Trailing Arm bushings

Greetings :
I’m looking into the rear suspension of my '84 1.9 Westfalia . There is a 3mm gap on the inside edge of the trailing arm bushing and the outer bracket? (Bentley 42.2) I can’t determine if the trailing arm had been moving nor can I determine if there is another sleeve inside the bushing to keep the trailing arm from shifting under cross loading. Is this within normal specs.?
Thanks, Steve
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Capt. Mike

You should find the bushings are like the front, with a metal sleeve inside that is the space determiner. The adjustment is such that the bolt slides up & down the elongaged slot in the outer bracket and by tightening it, you actually tighten the bracket flanges against the bushing sleeve so they are locked together.

The bushing should have a rubber lip at each end. That is the 'space' between the arm and the bracket. You'd have to look at a new bushing to see the approximate thickness of the lip, but if the lip has been eaten away, or you don't have approximately the same lip on both sides, then the bushing is probably on the way south.

The bushing can also take a set over time. i.e. the metal sleeve is no longer centered in the rubber. This means the camber adjustment gets outside the range of adjustment. The usual quick-fix is to elongate the vertical slots with a round file. Eventually you'll have to rebush, but that will hold thousands of extra miles.
Hello I own a 1990 automatic westy 80k miles got all 4 shocks replaced and 4 new LT tires wich has improoved the handling quite a bit bu I am getting a lot of plocking (Read: plock-plock) specially from the rear form any little crack or bumps on the road....are there many bushings that need to be changed?

Capt. Mike

The rear suspension arm has only 2 bushings -- see Benelty 42.2.

If this just began with the change of shocks, recheck your shock installation. Aftermarket shocks may not have the correct sleeve.

New LT tires at the higher pressures required -- 50 psi & up are considerably stiffer than the 40 psi of the factory OE 'reinforced' radials. See the OE & OEM wheels & tires topic in the WHEELS & BRAKES forum.

Doc Brown

New member
Trailing Arm cracked

Hi folks. Not sure that this really belongs in this thread, but I didn't really want to start a new one - Captain Mike will move it it it needs moving, I guess.

The LH trailing arm on my 81 westy (Canadian model, manual tranny) has a corrosion crack just aft of the outside bushing, mostly on the underside, wrapping around the outboard edge a bit.

Question 1: is this an immediate danger? Most of the load back there would be at the shock/spring area, I would think. I suspect it's been there some time, corrosion doesn't just happen overnight. On the other hand, I can't say that I've noticed it before and it may have opened up after 18 miles of unpaved highway that I rode last weekend. Obviously I'm not going to go on any road trips while I know it needs work, but I do drive it around town when my wife has the car....

Question 2: Any suggestions on repair? I have the acquaintance of a very talented welder (just put a new floor in my Jetta.....), I'm guessing that would require removal of the arm (though he may have room to work around the bushings - which of course will melt with all the welding...)- at which point, from the sounds of things in this forum, we're talking new bushings and bolts since they probably need to be cut out. Or is welding even an option on suspension parts such as this (changing the shape of the arm would, I would think, be very bad......)

Capt. Mike

Doc Brown: Q#1: Yes
Q#2: The trailing arm is a hollow box. That you have a corrosion crack visible on the outside probably indicates serious corrosion elsewhere on the inside. Safer with a new or at least corrosion-free used trailing arm. Suggest you also check both.