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ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:29 pm
by 93celicaconv
I think I've given up hope of ever finding Toyota OEM natural rubber bushings for the rear subframe on an ST185:
- 52271-20010: Qty. 4: Cushion, Rear Suspension Member Body Mounting
- 52281-20010: Qty. 2: Cushion, Differential Support Member

These OEM natural rubber bushings were supplied with a hardness factor of Shore A 60 (60 ShA).

GT4 Racing makes ST185 rear subframe bushings in poly. There "standard" poly bushing hardness is in the range of 75-80 ShA, or about 15-20% harder than natural rubber. Many in this forum like the solid/tight feel these bushings provided as a result, but also said they could feel a little more vibration energy / increased road feel (harshness).

GT4 Racing also makes track & racing subframe bushing poly bushings which are harder (90 ShA).

For me, I want to get the ST185 back to where it was when it was coming off the showroom floor - prefer the softer feel. GT4 Racing can custom make these subframe poly bushings that are closer to the original natural rubber hardness - those poly bushing hardness on special order would be 65 ShA. Still a little harder than natural rubber, but softer than GT4 Racing's normal poly bushing hardness.

Has anyone on this forum ever ordered these special order GT4 Racing ST185 rear subframe poly bushings that are softer than their normal versions (65 ShA)? If so, could you chime in on how you felt these softer bushings worked for you? And what your reasons were to go with special-order softer bushings in this application?

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:44 am
by underscore
Have you tried Lithia Toyota Parts? They still list them both as available, $80 each for the 71's and $94 for the 81's.

If they can't actually supply them then the GT4 Racing ones at 65 should be pretty close, an 8% increase in harshness at the back of the vehicle isn't something most people would be able to detect.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:16 pm
by 93celicaconv
underscore wrote:Have you tried Lithia Toyota Parts? They still list them both as available, $80 each for the 71's and $94 for the 81's.

If they can't actually supply them then the GT4 Racing ones at 65 should be pretty close, an 8% increase in harshness at the back of the vehicle isn't something most people would be able to detect.

I will check with Lithia Toyota. Often individual places just don't update their information when items are discontinued.

Part of my hesitation with GT4 Racing with the 65 ShA poly is that they said 65 ShA won't last as long as their standard 75-80 ShA poly bushings. So this tells me poly in nearly equivalent hardness to natural rubber is not as durable. Not clear to me how poly bushings "wear-out" or fail though.

I guess this is a choice based on compromise.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:36 am
by 93celicaconv
Got a response back from Lithia Toyota. As expected, discontinued (web page on availability not being updated). So no OEM natural rubber options available.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:05 pm
by 93celicaconv
Snow and salt finally dissipated enough to get the ST185 to a local mechanic I trust. Found out my drifting and noise is not from rear subframe bushing problems (they all checked out good) and not from rear wheel bearings, but from spherical bushings with too much play in them. So have them plus a bunch of bolts/nuts/tow alignment hardware items on order to essentially get the rear suspension back where it should be. Parts should arrive by earl to mid-April, with install the week after all part arrivals. Will advise after installation and a realignment in the rear is completed. Funny in a way, thinking rear subframe bushings were shot - they moved well w/proper resistance in any direction - no looseness. Sometimes parts that are 29 years old like bushings don't automatically cause them to be bad - at least I hope.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:06 am
by Mandrew
Lou Brooks of BRD based out of the UK. Worth the wait for shipping, he makes bushings for all sorts of cars, but specializes in the Alltrac/GT-FOUR as he has a legit race car/shop car GT-FOUR. You can find him on Facebooks Alltrac group, or the BRD website.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:14 am
by gt4ferko
I got these from gt4 racing. Seem pretty soft for poly. Hoping for as decent ride quality as possible. I post my review soon.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:34 pm
by 93celicaconv
I talked with GT4 Racing. Their normal poly subframe bushings have a hardness rating of 75-85 ShA (Shore A). Normal rubber for these bushings have hardness ratings in the 60 ShA. They said they can make a special run for me of a softer poly bushing for the subframe in the 65 ShA hardness area, which is what I would get if/when I feel the need to put new subframe bushings in. Those special 65 ShA bushings were only available in red (black was not an option).

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:39 pm
by gt4ferko
I emailed them an requested a quote for the softest I could get. And just paid what they sent me on the invoice. Haha. I wasn't being too picky.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:05 pm
by 93celicaconv
gt4ferko wrote:I emailed them an requested a quote for the softest I could get. And just paid what they sent me on the invoice. Haha. I wasn't being too picky.

I would be very, very interested in hearing your perception of the ride once you get this "softer" poly bushings installed. Are you doing any other items in your refurbishment? Just wondering how many things are changing at the same time in your work plan.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:12 am
by gt4ferko
93celicaconv wrote:
gt4ferko wrote:I emailed them an requested a quote for the softest I could get. And just paid what they sent me on the invoice. Haha. I wasn't being too picky.

I would be very, very interested in hearing your perception of the ride once you get this "softer" poly bushings installed. Are you doing any other items in your refurbishment? Just wondering how many things are changing at the same time in your work plan.



Every bushing, nut, bolt, washer replaced. Most likely going to run BC coilovers. Steering rack along with ends are all brand new. Hoping to get great feedback from the chassis along with a relatively comfortable ride at least.

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:45 am
by 93celicaconv
What was the reason you went to replace all of that at the same time? Was the ride not what you wanted?

Re: ST185 Rear Subframe Bushing Options

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:30 pm
by gt4ferko
93celicaconv wrote:What was the reason you went to replace all of that at the same time? Was the ride not what you wanted?



Well I live northeast United States. So at the beginning of the project everything was falling apart and rusted. So I figured when not strip it, replace everything, and coat it all. Looking to have a brand new feel to it when done.