As wonderful and robust as a 350Z is, like any other car, it’s got it’s share of quirks. The very early cars has transmission issues (solved by Nissan with later revisions), some of the interior stuff is easily scratched. Revup engines are widely known for oil consumption issues. So it goes – every car has it’s faults. One area that is of particular concern for Z33 drivers are the front bushings. The stock bushings are a soft compound rubber, designed for comfort vs longevity. Even on bone stock cars, they are known to start going bad in the 30k mile mark. Add in lowering via springs or coilovers, stiffer spring rates, and wider, heavier tires with lower offset wheels, and the weak factory parts become even more taxed.
The compression rod bushing is an area of particular concern for the 350Z and G35. This horshoe-shaped, aluminum rod makes up part of the front suspension, sitting between the front crossmember and the hub. It features a bushing on one end, and a ball joint on the other. The balljoint is quite strong, and hasn’t proved problematic. The compression rod bushing is another story altogether. Nearly every G35 customer we’ve got has replaced these at least once. 350Z guys also have this part fail over and over. For some reason, Nissan sells a replacement compression rod bushing on the Infiniti side (via part # 54570-AC70A), but not on the Nissan side. Some claim this bushing is “revised” from Nissan. We’ve never found any tangiable evidence that that’s true though. In the aftermarket, for the longest time, the only offering was SPL’s solid compression rod bushing kit. A terrific piece indeed, but really more suited for track use vs street use, as it can be sort of noisy because of the location. Not to mention, so many people have already replaced their lower control arm bushings (inner and outer) with the Whiteline Urethane pieces, that fitting a solid bushing isn’t exactly a perfect match from a stiffness standpoint.
NISMO does a version of these as well, but each time we check, they are not available – sort of perpetually backordered. There is another brand, called Armstrong, which is unique in that it’s a solid urethane design. Have not had a chance to try those as of yet. The Whiteline is more of a sandwich approach so installation is simple, though removing the factory ones does require a press.
Last year, Whiteline introduced a urethane Compression Rod Bushing Kit. We’ve sold quite a few, but never had a chance to do a direct comparison vs. stock. We think the picture speak for themselves. The Whiteline bushing is so much more solid vs the sloppy factory unit. It’s also a considerably higher durometer, but not so overly stiff that it isn’t very comfortable on the street.