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Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

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Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby memphis » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:17 pm

I noticed my driver's side rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing was looking quite worn and since I only use this car for auto-X I figured it would be a good idea to swap them out. Not only should this be done for auto-X purposes but is also important for daily drivers as well. Just thought I would share what steps are involved in doing this. This thread on Honda-tech was also helpful in guiding me through this but I thought why not have one for the CRX Community. If the mods see fit as to make this a How To I would be honored.
http://www.honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=1589298

*I must state that I am not responsible for damage or injury sustained from following these steps. This is purely for reference and information


Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushings. These are important because it is what your rear suspension pivots on.
Lets face it, our CRXs are 20+ years old and things wear out. These parts are available still from Honda. Other aftermarket alternatives are also available such as Energy suspension and Mugen but I do not have any experience with either and cannot make a legit quote that one is better than the other although I have heard from others that the energy suspension ones bind and limit full movement.
I will also add that these should probably be replaced in pairs because if one side is worn chances are the other is too.

Tools needed
Jack
3/8 ratchet, a long handle one or breaker bar will make it easier
Extension
Sockets 14mm 17mm
14mm wrench
bold marker and ruler
Bushings part# 52385-S21-003 (thanks Matt Miner) $26.68/each from hondaautomotiveparts.com (Majestic Honda)
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Honda/Acura bushing removal tool
Can be bought here or if you google around it can be found cheaper.
I got mine on ebay for $117 with $10 shipping
http://www.denlorstools.com/home/dt1/pa ... p_651.html
This tool can also be used for 90-93 Acura Integra trailing arms as it comes with an adapter. :-)b for those of you with upgraded rear brakes
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First things first. Jack up your car and remove the wheels
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]*It is recommended to loosen ALL the bolts first and then remove them
There are several bolts that will need to be removed. Where the upper control arm meets the trailing arm. 14mm
This one was stubborn for me and that's where a breaker bar would've come in handy.
I used my foot for extra leverage but be careful cause if you slip you could scrape your leg. And yes I work on my car in pajama pants.
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The next bolt is the one that meets the arm to the frame. You can do this 2 ways, either remove the bolt from the frame of the bolt that holds the arm to the trailing arm
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The two 17mm trailing arm bolts that go through the actual bushing mounts are located underneath just about where the rear jack point is
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Now that everything is loose remove the bolts and let the trailing arm hang
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At this point you should make a reference mark as to how the bushing is seated into the arm.
There is a small dot that I am pointing to. Draw a line on the arm with you bold marker so u will know exactly where to place the new bushing.
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Next mark the depth of the bushing with your ruler.
I used a paint mixer. You want to be fairly accurate with this measurement.
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When the bushing removal tool is attached it needs to be with the arrow facing up
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Now to get that crappy bushing out.
Align your tool onto the arm placing the cup onto the bushing and tighten the screw until it is snug. Do not push it out yet
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The cable that comes supplied should be threaded through the back side of the bushing and clipped as pictured. This for when the bushing pops out it does not fly across the floor damaging you dog,cat,wife,car or YOURSELF!
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Now place a 14mm socket on the shaft and ratchet away. Again a breaker bar would be helpful here but I used a wrench to cheat.
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After a good workout the bushing will finally POP out. Here's where you'll see way that cable was so important
As you can see mine was SHREDDED. One side was completely broken
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EXTRACTION COMPLETE

INSTALLATION

The new OEM bushings have a small LWR marking on them. Make sure this is DOWN
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Push the bushing snugly into the trailing arm aligning it with the mark made earlier.
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Place the tool back on and ratchet pushing the bushing inward. Ratchet a few times and check depth. It doesn't take a whole lot but if you go past your mark you will have to continue until you push it out again and then start over.
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Now that everything is aligned remove the tool and replace all the bolts you removed. A jack is recommended to help lift and hold the trailing arm in place while replacing the bolts. Put you wheel back on and then do the other side.
After that it would be wise to get an alignment
:D Enjoy your new OEM fresh bushings :D
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Re: Rear traing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby rex2nr » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:49 pm

Excellent topic for a "how to"

You can also remove the bushing with a sledge... takes 2 or 3 whacks
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby CRXO » Sun May 10, 2009 3:34 pm

bump...
on the write up!
i'ma be'n do'n
this replacement,
some time this week.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Krix » Sun May 10, 2009 6:05 pm

I used this yesterday. I wish I had the tool though, it looks much easier than the press I used.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby jtkc » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:56 am

i went to my dealership and they said the Civic bushing might be the same. They could not promise it was the same one though. I assume just go to site listed and order from there. anyways. how can you tell drive-ability wise if it needs replacing? I have 245K on my 88Si and have no idea if or when it was or has been replaced. thanks Good write up.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Its me DUB » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:11 pm

jtkc wrote:how can you tell drive-ability wise if it needs replacing? I have 245K on my 88Si and have no idea if or when it was or has been replaced. thanks Good write up.

If they're bad, your rear end may feel a bit loose. Best way to tell if they need replaced is to jack up the car, remove the rear wheels and take a look. If the bushing is torn, cracked, whatever, it's a good chance you need to replace it. After 245k, more than likely...
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby rob90rex » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:33 pm

great write up!!
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby 91crx91 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:24 am

alittle late for posting this but nice write up and I am doing it 2morrow, thanks for the part number too
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Euro 89 Si » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:39 pm

Excellent write-up, I just did mine today and it only took a couple of hours. Doing rear brakes as well, and had to fight a few rusty fasteners, so I'm not quite done, but the bushings and LCAs are done and torqued.
I would like to add a couple of things that I learned today.
I may be the only one who made this mistake, but I thought that the "nut" on the trailing arm where it meets the upper control arm was a nut, but in reality it is welded to the trailing arm. I thought the "nut" was rusted on, but once I looked at the pictures again I realized that the BOLT has to be removed, and it came loose easily.
Also, the OP states to loosen all the bolts before removing them, which is a good practice. It's also a good practice to loosely reinstall all the bolts before fully tightening them.
If you want to get your alignment as close as possible during re-assembly you can see the paint marks/dirt where the front mounting bolt was located before you loosened it. Use a pry bar or other lever to move the front end of the trailing arm until it is back in the original position and your toe alignment should be fairly close to what it was before the repair. Best to get it re-aligned though.
Thanks again for a great how-to!
Jeff
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Mickey » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:37 pm

Love the pjs :-)b Good write up. For the super lazy with access to an air compressor an air hammer works as well.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Joe » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:35 pm

are we positive that 52385-S21-003 is the correct part number for the bushings? I just want to make sure i get the correct ones.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Century » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:42 pm

So I hate writing on the stickied 'how-to's' but I figure it is a good noob related question. I get why you need to mark the depth of the bushing, but why do you need to make a mark in the six o'clock position? I figure just put the 'LWR' part of the bushing facing down. What am I missing here?
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby memphis » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:31 pm

Yes it is the right part #. I used this when I ordered mine

If you don't mark the LWR and just put it facing down, the rod (don't know what else to call it) could possibly be installed at the wrong angle. Sure you can straighten it if you get the bolt threaded but then the bushing will be twisted. I imagine this would lead to premature wear. Also when the bushing flexes under normal suspension movement it will be flexed more in whatever direction it's twisted and not allow full range of motion or possibly bind
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby zrickety » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:22 pm

hey memphis, just wondering if you felt a significant improvement when you changed these out?? it looks important, i want to know how it feels from seat-of-the-pants, thanks.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby memphis » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:44 pm

It was really hard to tell since the car has gone through so many changes but I want to say it felt more stable. One was definitely torn all the way through.
I also recently found that one of my rear LCAs is bent. I don't know why, I didn't hit anything. It could have been from the PO. The sloppiness I felt that I thought was the torn RTA bushing could have been intensified by the bent LCA.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Euro 89 Si » Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:17 am

zrickety wrote:hey memphis, just wondering if you felt a significant improvement when you changed these out?? it looks important, i want to know how it feels from seat-of-the-pants, thanks.


I changed my RTA bushings a couple weeks ago, and the only other suspension change was new front ball joints. I suspect the RTA bushings had a much bigger effect on the handling than the ball joints. Anyway, my car went from feeling "squishy" and slightly unpredictable to be much more stable and predictable. I was really disappointed in the way the car handled before I changed the bushings, and it only has about 100K miles. They didn't look that worn when I removed them, but what a difference. I would strongly recommend this maintenance work, and it doesn't take that long if you have the bushing tool.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby SanDiegoCRX » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:20 pm

Great post - thanks. My CRX rear trailing arm bushings are SHOT so this helps very much.


If anybody finds a honda bushing removal tool for cheaper, please post it!! I don't want to drop $130 on a one-time-use tool.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby zrickety » Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:05 pm

thanks for the info guys...i have the bushings, just waiting for better weather to put them in
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby chriskatana » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:10 am

Does anyone have the PN for the Integra bushings, I've got 91 teg rear disk in my 89..


*edit: found it.. the 90-93 teg part number is 52385-SK7-N02
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby rymander » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:36 pm

does anyone know if you can rent the bushing removal tool anywhere??
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Swiftpandarex » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:00 am

If ur car was at stock Height and then lowered, when u replace the rta bushings would u want to line the bottem of the mounting holes somewhat aimed twards the center of the rotor

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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby pbillie » Thu May 16, 2013 1:10 pm

My RTA bushings where replaced by PO not to long ago. They seem to be cracking. Is there a way to find out the correct postioning for the RTA bushings?
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby piratew5 » Thu May 16, 2013 3:06 pm

This is a great write up but I did mine by removing the whole arm and using a press for the one I installed factory bushings on. The other car I installed Urethane in and I just used a torch with a welding tip to basically burn the rubber out which worked quite well and then just had to steel wool the metal liner.

As for the RTA bushing alignment it's the same as the factory. It's to preload the bushing at a predetermined height. Some folks change the clock angle slightly when lowering their cars.
Last edited by piratew5 on Sat May 18, 2013 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby Cementups » Thu May 16, 2013 8:50 pm

I read the how to here last night, but then after a quick youtube search I watched a vid of a guy who simply knocks them out with a brass hammer and then knocks the new one in with the same hammer. No problem!
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Re: Rear trailing arm (RTA) bushing replacement

Postby ohisofly » Thu May 16, 2013 9:34 pm

^ When I did mine they were in a press and there's no way in the world they would have come out with a brass hammer
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