How to Correctly Install a Polyurethane Bushing Kit in a Ford Focus ST Suspension?

The Ford Focus ST, a high-performance version of the popular Focus model, is a car that demands attention. Its tight suspension and responsive handling make it a joy to drive. However, after years of spirited driving, your Ford Focus ST’s suspension might need a little TLC, especially if you’re starting to feel more road bumps or noticing a decrease in handling ability. One common area of wear and tear on these vehicles is the suspension bushings.

Suspension bushings are rubber components that help cushion and dampen the vibrations between the car’s suspension and its frame. Over time, these rubber components can wear out, causing a range of issues from a more harsh ride to decreased handling precision. A solution to these problems is replacing the stock rubber bushings with a polyurethane bushing kit, such as those made by Powerflex. Polyurethane bushings are more durable and responsive, providing your Focus ST with improved handling, steering responsiveness, and longevity. In this guide, we will explain how to correctly install a polyurethane bushing kit in a Ford Focus ST suspension.

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Assessing the Condition of Your Ford Focus ST Suspension

The first step in any maintenance or upgrade project is to evaluate the current condition of the component you are working on. In the case of suspension bushings, there are few telltale signs that they might be in need of replacement.

When bushings start to wear out, your Ford Focus ST may start to handle poorly. The car might start to drift or sway when turning, or you might feel more bumps and vibrations than usual. In more severe cases, you may even hear a clunking or rattling noise when going over bumps or potholes. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s likely that your suspension bushings are the culprit.

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To confirm this, you will need to visually inspect the bushings. While you can do a preliminary inspection with the car on the ground, for a thorough inspection, you will need to jack up the car and remove the wheels. Look for cracks, deformation, or excessive wear on the bushings. If any are in poor condition, it’s time to replace them.

Choosing the Right Bushing Kit for Your Car

Once you have determined that your bushings need to be replaced, the next step is to choose the right bushing kit for your car. Polyurethane bushings, such as those made by Powerflex, are a popular choice among Ford Focus ST owners due to their durability and performance benefits.

A complete bushing kit will typically include bushings for the front and rear suspension arms, sway bar, and possibly the camber arms. Keep in mind that while some kits will come with all these components, others might only include certain bushings, so you’ll need to make sure the kit you choose includes all the bushings you need to replace.

In forums and threads, Ford Focus ST owners often discuss their experiences with different brands and types of bushings, so these can be a good resource when choosing a bushing kit. Moreover, you’ll often find replies and recommendations from other owners who have gone through the same process.

Removing the Old Bushings

The process of removing the old bushings will vary depending on their location and condition. Generally, you will need to disconnect the relevant suspension components, such as the arms or the sway bar, to access the bushings. Once the suspension component is disconnected, you can use a bushing removal tool, also known as a bushing press, to push the old bushing out of its seat.

If the bushings are severely worn or degraded, they might come out in pieces, requiring more effort to remove completely. Be sure to clean the bushing seats thoroughly before installing the new bushings.

Installing the New Bushings

Before installing the new bushings, apply a generous amount of the supplied grease to both the bushing and the bushing seat. This will ensure smooth operation and prevent squeaking.

Install the new bushing by pressing it into the bushing seat. Depending on the specific bushing and component, you might be able to do this by hand, or you might need to use a bushing press or a vise.

Once the bushing is fully seated, reassemble the suspension component. Be sure to torque all bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications, as incorrect torque can lead to premature bushing wear or even component failure.

After the Installation: What’s Next?

After you’ve installed your polyurethane bushing kit, you might notice an immediate improvement in your Ford Focus ST’s handling and ride characteristics. However, it’s also a good idea to get your car’s alignment checked and adjusted if necessary, as changes in bushings can affect alignment angles.

And remember, while polyurethane bushings are more durable than their rubber counterparts, they’re not invincible. Regularly inspect your bushings during routine maintenance to ensure they stay in good condition. This way, you can continue to enjoy the improved performance and longevity that polyurethane bushings offer.

By following this guide, you can renew your Ford Focus ST’s handling and ride characteristics, ensuring many more miles of driving enjoyment.

Ensuring the Longevity of Your Ford Focus ST Suspension

After successfully installing the polyurethane bushing kit in your Ford Focus ST, it’s essential to take care of this new upgrade to ensure its longevity and maintain the improved performance of your ride. This involves regular inspection and maintenance checks, particularly focusing on components like the sway bar, control arm, and the bushings themselves.

Start by making a habit of visually inspecting your suspension system, paying special attention to the poly bushings. Look out for any signs of unusual wear or damage. If you notice any cracks or deformations, it may be time to replace the bushings again, although with the durability of polyurethane, such issues are less likely to occur frequently.

However, the sway bars and control arms also require regular checks. For the sway bars, ensure they are firmly attached and not damaged. The control arms should not show any signs of wear or have any loose connections. Be sure to apply lubricant regularly to these parts to minimize friction and prevent premature wear.

One very important aspect is alignment. After installing a new bushing kit, it’s recommended to have your car’s alignment checked and adjusted if necessary. Changes in bushings can affect alignment angles. Keep this in mind and ensure that your car is always aligned correctly.

Also, don’t forget to participate in discussion forums and threads specifically meant for Ford Focus ST owners. These online spaces can provide valuable insights, tips, and tricks from other owners and enthusiasts. Consider them as your virtual companions in your journey to maintaining your Ford Focus ST.

Conclusion: The Joy of a Well-Maintained Ford Focus ST

To conclude, the installation and maintenance of a polyurethane bushing kit in your Ford Focus ST suspension is an excellent way to revitalize your ride’s handling and responsiveness. Not only do these bushings offer improved performance over the stock rubber bushings, they also last longer, ensuring you’ll get to enjoy your Ford Focus ST’s enhanced capabilities for a long time.

Remember, the key to reaping all these benefits is regular inspection and maintenance. Check your bushings, sway bars, and control arms regularly. Always keep an eye on the alignment and don’t forget to lubricate the parts to minimize friction.

Involving yourself in Ford Focus ST forums and threads can also provide you with a wealth of knowledge. The experience and advice shared by fellow owners can prove invaluable in your journey towards maintaining the exceptional ride quality of your Ford Focus ST.

Ultimately, your Ford Focus ST is not just a vehicle, it’s a statement of your love for performance driving. Investing time and effort in its maintenance will ensure that your car continues to deliver the excitement and joy you expect from it. Whether you’re hitting the road for a daily commute or embarking on an adventurous road trip, your well-maintained Ford Focus ST is sure to give you a driving experience that’s nothing short of exceptional.