Date Added: Sunday 30 January, 2005
Bought both rear (and front) Wishbone kits (cough, what a piece!) because fitting harder bushes to other cars has improved handling considerably.
The job is pretty straight forward.
BEFORE you start, find a bit of tube ideally with inside diameter of 42mm and outside diameter of 48mm (steel central heating pipe). I cut mine off at 70mm, but 60mm (possibly less!) would have been a better length. Make sure the tube ends are parallel (this is quite important!), I used a lathe to face off the ends, but careful cutting and the judicious use of a file WOULD NOT be time wasted! I used a 150mm bench vice (jaws that opened to 160mm) to press the bushes (out and in). The old ones took more pressure to remove, than the new took to fit. I used WD40 to lubricate the new ones, rather than the recommended soapy water.
They show pushing the bushes using a G cramp. I’m sure this IS possible, but would be VERY hard work. I would recommend a vice. I removed and fitted all the bushes in less than 30 minutes. This could take A LOT longer using a G cramp!
To fit a complete kit (front and rear) took about a day, but allow two days, in case you hit problems. Professionally done by a good mechanic in a well quipped garage, it should only take 4-8 hours. (Save up, and get your Koni shockers, new springs and beefed up anti roll bars done at the same time – do the job properly, it won’t take much longer!)
Note: Rear wheel alignment can be done reasonably accurately by parking the car on level ground and careful measurement. Tools required: spirit level, extending rule, couple of plumb lines and a 2 metre straight edge - preferably a ridged bit of angle iron. (You could of course buy a cheap laser pointer instead!)
Measure the track of the car - outside fat point of the tyre to outside fat point (plumb lines are handy here, my Mark 1 was 1630 mm). Then measure the width of the body shell at the sill seam just below the door hinge (plumb lines again – my Mk 1 was 1550 mm). Place the straight edge across the tyre running it parallel to the sill, (long end towards the front!) At the hinge seam, there should be a gap, which can be measured (30ish mm on my MK 1) Look up the specification yourself, and do the measurements, and arithmetic yourself. Camber can be checked using a rule and plumb line, hanging from car body. Just keep repeating the process until you get it within specifications (the Mazda tolerances are pretty wide!). It may take an hour or two, to get right, but it’s SIMPLE, and saves £100! Once done, it’s simple to check it in the future – save ££££’s.
Good luck! Andrew Williams
Rating: [3 of 5 Stars!]