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Old 04-07-2021, 09:52 PM   #1
GunMetalGrey

 
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“Play” in suspension bushings and components from tracking

Can anyone tell me how much play and how soon should I get play in the suspension bushings and components of my 2018 Camaro ZL1 because of track use?

My 2018 Camaro ZL1 only has 30k miles on it and has been tracked for two seasons (about 12 day events) at a very corner heavy technical track I drive very aggressively at.

My alignment shop is saying I have multiple bushings and components that have too much play in them that should be replaced but this seems like very fast wear and tear to me.

Disclaimer; They are not a racing or track alignment shop and they don’t know Camaro’s particularly well but they do the best alignment work in my city because they are picky. I’m calling them tomorrow to get more detail but they recommended the following;

“Left & right rearmost upper toe arms have play at both ends. Rear suspension bushings have play & recommend installing race style suspension.
Left & right front 45 degree ball joints have moderate play & need to be replaced”.

Has any heard of or experienced the need to replace bushings this quickly?
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:18 PM   #2
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No, I haven't heard.


I have 40k miles on mine and have tracked/AutoX'd quite a bit since new.


Also have a SCCA TT Class champ in my region with a 1LE and he hasn't mentioned anything. He recently went through his 2018 SS 1LE quite thoroughly because he is running One Lap of America in May.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:36 PM   #3
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Thanks I appreciate the feedback!
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:45 AM   #4
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Honestly, it seems reasonable to me that they might need replacement, but it's hard to know without knowing the baseline play in the bushings when new (and there will be some). Race cars often need rebuilt dampers or rod ends fairly frequently with hard use.

If the car feels fine to you, and the bushings check out visually, don't worry about it IMO.

Edit: 12 events seems like a very low amount to require replacement from track use alone. I have a friend who tracked his M240i BMW track-only car for I *think* ~50-75 hours before he need to replace the dampers. He managed ~150 track hours before replacing his original driveshaft flex disk. I guess these modern cars are pretty hardy. So I guess my point stands: if it feels OK and looks OK, don't worry.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:29 AM   #5
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take it to your local chevy dealer and have them verify
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:28 AM   #6
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"Left & right rearmost upper toe arms have play at both ends."

There is only one set of toe arms in the rear, you should have them point out exactly which bushings are damaged. The rubber bushings are not high void, and really should not degrade that quickly. They are bushings, they provide compliance, that is not "play".

"Left & right front 45 degree ball joints have moderate play & need to be replaced"

This sounds like they are talking about the ball joint at the end of the front trailing arms. I'd be very skeptical of these being bad already, that should be easy to verify though.

If you don't work on your own car and have the ability to independently verify this, take it somewhere to get a second opinion. I'm skeptical myself.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Apparently the issue with a Front ball joints was taken care of when I replaced the OEM front lower control arms with new ones from SPL parts. Those were actually old notes from last year.

Good point on the compliance in the rubber bushings, I will make sure he knows they are rubber bushings and should have some compliance in them and then see what he says.

Unfortunately I don’t trust what I feel, I don’t have a lot of experience and I don’t have very good sensory perception as to what the car is doing, I find it very subjective and contextual unless it’s very obvious.

I think getting a 2nd opinion and seeing the compliance or play in the bushings first hand in person is probably my best bet.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:01 AM   #8
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Can anyone confirm if the rear upper toe arms have rubber bushings on either end of them? Those are the parts I am most concerned about, especially if they don’t have any bushings on the ends.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:28 AM   #9
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had my car over 5 years with over 30k and abut 5 or 6 track days and no problems yet
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunMetalGrey View Post
Can anyone confirm if the rear upper toe arms have rubber bushings on either end of them? Those are the parts I am most concerned about, especially if they don’t have any bushings on the ends.
I suspect he is talking about the trailing links in the rear? There are upper and lower trailing links. The bushings in the trailing links are rubber. On the FE4 suspension they are higher durometer rubber than FE2/FE3.

The opposite end of that link is the rubber bushing that is pressed into the upright. I think it would be bizarre for those to be bad already.
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:16 AM   #11
GunMetalGrey

 
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Yeah I have a hard time believing it too, I’m just gonna get him to show me and take a video since I’m not even sure what he’s talking about exactly or if he’s using the correct part names
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