Monday, October 31, 2016

Steady On, Poly Gone!!

Okay, before we start, I confess it's a corny title, but I did think long and hard about it and to be honest, it's the best I could come up with. That said: 'Steady On, Poly Gone!!' does describe perfectly what we're dealing with here today. So what are we dealing with today you may ask? Well ever since the engine rebuild, I've had polyurethane bushes in the top and bottom engine steadies, which seemed a good idea in theory, but in practice have been a bit too harsh as I can feel every single vibration coming from the engine. So to help remedy this, I've decided to switch over to rubber bushes to see if they're a bit more forgiving.

The bushes I decided to use where the all in one 'cotton reel' type with a metalastic bonded sleeve rather than the two part push in ones with the metal tapered sleeve. I know the car rolled off the production line with the two parters, but I'm hoping the 'cotton reel' ones I'm going for will be better as they were fitted to the later type fuel injected minis of the 90's. I've no idea if it will make any difference, but that's what I'm here to find out.

As you can see, I decided to use my old engine steady for the job rather than my new adjustable one. This is mostly for convenience as if I decide I don't like the new bushes, it makes it simpler to switch them back over without too much faff.

Pressing the bushes into the holes was pretty easy. A very slight smear of grease and the vice did most of the work.

A slight tap with the hammer finished the job off.

Having completed both ends, I then decided that the steady could do with a lick of paint to make sure it didn't go rusty and make my engine bay look sad and unloved. Why this hadn't occurred to me before I'd inserted the bushes, I don't know, but I wasn't going to pop them back out now, so I just masked them off instead.

After a few coats of something vaguely metal looking, it was ready to go back in the car again.

I always find it easier to attach it to the bulkhead first...

...and then to the engine... being the idiot that I am, I forgot to reattach the earth strap, so had to take it off and do it a second time! Note to self, Don't forget the earth strap or the car won't start!!

But once in place and bolted up, it looked pretty smart and the car actually started, which was a bonus.

But how did it feel, that's the big question? Well after a few goes around the block, I have to say that there was a noticeable improvement, but not a massive one. Although this was a tiny bit disappointing, there's enough of an improvement not to go back to the poly bushes for now.

There is also the bottom engine steady to consider, which I haven't included in this project as I wanted to do it step by step. Maybe there will be even more of an improvement if I change those also. My gut feeling is that there probably won't be as the lower engine steady attaches to the subframe which is already separated from the car body by rubber bushes. That said though, it's an easy enough job, so if I can find a dry and not too cold day, I'll give it a go and let you know.

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  1. What's your verdict? I've done the same thing (installed poly bushes in the steady bars) and I'm not very happy with it. A local mechanic says he's got NOS rubber bushes and I think I will get a set off him.

    1. I find the poly bushes too harsh as I will soon write about. Every little engine murmur is passed through the bulkhead and into your fingers. So for that reason, I'm out!! I'll have a look into the NOS bushes, they sound interesting.