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88 End Links - rubber vs poly vs zero lash by Formula Owner
Started on: 07-06-2013 06:08 PM
Replies: 18 (699 views)
Last post by: Formula Owner on 07-13-2013 10:39 AM
Formula Owner
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Report this Post07-06-2013 06:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I finally, I think, found the source of my front end clunking - trashed end link bushings. Each side had a total of about 2.5 bushings. So, I need to replace them. The link shafts look in need of replacement, too, so I'm going to replace the entire links. It seems, though, that end links are one of the very few 88 suspension items that are not Fiero specific, so I have the option of going with a variety of bushing materials. Anybody have any experience with end link bushings of different materials? On Summit's site, I see rubber, thermoplastic, and poly. And, of course, there Rodney's zero lash end links. I would prefer comparisons to stock. I searched, and found a few writeups using the zero lash links, but none on a stock 88 suspension. My front suspension is all stock, and fairly fresh. Fairly new control arm bushings, tie rods (inner and outer), and upper and lower ball joints. Given how bad the front end links look, I'm leaning toward replacing the rears too. I'm also leaning toward getting one set with rubber, and one set with poly. Swapping the bushings front & rear would give me some tuning ability.

If I go with std end links in rubber and/or poly, can I (or should I) get them at my local discount store (Advance, O'Reillys, etc)? Or should I just get them from some place like Summit? I kinda like the idea of getting them locally. That way, if they're the wrong length, I can easily exchange them.

Comments? Experience?
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rourke_87_T-Top
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Report this Post07-06-2013 11:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopClick Here to Email rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The front end on my Formula is stock, I have RD's zero lash sway bar end links, I like them too.
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Formula Owner
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Report this Post07-06-2013 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rourke_87_T-Top:

The front end on my Formula is stock, I have RD's zero lash sway bar end links, I like them too.

rourke_87_T-Top, can you elaborate? What do you like? How do the zero lash links compare to stock? Do they make the sway bar act as if it's stiffer? Softer? Do they make the car more "harsh", like poly bushings in the control arms?
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rourke_87_T-Top
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Report this Post07-07-2013 12:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for rourke_87_T-TopClick Here to Email rourke_87_T-TopSend a Private Message to rourke_87_T-TopEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
They only help the swaybar do it's job better.
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jim94
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Report this Post07-07-2013 12:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jim94Click Here to Email jim94Send a Private Message to jim94Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Zero lash for sure. Front and rear for me.
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fieroguru
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Report this Post07-07-2013 08:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Before the sway bar starts to do anything, it must take up any available compliance in the end link bushings (and bar mount bushings). So with stock bars, you will get the most body roll with rubber bushings, slightly less with poly, and the least with Rodney's zero lash end links. The sway bar rate remains the same, but the dead spot in the center where it doesn't do anything is reduced or eliminate.

I have ran all 3 types on 88 Fieros and use Rodney's zero lash ends on everything but a cheap daily driver.
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Report this Post07-08-2013 10:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

Before the sway bar starts to do anything, it must take up any available compliance in the end link bushings (and bar mount bushings). So with stock bars, you will get the most body roll with rubber bushings, slightly less with poly, and the least with Rodney's zero lash end links. The sway bar rate remains the same, but the dead spot in the center where it doesn't do anything is reduced or eliminate.

I have ran all 3 types on 88 Fieros and use Rodney's zero lash ends on everything but a cheap daily driver.

Given this description, I would think that:
Changing to zero lash links would be roughly, but not exactly equivalent to using a slightly stiffer sway bar. If so, then using them only on the front would increase understeer. Using them only on the rear would decrease understeer. Using them front & rear would have no effect on understeer/oversteer, but would reduce the total body roll. Is this correct?

Do the zero lash links increase NVH (noise, vibration, harshness)?

Thanks.
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trotterlg
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Report this Post07-08-2013 12:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
With zero lash every movement of one side of the suspension is transmitted through the sway bar to the other side of the car. The energy transfer goes through the frame as well as the sway bar, so each little movement of the suspension will be felt in the system. The more play in the sway bar arms the less small movements are transfered to the frame and other wheel. Just depends on what you want your car to ride like. Larry
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Formula Owner
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Report this Post07-08-2013 12:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by trotterlg:
With zero lash every movement of one side of the suspension is transmitted through the sway bar to the other side of the car. The energy transfer goes through the frame as well as the sway bar, so each little movement of the suspension will be felt in the system. The more play in the sway bar arms the less small movements are transfered to the frame and other wheel. Just depends on what you want your car to ride like. Larry

Does this result in a tendency to be darty, or wander over the road in response to every little bump?

Also, sounds like you're saying that NVH is increased without actually saying it. I don't mind a bit of harshness. I have rubber control arm bushings up front, and poly suspension link bushings in the rear. So I'm willing to tolerate a little more harshness over stock, but not much. One of the things I like about my Formula is that it has a great combination of handling and a comfortable ride.
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fieroguru
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Report this Post07-08-2013 01:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have an 88 that is stock with front/rear sway bars and another one with front/rear bars and Rodney's zero lash end links. Not much of a difference in overall ride comfort/harshness between the two.
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Report this Post07-08-2013 02:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Have a friend that has a Camaro with really tight sway bars front and rear, it will lift a wheel off the ground turning into some drive ways and parking lot entrances. A tight sway bar has the effect of taking the "independant" out of independant suspension. Not always bad, but different. Larry
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Report this Post07-08-2013 03:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by trotterlg:

Have a friend that has a Camaro with really tight sway bars front and rear, it will lift a wheel off the ground turning into some drive ways and parking lot entrances. A tight sway bar has the effect of taking the "independant" out of independant suspension. Not always bad, but different. Larry

A stock Formula can do that, too. I use to have a very steep driveway, and I had to learn the angle & speed at which to approach it in order to NOT spin the inside rear tire. I'm not sure, but it felt like one tire would lift completely off the ground. I wonder now if that driveway is what destroyed my end link bushings.

[This message has been edited by Formula Owner (edited 07-08-2013).]

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Report this Post07-09-2013 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I checked the rear links last night. They're toast, too. They're at least as bad as the fronts. Now I'm thinking that I don't really know how my Formula is supposed to handle, because I don't know that I've ever had good bushings, and a good alignment at the same time.
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Report this Post07-09-2013 03:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DonPClick Here to visit DonP's HomePageSend a Private Message to DonPEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sorry to just jump on your thread. I've misplaced the end links for my '88 Formula's rear bar. Does anyone know the length of the stock spacer and bolt? Or have a part number for a replacement? Any pointer would be appreciated.

Thank.
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lateFormula
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Report this Post07-09-2013 06:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lateFormulaSend a Private Message to lateFormulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Don,

[This message has been edited by lateFormula (edited 07-09-2013).]

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Report this Post07-09-2013 08:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DonPClick Here to visit DonP's HomePageSend a Private Message to DonPEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow. Thank you very much! Off to Summit Racing.
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Formula Owner
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Report this Post07-10-2013 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
lateFormula, where did you get that info? The link shown for the front looks wrong. Neither of them are exactly right. The rear has a sleeve length of 2-1/4", so the 2-3/8" link is the closest. But the front link has a sleeve that's 4". So the 4-1/4" link would be the closest, not the 4-1/2". Prothane's links are little closer in size. Prothane spec's their link sizes measured from the control arm to the sway bar. Those dimensions for an 88 V6 is 3-3/4" rear, 5-1/2" front. Prothane's closest links are the 3-3/4" (p/n 19-404) for the rear, and the 5-3/8" (p/n 19-413) for the front. I'm going to just get new bushings (Jeg's p/n 355-9-8106G), and new bolts from the hardware store, and reuse the OEM sleeves and washers. That way I'll KNOW that they're the right size. I don't trust the hardware from the poly bushing manufacturers. The poly suspension link bushing kit I put on the rear of my Formula had metal sleeves much thinner than stock OEM.

[This message has been edited by Formula Owner (edited 07-10-2013).]

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lateFormula
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Report this Post07-11-2013 06:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for lateFormulaSend a Private Message to lateFormulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Formula owner, Those are the part numbers I put on my Formula 20 years ago. It was one of the first changes I made to the car when I bought it. I measured everything multiple times and arrived upon those part numbers as they were the closest in length to the OE items. If you are concerned about the hardware that comes with aftermarket end links, then you should only buy the Energy Suspension part numbers I listed. The hardware that comes on those is the best you could buy, and it's better than the stock stuff.
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Report this Post07-13-2013 10:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I went with new Energy Suspension bushings (which are available in store at Advance Auto*), new bolts from a local fastener store, and the old sleeves. My clunking is almost gone. I can still detect a clunking, but now it seems to be coming from the whole car. Maybe it's the doors. It no longer appears to be coming from the front suspension. Handling? I don't know yet. I don't have any good roads nearby to test it out. I tried to push it a little making right turns at a couple of intersections, and it SEEMS improved, but it could be a placebo effect. I'm anxious now to find some decent roads to do a decent test.

* However, each store only stocks one set. You'll have to go to two stores to get enough for a whole car. Luckily, there's one near my work, and one on my way home.

Also, in reading about various 88 end link replacements, it appears that the OEM rear end link is too long, judging from the sway bar angle with the car on the ground. I may shorten my sleeves to improve this.

[This message has been edited by Formula Owner (edited 07-13-2013).]

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