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2004 6MT
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter's TSX is almost ready for her 16th birthday, and refreshing the suspension is one of the last things on my list. We've done a bunch of stuff, including the clutch, engine mounts, shifter cable bushings, fluid changes, and more I'm probably forgetting. I don't know a ton about the history of the car, but from what I know about the original owners, I wouldn't be surprised if everything on the suspension was original. There are several symptoms of worn bushings and with this mileage, I figure just about all of them should be replaced. Coming from working on older BMWs, I know what a difference fresh suspension components can make and am eager to get this thing driving like it should. I may document things here if there's demand for it, but first some questions...

In BMW-land, it's common to just replace suspension components like control arms rather fitting new bushings, which is annoying and expensive. But it sounds like with the TSX I can just press new control arm bushings in and retain the arm itself? If this is true that would be wonderful.

What are some must-do replacement items that shouldn't be forgotten?

What is worth spending OE money on, and what can I cheap out on? I sprung for all OEM parts for the engine mounts ($$$) so saving money in other areas would be nice.

Any recommendations for shocks/struts? I am leaning towards Koni STR.T (orange) shocks because I have them on my Fiesta ST and like them pretty well as a slight upgrade over OE shocks paired with stock springs.

Thanks in advance!
 

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2008 auto TSX CGP
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615 Posts
You can press in new bushings (3 per side) in the control arm. I did it twice manually and found it very labor intensive, PITA to be honest. The 3rd time I just replaced the whole control arm and found it to be very easy. Their pretty cheap on Rock Auto. If you replace the bushings I would recommend using a press.

You might want to inspect the sway bar bushings, both front and rear. They're rubber and wear/collapse over time. Lube them with lithium grease if you do replace them to reduce squeaking.

I also replaced the bushings for my shock springs when I installed new coilovers. Koni and Bilstein are great shocks if you don't want coilovers. I don't have any experience with either one so maybe someone else can chime in.
 

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749 Posts
Speaking from my experience, oem bushings have the best ride quality. So if you can DIY (sounds to me like you have been doing so?) then for sure replace as many as you can. Otherwise, the labor cost piles up fast.

You can go with aftermarket, pre-assembled unit for much much lower cost. For example, oem control arm is ~$270 but MOOG is only ~$80. Of course, you get what you pay for, and the difference in ride quality is very noticeable. Still, a tight car is better than a loose one. Aftermarket bushings (with decent quality) will also probably last longer because the compound is stiffer.

I have replaced lower control arms, front sway bar bushings, and the rear links that have the biggest bushing (forget which one). Every little bit helps, but LCA is by far the one that makes the biggest difference.

For suspension, I would go Tein Street Basis Z or Advance Z and call it a day. Their spring rate is spot on for 1G TSX, and the customer support is great. If your daughter likes factory ride quality more, perhaps consider Tein's EnduroPro damper that is a drop-in replacement for OE damper.
 
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