Radius Arm Bushing reduce articulation? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 12th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Radius Arm Bushing reduce articulation?

So I'm trying to figure out why this is happening. I have a 2 inch lift on my D-90 and Rovertym(sorry, RTE- Fab) Springs. Front axle used to articulate as well as a non 3 link could. Before my last trip, I changed the axle radius arm bushings to those off set castor correcting ones that AB sells. I changed nothing else on the front of the truck and articulation of the front axle was cut almost in half. I don't understand why this could be? How could correcting the castor on a 2 inch lift cause this kind of a reduction in articulation.

Any ideas? My next move is to swap the whole arm out for an offset one and normal bushings.
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  #2  
Old November 12th, 2013, 05:36 PM
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If the new bushing are using a stiffer material, it will reduce articulation.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 05:40 PM
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Yes those bushings will absolutely reduce articulation.

As a radius arm axle articulates, it twists in the bushings. The offset bolt holes mean the amount of twist they can absorb is significantly less.

With just a 2" lift the necessity for caster correction is questionable, usually the change in caster is mitigated by a bigger/heavier/wider tire that is a little more "numb".
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Old November 12th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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Brett Fritzler
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Those bushings are a band aid and not a very good one at that.
I had a long thread on Pirate discussing my front flex. In summary the radius arm bushings absolutely make a difference in front end flex.
The solution for me was the Slotted Radius arm bushings from PolyBush. Eric Riston at AB special ordered them for me for $79.95 shipped.


Before with normal bushings and RTE cranked arms.



After with slotted bushings and RTE cranked arms.



So if you want more front flex without a 3-link I say go back to regular bushings, and if you want even more go with the slotted bushings. I think AB is stocking them regularly now.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transientmechanic View Post
Yes those bushings will absolutely reduce articulation.

As a radius arm axle articulates, it twists in the bushings. The offset bolt holes mean the amount of twist they can absorb is significantly less.

With just a 2" lift the necessity for caster correction is questionable, usually the change in caster is mitigated by a bigger/heavier/wider tire that is a little more "numb".
The offset itself does not reduce articulation. One side can move more, the other less. It adds up to the same total movement.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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Not necessarily true, because the thin spot on the bushing is still limited in both squish and stretch compared to a standard shape bushing. There is no doubt the design limits the bushing's movement characteristics.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 05:03 PM
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How's the longevity on those slotted bushings? I'll be honest with you.. I put in Polybush once (the blues) and it was without doubt the worst product I ever put on my rover. After 2300 miles, NYC-Moab, and some trails, the truck was sideways down the road. Bushings had disintegrated at the frame mounts and at the axle mount for the front. Literally the whole trailing arm would slide 2 inches when I went on and off the gas. replaced with OEM and it's been fine since.

That before and after photo is the exact same situation I have except backwards.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868 View Post
How's the longevity on those slotted bushings? I'll be honest with you.. I put in Polybush once (the blues) and it was without doubt the worst product I ever put on my rover. After 2300 miles, NYC-Moab, and some trails, the truck was sideways down the road. Bushings had disintegrated at the frame mounts and at the axle mount for the front. Literally the whole trailing arm would slide 2 inches when I went on and off the gas. replaced with OEM and it's been fine since.

That before and after photo is the exact same situation I have except backwards.
I've only had the slotted on for a couple months. One wheeling trip and not a lot of road miles. I know the trailing arm phenomenon you're referring to. I replaced the original frame side mounts as PM with non-genuine rubber ones. They lasted 8hrs of wheeling. I replaced those with Orange PolyBush at the recommendation of Justin at Lucky 8. Those lasted 2 years of wheeling and driving before they went. Not a bad run. I just made some jointed trailing arms.
Only time will tell on the slotted bushings, I guess. Heading out again this Saturday.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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Keep us posted on those slotted bushings, really helps the front end. What shocks are you running?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4 View Post
Keep us posted on those slotted bushings, really helps the front end. What shocks are you running?
Can't tell if this was addressed to me but I am running Bilstien 7100s. 10 inch travel if memory serves. Before the offset bushings, this could articulate enough to bring the springs to the edge of the front dislocation cones. basically what you see in the "after" photos above

My main issue with this problem is the lack of upward travel. It causes the truck to lean unneccesarily. If I come at my driveway from the right angle.. I can get the rear springs to dislocate.. that's how stiff the front end is. In Moab.. lifting the front wheels everywhere. So need to fix it.. I might try the slotted bushings and RTE arms. Thanks for the suggestion on the bushings.
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  #11  
Old November 13th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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You dislocate on your driveway! That is crazy. Also interested to know how the slotted bushings last, but you already knew that....
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868 View Post
How's the longevity on those slotted bushings? I'll be honest with you.. I put in Polybush once (the blues) and it was without doubt the worst product I ever put on my rover. After 2300 miles, NYC-Moab, and some trails, the truck was sideways down the road. Bushings had disintegrated at the frame mounts and at the axle mount for the front. Literally the whole trailing arm would slide 2 inches when I went on and off the gas. replaced with OEM and it's been fine since. That before and after photo is the exact same situation I have except backwards.
Me too with the blue ones!

I'd like to how those slotted ones hold up as well
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Old November 13th, 2013, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover4x4 View Post
Keep us posted on those slotted bushings, really helps the front end. What shocks are you running?
I was running Rancho 999028 11.25" travel all around.
Now I'm running Fox 2.0 Emulsions, 11" up front and 12" out back.
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