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Powerflex bushes

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by spiker, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. spiker
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    spiker usually growling at something

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    hi

    I am thinking about upgrading the bushes on my 60k 2002 S3
    Powerflex have some polyurethane bushes which look interesting

    Can anyone give any advice on how they affect the handling - are the web sites claims correct.

    Also how easy are they to fit ? Would you replace the whole set or is it just too expensive to replace the lot. If so which bushes should be replaced first

    I need to replace the rear arbs anyway due to the creaking issue so thought perhaps at least the front arb and front wishbone too

    What about the dogbone mount etc

    Basically which bushes should I defiinitely change and how much shold this cost and are there any recommended fitters that anyone has used other than the stealers ?

    Loads of questions - sorry but thanks
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  2. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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  3. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    If you look on VWVortex there is very good evidence that powerflex bushes do not provide the correct range of motion, especially the rear bushes, so they will wear faster, and not actually provide the same degree of bushing motion that the standard ones provide.

    Theres a massive post, do a search, a physicist even modelled the movements of OEM vs powerflex bushes to outline their shortcomings.
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  4. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    Okay here's my experiences, I'm not claiming I know what I'm doing etc. etc.

    Quick version: Don't bother.

    Longer version: I had a nightmare of a time trying to fit first the ECS wishbone bushes, then later the powerflex bushes, they are a bugger to do even if you've got a proper hydrualic press and lots of patience. First impressions after fitting the powerflex bushes to both front wishbones was very good, however that could just be because I could see through the bushes that were on the car before the swap.

    I've since had the dog-bone and all the rear bushes changed, what dave is talking about is true for the A3, however doesn't apply from my understanding to the 4WD cars as the suspension set-up is different at the rear.

    Now here's the fun bit, I have to agree with Dave, I guess I fitted the powerflex bushes to the front wishbones about 30-40,000 miles ago and have since also changed the dampers and ball joints and track rods etc. now I've not had chance to have a real good look yet, however I think at least one of the powerflex bushes has failed as what can only be described as a loose feeling has come back at the front passenger side.

    I'm not impressed as the main reason for me fitting them was that they *should* last for ages according to powerflex, then if you read there site they basically offer no form of backup to this in the way of a warranty.

    I'll probably be fitting new wishbones in the near future and sticking with standard bushes as these just seem more hassle than they are worth.

    Also the rear bushes did improve things however I'm not convinced the large bushes for the trailing arm (powerlex call them Rear Wishbone Front Mounting Bush) work that well as occasionally when cornering hard on **** roads the rear isn't as predictable as before, however this might be because the dampers are standard and are wearing out.
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  5. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    Yeah, the VWVortex opinions were based on predominately 2 wheel drive cars. But the modelling still stands up, the wishbone bushes (front at least) work the same way for both 2WD and 4WD.

    The general consensus from the Vortex lot was to use Audi TT bushes from the last year of TT's as the compound is harder but it still offer superior wear qualities and advantages or range of moevment over powerflex.

    Given sheer numbers, there are probably 10x the amount of Americans running various bushes than here in our tiny island, so their findings are probably a lot more representative of actual outcomes than ours.
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  6. HTC
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    HTC Active Member

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    I've removed mine. They have a sweet spot for a few weeks and then they stretch and become sloppy. Especially rear bush for the front wishbone.

    Polyurethane against steel is not a true bearing surface in my opinon.

    Huge price mark up compared to manufacturing costs.

    Stick with solid rubber bushes for moving parts. Biggest no no of all is fitting them to the rear axle on an a3.

    Dog bone, arb and steering rack fine if you want to.
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  7. jonS3
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    jonS3 Member

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    I sat here a few weeks ago and spent about 2 hours trawling though every 'bush' thread on this forum.

    I concluded that new standard bushes would be the right choice, and to steer clear of the powerflex or similar.....
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  8. Defratos
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    Defratos You’re Dethpicable!!

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  9. jcb
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    jcb Active Member

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    each to his own but I have them throughout on my A4 Quattro and would do it again.
    I also have them on a Mk2 Golf Gti.

    having bought a set of KW v3 coilovers I saw no reason to fit them to OEM rubber that is fairly sloppy at the best of times.
    They are a pain to fit, but when you consider the number of arms/links that you have to purchase with bushes fitted they are not that much of an expense.

    I found they immediately sharpened turn in, loading into corners and predictability of oversteer.

    They do however need to be kept well greased and clean. A good hose off with the pressure washer when you wash the car is sufficient
    I wouldn't advise putting them on ARB's either. The funtion of the OEM bush on an ARB is to offer torsional resistance on the bar itself and not to allow the bar to spin in the central hole.
    The stiffer polyurethane doesn't allow this and coupled with road grime, grease and grit provides an effective abrasive medium to strip mm's off your ARB material in weeks/months.

    Other than that they work for me
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  10. spiker
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    spiker usually growling at something

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    WOW

    Thanks for the feedback chaps - although from what you are all saying this leaves me with more questions than answers

    On balance I think that It may be more sensible to just replace the bushes with the standard rubber ones then.

    That said I would like the entire suspension setup checked

    alignment, dampers , ball joints, track rods and the bushes

    I am based in the Bristol area - does anyone have any good recommendations for specialists that arent going to rip me off in this area? - Or alternatively if you guys have any recommendations further afield I am happy to travel to reputable garages

    Cheers
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  11. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    If you can be arsed travelling, I can't recommend anyone more than the guys at APS (www.autops.co.uk) especially for this kind of work.
    #11
  12. spiker
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    spiker usually growling at something

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    Thanks for the tip - I shall give them a call
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  13. vrbob
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    vrbob Thats no Moon, Thats a space station!

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  14. Mo-S3
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    Mo-S3 Member

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    Suggest you go for Superpro bushes which are no where near as hard as the solid hard powerflex ones. These are a softer compound and allow the bush to work with the car rather than fight it on every corner.
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  15. vrbob
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    vrbob Thats no Moon, Thats a space station!

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    Sounds good where would i purchase these from??
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  16. Mo-S3
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    Mo-S3 Member

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    You can get them all from this place priracing.com speak to Nav and he'll be able to sort it out.
    #16
  17. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    £107.00 FOR BUSHES????????

    Standard bushes cost about £1.50 each - are you mad????????
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  18. ash_s3
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    ash_s3 Active Member

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    Ive heard powerflex are very stiff and also dont last very long.
    I wouldnt buy them after what ive heard off friends.
    Also the dogbone bush can give you some nasty vibrations through the car
    #18

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