Sunday, January 25, 2009

BugE bumper probem - and solution

Monitoring the Yahoo group informed me that there was an issue with the rear shock absorber (also known as BugE bumpers). The issue was that the bumpers would bulge out beyond the ends of the bumper assembly, cutting into the BugE shock fitting. This may lead to an early failure of the BugE bumpers with all sorts of ugly consequences. When I was building the BugE, I noticed my BugE was experiencing similar symptoms. (Lots of bulging, even with no batteries installed). Since I was VERY close to putting the batteries, giving the bumper a full load, I needed to get this repaired!

For those of you with the rear suspension BugE's that don't have improved bumpers, here are two methods to upgrade. One takes money, the other takes time.

For around $35, you can make an inexpensive improvement over the rubber BugE bumpers by replacing them with a EnergySuspension Universal Bushing kit #9.4102R. The kits are available through AutoZone.... You typically get two, so you'll have an extra!.

To change out the bumpers, remove the shock from the vehicle. (don't forget to support the rear since the rear of the BugE will fall without a jack to hold it up) Once removed, the rear shock comes apart with an allen bolt. .

If you don't have $35 at the moment, some humble $0.99 hockey pucks can also be used. To make center holes, I just use progressively larger wood drill bits to drill out a hole. To make the 1/2 puck in the middle, I used a recipricating saw and vise. Messy but effective. The ride is somewhat stiffer than original but the material seems to be holding up well.

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