Front leaf spring bush ware

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 14, 2014 at 21:34
ThreadID: 109501 Views:3891 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Hi all,

My 94 troopy seems to be chewing through front bushes really quickly.

I've just replaced a poly tuff set that I put in about 15 000km ago. Half of the driving has been on some pretty punishing roads. Our troopy is set up as a camper so pushing almost 4 tonnes max weight.

It also has 55mm lift tuffdog springs and greaseable shackles which I grease regularly. I fitted 2 degree wedges to correct the caster too.

The rears seem fine, no hint of ware. I have noticed a bit of twist from side to side while steering but assume that's normal. I have 265 BFG MT's if that is part of the equation.

What's the normal kind of life you would get out of a set of these bushes. Is there anything I should look out for? Cheers
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Reply By: Batt's - Sunday, Sep 14, 2014 at 22:14

Sunday, Sep 14, 2014 at 22:14
I expect that at nearly 4 tons in weight you are probably overloaded and carrying more than the manufacturer's recommended amount so premature wear will probably be one of the repercussions along with steering, wheel bearings, brakes, stressing suspension points, etc etc. But even if you have had a gvm upgrade done to make it legal if that's possible bushes will be the first thing to go unless they have also been rated to handle the extra weight. If you have a steel bull bar and winch maybe changing to an alloy bar will help a little.
AnswerID: 539089

Reply By: Member - Markthemilko (WA) - Sunday, Sep 14, 2014 at 23:07

Sunday, Sep 14, 2014 at 23:07
I've carried similar weight on my 2007 VDJ79 V8 ute with parabolic springs (rear, coils on the front) and greaseable bolts which I greased daily on rough roads.

On the Anne Beadell we broke the front bolt, but fortunately I had a bolt that got us home (Perth). The offending bolt was 14ml, but the grease hole across the centre reduced its' strength quite considerably. And all the bushes needed replacing after 15,000ks. The supplier promptly gave me 2 x 19ml bolts, and also told me that if I wanted the best bushes fit genuine Toyota, which I've done so (they need to be pressed into the spring), and I fitted the original bolts which don't need grease. No problems since.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 06:57

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 06:57
If it's any consolation I am in the same situation. I had one extra leaf new springs fitted to the front of my HZJ75 1991 ute just before our latest trip which did include the GRR. Not aiming for any extra lift although the front does ride a little higher. I guess the old springs had flattened over time. Greaseable front bushes and all. I'm starting to get more movement than I would have thought normal for around the 15,000 k's we have done and the springs seem to be deflecting sideways more than I would have expected. I too will be fitting standard Toyota bushes when we get home. The originals did around 270,000 k's and though needing replacement were no where near as worn as these new ones.

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 18:35

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 18:35
I did the same. Had a 79series for 8 years and quickly went back to the original Toyota bushes because they were way better than poly bushes. I also had a friend break the front pin on one of the rear springs - had to change it out on the gunbarrel hwy.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 21:53

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 21:53
Just to add the bolt that broke was also a 14mm greasable (unknown brand) and broke in the centre where weakened by the grease hole. I had the ARB greasable shackles at the time that were bigger and stronger, but still changed them out for the factory pins and bushes.
FollowupID: 823754

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 07:02

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 07:02
I have a 95 troopy which has been extensively modified for remote area travelling. When doing the upgrade I spent quite a while choosing the bushes and shackles. I found a lot of the cross bolts were made from poor quality material and some of the poly bushes suspect. I ended up with a set from terrain tamer and 100K later they area still going fine.

I suspect that the weight is a major issue. Have you had really good wheel alignment done by folk used to 4wds? The twist side to side is not normal for a vehicle that is correct. Mine does not. It sounds to me like something is flexing or the camber/caster is wrong.

With that weight how are your brakes? Troopys never were very good even when new.


AnswerID: 539097

Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 10:27

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 10:27
Hmmm, brakes were never good to start with eh???
Now he's almost doubled the weight.

Please tell us where you may be travelling in the future so we can stay a long way away!

FollowupID: 823710

Follow Up By: Member - Markthemilko (WA) - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 23:44

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 23:44
Hi Alaistair,
Yep, had a wheel alignment though not by a 4WD specialist, about two months before the bolt broke in Oct '11, as the vehicle tended to wander off to the left. So I may find a 4WD wheel-aligner specialist

I changed my rear brakes to 'Hoppers Stoppers' in Victoria as my rotors had oval holes and needed replacing (about $1100). These have a bigger calliper & rotor, and the handbrake is now a disc on the front of the rear tail-shaft and activated with a mechanical calliper using the original cable.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 06:15

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 06:15
Yes I have heard good things re Hoppers Stoppers. I have thought about changing to them myself - they seem about the only option to get better braking on early troopys.

Travel safely.

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Reply By: rb30e - Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 21:29

Monday, Sep 15, 2014 at 21:29
Don't worry mate, we are a long way from home in Uzbekistan at the moment.

The brakes are not that crash hot, particularly since we converted it to auto so I can drive as a paraplegic.
We take our time and keep our distance. Seems to be doing the trick as we are now at 300m and a week prior crossed a 4700m pass.

Sounds like a made the wrong choice regarding the bushes. May have to get some toyota ones sent over for the next change as we are headed for South Africa and I'm sure there's plenty of rough roads between here and there. Oh well you learn these things on the road the hard way sometimes.

The caster we had corrected by fitting the 2 degree camber plates. I just replaced all the rod ends and had an alignment performed on the most hi tech machine I've seen. All as per the manufacturers recommendations. The springs don't flex much at all now when steering, it was noticeable though when the bushes were flogged out.

We do have the steel bullbar, winch brush bars and turbo conversion so there is a lot more weight up front than standard. When we shipped it came in at 3300kg. It had most of our stuff but we have more in. When factoring 3 fuel tanks, 70l water and two people we figured fully loaded we would be close to 4 tonnes. It's our home for the year so we have got a fair bit of junk!

Thanks anyway guys for the recommendations. More stuff to try and track down while on the road!

Check our blog if interested as we drive from London to Cape Town via Central Asia.

AnswerID: 539142

Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 18:31

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 18:31
Just goes to confirm that 'aftermarket' is n't neccessarily better. I had similiar problem ....replaced the front swaybar bushes after 190,000k's with non genuine and flogged them out in about 20k now gone back to genuine Toyota after 40k all good.
AnswerID: 539184

Reply By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 19:27

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014 at 19:27
I stopped using "plastic" bushes years ago as they rode harder, wore out quicker, were more expensive and usually squeaked.
Go the rubber even aftermarket as long as it is rubber.
This also goes for coil sprung control arm bushes, the plastic ones crack from flexing off road.
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