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Steering stem bushing replaced with roller berings

Discussion in 'Suzuki Carry References' started by the pou, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. the pou

    the pou Member

    After only 1 year of wear, my steering rubber stem bushing had so much play, i had a 40 degre loose on my steering wheel. I tooke out the steering arm, and realised that the rubber bushing was finished.
    I saw threads a while back about replacing that bushing whit roller bering.after mesuring the stering arm,
    I decided to leave the outside sleeve of the bushing in place (tooke the rubber part and the inside out)
    Then i had no troble finding a matching size roller bering. (20mm inside diameter x32 OD x7 mm wide)
    I had to file the sleeve i was missing .5 mm to fit the 32 mm bering.but the steering stem fitted perfectly
    The 20 mm of the berings.
    These bering cost 3$ each at my local bering store. I ordered 5 berings add pressed them inside the steering arm.
    Put everything back togetter yesterday,the arm is rolling smouthly, and is solid as a rock.
    Tooke the truck for a spin, it runs like a new truck what a difference!!!!!! image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    My truck is a 1993 suzuki carry .
    I realize that i dont have the dampening effect of the rubber bushing, i will keep an eye on the wear
    Of the other stering components. Il try to joing some pictures
  2. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    Nice job my friend, Also I like your use of screen shot for bearing description; more people should do this.
    You still have dampening in the rack (spring under cap), so I wouldn't worry about that, tighter is better, I think.

    I did brass bushing, like ironraven too, but one thing I should have done too...grease nipple. Going through mud a lot, steering gets "popping" light slight jamb, then turn easy, not smooth.
    So, I took it back off, very hard to do (very tight). Drilled nipple hole, used pipe inside, with edge of pipe at drilled hole; grind a channel all the way around inside at hole to make a ring for grease. (dremel tool)
    Now works good, and I pump grease into it to push dirt out.

    I think your way is better...;)

  3. muddy moose

    muddy moose Member

    Very nice!! I was thinking about doimg the same thing since mine is getting a bit tight. Hahaha
  4. hatch

    hatch Member

    So am i understanding correctly that you installed 5 bearings in the sleeve? That is great stuff as mine is shot. Also you mentioned you had to file the sleeve because you were missing .5 mm to fit the 32 mm bearing. How did you do this? would a hone do it you think?

    Spaner, my wheels are not perfectly aligned either, there is so much play in the steering due to the sleeve bushing being shot that when i get one wheel straight the other is angled in. Do I need to work on adjusting the tie rods or will this fix alot of my problem?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
    zeroduty likes this.
  5. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    It'll help a lot, and once it's tight, then you can adjust the rest while looking for slop elsewhere.
  6. muddy moose

    muddy moose Member

    Hatch..... When i need to take a bit off a spring for a gun or take a piece of pipe down in size a bit i slide it on a nail or steel rod and take it to my grinder. Hold it at an angle almost like its in the same direction as the grinder wheel. That way it will spin on the rod and you can get an even amount removed. I do this making bushings as well. Practice on a scrap piece till ya get the hang of it.
  7. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    HEY!, doe's is backyard secrets..;)

    I use a chainsaw file and the wire wheel side of the bench grinder...:p

    It's for a swivel, not a spinner...;)
  8. hatch

    hatch Member

    Oh im understanding your concept, I for some reason thought that you were talking about removing the .5 from the inside of the sleeve. So you were talking about removing it from the outside of the bearing im assuming. Seems to me that a rough hone would get you the .5 inside the sleeve and then bearings would always just drop right in.
  9. muddy moose

    muddy moose Member

    Hahaha I do the same thing spaner.....I was just assuming he had to remove from the outside........ Would be a really long process trying to take it out of the inside. I would probably give up and bring the bearing instead!!! I like the press fit idea. Then it lasts longer. Less slop and won't worble it out.
  10. the pou

    the pou Member

    Yes Hatch,i used a hand-file for the inside of the sleve, i guest that a brake cylinder honing tool would do the job.
    I also used a belt sander to shave the outside of the berings.
    I did use 5 berings and pres them inside the stering arm. I wet fishing this week-end , i did 180 km of rughf dirt road,
    The stering is perfect, stil very tight .
    Look at the nice pike i caughd. ( if i can joing a picture) image.jpg
  11. muddy moose

    muddy moose Member

    Nice fish!!!

    Well i guess thats what i get for assuming......... I did get bored last night and stuck a chain saw file inside a piece of pipe and took it to the grinder........ Used the wire wheel side to spin it........ Didnt work out so well so i took it to the belt sander. ....... Ended up taking a good bit off the outside and a measureable amount off the inside hahaha. I think i will buy a few hones for any inside work!!!! Hahahaaha
  12. hatch

    hatch Member

    .5mm is not much at all and why not let the hone and cordless/electric drill do the work. I would be very mindful of the amount removed by checking the progress often.
  13. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    Nice pike, are you using "flys??" ha ha ha..votre braguette est ouverte

    The chainsaw file is more like for brass and 0.05mm like a thou/minute.
    For this I'd use a rasp and pair of welding gloves, don't forget the shield...
    A hone is pretty slow and sloppy for this kind of length and .5mm,
    You guys are all crazy though, ha, ha..
  14. muddy moose

    muddy moose Member

    Hahaha just a little........
    Im always tryin to find a way to do something with the wrong tool. Keeps life interesting and actually comes in handy when i fly 800 miles from my tools to fix something in a remote village in alaska. Never know till ya try!! Hahahaha
    Im heading down to the kenai river this evening to see if the reds have decided to grace us with their presence yet. Wont be as big as that pike though.......

    LCCRUISER Member

    I know this is an old thread but its still getting lots of hits.

    My own home brewed solution didn't work out last year, so I ordered some bearings tonight. Will update results once they are in. Might be awhile for the update since the only space to work on the truck is in the driveway and its barely above zero degrees f lately.

    I ordered 2 sets in case I f'd up and they gave me a big discount on the extras. If I don't ruin any, I'll have an extra set available for cheap - $21 including shipping in the US.
  16. mountain man

    mountain man New Member

    Another trick to try/what I do for tight bearings. Put it in the freezer overnight and get it as cold as possible, gives ya that little bit extra.
    Great job, I'll have to do that fairly soon
  17. King7765

    King7765 New Member

    I'm in the research process of doing this shortly. My local bearing supplier wants around $10 a bearing. I see some of the websites still sell them around $3 a piece. I'm not sure 5 bearings are needed. I was thinking about a tube spacer between the bearings so the top bearing doesn't slide down. I'll know better when I get into it.

    LCCRUISER Member

    If you want to cheap out and spend $6 plus shipping instead of $21 with shipping that's up to you. Personally, I think the more contact you have between the bearings and the stem then the better the strength and the less likely to wear the stem in one spot or wear out the bearings.

    That said, the bearings for me were a total fail. Before you order, check the internal size of the outer wall of your existing bushing. My original to the vehicle bushing has a much thicker metal wall than an aftermarket bushing and the OD bearing size recommended in this thread doesn't even come close to fitting inside the original. It will fit inside an aftermarket bushing with massaging as the aftermarket bushings have thinner steel walls inside and out with more rubber in between.

    Actually, the aftermarket bushings have so much rubber that they are worthless. It is soft and allows too much play. Don't waste the $60 on one of those. I did and it wasn't any better than my worn out original. Just buy the Japanese OEM for a bit more and endure the wait time if you don't want to experiment.

    I finally used the solid stainless steel bushing I had made a year ago despite my reservations about it being a bit sloppy along with internal ridges that weren't machined smooth and the inability to lube it. As a result, I can now drive at 75 KPH indicated which is about 50 mph with my slightly oversize tires without death wobble even if I hit a bump. That's a lot better than barely breaking 40 MPH on a glass smooth road.

    If I hit 80 KPH I get a wobble on smooth pavement. My steering rack is tight so I'm going to have to look at other sources of play that may be causing that.

    I'm not a big fan of the steering geometry on these vehicles. The lower a-arm has only one bushing inboard and relies on a rod that runs forward to keep the a-arm from moving back and forth. The result is that the amount of toe in increases as the wheel goes up and down from neutral and that change directly affects the opposite wheel. I call the whole setup flimsy, especially in conjunction with a strut.

    I'd like to see someone engineer a lower a-arm with 2 bushings or figure out a way to graft in another independent suspension. How about a Tracker suspension?
  19. King7765

    King7765 New Member

    Thank you for the reply/update/advice.

    I was not trying to sound cheap.

    I'll have to remove my steering arm and take measurements before I do anything.

    Any idea where to buy the OEM bushing?


    LCCRUISER Member

    I didn't mean to infer that you were cheap and I'm sorry if you took it that way. Yes, I believe Yokohama Motors has the good Japanese made ones and perhaps some UK suppliers may as well.

    I'm always looking for a cheaper solution myself when it comes to repairs and a lot of stuff. I cheaped out originally by buying the Chinese made aftermarket bushing sold by one of the vendors on here. (He will remain nameless because he was nice enough to offer a full refund for a return including shipping. ) The rubber in that bushing was so soft I could deflect the pivot arm side to side by hand. I knew that wasn't going to work and it didn't.

    My current solution with a solid piece is worrisome for the lack of lubrication and the fact that there is no give due to the lack of any rubber. There's definite feedback through the steering wheel as a result. There's no give in the bearing solution either.

    Your 2 bearing setup with a spacer would probably work, but I think using 5 is better since it distributes the load better and won't concentrate the wear in 2 spots. Wearing out that pivot point would be problematic.

    There's a lot of opportunities for slop in the front suspension and steering geometry. I'd like to find some poly bushings to replace any that are rubber and see if that helps. I'm reluctant to change all the tie rod ends since there are so many and they are pricey - that's me cheaping out again (LOL).
  21. the pou

    the pou Member

    Since my bushing lasted only 1 year, it was certainly a cheep copy. If the inside diameter is different, you can go
    To a bering store and ask them to matche one .
    I have diven 10 000 km of rughf dirt roads since i instaled the berings , and my syering feels tight and smouth.
    I think that set up is good for lots of miles.

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