Sealey examines suspension bush maintenance

Sealey examines suspension bush maintenance

Whilst many larger vehicles are now fitted with air suspension, medium to small vehicles still use traditional spring arrangements. Sealey outlines the importance of correctly maintaining the suspension bush.

Commercial vehicles are designed primarily for the purpose of moving goods, in addition to this they also have to provide a safe and comfortable place for the driver to work and rest. With this in mind, a great deal of time is invested in vehicle design to make it as quiet and comfortable as possible.

Many larger vehicles are now fitted with air suspension, but medium to small vehicles still use traditional spring arrangements. Rubber suspension bushes help to isolate the vehicle from the road and play a part in noise reduction to the cab and its occupants.

Suspension bushes have a working life and at some point when wear occurs they will need to be replaced. When this operation is required, with most bushes, this is a very straightforward task.

What to consider

When a bush can be removed and replaced easily and without force there is very little to cause concern. Add some corrosion to the area and things can be very different. A bush that we would expect to give up its location without fuss suddenly becomes part of its surroundings. At some point in the workshop we have all seen home-made pressing tools, air chisels, and even oxy-acetylene supplied heat to burn the rubber bush away. All of these methods carry some risk.

This risk varies from personal injury to potentially putting the entire vehicle and even the workshop at risk if a fire becomes out of control as a result of wayward heat and flames. These issues are all too familiar with bushes that are a simple fit and an interference fit, but some bushes have a different problem to solve.

Slotted bushes bring all the aforementioned challenges but pose an additional and slightly different type of challenge when replacement is required. These bushes can be found on several commercial vehicles of various makes.

This type of bush differs to conventional bushes because they are compressed before fitting and are therefore a very tight fit once installed. This type of fitment compounds any extra corrosion resistance when removal is required. This presents the vehicle technician with two problems.

Sealey suspension bush

Potential problems

Firstly, removing the old bush in a safe and controlled manner, and secondly, compressing the outside diameter of the bush to enable installation into the suspension spring. Even with the suspension spring removed from the vehicle, the new bush will still need to be protected from parallel working tensions during fitting to prevent damage to the bush.

This means compressing the outside diameter before attempting to fit it into the spring. Such is the amount of force required to remove the old bush, and then compress the new bush before fitment it into the spring, home-made devices are neither safe nor practical. A specialist tool is required.

To find a tool that can not only change these bushes safely and with relative ease, but to also be able to perform this function without removing the suspension spring from the vehicle is also a huge time saver. Time is money, as they say, so such a tool would soon pay for itself and perform this task in a safe and convenient manor.

The solution

The Sealey CV040 Hydraulic Bush Tool has been a popular recent addition to the extensive range of Sealey’s suspension tools. It is specifically designed for the installation and removal of slotted bushes on commercial spring suspension.

The tool includes a 12-tonne hydraulic cylinder (supplied without hydraulic pump – use in conjunction with Hydraulic Pump Model Nos RE83/840/CWH or RE97.10-01). The variety of adaptors included in the kit ensure that any type of this split bush found on this type of application can be removed and replaced with ease.

Any tool or piece of equipment that cuts down on vehicle repair time is a great benefit for not only the workshop, but also for the vehicle operator. Goods delivery business has grown significantly during the pandemic and the demand for vehicles to be off the road for as short a time as possible has never been greater.

Sealey’s complete product range can be viewed on its new website. You can also search for spare parts, register your warranty, search for setting & locking kits, view the new help & support pages, and many other useful features, all by clicking here.

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