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2003 9-5 Linear Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I installed the PPS blue poly subframe bushings about a month or two ago, and not long after I installed them I noticed a weird clicking/clunking sound when accelerating, decelerating, going over bumps, etc at low speeds (no weird noises once I'm in the highway). It also only happens once the car is warmed up, no noises at all on a cold start.

I'm pretty sure it's the center subframe bushings that sit in the wheel arches, and I checked them recently and they actually seem to be loose in the subframe when the subframe is lowered. I took a quick video that I'll link so you can see what I mean. Only the center bushings are like this, the rearward bushings seem to be in the subframe tight. Is this a factor of poor quality bushings that are just sized wrong? I got the PPS since others said they were okay and the PowerFlex bushings are 4x the cost. I ordered them from eSaabParts so I have no reason to believe they're the wrong ones. Has anyone else had this happen? I don't want to pay $200 for 2 of the PowerFlex bushings if I don't need to.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, the inner race doesn't really seem to change the size or slop in it at all, unfortunately. I'm really confused as to how this is happening, I would think plenty of other people would be having this problem if these are the same exact size bushings everyone else has.
 

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I always wondered how those poly bushings worked, since 2002+ cars used a slightly different bushing for the center. The poly ones are all the same size, aren't they?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I always wondered how those poly bushings worked, since 2002+ cars used a slightly different bushing for the center. The poly ones are all the same size, aren't they?
Unfortunately yep, they're all the same size. I haven't seen another set of poly bushings from PPS that has differing sizes, so maybe I just need to ante up and get the PowerFlex ones...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Haha I wish I knew. If I had known this would happen I wouldn't have gone with the cheaper ones, I just figured they'd be about the same. I'm hoping someone else has some experience with either the PowerFlex bushings or a different part number of the PPS bushings.
 

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I used the ProParts ones in my ‘06 and have had zero issues with fitment. Are the 06+ cars different yet again?
 

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Haha I wish I knew. If I had known this would happen I wouldn't have gone with the cheaper ones, I just figured they'd be about the same. I'm hoping someone else has some experience with either the PowerFlex bushings or a different part number of the PPS bushings.
At a quick glance the PowerFlex ones all appear to be the same size also.
 

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I have two 9-5's. Both of them are 2004 Aero wagons. One has ProParts subframe bushings and the other has Powerflex. I haven't had any issues with either since installation (about 1 and 2 years respectively). One of the 2004's has a subframe from a 2000 because the original was pretty rusty. So I didn't have issues in either year.

Silly question, but was the metal sleeve installed in the center of the bushing halves? Maybe double check the torque on the subframe bolts?
 

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Haha I wish I knew. If I had known this would happen I wouldn't have gone with the cheaper ones, I just figured they'd be about the same. I'm hoping someone else has some experience with either the PowerFlex bushings or a different part number of the PPS bushings.
Were they loose when you first installed them? Maybe you didnt tighten/compress the bushing down enough? But I dont think you'd be able to compress the bushing down very far anyways with that metal race in the middle.

Here is the part number of the bushings I installed if you want to compare.

276181
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have two 9-5's. Both of them are 2004 Aero wagons. One has ProParts subframe bushings and the other has Powerflex. I haven't had any issues with either since installation (about 1 and 2 years respectively). One of the 2004's has a subframe from a 2000 because the original was pretty rusty. So I didn't have issues in either year.

Silly question, but was the metal sleeve installed in the center of the bushing halves? Maybe double check the torque on the subframe bolts?
Is the one with the ProParts bushings using the 2000 or 2004 subframe?

And yeah, I put the center race/sleeve back in, I had just removed it to make sure it had enough grease on it. I also did torque them properly, with the subframe jacked up against the body, using my big torque wrench. I even actually broke a subframe bolt while torquing it (maybe because the extension wasn't able to stay straight enough on there) and I had to cut what was left of the bolt, pull the nut out, extract the bolt from the nut, and replace the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Were they loose when you first installed them? Maybe you didnt tighten/compress the bushing down enough? But I dont think you'd be able to compress the bushing down very far anyways with that metal race in the middle.

Here is the part number of the bushings I installed if you want to compare.

View attachment 276181
I'm not sure I checked the bushing fit when I first installed it, and even if I had I probably would have attributed the loose fit to not having the race in it or something and brushed it off. That said, with the race inside the bushing it shouldn't really compress at all when it's torqued down. Thanks for sending the PN, I'll see if the two I have out of the car match that.
 

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Funny you mentioned this, over the past month or so I've been getting the same symptoms. And I just put in PPS ply subs in maybe a few months ago...
Maybe its a MA thing (joke). They seem to have shrunk.
 

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I'm not sure I checked the bushing fit when I first installed it, and even if I had I probably would have attributed the loose fit to not having the race in it or something and brushed it off. That said, with the race inside the bushing it shouldn't really compress at all when it's torqued down. Thanks for sending the PN, I'll see if the two I have out of the car match that.
The race obviously wont compress. But if the bushing compresses it'll get wider. Did you put the bolts back into their original positions? I remember the middle ones being different. I think that one had the biggest washer. It probably distributed the force on the bushing itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did you put the bolts back into their original positions? I remember the middle ones being different. I think that one had the biggest washer. It probably distributed the force on the bushing itself.
Yeah the middle ones are different IIRC, but there aren't any washers on the bottom, just the flanged bolt and the washer that goes on top of the bushing (at least according to the eEuroParts video, and others). I have the washers from the front two bushings and I could try putting those underneath in addition to the washers above, but I don't think it'll compress the bushing with the race in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Maybe its a MA thing (joke). They seem to have shrunk.
Haha I sure hope not. I might contact PPS and make sure they only ever made one size of bushings and ask if they had different ones for the differences in subframes for different MYs.
 

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Yeah the middle ones are different IIRC, but there aren't any washers on the bottom, just the flanged bolt and the washer that goes on top of the bushing (at least according to the eEuroParts video, and others). I have the washers from the front two bushings and I could try putting those underneath in addition to the washers above, but I don't think it'll compress the bushing with the race in the way.
There definitely are washers on the front and center bolts. At least on the 2006 year cars. Im not talking about the washers that come with the kit. The washers on the bolts arent flat washers. Adding another flat washer from the kit will not help, it will just get hung up on the inner race.

I believe this is the kind of washer on the centers
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I believe this is the kind of washer on the centers
I remember these now. Off the top of my head I don't remember if they're in there but I can't imagine I just put everything back together without them. I'll have to check this weekend when I do the turbo swap and make sure they're installed.

Thank you for linking that diagram by the way, it even shows the different sized subframe bushings (2A and 2B) and lists the PPS bushings as including both, but it seems like the PPS kit has just 1 bushing size, which is a little weird, but maybe not a big deal.
 
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