RA Bracket; Is this normal? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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RA Bracket; Is this normal?


New Member
January 5, 2013
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City, State
Treasure Coast, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 Sport 2WD AT
So, in preparation of replacing my radius arm bushings, I removed the rear bolts and rear bushing halves just to get a look at the bracket and state of the bushings. I am a little confused by what I found...


Over 1/8 inch gap between bushing and bracket.


Same on both sides.

But the bracket holes don't look worn or bent, just larger than the rubber bushing. Is there supposed to be a space this large? Will the bushings squish and spread when everything is tightened? Or is the bracket shot?

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The pics on google drive aren't showing up. Might need to use something else.

The bracket holes DO enlarge over time if worn out bushings are left on there too long.

I'd say it's more likely that it's just that the bushings you have are worn out, and the rubber bushings themselves have worn and compressed from age and use.

Definitely time for new ones.

That gap is why you need to replace the bushings there worn out. I replaced mine with Urethane ones 15 years ago. but they have hardened and shrunk and need replacing again. I plan to go back to rubber ones made by Moog.

Photos are fixed.
The weird thing is the rubber parts look in OK shape. A little flatter than the new ones, but not noticeably shrunken.


After those pics I put it back together using the old bushings and new spacers. It actually feels a little tighter just from that.

Also, I did not have any kind of heat shielding to remove. Isn't there supposed to be something by the cats?

Do you mean these, at the very front of the assembly...



They are like thick, bowl shaped washers that slide on the bolt shaft before the inner bushing.

Also, back to the original question. Judging by the gap in the top pics, and that the new bushings look to be the same size as the old ones, do you think the bracket should be changed?

No, it looks like this and covers the whole back half of the bushings, next to the cat.

Are those just Moog rubber bushings you used? If so (since they look to be the same as the ones you're replacing) maybe they are just bottom-of-the-barrel cheap-o rubber and so were made slightly too small and just have the same design flaw.

Other brands or even Moog's own polyurethane bushings might give a better fit.

I've replaced them with polyurethane ones from Energy Suspension, and they fit snug in the bracket hole with no gap at all.