Let's play: "remove suspension bushes", on easy mode

This is a top link from the front suspension of a Rover P5.

This is part of the "rebuild the entire front end" subproject of my Rover P5 project. Among other things, I am replacing every suspension bush. That requires removing perished six-thousand-year-old rubber suspension bushes. This is nobody's favourite job, for any person that is lacking (say) a 12-ton hydraulic press.

I learned a little trick that makes it painless to remove suspension bushes. It uses tools and random junk which you probably already own if you have a car project.

First, identify the side of your suspension component that has more protruding bush than the other. We're going to call this side the receiving end.

If neither is an obvious candidate, then pick either one. It's not hugely important; it means marginally less effort to remove it.

Next, find a socket that fits fairly snugly over the bush on the receiving end. You should find one just large enough to accommodate the bush inside. The depth of the socket is not too critical.

In this case, a 32mm Metrinch socket was a perfect fit.

Next, find a bolt. It should be of the right diameter to fit through your socket. It should have sufficient length to go through the socket, your suspension component, and leave enough thread poking out the other end to accommodate a nut and a washer. 10 mm of "spare" thread (that's 3/8" if you're reading this in the United States or in 1965). Slide this and a protective washer through your socket.

I did not have a bolt of just the right size, but I did have a random length of somewhat-munted threaded rod which was of just the right size, so I used that instead.

Next, put a nut and washer on the other side of your bolt.

Ideally, the washer should be just a little smaller than the internal diameter of your component. It is sufficient to be just somewhat larger than the nut.

Next, put a spanner on the bolt head on the receiving end, then tighten the nut on the other end. You can do this by hand if you have to. I had other things I wanted to do that day, and I also have an impact wrench, so I went full send with an impact wrench.

This will extract the suspension bush into your receiving socket! ⭐ 🎵 IT'S A KIND OF MAGIC 🎵 ⭐

And the now-thoroughly-destroyed bush should quite easily pull out of your socket.

Do that another three times, then spend a couple of afternoons cleaning them up, and you'll end up with four spiffy-looking suspension top links...

...which do not have suspension bushes yet! Most people working on most project cars would be happy to fit polyurethane bushes from here. Polybushes are usually easy to fit without a press, so the next step would be straightforward and would not require a press. I would not want polybushes on the P5 even if such a thing existed for the P5; I want rubber bushes to keep the original characteristics of the car. I don't trust this same method to fit rubber suspension bushes (after all, I didn't care about destroying them when removing them), so this meant ordering that 12-ton press I mentioned. Oh well, I'm not convinced a press would have done the job any faster.

There are other field-expedient ways of removing bushes. You can burn them out with a blowtorch, but this stinks and takes forever. You can use a hole saw of exactly the right size. That stinks slightly less but also takes forever. This method is not just smell-free, but it is also very quick; it took about 20 minutes to find exactly the right combination of random bits of stuff in a box of shit and about 2 minutes in total to extract all four bushes. I hope this helps someone else.