushioned barrier that keeps the body and frame from rubbing together.

This is a large part of the vehicle's comfort, suspension, and overall design for durability. Direct connections between the body and frame would make for a rough ride and a lot of wear as the two rub together.

How to replace body mount bushings.

Replacement of the bushings is fairly straight forward and easy to do. They are usually in pairs - one on the left side, one to the right, directly opposing one another.

Take the bolts off of each of the pairs and then apply a jack to either side, one at a time, to lift the vehicle just ahead of or behind the bushing to hold the body off of the frame. Do not apply much pressure and do not lift the body up. Remove the bushing - it should slide out or may require a few taps with a wrench or screwdriver. Lift the body a little (less than an inch) if you need to get more access. Once the bushing is out, replace it with a new one and a new bolt and other hardware - all of this often comes in a bushing replacement kit.

If you're doing a lift, the procedure is the same, but you'll be required to make other adjustments to the vehicle, such as to the steering linkage and other components.

Once the new bushing is in place, hand-tighten the bolt and then do the opposing side the same way. Let the body down and tighten the bolts to specification.

Continue along the body, replacing all of the bushings. Most vehicles have between 6 and 10 of them in total.

This is an easy job that most people, even if not extraordinarily mechanically inclined, can do.