Pictures of how I fixed the freeway death wobble with polyurethane bushings on my 87-95 Nissan Pathfinder.
Freeway Death Wobble. Scaring my wife and making my little boy carsick.
When I hit the gas it steers left, and when I brake it steers right. Like torque steer but not front wheel drive.
I have read that worn out bushings in the rear track bars
(or trailing arms, or tension rods, Nissan calls them upper and lower links, but not control arms).
New polyurethane bushings should fix it.
I tried the 80A liquid urethane. That worked for about a year. The writeup is below this new one.
Anyway, I found some new polyurethane bushings on fleabay and here we go.
Big drill, I put six holes through the rubber bushing.
I used this big cheap press to push out the middle of the bushing.
I tried it before I drilled the holes in the bushing and it did not work.
I used a regular hack saw to cut through the bushing full metal jacket.
Here is a terrible photo of the hacksaw cut.
I used a screwdriver that I filed to a pointed chisel.
I hammered the hell out of it
and got it to slide under the bushing jacket.
This seemed to loosen the bushing enough.
Then I went back to the press and used a 36mm socket
to press out the bushing metal jacket.
Picture of stuff. Track Bar. Old metal bushings. New polyurethane bushings.
Now the new bushings. I greased everything. Probably more than necessary.
Then I assembled it. Pretty easy.
The new bolts these came with have a smaller head. So I reused the old bolts.
New bolts on the left.
- Assembly is the reverse of removal. And a pain it the ass.
Then I finished my beer.
The liquid urethane is a two part kit from Forsch Polymer Corp.
Two parts of the A (Base) mix with one part of the B (Activator).
A Base, B Activator? Why must they confuse me?
The instructions say measure by weight, not volume, hence the kitchen scale wrapped in plastic.
First I WD-40'd everything the night before.
The next day I jacked up the Pathy, supported the frame on jackstands,
and chocked the rear wheels on both sides to hold the axle still.
I also chocked the front wheels to keep the rig from rolling onto me.
I got out the biggest and the baddest of breaker bars.
I removed all four track bars. I think I pulled a muscle removing these. They were on there TIGHT.
I put all the bolts back into their holes in the rig to keep them in the right places.
And I labeled each of the track bars so I could install them in the same spot in the same orientation.
I thought I would drill out holes in the bushings and then fill them in with liquid urethane. I was wrong.
The rubber deflected and stretched around the drill bit. When I removed the drill bit there only was a tiny pinpoint hole.
I thought I could freeze the bushings and then drill. I was wrong again.
I thought I could use a punch and press it through with a 12 ton press. Again, I was wrong.
I have heard that burning the bushings out works, but I was too tired, sore, and drunk by that time,
and I would have surely burned my house down.
So I cleaned out the space that goes all the way around the old bushings, and poured urethane in.
In the first pic I'm taking measurements just in case, but this shows the space in the bushing well.
The rubber measurements are apx 47mm OD, 29mm ID, not counting the inner or outer metal sleeves.
I waited 48 hours to reinstall, and I torqued the living shit out of every bolt. I definitely pulled a muscle this time.
But the urethane stiffened up the bushings considerably. No torque steer, no freeway death wobble, no barfing babies.
If I had burned out the old rubber first I'm sure it would have been stiffer and probably would last longer.
But I was just a bit too old and tired to do that extra step.
Hopefully there won't be a next time, but if there is, I will get an air gun so I don't pull anything,
and I'll burn out the old junk and do it better.
- Next I sold out to make 02¢
so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.
But no minivans!
- Then I finished my beer.
Donate to CharityIf this site has helped you, or even if it hasn't, please help care for abused and neglected children by making a donation to The Valley of the Moon Children's Home. That's right, abused and neglected children. Visit their website and try not to cry, you cold hearted bastard. Their site talks about how they achieved their goals and built a new home, but that was years ago. They still need cash to take care of all the kids there. Breaks my heart and pisses me off.
Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy. Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives. If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities. If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic. The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle. For all you know I made this up. Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.
Disclaimer: The technical information in these documents is provided without any warranty whatsoever and at no cost. All information is in general terms and is not meant to apply to your particular situation, be current at the time you read it, or even be correct in the first place. Improperly maintained vehicles can lead to serious injury, death, or unavoidable accidents. The author is not responsible for any errors on this site, and does not make any claim at all about the validity, safety, or veracity of the information contained on this website. Any work you choose to do or not to do on your vehicle is done at your own risk. The information on this site is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional advice, professional workmanship, dealer service, union labor, or psychological counseling. The author disclaims any and all liability directly or indirectly arising from the application or use of any information or idea contained on this or any other web site. By opening this page, you agree to never sue anyone ever or allow anyone to be sued on your behalf. The appropriate professional should be consulted regarding your specific condition. BeerGarage.com does not take responsibility for the information posted on other sites to which it links.
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Last modified: 9/11/2016