Idler Arm Bushing
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    1. #1
      Junior Member mathue's Avatar
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      Idler Arm Bushing

      A couple of weeks ago when I was working on my 1970 142S I had the passenger side wheel in the air. Since I had it up I figured I'd give things a wiggle.

      Welp, my idler arm is loose, which make sense since I'd noticed the steering inaccuracy.

      Seems I have ready availability of rubber bushings at reasonable prices.

      BUT..

      I see there is urethane and even an all metal one available. Looking around though these both are costly, not so much the item itself, but they don't seem to be stocked in the US and thus they have fairly crazy S&H.

      Anyone here used either of these and did you find a decent price?

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    3. #2
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      I have the more pedestrian replacement from IPD. There is / was a Swededspeed member by the name of rixt from the Netherlands. He was well informed on Volvo stuff in the Netherlands which seems to be a hot bed of classic Volvo activity. He doesn't seem to be as active on this forum anymore; but, you could try contacting him. I think the original developer of the brass bushing was Dutch. He may have a line on the best local source for the poly or brass alternatives and you may be able to arrange via PayPal for him to purchase locally and ship the part to you by postal service. Postal rates are usually significantly lower than the rates for courier service that the on-line vendors use.

      A number of vendors sell the poly versions; but, only Skandix seems to list the brass version. They had very few in stock and I am thinking that may be the end of the line. If you want the brass version, you do look to be fairly far north of $100 by the time it lands on your door step. Makes $8 from IPD look very attractive.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    4. #3
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      Isn't that one from IPD poly? I went through this last year or the year before and ended up with a poly bushing. It seemed like the best compromise between cost and durability. Shouldn't be too expensive to Dublin.
      https://www.ipdusa.com/products/7211...122-mtc-671444

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    6. #4
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      The one I got from IPD looked to be pretty Plain Jane rubber; but, that was 6+ years ago. Perhaps it was a different supplier. $8 would be a very nice price if it was good quality PU.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    7. #5
      Junior Member mathue's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by 142 Guy View Post
      I have the more pedestrian replacement from IPD.



      Makes $8 from IPD look very attractive.
      Thankyuh!

    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by 142 Guy View Post
      The one I got from IPD looked to be pretty Plain Jane rubber; but, that was 6+ years ago. Perhaps it was a different supplier. $8 would be a very nice price if it was good quality PU.
      Yeah, there's no way I bought a poly bushing from IPD made by MTC for $8. I checked my email and googled and found no sign of an affordable poly bushing. I thought I saw blue when I looked under there the day before yesterday but using a flashlight just now it's definitely black. It's got a poly look to it, though.
      I think if I was going to spend the money on a poly bushing I might as well shell out the extra for the brass one.

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by thispunter View Post
      Yeah, there's no way I bought a poly bushing from IPD made by MTC for $8. I checked my email and googled and found no sign of an affordable poly bushing. I thought I saw blue when I looked under there the day before yesterday but using a flashlight just now it's definitely black. It's got a poly look to it, though.
      I think if I was going to spend the money on a poly bushing I might as well shell out the extra for the brass one.
      Go back and check again. They can make PU in just about any color they want. I have seen it in red, blue, grey, clear and black. If yours has that shiny / greasy look and is hard to push your fingernail into, then it might just be PU. Or you could email IPD and ask. There is not a lot of non metal in that idler arm bushing, so the cost increment to use PU versus rubber is probably not significant if they are making them in large batches. I think they charge a premium for PU because they can.

      If you still have your original idler arm bushing and want something 'extra', give consideration to a couple of options.

      1 - Have a machinist fabricate one from a chunk of Delrin or Nylatrol using the original as a template. Its a pretty simple shape so they should probably be able to do it quick if they start with a piece of rod stock that is close to the correct size. When I did my EPS project I had a machinist fabricate a fairly large bushing from nylatrol for the steering shaft lower support. It was a fairly complicated unsymmetrical shape with keyways, flanges and the like which required a number of machining steps - so it ended up close to $150. If you can source the nylatrol / delrin rod locally, you should be able to do a simple bushing for less than $50. Even less if you have a buddy with a lathe.

      2 - make your own PU bushing using an original idler arm bushing. My other silly car is an Acura NSX. The motor mounts on that car are large aluminum castings with rubber inserts and OEM replacements when the rubber eventually fails are silly expensive, probably > $1000 Cdn for the three of them from Honda. Enterprising individuals clean out the rubber portion of the mounts and then replace it with pourable PU. The biggest hassle is removing the rubber and making sure that you set the mount up with the center sleeve exactly centered. That would be the same problem if you were to try to replace the rubber in your existing bushing with PU; but, it would be cheap to try. I think you can get enough pourable 2 part PU for $20 to probably do 50 idler arm bushings - if you could pour it fast enough before it sets up.

      I personally prefer the Delrin / Nylatrol option because it is less messy and I would have 100% confidence that it would work. Nylatrol (and maybe Delrin) is an oily engineered plastic so it is self lubricating which should reduce steering effort - slightly.
      Last edited by 142 Guy; 03-27-2020 at 09:38 AM.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    10. #8
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      I bought the brass Idler arm bushing from Jim Perry. Send him an email to
      [email protected]
      He may still have some for sale. It was around $77.00 shipped.
      Last edited by apico500; 03-27-2020 at 06:04 AM. Reason: added information

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