Can you feel any play or movement in the pivots or 'rear end' of your mtb? More than likely, if there is any movement in the rear end it will be caused by worn shock bushings and or reducers. Often made from steel with a nylon / PTFE coating, the bushings inside the eyelets of your rear shock are designed to wear over time, and thus - they are an easily replaceable part with the right tools and a little care. See our steps below that identify some of the common types of bushings and reducers, and how you can replace them to eliminate that annoying, and performance effecting play.
Bushing wear Identification:
In the pics you will see a brand new unused DU bushing. On the right is a bushing that is just 8months old, and you may notice it has much of it's inner PTFE coating worn off.
Bushing Installation and Removal Tools - Both Fox (Left) and Rockshox
(Right) sell these great 'push and receive' style bushing tools that can be used to properly remove the DU bushings from the shock eyelets. Fox's tool mounts into a vise, and Rockshox's tool can be used with either a vice or shop wrenches.
Removing a worn DU bushing:
Here you can see a worn DU bushing in the eyelet of this Fox Shock. Using the bushing tool and a bench mounted vice, remove the old bushing by squarely driving it out into the tool's receiving end. You can see how the tool 'pushes' the DU bush into the 'receiving' end of the tool without damaging the shock eyelet inner surfaces.
Removing a worn nylon flanged bushing:
You can use a small flat headed screw driver carefully lever the nylon bush out from the eyelet OR, use a small punch to drive them out from the centre. Hold the shock steady and use caution to avoid slipping with the tool and damaging the shock's damper body.
For installation of the new DU, the procedure is the same, however you can reverse the 'receiving' end of the tool so that when you drive the new DU bushing into the eyelet, it will sit snug and flush with the other end. When properly installed, the DU bushing should not protrude outside the shock eyelet. Nylon bushings can be pressed into the empty shock eyelet with the a soft jaw vice.
Important note - Do not use any form of grease, locking compound or lubricant in your shock's eyelets or bushings. This will attract dirt and or contaminate the PTFE coating and dramatically reduce the life of the bushings.
Reducer / shock hardware wear types/ Identification - Click here!