Rubber vs Polyurethane Suspension Bushings

Rubber vs Polyurethane Bushings

Rubber or Polyurethane? Each has their pros, and each has their cons. In the suspension bushing world, the majority of decisions comes down to these two materials and the inevitable question: which one is better?
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each material. Specifically we’ll look at the differences between rubber and polyurethane in:

It’s all Relative

When asking the question, “which is better for bushings: polyurethane or rubber?”, you must first acknowledge that this is a relative question. Imagine a guy from Texas and a guy from Alaska meet at a July conference in Seattle, Washington. The guy from Texas, who is used to the average temperature of about 96 degrees Fahrenheit, would sense the relief in the 72 degree weather. While the guy from Alaska would gladly welcome the warm weather instead of the mid 60s he would usually get in July. So to these guys, cold or hot is relative. In comparing rubber bushings against polyurethane, its much the same. Noise, vibration and harshness (aka NVH – important later) are relative to the driver. Here are the facts regarding rubber and polyurethane so you can make an informed decision.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane

Opposite ends of the spectrum?

It is important to clarify that rubber and polyurethane are not polar opposites. They are not on opposite ends of the spectrum. There are softer things than rubber, like jello, and harder things than polyurethane, like aluminum or metal joints. While there probably isn’t a car out there that utilizes the innovative jello bushing, there are a lot of race car drivers who run aluminum joints on their vehicles. Rubber and polyurethane, while differing in a lot of ways, fall more in the middle of the spectrum.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Scale

Ride Quality

Trade off: Smooth and Quiet ride vs a Bit more NVH

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Ride Quality

Rubber is a much softer material than polyurethane, so it dampens a lot of the road noise and vibrations from entering the cab of the vehicle. In other words, it softens the blow from the road.

Polyurethane on the other hand is made to be a firmer bushing than rubber. This means more noise and vibration will be transferred to the cab as the suspension travels. Some may feel the ride is harsh, while others welcome the enhanced feel of the road. Again, recall our sojourners from Texas and Alaska. How you answer the question of ride quality is a relative question. Would you like a more tactile feel of the road or pillows for tires?

Rubber Vs Polyurethane


Trade off: Repeat offender vs Longevity

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Lifespan

Think about it for a minute. What are you replacing? A rubber O.E. bushing right? So it’s pretty safe to assume that replacing a worn and torn rubber bushing with the same material will put you right back in this same spot one day. Entropy will eventually run its course and the bushing will wear out. Rubber is soft, and more importantly, takes damage from heat, road chemicals, oil and UV rays. So these bushing are already going to take a beating, and that’s before you put the weight of the vehicle and the stresses of the suspension on them.

As the suspension travels the bushings stretch and compress to comply with the suspension movement. Over time, rubber begins to wear and distort causing your suspension to work less efficiently due to the failing part. Loose suspension parts, constant mis-alignment, and annoying noises are common symptoms of a failed rubber bushing. If you use rubber to replace failed rubber, don’t be surprised to find yourself in a similar situation several years down the road. For some people that’s okay. A rubber suspension bushing is like a tire, in that eventually the bushing will wear out and need to be replaced. Some would rather keep the soft bushing and its characteristics even if they have to replace it again in the future.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane

Others, however, want a part that lasts the lifetime of their vehicle. That’s where polyurethane comes in. Polyurethane bushings are a firmer material and far better suited to handle the grind of being a suspension bushing. This material is resistant to heat, road chemicals, other oils and UV rays. Not only is polyurethane weather proof, it’s also wear resistant. Rubber is damaged after repeated flexing and stretching. Polyurethane doesn’t have that problem. Since there is very little flexing and stretching, a polyurethane bushing doesn’t warp or distort the way rubber does. Many poly bushing manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their polyurethane bushings to show their confidence in the material standing the test of time.


Trade off: Standard Feel vs Enhanced Feel

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Feel

Another relative term, so again it’s all about user preference here. Rubber is what comes standard when your car is brand new. Vehicle manufacturers have used rubber for suspension bushings for decades. Now whether this was because they thought it was the “best” or just the “cheapest” is a topic for further debate. Regardless, rubber is what came stock on your vehicle. Using a rubber bushing as a replacement will give you the same feel your vehicle had before the rubber failed.

Polyurethane on the other hand will give the driver an enhanced feel of the road. This may be a turn off to some, but there are drivers that desire to feel every bit of the road to maximize their ability to drive. With the feel of polyurethane, the vehicle seems to be an extension of the driver himself, far more than rubber would allow.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane

With the feel of polyurethane, the vehicle seems to be an extension of the driver himself…


Trade off: Standard Steering and Handling vs Enhanced Steering and Handling

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Performance

Using a softer material such as rubber for a suspension bushing means foregoing a lot of performance benefits in order to achieve a smoother ride. Rubber is much more compliant, meaning it has a lot of give when the suspension moves. The effect of this is a smoother ride in the car. However this can lead to a lot of excess suspension movement and a slower response time in your handling. This is usually okay when you’re going 40 mph down the road in a straight line. But what happens when you’re driving fast and want to turn quickly?

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Performance

Polyurethane bushings are firmer than rubber, so it doesn’t flex or deflect as much as rubber. By reducing the excess suspension movement, polyurethane makes the suspension more efficient and more responsive to the driver. Polyurethane bushing engineers design the hardness bushings specifically for each vehicle. By utilizing the best durometer for each bushing in a suspension, the result is a careful balance between NVH and performance.

Polyurethane is not just for race car drivers, but any driving enthusiast who wants more performance and handling from their vehicle. On the other hand, rubber isn’t just for the old Cadillac driven by your grandmother. Some people desire the smooth ride and care little about the performance they miss out on with rubber. Others like to drive their vehicle aggressively and don’t mind the added NVH polyurethane brings with the performance boost. The choice is yours.


Trade off: No opportunity for squeaking vs Opportunity for squeaking

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Squeaking

This is a fun topic because there are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding polyurethane and squeaking. But before we address those, here are the facts about a rubber bushing regarding the issue. Rubber is chemically bonded with the outer shell. So from the moment you take it out of the box and install the rubber replacement bushing, you don’t have to worry about squeaking. Squeaking occurs when the bushing rubs against metal. Because the rubber is affixed to the metal and can’t move in relation to the metal, there isn’t an opportunity for squeaking.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane

Polyurethane on the other hand is a different story. Polyurethane bushings have this stigma that they WILL 100 percent absolutely squeak. This is FALSE. Polyurethane absolutely CAN squeak, IF you don’t use grease. Polyurethane bushings do not have a chemical bond with the housing they’re installed into, but rather a mechanical bond. A mechanical bond occurs when the larger polyurethane bushing is installed into the slightly smaller hole. The pressure between the bushing and the metal keeps the bushing centered. With this mechanical bond, the opportunity for the polyurethane to squeak is opened up. If the bushing rotates and rubs the outer metal shell as the suspension travels, squeaking can occur. This is where the grease is VITAL. If you install the bushing properly, and lubricate the bushing well, there will not be any squeaking. See the Servicing section below for more on this.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Grease


Trade off: Install and Replace vs Install and Maintain

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Install

Rubber bushings are an “install it and forget it” type operation. There is no need to re-grease any bushing. In fact you never grease them at all because the rubber is chemically bonded with metal. The only maintenance required with rubber bushings is the need to replace them once they eventually wear out.

With polyurethane you are getting a much longer lifespan out of the bushing. Consequently you won’t need to replace anything for a long time, if ever. The problem is if the polyurethane part is poorly designed, the grease could be squeezed out and you are left with no lubrication between the polyurethane and metal. This has led polyurethane bushing engineers to incorporate a design that retains grease on the bushing. Some manufactures leave little grooves on the inside of the bushing, while others have developed a knurling. These grooves or knurling help prevent grease from squeezing out. Over time, unfortunately, gunk can get in the tacky grease or the grease could rub off. Without the grease, the opportunity for squeaking presents itself. While these grooves and knurls are designed to avoid that for as long as possible, polyurethane manufacturers will tell you (if you ask) that you may want to re-grease the polyurethane bushings within 5 years. This is especially true with high stress parts like the control arm bushings or sway bar bushings. At around 4 to 5 years, the lubricant may have rubbed off enough that you’ll begin to hear squeaking. As soon as you hear any squeaking, just hit it with some grease and you should be good for another half decade.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane


Trade off: Advanced Mechanic vs DIY

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Install

Rubber bushings have to be created with a new outer bushing shell. This is great for eliminating any opportunity for squeaking, but not so great for ease of DIY installation. Installing a rubber bushing can be much harder than a polyurethane bushing. Usually you will have to take the arm or spring off the vehicle and use a hydraulic press to both remove the O.E. bushing and to install the new rubber bushing. Most people don’t have a hydraulic press, so they have to take their vehicle to a mechanic in order to get their bushings replaced. There are still those extreme DIY’ers that will attempt to install a bushing themselves. If that’s you take a look at our article showing you How to Install a Bushing Without a Press.

Rubber vs Poly Install Gif

A polyurethane bushing is much easier to install because a hydraulic press is typically not required. The two piece design of a polyurethane bushing utilizes the original outer metal bushing shell. Once you’ve learned How to Burn Out Bushings the Right Way by reading our article on the subject, you can easily install the two piece design polyurethane bushing yourself.

Rubber vs Poly Install Gif

Engineers design polyurethane bushings with the DIY’er in mind. There are a few polyurethane bushings on various applications that have an outer shell, but the majority use a two piece design. The two piece design bushings install by hand. You install one piece on either side of the housing and the center sleeve slides in the middle.

Rubber Vs Polyurethane Install

Wrap up

This should give you enough general information to determine whether rubber or polyurethane is the best choice for your vehicle. Just remember the differences in:

Rubber and polyurethane, while different in performance and feel, are actually more on the middle ground in the scale of bushing material. If you’re a race car driver that wants maximum performance and cares little about ride quality, an aluminum mount or metal joint is for you. I don’t know of any bushing softer than rubber but if you are crazy and innovative, attempt jello. For the majority of us, when it comes to suspension bushings, it comes down to rubber or polyurethane. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. When it comes down to it, the only person that can tell you what’s better for your ride, is you.

Are you a polyurethane die-hard who would rather feel like you’re riding on rails? Or do you swear by rubber? Put your thoughts and experiences in the comments and let’s have some discussion.


The acronym NVH applies to the noise, vibration and harshness from the suspension of a vehicle.

  1. Brit
    November 11, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    First, let me say Great Write Up! Second, is there a way to tell what durometer(shore) a poly bushings is?

    • Drew Taylor
      Drew Taylor
      November 16, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Brit. The manufacturer’s set the bushing durometer to what works best in that specific suspension bushing. Given that, there is not really a way to generalize a bushing durometer since they can call be different from vehicle to vehicle and part to part. If you have a specific bushing in mind you can always call the manufacturer and ask what durometer they set that bushing at. They may or may not tell you, depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers don’t like to give away too many proprietary details, while other manufacturers will gladly give you. It just depends.

  2. CP
    March 12, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Installations of:
    Bushing without being encased on
    their O.D by medal.
    Vertical bolt with a tube outer sleeve type.
    (Ford Explorer 2006, 4.0L MFI SOHC 6 cyl..).

    1. Sway bar link bushings are said often not to be over tightened. ?
    2. Rubber is Black;
    Polyurethane often are White in color;
    Some thermoplastics are Red.
    Some thermoplastics are Blue.
    Are the Blue or Red thermoplastic any different
    than the White’s? Blue or Red somewhat softer than White’s?
    Blue or Red still are not affected by higher heat, oxidation, and/or cracking?
    3. a. Some say once the two bushing halves start to meet (for sure)
    then tighten the nut more only by 2 or 3 threads. ?
    b. Others say when the bushing’s outside diameter just starts to be seen
    to increase in O.D., then stop tightening the nut any more?
    4. Since being harder (rigid ), perhaps over tightening of polyurethane
    / thermoplastics are even less desirable than rubber’s ?
    5. How important is putting the bolt’s head downward and the nut’s on
    the top of the bolt; (less corrosion of threads being higher off the roadway)?
    Or also entrapping less water in the nut threads when nut is downward?
    6. a. Would a plastic insert type lock- nut be better to used ?
    b. Or use blue mechanical Lock-Tight on the bolt’s thread?
    c. Same cases for the Sway Bar’s clamps’ mounting bolts?

    Again your materials articular is very great !!!
    Thank You very much!

    • dave99999
      September 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      You are over-thinking it. Change nothing from the factory configuration. Put it back together the way it came apart and torque to the factory specs. However if you are talking about the Moog white material, that is not polyurethane. They switched their materials and the polyurethane type was translucent white while the true white is thermoplastic. There are other brands that use red or blue colored polyurethane. It can have any color dye added to it that you (they) want to use.

      • Josh Daniels
        Josh Daniels
        September 8, 2020 at 9:46 am

        Always best practice to use the factory settings.

        I’m wondering where you got your information on the bushing material. Polyurethane and thermoplastic have similar properties so the identifiers are sometimes interchanged. Talking with Moog Techs we’ve been told that the white material used in some of their products is polyurethane while the blue is thermoplastic.

        Thanks for the comment Dave.

  3. Thomasina Varano
    Thomasina Varano
    April 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I cannot wait to see what you do with this baby!! I have been looking for one for the last year, keep the updates coming…good luck!!

  4. Tammara
    May 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Great Read. Finally someone who know how to write something. Great job. Enjoyed the read and got a lot from the information provided. Good comparisons, pictures and details.

    You should write for the President.

  5. Chris
    May 29, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Excellent article.

  6. sashanka pilla
    sashanka pilla
    July 6, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Good Read. Helps a lot

  7. Stephen Bell
    Stephen Bell
    July 18, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Great article – I need to make my own suspension bushings for a 1963 Italian sports car known as an Innocenti Spider. The bushings have a 7/8″ steel shell and a 1/2″ steel shaft that has locater flats on each end. The shaft is NOT supposed to turn, but flex. Have trued a few recommended polyurethane products, Shore factor D 80 and to date, none have adhered to the center shaft and even the slightest pressure breaks the bond. Is there a rubber based product that you can recommend? Thanks Steve Bell

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      July 25, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Hey Steve,

      First of all thats a pretty sweet car. We can imagine you have trouble finding bushings for such a vehicle.

      To answer your question simply, we’re not aware of any product that would allow you to make your own rubber suspension bushings. It’s a process that is on a level of DIY that most people can’t really manage with easily obtained materials and tools.

      Since most polyurethane bushings are mechanically bonded to the housing (instead of chemically bonded to the outer shell like rubber bushings) it doesn’t sound like poly will work for your application. Given the rarity of the vehicle it’s unlikely that a manufacturer will have a bushing that will work for you, so your best bet is probably going to be finding another Spider in a junk yard somewhere and scavenging some bushings.

      Does anyone know of a product that allows you to make your own rubber bushings?

      Sorry we couldn’t be more help and hope you find something that will work for you.

    • Dave Mc
      Dave Mc
      October 2, 2020 at 1:18 pm

      There’s a company in Sullivan MO called ATRO that can “pour” all sorts of special poly bushings some that are bonded to one surface but not the other. I bet they could make exactly what you need.

  8. Randal norris
    Randal norris
    July 29, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I did a restoration on my 1974 nova 10 years ago and I used a polyurethane kit to replaced every bushing in the car. I wanted to I prove the handling as much as I could because let’s face it 70s handling wasnt great. The handling did improve a bit but the increased road noise and vibration took away from the original comfort and smooth ride. I wouldn’t recommend them for a cruiser or any car that you intend to drive for long distances. The road noise tends to drone on you and the vibration through the wheels and steering causes fatigue in the hands and arms. The minor improvement in handling isn’t worth discomfort.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      August 7, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Hey Randal,

      This is one of the chief complaints about polyurethane bushings. They really do wonders in regards to maintaining alignment and suspension geometry but the price of that rigidity is more transferred road noise and vibration.

      It is definitely a preference issue. If you want a smooth ride above all else then rubber bushings are your friend. If you’re planning on taking tight turns at speed or want responsive handling that will last for the life of your vehicle then polyurethane might be what you’re looking for.

      There are some instances where poly bushings can be used in place of rubber without any increase in NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), such as the sway bar bushings or end link grommets. Since these bushings do not hold the weight of the vehicle they have almost no effect on the comfort of your ride while improving performance.

      Do you still own that Nova? We would love to know how those bushings are holding up after 10 years.

      Thanks for the insight Randal.

  9. What Are Bushings? - Global Cars Brands
    August 17, 2017 at 7:22 am

    […] be a limit of poly bushings inside a car. When a lot of them are working together in unison, they violate the standards of NVH. Rubber is still the best material for isolating vibrations. Poly bushings can actually be placed on […]

  10. Christopher
    September 6, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Great article ,am about to to replace the entire back suspension on my nissan xtrail with the poly bushings ,,,seeing that my country of origin road conditions are kinda rough with a lot of sharp turns and uphill and downhill slopes ,hope hose bushings improve handling and keep alignment up to max .thanks again

  11. Randy Paik
    Randy Paik
    September 24, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Question 01: Is there a sound scientifically-based answer as to the pros and cons of mixing poly sway bar end links with OEM rubber sway bar mounting bushings? I understand that the bulk of the work will fall on the rubber mounting bushings. The reason for using rubber mounting bushings is to avoid squeaking and maintenance issues that sometimes accompany replacing new parts into older mounts. Also, no one seems to offer aftermarket high durometer rubber end link bushings for a VW MK4 GTI. The OEM part is almost as expensive as the HQ aftermarket options… Squeaking should not be an issue with poly-bushing links as they will be assembled by the mfg as a new part.

    Question 02: Additionally, does anyone have experience with performance characteristics with this setup; pros and cons?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      September 25, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Hey Randy,

      Answer 1:

      First off, I don’t think there are any benefits to using poly end link bushings and rubber sway bar bushings.

      In the case of sway bar bushings, polyurethane is almost always going to be the best option, because like you said, most of the work is falling on those mounting bushings to keep the bar functioning properly. Replacing those bushings with more rubber is a temporary fix since they will wear out eventually, while most poly bushing manufacturers will back up their bushings with a lifetime warranty.

      If the price between aftermarket poly and OEM rubber is about the same then why not get the part that will last longer?

      The squeaking problem you mentioned is handled by applying the grease that comes with the bushings in every aftermarket sway bar bushing kit (at least the ones DST sells) which should be done, not just for the noise, but the health of the part. If liberally applied during install you shouldn’t need to grease them again for at least five years.

      As an aside, when rubber bushings eventually wear out and leave you with a hollowed out inner diameter you won’t get a squeaking, but you will hear the clunking of your loose sway bar (which can only be fixed by replacing the bushing) instead of a squeaking poly bushing (which can be solved with a little grease).

      Answer 2:

      I can’t tell you from personal experience (anyone else?) the performance differences between a poly/rubber mixed setup, but theoretically the firmer grip of polyurethane sway bar bushings will give your sway bar the performance characteristics of a larger diameter sway bar (less body roll, more contact patch on the road during a turn). So if the squeaking is your biggest concern I would suggest giving the poly bushings a try, for the performance advantage, and making sure they’re well greased.

      Has anyone tried this setup personally, or have any other insight about a rubber sway bar bushing and polyurethane end link setup?

      Thanks for the questions Randy, hope this was helpful.

      • Randy Paik
        Randy Paik
        September 27, 2017 at 9:22 pm

        Thanks Josh. I appreciate your answer. I guess I’ll just give the poly mount bushings a shot. I know the performance will be better. I just absolutely hate redoing/fixing work and squeaking noises.

        • Josh Daniels
          Josh Daniels
          September 28, 2017 at 9:45 am

          No Problem Randy,

          On the bright side, most polyurethane sway bar bushings are split so to install them you don’t have to disconnect the sway bar at all. You just slip them onto the bar and tighten the bracket down on top of them, after applying a lot of grease of course. You probably won’t be off-roading in your VW but if you go over high water and submerge the sway bar for an extended period of time then some of the grease could wash away. In that case, or if you hear any squeaking, adding more grease should fix the problem. Just the other day we talked to a tech at Prothane and he said the polyurethane bushings on his car haven’t squeaked once and he’s had them installed for five years.

          Wish you luck with the poly bushings. Let us know how you like them.

    • Adain
      February 4, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      O34 Motorsports has high durometer rubber motor mounts, they may very well have bushings as well

      • Josh Daniels
        Josh Daniels
        February 12, 2018 at 8:55 am

        Hey Adain,

        That company does have some rubber bushings in the control arms they sell (though I don’t think they sell them individually) and some are rated at a 90A durometer, which is really high, but when thinking about bushings higher isn’t always better.

        Bushing selection should depend on the driver and what kind of driving they want to do. A higher durometer bushing will increase performance and alignment holding ability while decreasing comfort, so finding a sweet spot is the trick. Polyurethane bushings are generally considered a durable performance option but some lower durometer poly bushings can offer a comfortable ride while still maintaining their shape better and longer than rubber.

        SuperPro is just one poly bushing manufacturer that spends a lot of R&D time in search of that sweet spot (finding specific duormeters for bushing positions on specific vehicles) and uses poly formulas as low as 74A for some applications. The best thing that rubber bushings have going for them is they can provide a softer ride than more durable polyurethane bushings and since most poly bushings are rated around 80-85A a higher durometer rubber bushing loses the advantage altogether. If you’re replacing a part on your daily driver, and you don’t mind the fact that you may have to do it again years down the road, then rubber bushings are fine. If you like to take corners a little faster than necessary then poly bushings will keep your alignment secure and most are warrantied to last the life of your vehicle.

        Thanks for sharing some different options Adain.

  12. Stephen
    October 14, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Won’t that be harder on the suppsion parts and wear ball joints, tie rod ends, and etc parts out faster since the bushing doesn’t have any give to them? And if you have to regrease them every 4 to 5 years having to take it back apart to do that and having realignments done every time wear them out faster too but with rubber well mine lasted over 14 years and 200,000 miles so you take it apart less

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      October 18, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Hey Stephen,

      Great question. It’s important to note that the real wear on suspension components happens when parts are misaligned, and polyurethane bushings hold alignment much better than rubber. When the suspension parts are in place and functioning as they were designed you should not get anything more than normal wear. While polyurethane bushings are much more firm than rubber they still have some give so you’re equalizing comfort, performance, and longevity, whereas rubber is most comfortable and metal mounts or spherical bushings are best performance.

      As for poly bushing maintenance, the rule of thumb for greasing poly bushings is five years. But the surest sign that the bushings need grease is when you can hear squeaking. If there’s no squeaking then you’re probably ok. Many brands of polyurethane bushings have grease retaining technology like cross hatching or knurling to keep the grease on the bushings and some components like sway bar bushings have greaseable brackets with zerk fitting installed which makes maintenance incredibly easy. Some brands like SuperPro even maintain in their lifetime warranty that, if properly greased upon installation, their bushings will not need re-greasing for the life of the vehicle.

      In any case, most polyurethane bushings are a half bushing install on each side of the housing, so there should not be any wear when removing them. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that your vehicle might be receiving some maintenance that would allow easy access to the bushings you want to grease within five years of installing poly bushings, so you could have it taken care of then, especially if you’re having the vehicle realigned anyway.

      Thanks for the questions Stephen. Does anyone have any insight into polyurethane bushings having an affect on the rate that other suspension components wear out?

  13. radu
    October 17, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    ok, ok, ok, to everyone
    where can i buy poliuretanic bushes for my car ?

  14. Shawn
    November 27, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Going on 6 years now with full poly bushings, 2″ drop all around and front/rear tubular kit from sphoon on a 99 f-body Camaro. Here is my thoughts thus far. On the noise, I didn’t really notice a huge difference in noise, yeah it was louder but a good set of tires off set it enuff it just isn’t an issue for me. Handling, cant emphasize enuff how much better car handles on poly. I’m a very aggressive driver ,i built my car to drive hard. which kind of leads me into the next part. maintenance and wear. as far as wear, with exception to 2 areas they are pretty much indestructible. now for those two areas. end links and tie rod ends. absolutely prepair to change these two areas. not sure why but my self and all the people I know running poly set ups are having the same issues. end links wear out with in a year with aggressive driving, the tie rod end with in 2 years. the good news is there easy and quick to change out, and not that expensive. most of us have just went back to rubber tie rod ends, while retaining the poly end links. also if you have the adjustable control arms,panard or any other components installed you will need to adjust them every once in a while. The bad news is the other trade off that hasn’t been mentioned is your shocks/struts wear out faster as well.and little things here and there need tightened in your interior from the extra vibrations and harder hitting from pot holes.oh yeah pot holes basically now feel like volcanic craters when you hit one.what ever you do avoid them if possible.if you see a pothole,approach it as you would a 200 pound deer jumpin in front of you.swerve, pucker youre ass, and screem oh sh#t. Another thing ill point out is altho just installing poly is a markable upgrade, to really appreciate polys full potential, junk the stamped steel and make the switch to tubular. As far as ride quality, I’ll say this, If your switching to poly be prepaired for a rough ride. But if your switching to poly that’s kind of the point. they poly lets you feel every nook,cranny,and pebble in the road. everything is more responsive and sensitive.If you want to tear up a curvy road at break neck speeds,make the switch to poly, if you want a soft quiet car to drive 1000 miles on the hi-way on your next road trip, stick to rubber.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      December 4, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Hey Shawn,

      Glad to hear those poly bushings are still going strong 6 years later. They really are a great option for an aggressive driver who doesn’t want the teeth rattling experience of solid mounts and metal bushings.

      We spoke with a representative from Energy Suspension who said that aggressive driving coupled with the heavy F Body chassis is likely the reason you’re burning through endlinks and tie rod ends. Running wider or stickier tires or an aftermarket sway bar could have an effect on the rate of wear as well. Just imagine how often you’d need to replace rubber endlinks.

      One thing I would add is that even if you’re planning a trans-America road trip you can still be comfortable with poly sway bar bushings and endlinks. Since those parts just connect the control arms of the vehicle they transfer almost no vibration from the road to the frame, so you can still enjoy the body roll reduction of poly sway bar bushings and keep the factory comfort setting of your vehicle.

      Thanks Shawn. It’s always nice to hear about someone getting the most out of their vehicle with some underappreciated poly bushings. Ride smooth and drive hard.

  15. Abdullah
    December 3, 2017 at 1:17 am

    I am really concerned that not only road noise, Harshness & Vibration will increase but other body parts such as the interior fittings will receive all of that and all sort of noises will start coming from the interior fittings. is not that a concern when fitting poly bushings.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      December 4, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Hey Abdullah,

      The short answer we received from a SuperPro representative concerning transferred vibration from polyurethane bushings wearing down other components prematurely is, “It won’t”. (This is contingent on the entire suspension system being polyurethane, more later)

      First of all, poly bushings can come in different durometers (hardness) and while rubber sits around 50a poly bushings usually range from 65a to 95a. The lower the durometer the more “give” the bushing will have which means more absorption while higher durometers will hold alignment better in hard, quick turns. SuperPro says they research to find the appropriate durometer for each application so the ride will be the best balance between smooth and secure as possible.

      It’s important to note that vibration will always travel down the path of least resistance so a mixed system with poly and rubber bushings will likely wear down the rubber components before their time. Poly bushings also hold alignment much better and longer than rubber and misalignment can be the root cause of premature wear on many parts and components, especially your tires.

      In the case of engine or transmission mounts you will likely have more vibration spread around than a rubber mount would allow. This might cause more wear on some components, but again this is a trade off between comfort and performance and your choice will depend heavily on how you want the vehicle to handle vs how much vibration you’re willing to put up with.

      Thanks for the question Abdullah. It’s a common concern among folks who are trying to decide between poly and rubber bushings. Does anyone have first hand experience regarding excessive wear on their suspension parts?

    • Shawn
      December 5, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Assuming you drive “normal” per say, you wont have any issues at all. In my case I drive extremely aggressive. even under those conditions the worst i’ve had to do from vibration was tighten up some trim on my dash here and there and replace my struts, and that probably is more do to my driving, not the fact I have poly installed. wouldn’t matter if it was rubber or poly, you drive hard enough your gonna have some extra wear and tear.A loud stereo is going to loosen up more parts than poly ever will. Road noise is minimal. I really don’t understand why so many people say its bad with poly bushings. Yes its a little louder, but its really not that much. If you really like to “drive” your car, give poly a try. and like stated you can do just do the sway bar to start. see what you think and go from there. . There many brands out there, personally I like Spohn, but energy suspension is top notch to. also kinda off topic but avoid the drilled and sloted rotors while your up-gradeing.6years of real world daily driving testing and racing on my part on brakes and suspension,trying different combinations.optimal set up for street performance is poly bushings,blank rotors and believe it or not semi-metallic pads,unless your at the track then ceramics.take the money you save not buying those fancy drilled rotors and invest it in poly bushings :tup:

    • dave99999
      September 5, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Yes, any time there is movement in the bushing, energy transfer through it, it will dampen that less and will result in that energy causing your loose interior panels to rattle or squeak. They would typically be doing that already (anyway), and if it is an issue you can try tightening their fastener or putting foam tape in mating areas to decrease their movement.

      • Josh Daniels
        Josh Daniels
        September 8, 2020 at 9:46 am

        Good tip for dealing with loose interior fittings.

  16. Shawn
    December 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    to original poster, youre knowledge seems extensive, have you delt with or know much about the spherical mounts. I’m thinking its like the next step above poly,but theres not much as far as reviews online. I’m looking to really maximize my f body close to 2 tons not an easy task lol. I love the poly, but it just seems like the car is capable of so much more. so far Ive done the complete tubular upgrade(stiffer sway bars,control arms,transmition,sub frame connectors,panard bar,torque arm, tunnel brace, the works, all 4130 all poly,relocated rear lower control arms, koni strt’s all around,3 point tower brace. I keep reading about an x-brace upgrade and the spherical mounts,considering both if there going to make a marked improvement.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      December 7, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Hey Shawn,

      I ran your setup by our resident ASE Certified mechanic and he said you’re at a point where you need to decide if you want a dedicated track car or something you can drive comfortably on the road. Spherical bearing mounts will definitely firm up your suspension even more, but you are REALLY going to feel the road. Those “volcanic craters” you were talking about are going to be about 10X worse if you stiffen that Camaro up with spherical bearings.

      So it comes down to what kind of driving/racing you want to do. There is a point where the stiffness of your suspension can be an obstacle to the way you want to drive. Right now your ride seems pretty balanced for performance and tolerable comfort if your Camaro is your daily driver.

      Each suspension option has it’s place and it’s very much up to the driver and purpose of the vehicle which option will fit best. Since you’ve driven your Camaro for 6 years and like the way it handles now you might try and test drive something with spherical bearings, if at all possible, before you make any major changes.

      No personal experience with the x brace but it’s widely accepted as a pretty cost effective way to sharpen up the turn-in snap of a vehicle. Anyone have some firsthand experience with this on a 99 Camaro?

      Thanks for the comments, Shawn, and good luck in your search for the perfect suspension.

      • Shawn
        December 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        thanks for the input. gearing this car for track only use. so thinking I’m gona go the spherical route. understeer is my biggest issue I’m trying to hope fully it will help a little.may just be car is just to heavy for hardcore track use.time will tell. priced it all out, with all the new control arms and mount gonna run around 3 grand,but well worth it. think I’m gona go ahead and do new k-member and finally do the ls3 swap while I’m at it.time to do a serious track car. happy motoring and thanks again for the input

        • Josh Daniels
          Josh Daniels
          December 28, 2017 at 2:58 pm

          Hey Shawn,

          Yeah, if you’re building a dedicated track car then go nuts. Since you don’t have to worry about vibration and noise from the road on long drives spherical mounts should be fine and will really help with the understeer, but (as I’m sure you already know) tire pressure, spring rates, and sway bar load are going to play their part too.

          Sounds like you’re going to have a sweet machine once all the tinkering is done. Let us know how it’s handling and good luck on the track.

  17. Cory
    December 12, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve got a 96 k2500hd, I’m going to be having the front end rebuilt, but am on the fence on what bushing to use, poly or rubber, I plan to keep the truck well beyond 300k miles about I’m at about 192k now. The torsion bars are slightly cranked up, but I did have it realigned when I did that. With that said, I do use it like a truck, road noise and vibration are kind of a gimme with 265/75/16 Nitto a/ts, my truck does occasionally see some mud and water up to the frame, I’m not out mudding but unfortunately I do have some deep holes of water and mud to pass through to get to my camp in the woods. It does see 4×4 use several times a year for that reason. It is also my DD, and I do pull a 6×12 dual axle trailer every week. I hate squeaky joints and I would really hate to have my truck sound like an old ford on every bump, and I would hate to have to take it to the shop to have the poly bushings regressed every time I go to camp.

    I know you said the polys won’t need grease for about 5 years, but what are your thoughts about my particular situation?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      December 14, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Hey Cory,

      It sounds like your truck goes through quite a bit 🙂 The biggest factor you want to consider when choosing between poly and rubber bushings is comfort vs performance and durability, but as far as noise, using the manufacturer’s polyurethane bushing grease is the best way to reduce the chance of squeaking. It will hang in there through a lot of punishment and keep those bushings quiet.

      Almost all polyurethane sway bar bushings are very easily removed and re-installed if you need to grease them, (unbolt the bracket, slip off the bushing, grease, reattach bushing and bracket) so if they do start squeaking then you could take care of it without needing to visit the shop.

      From a purely performance standpoint there’s no reason not to get poly sway bar bushings and endlinks. They hold up so much longer than rubber, don’t transfer noise and vibration to the cab, and reduce your trucks body roll during a turn. win win win. The front control arm bushings will give you a little more vibration, but they hold the alignment of your front wheels longer and more securely than rubber.

      There are some poly bushing manufacturers (SuperPro) who actually warranty their bushings against squeaking, if they are properly greased with the right grease. That just goes to show how important your choice of grease is, but all in all people have different experiences. A tech from Prothane told us that his car has had a full poly bushing suspension for 5 years and he has yet to hear a squeak. You’re doing some rough stuff with your truck so we can’t say with 100% certainty that poly bushings wouldn’t eventually squeak. What we can say is that they’ll still be in good condition when the odometer hits 300k.

      Does anyone have first hand experience with poly bushings vs rubber on a K2500 4×4?

      Thanks for the question Cory. Here’s to a quiet ride.

      • Cory
        December 14, 2017 at 6:47 pm

        Thanks for the quick response, Josh. I should’ve clarified on the noise and vibration a little better in my original post. I’m not too concerned about the stiffness nor excess vibration as I own a 3/4 ton truck and not for its ride quality.

        My main concern is water or mud intrusion on the control arm bushings and causing premature squeaking.

        Sway bar bushings and end links will absolutely be converted to poly as well since like you said above they are relatively easy to grease.

        • Josh Daniels
          Josh Daniels
          December 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

          Hey again Cory,

          Sorry if I didn’t get you a solid answer the first time, but I can’t come out and say, “poly bushings aren’t going to squeak on you for at least 5 years.” There’s just too many variables with the trips to the woods and burying the suspension in mud up to the axles.

          The best I can do is to say that as long as there is grease on the bushings they won’t squeak, and the polyurethane bushing grease that the manufacturers send with their bushings is designed to stay put and keep everything else out. It’s waterPROOF and sticky as all get out. If I were you I’d look for some bushings with grooves (knurling, cross hatching) molded into the inner diameter of the bushings. This will give the bushings a extra amount of grease retention so it can outlast any water or mud that makes it’s way in-between the bushings and sleeves or housing and keep those bushings quiet. If you can’t find a grooved bushing some people have notched their own grooves into smooth bore bushings that fit their vehicle, but this is in no way guaranteed to work and will almost certainly void your warranty since you’d be modifying the product.

          example of cross hatching

          Hope this helps. If you decide to go with poly be sure to check in later and let us know how they do. Good luck.

  18. Jeff F Flaherty
    Jeff F Flaherty
    December 16, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Great article. I’m looking to achieve just what your article says it should. Thank you and Merry Christmas.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      December 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks Jeff,

      Poly bushings can really sharpen up a vehicle’s response and hold your alignment angles better than the OE bushings. If you have any questions about fitment for your specific vehicle you can contact the customer service folks at and they will be more than helpful.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  19. Guillermo Saddler
    Guillermo Saddler
    January 25, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Great article, well written and filled with a lot of useful information. I have a stock Nissan Titan truck and I love the ride of my truck. Seeing as how I probably will not own the truck in five years I will opt for rubber bushings except for the sway bar bushings, end links and control arm bushings.
    You cleared up many of the misconceptions I had as well.

    Thank you

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      January 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

      Hey Guillermo,

      Glad the information was helpful! There are a lot of misconceptions about poly bushings out there but they’ve come a long way since they were first introduced. With the formulas that manufacturers have developed you get the durability of poly but still retain some of the give of rubber.

      If you like how your Nissan Titan rides now then the rubber bushings are fine and you can definitely decrease body roll and increase traction in a turn with some poly sway bar bushings and endlink bushings and not lose the factory comfort level. Polyurethane control arm bushings are going to transfer more vibration when compared to rubber but they will hold wheel alignment much better, so not a bad trade.

      If you have any questions about specific parts feel free to contact the amazing customer support staff at and they will get you whatever information you want. Good luck with your upgrades.

  20. Mari Wessels
    Mari Wessels
    March 9, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Good day…very very important question,hope someone can answer,we have a Ford Territory and we can’t get front suspension bushes anywhere,also my husband could not get the polyurethane so someone told him that we can use an oil on tevlon. So the bushes were made and fitted,now it squeakes so bad its embarrassing?!! I s there any way at all of fixing this or getting rid of the squeacking or is it dangerous to ride like this because it’s not the correct material?? I really need some urgent answers please before I light a match and burn the car . 🙂 How will I know if you replied on my comment,does it go to my e mail? Or do I check here?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      March 12, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Hey Mari,

      I’m not sure what kind of material your current bushings are made of but the squeaking is usually a sign of a lack of lubricant with polyurethane bushings. I would be sure to check them often and make sure they aren’t warping or cracking since bushing failure could cause more serious complications. You might try greasing them with polyurethane bushing grease and (if they are still in good shape and not showing signs of premature wear) see if that stops the squeaking.

      If you’re talking about front control arm bushings or track bar bushings then you might be able to find what you need on our Universal Pivot Bushing page. If you can find a bushing that fits all the measurements of your application then you should be able to replace them, no problem. Poly bushings have been know to squeak IF they are not lubricated with the manufacturer’s polyurethane bushing grease, so if you do find what you need be sure to grease them well before you install.

      If you have any other questions please feel free to contact our knowledgeable customer service staff and they will help you.

      Hope this helps. Good luck Mari.

  21. Mike
    March 13, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for a very informative write up on the subject. I’m having trouble finding new control arms for my 1998 camaro with rubber ball joints pre-installed, all the Moog and Mevotech are poly and I’m afraid it will give a rough ride. The cheap control arms have rubber but I prefer a brand I know to be quality. I have also read that replacing rubber suspension components with poly can put too much flex/stress on the body upon cornering. Any thoughts appreciated.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      March 14, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      Hey Mike,

      Glad the article was helpful!

      We aren’t aware of any polyurethane control arm bushings from Moog and the only rubber on a ball joint is going to be the dust boot. We do offer Moog ball joints and several brands of control arm bushings for the ’98 Camaro (both poly and rubber) but, unfortunately, we don’t have a control arm with bushings and ball joint installed.

      It is common to notice more vibration in the cabin with polyurethane control arm bushings, but the extreme examples usually refer to older generations of poly bushings. Manufacturers have come a long way since poly bushings were first introduced and now special formulas allow for softer bushings that, while much firmer than rubber, provide a tolerable daily drive.

      Really it all comes down to: What kind of driving are you doing?

      If you want tighter cornering at higher speeds then you might overlook the added vibration of polyurethane for the sake of maintaining wheel geometry during a turn, but if you’re looking for the smoothest ride possible then rubber bushings will almost always be your go-to. This isn’t the case for endlink grommets and sway bar to frame bushings since you can replace rubber with polyurethane and reduce body roll which improves cornering, and still retain the comfort level of your original bushings.

      I spoke with our experienced ASE certified mechanic on staff and he said that he’s never encountered frame damage that was caused by cornering with polyurethane bushings. Even though the bushings are firmer, and resist shape change from high lateral loads, they are still have some give and shouldn’t cause any damage to the steel under your car.

      Has anyone heard of or experienced damage from a too-stiff suspension after a hard turn? We would love to hear about it.

      Thanks for the comment Mike. Hope this was helpful.

  22. Steven Burdeaux
    Steven Burdeaux
    April 13, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Very informative and thorough write-up, Josh! I have a 1997 S-10 with +233k miles with various upgrades over the past 18 or so years. The suspension is fairly stock, lowered with spindles up front, blocks out back, and ZQ8 springs all around, and is desperate need for an upgrade/rehab. My question relates to mixing poly and rubber bushings, specifically the body mounts. My theory is this: I can upgrade and enjoy the benefits of poly suspension bushings in the sway bar, control arms, and motor/trans mounts (already done) but use factory style rubber body mounts to help dampen any NHV felt in the cab. Does that make sense? How much of a difference do poly cab mounts make in body roll when compared to new rubber mounts and assuming everything else is poly? Thanks in advance!

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      April 17, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Hey Steven,

      It is a great write up, but I can’t take credit for it and I will pass along your praise to Drew!

      Mixing polyurethane and rubber bushings is a question that we get occasionally at Trying to find that sweet spot between comfort, performance, and longevity can be a real challenge and we’ve spoken to some poly bushing manufacturers about their thoughts on the subject. I just spoke with a tech from Energy Suspension about your specific question concerning body mounts and body roll.

      The long and short of his response was that it will probably make very little difference. The shocks and sway bars are going to have much more say over the lateral load dynamics of your S10, while the mounts are more like cartilage between the frame and the body. The tech said there could be a quarter inch difference in body roll between rubber and poly body mounts, but not much more than that.

      As far as reducing NVH, rubber body mounts are no doubt softer. The catch is once those body mounts compress with the weight of your S10’s body you’re going to lose some of that cushion. Poly bushings don’t compress after install so the height of the bushing out of the box is what you’ll have miles down the road.

      As with most suspension questions it all comes down to the drivers preference. Some folks barely notice an increase in NVH with poly body mounts, others swear their fillings are coming loose. Some want the smoothest ride possible while others like a little “feedback” from their vehicle. There isn’t a hard and fast rule here, but if you’re planning on putting another 200K on your S10 then I would suggest going with the poly mounts. If the comfort difference is small then you might as well go with the part that has a lifetime warranty.

      Hope this helped with your decision, Stephen. If you have any other questions or clarifications please feel free to give our customer service team a call.

      • Steven Burdeaux
        Steven Burdeaux
        April 20, 2018 at 2:02 pm

        Thank you for the reply (and Drew for the write up). I think I’ll give the poly mounts a try, if for nothing but the fact that’ I’ll never have to replace them again. If I have all my fillings after the first few thousand miles, I’ll probably be alright. Now to figure out the “best” option for the control arms…

        • Josh Daniels
          Josh Daniels
          May 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm

          Hey Steven,

          Hope those body mounts work out for you and if you’re looking for some control arm options we hope you’ll keep in mind 🙂 Please give us a call if you see anything you like.

  23. dave
    April 27, 2018 at 4:40 am

    polyurathane aint the ants pants full stop,theyll crumble,ive used various brands three/four times the price of rubber on a few cars and they sort of break down faster than rubber,initially they seem ok.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      May 2, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for the comment. Do you happen to have any pictures of those crumbling poly bushings? We’ve not encountered that and we’ve been shipping poly bushings to folks for nearly 15 years. If you could tell us what brands those bushings were we’d really like to know and how long ago you had this experience. The industry has come a long way since the first urethane bushings were introduced and most manufacturers offer lifetime warranties these days, and they wouldn’t be in business long if they were having to send customers free bushings all the time.

      The most common problem that sometimes occurs with poly bushings is that when they aren’t properly lubricated they experience “stiction” and can bind and oval out in some situations, but we’ve had very little experience with anyone sending back a polyurethane bushing because of wear, and we carry a lifetime warranty on all poly bushings we sell at

  24. Buford Cable
    Buford Cable
    May 17, 2018 at 4:46 am

    This site is absolutely fabulous!

  25. Ben
    August 18, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Wow what a read, I have a 98 Toyota Prado with 335000 on the clock, about to replace the lower ball joints again after a few years this time with a 555 brand but also not sure which lower control arm bushes to use (Rubber/Poly) I have also had a new steering rack replaced 14 months ago which I had the super pro bushes put in with this also the shocker struts with super pro as well, so I was debating with super pro or Original Rubber for Lowrr Control Arms bushes, the Prado is our family daily driver & we do drive interstate but also like to use on 4×4 tracks not major extreme but just to use what the beast is made for as well, by writing this I think I’m back to being keen on the Super Pro’s as my tires are noisy on the road anyway plus with the 4×4 full of kids this would possibly draw out any more noise gained, only issue Is my dash has always rattled flat out over bumps anyway so we’ll see how this turns out I guess fingers crossed.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      August 23, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Hey Ben,

      It’s hard to go wrong with SuperPro bushings. They work hard to match the hardness or softness of the polyurethane they use to the specific application so you get the performance without giving up comfort.

      If you’re worried about SuperPro’s lower control arm bushings causing more noise, vibration, or harshness in your Prado just know that SuperPro actually warranties their parts for NVH. With that in mind, you might as well get the part that’s going to keep your wheel camber steady longer.

      Can’t help you with the munchkin noise though. Bushings like that would be worth their weight in silence.

      Good luck with the new bushes Ben.

  26. Jerry
    September 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I have four early 90’s Toyota Celica’s in the family, two of which are the rare All-Tracs (turbo all-wheel-drive). They are all meticulously restored and will not see racing or off-road use. However, their suspensions are all original factory (rubber bushings that are all at least 25 years in service now). A couple of these should consider bushing replacements. I prefer to get the same road/ride feel these cars had when new and out of the showroom, not something stiffer. But the factory OEM bushings (rubber) are pretty much discontinued from the manufacturer now. It appears the only route I have left is to go with polyurethane bushings. I know the original rubber bushings have a ShoreA hardness of around 60-65 ShA. Most polyurethane bushings on the market are in the 75-80 ShA range, which is going to be too stiff for me. One manufacturer of polyurethane bushings said they can provide them in a 65 ShA hardness, but they sell very few of these because most who buy polyurethane bushings want the stiffer ones to be able to race/off-road with. Not me. If the 65 ShA polyurethane bushings have all the benefits of the typical harder polyurethane bushings, but provide the same ride feel and characteristics of the rubber bushings, this would seem like a no-brainer to me. But do you see any negative consequences going to the softer polyurethane bushings (such as less life, wear out faster, etc.)?

    • Zach Davidson
      Zach Davidson
      September 18, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Hey Jerry,

      We talked to an expert over at SuperPro, who makes very high quality polyurethane bushings, and we were told that between rubber and polyurethane there shouldn’t be an increase in NVH (noise, vibration, or hardness) when using the same durometer bushing. There are also places where you can install harder bushings with no increase in NVH like the sway bar bushings or endlink grommets, allowing for better response from your suspension with the same comfort level.

      The great thing about about polyurethane is its longevity, even in lower levels of hardness. Rubber will have to be replaced multiple times in the life of your car while high quality polyurethane from brands like SuperPro or Energy Suspension will last long after your vehicle has been retired. A softer poly bushing will last just as long, but will allow for more deflection compared to a harder alternative which allows the suspension parts to move or flex a little more and makes for a comfortable ride. Polyurethane also works well as it is very resistant to engine chemicals, road salts, heat, and other factors that typically weaken rubber, greatly increasing the lifespan. This will likely be fine for what you’re trying to get out of them, but if you ever want to take your Celica racing in the future you might want to invest in harder bushings.

      Hope this helps, Jerry.

  27. Bill4
    September 25, 2018 at 6:30 am

    In my experience poly bushings only last 5 to 10 years
    Less if your really beating on it.
    But stock rubber ones last 15 to 20
    Most of the trucks I work on are at least 30 years old and still have the factory bushings.
    I like the poly bushings because they are so easy to put in .

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      October 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Hey Bill,

      Is this recently that you’ve noticed a shorter lifespan on those poly bushings? I only ask because polyurethane bushings have been around for a while and in the beginning, they had a reputation for being too hard and having a lifespan like what you’re describing. There have been a lot of advances in the formulas that manufacturers use to make their bushings and these days most manufacturers will carry a lifetime warranty on their poly bushings. DST covers all poly bushings we sell with a lifetime warranty, even on brands that don’t have a manufacturer lifetime warranty.

      We’ve seen lots of examples of rubber bushings that aren’t nearly 30 years old and are hollowed out or just falling apart altogether. We have a local customer who was having trouble with the body mount bushings on his fleet of F-Series Fords. They are used for hauling large loads of hay and he kept having to replace the rubber bushings because they would just get crushed under the continual stress. He has converted to polyurethane body mounts and they are holding up much better.

      Now, body mounts aren’t an articulating position, but we have also seen some poly bushings that had been installed on a Jeep YJ 20+ years ago and hadn’t even been regreased in all that time. They were still in good enough shape that the owner used them in the new leaf springs that he installed on his Jeep.

      Not discounting your experience, just sharing what we’ve seen as well. Poly bushings do have some drawbacks but overall I think they still have rubber beat on longevity.

      Anyone else have some experiences with the longevity of rubber bushings vs polyurethane?

      Thanks for sharing Bill.

  28. Paul
    April 9, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Don’t know if anyone is still reading this? Hope so. I need to change the rear leaf spring front eye bushings on my ’78 Cadillac Seville. Typically many bits and pieces from Nova, Camaro and other GM mid sized cars fit.

    I have a factory specification of 17k for these bushings? I don’t know what this means?

    The MOOG replacement are generic and all I could find out spec/number-wise was theirs are 60 +/- 5

    But what does it all mean? I just don’t want to lose that Cadillac feel?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      April 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      Hey Paul,

      I believe you talked with Ed yesterday, but I wanted to answer you here for everyone else’s benefit.

      We can’t recommend a bushing that isn’t specifically fitted for a year model. In this instance, we haven’t found a rubber OE style replacement bushing to meet your requirements. There is likely a polyurethane bushing that would fit your dimensions but it would not provide the same ride quality as the original bushings.

      Hope you are able to find something that works for you.

  29. David
    June 28, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve been looking at BMR and SuperPro and Prothane, problem is, their parts lists are a bit different and I don’t know which to buy. You seem to prefer SuperPro, but their parts list is shorter than BMR or Prothane. Any suggestions?
    I have a 2015 Camaro SS and I’d like to keep it for a long time.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      July 2, 2019 at 10:50 am

      Hey David,

      We’re most familiar with SuperPro and Prothane because we sell their parts 🙂 BMR has a good reputation but we don’t deal in their brand so I can’t give you much first-hand information about their bushings.

      Just looking at facts SuperPro has the best lifetime warranty (which isn’t voided by racing or off-roading like most other options), Prothane also carries a lifetime warranty, and BMR has a 2 year warranty but generally speaking polyurethane bushings, no matter the brand, are going to outlast the original rubber by a long shot.

      I just spoke with SuperPro’s North American representative about the reason for the short part list and he explained that as an Australian based company they didn’t get the 5th Gen Camaros over there. They have an equivalent in the Holden Commodore but they aren’t exactly the same so their priority is research and development for that vehicle. That said they are continuing to look at the 5th Gens and they have some parts that they’ve already developed, but like you said it’s a shorter list than some American companies. They are a bit more expensive than other options but you get what you pay for with them. SuperPro turns out top-notch suspension parts and they back up the quality with their warranty.

      With Prothane you’re getting great suspension bushings, Made in the USA, at a great price and you can buy 1 kit that will replace all the front and rear suspension bushing positions as well as the steering rack bushings and the differential bushings. They manufacture bushings with an 85A durometer polyurethane which will deliver tighter suspension and better performance than OE rubber. You’ll get more feedback from the road but it’s a good balance between race car handling and comfort. Good option for a performance minded complete replacement.

      Hope this helps with your decision David. If you have any other questions please feel free to message or call. We’d love to hear about how your suspension work goes!

  30. David Shackelford
    David Shackelford
    July 8, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I found out that Superpro has knurling on the interior (at least some) of their bushings. From what I can see, Prothane has fluting, but I can’t get a good look at them. Do you have any information or photos?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      July 9, 2019 at 1:23 pm

      Hey David,

      We had one of the 5th Gen Camaro kits in the office so I took a look at it and found that the Front Control Arm Bushings had cross-hatched interior while the Trailing Arm Bushings had the fluted interior. These are two bushings within the same kit so apparently, Prothane uses different grease retention designs for different bushing positions.

      prothane grease retention

      I called Prothane up and talked with one of their tech guys and he said that the cross-hatching is generally stronger since the fluting removes more material from the interior of the bushing.

      I didn’t get a real good answer on why the two bushings have different grease retention designs, but I would probably need to talk to one of their engineers for a full answer. In any case, their kits come with a lifetime warranty so I would expect the bushings to be designed to last.

      Thanks for reaching out and hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.

  31. David Shackelford
    David Shackelford
    July 9, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    I had a local Chevrolet dealer install the 1LE suspension upgrade on my 2015 Camaro SS. The new front sway bar is 27 mm and the rear 28 mm. Will the Prothane or Superpro sway bar bushings fit the larger sway bars?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      July 10, 2019 at 9:24 am

      Hey David,

      Without all the dimensions I can’t say for certain, but both brands offer bushings with the inner diameter you’re looking for. These links to SuperPro and Prothane Universal Bushings have measuring guides and a list of each brand’s bushings by size.

      Remember, it’s a good idea to actually measure the sway bars to make sure the advertised size is what you’re getting. It’s probably not as big a concern with the kit you’ve got but more often than you’d think the stock sway bars can vary in size even on two vehicles of the same year model. If the sway bar is 1/2 mm larger than the inner diameter of the bushing then you’re ok. Bigger than that and you might have a problem and you don’t want any gap between the bar and the bushing at all.

      Thanks for the questions and hope you find everything you need. If you have any more questions feel free to direct them here or you can call or chat with our wonderful customer service folks.

      Good luck with the project David and let us know how it turns out!

  32. Alex Chung
    Alex Chung
    May 9, 2020 at 3:18 am

    @Josh, I’m curious on replacing bushing to add strength would cause chassis structural break or bend due to excess of stress transfer. As I believe bushing(commonly rubber) absorbs stress coming from A part to B part. If the rubber bushing is replaced with say solid metal bushing, there’s simply close to zero stress absorbtion compared to rubber bushing so big amount of stress will transfer to B part as a whole. In the end, stress can not be evenly spread on chassis and it will converge into one part that would make the part fatigue faster and break. OEM bushing, spring, absorber, sway bar, engine/transmission/diff mounts, change in all of these stress/vibration absorbing parts to stronger parts would eat up a vehicle’s suspension/chassis lifespan.

    Is this correct logic?

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      May 20, 2020 at 7:48 am

      Hey Alex,

      Great question! Short answer is “no” with an addendum concerning metal joints. Short Answer: Replacing the bushings with a stiffer material is not going to affect the longevity of the chassis as a whole. A more detailed explanation is below.
      I spoke with a representative of SuperPro, a highly respected aftermarket suspension parts manufacturer, to get some expert insight on this topic.

      Before we dive in we need to make a distinction between bushings and solid metal joints. The first is used in everything from daily drivers to light performance vehicles. Dedicated racing machines (ie NASCAR) are the only vehicles where you will find metal joints and they exist in a class all their own since they are used for maximum handling and alignment rigidity at the expense of comfort and longevity of parts. Polyurethane (a common aftermarket bushing material) bushings are stronger than rubber but still provide some flex.
      From SuperPro, “…even the most rigid polyurethane bushing is still an elastomer so it will absorb some degree of harshness and energy where a metal bearing will absorb nothing and will transmit all of the noise, force and energy directly into the related components.”

      To answer the first point, using a bushing of denser, but still flexible, material is very likely not going to damage other components. Our on staff mechanic pointed out that if the chassis of the vehicle is already severely compromised by corrosion and rust then this could be an issue but putting new bushings on a rusted out frame is not something you’re likely to do in any case.
      The majority of stress in most suspension systems is absorbed by the coil springs while the arms and other components handle alignment and reduce some NVH in the cabin. The “give” in the bushings is designed to make the ride more comfortable but making them stiffer does not harm other components and will have a positive impact on handling.
      Again, from Superpro, “…when (automakers) introduce a high performance/sport model of a particular vehicle much of what they do to the suspension to tune the vehicle’s ride and performance is in the design and stiffness in the bushings.”

      Damage in the suspension caused by bushings typically results from loose bushings that don’t adequately control movement in the component and allow it to knock around and jolt other connection points. As far as the engine, transmission, and differential bushings are concerned the danger of damage is typically higher when there is too much flexibility in the bushing. They channel a lot of power and you want that tightly controlled or you could be damaging very intricate and expensive drivetrain parts.

      As a last note, our customer service team has heard from a lot of customers over almost 20 years and we check up on folks after 2 years to see how their parts are holding up. We’ve never had anyone complain about premature wear in other components after installing and driving on polyurethane bushings. Something that we have encountered are customers who replace one position with poly and then complain of slop in another position which is still fitted with OE rubber. The new bushings did not damage the originals but merely highlighted the difference in ability to hold alignment especially when taking corners.

      Thanks for the question and sorry if the answer was a little long winded.

  33. Nicola Monti
    Nicola Monti
    June 1, 2020 at 3:46 am

    Grease poly every 4/5 year?!?!?! it’s already a Victory if they will live till 6 months!!!!

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      June 1, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      Hey Nicola,

      Placing a 6 month lifespan for polyurethane bushings is pretty pessimistic 🙂 We’ve spoken with lots of customers who have had poly bushings installed on their vehicles for years without issue.

      Well made polyurethane bushings last much longer than rubber. Rubber bushings are chemically bound to the outer shell and twist internally with suspension movement which causes the rubber to wear down and degrade over time. Poly bushings are a free floating design and do not twist like bonded rubber bushings, so denser material combined with lower internal stress means poly bushings generally last much longer.

      That said, the polyurethane bushing grease provided by manufacturers is essential for the quiet and smooth operation of the bushings and is recommended every 4-5 years.

      Have you had a bad experience with poly bushings?

      Thanks for the comment Nicola.

  34. Paul Turvey
    Paul Turvey
    December 19, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Sorry guys, but I have to disagree. Poly bushes might be ok for a weekend ride on smooth roads, but for a daily drive that does 50+ kms over typical winding, twisting, great driving roads with a few bumps and mildly irregular surfaces every day, they are a nightmare. I’ve had the same old Subaru WRX doing that work for the last 21 years and 460,000 km and went the poly bush route for swaybars and control arms right from the start, persisted for 10 years or so replacing them at least every 40-50,000 km when they became so loose they were no longer functional, then swapped them all out and replaced them with rubber again apart from 1 set (rear swaybar D bushes) which are still driving me nuts because I haven’t been able to find a decent rubber replacement.

    The problem with the poly bushes is that despite manufacturers claims, they do permanently distort over a period of repeated load. They are inelastic, they function effectively as a captive liquid that, like a bag of water, bulges in the opposite direction to the load, and this distortion eventually re-arranges the chains of polymers so the distortion becomes permanent and the bushes become loose to the extent that the suspension member wobbles freely around inside them resulting in both a lot of noise and poor suspension control. As a result of this, I have had 3-4 times the life out rubber than I have ever had from multiple generations of poly bushes.

    Some might say that well, if I am giving the bushes that much work, then I should expect to replace them a lot more often, but it does not work that way. The best, or should I say worst, examples are sway-bar D-bushes. They start off fitting tightly when new and grip the bar inhibiting its rotation unless greased very frequently, in my case around once every 2-3,000 km. Even when greased frequently, the amount the bush grips the bar and inhibits its rotation varies a lot from when it is first greased until it needs re-greasing just a couple of 1000 km down the track. This continually changing gripping of the bar is enough to vary the effective spring rate of the suspension so that re-bound damping by the shock absorbers starts off matching the spring rate (if set accurately) so the car turns in and settles on a corner instantly as it should with load evenly distributed front to back, then as the bushes start gripping the bar, the cornering load gets pushed unevenly from back to front because the bar is not able to perform its function of instantly transferring spring rate from the inside wheel to the outside when turning into a corner. If you routinely enjoy your driving and you routinely drive roads that have the sorts of twisty sections that should be enjoyed with a properly tuned suspension, then this is enough to drive you absolutely nuts. I can only assume that a lot of people who drive with poly D bushes have no idea how well their car could handle with good rubber ones. I also suspect this is probably a reason why so much money is spent by so many people on stiffer and stiffer springs, sway bars and suspension bushes to counteract this uneven load transfer when cornering and still end up with something that handles like a dog and is so stiff that it bounces off any corner with a bit of a bump in it.

    You want a good drive? Get good quality rubber bushes that are a little bit undersized for the member they are controlling, eg for for a 22mm sway bar use a rubber D bush designed for a 21mm bar, and jam the suckers in there. This tight fit compresses the rubber bush so that it firmly locates the bar and the consistent elasticity of the rubber over a very long period gives you far better better control than any poly D bush, and than includes un-grooved ones, grooved ones, internally knurled ones and even ones with PTFE inner linings. All those different variations of internal bush surfaces should provide a clue – the poly bush manufacturers are continually trying to solve a problem that they are continually failing to solve.

    Hope this helps a few people.

    • Josh Daniels
      Josh Daniels
      December 31, 2020 at 11:02 am

      Hey Paul,

      It’s a free country and we’re all entitled to our opinions 🙂 At the risk of diving down a rabbit hole I’d like to address a few of the concerns you presented and give the counter argument in a few cases.

      I’ll start with what we seem to agree on:
      Poly bushes don’t last forever (I have to add that they routinely last longer than rubber)
      The harder you’re pushing your vehicle (higher mileage, rough terrain, etc.) the shorter the lifespan of your suspension components.
      Poly can be squeaky if not lubricated and they usually require grease maintenance (but not typically before 5 years with average use).
      Polyurethane isn’t always the best fit for a particular vehicle use or part.

      Now, down the rabbit hole:
      As for distortion – With all things there are varying qualities of polyurethane bushings. Early urethane bushings established a bad reputation for those we have today by exhibiting exactly the problems you describe, the worst of which being a lack of resiliency or ability for the bushing to absorb pressure and retain its shape. In short, comparing poly bushings of 10 years ago (or even knock-offs from today) with those that have improved formulas, design, and more rigorous R&D, is not really giving them a fair shake.
      * As an aside, we’ve sold polyurethane suspension components for over 10 years, most of that time with a lifetime warranty attached, and going off of customer interactions over that span we can pretty definitively say that distortion is not a common problem. There have only been a handful instances in the last several years that we have received a warranty claim for poly bushings because of distortion, and in several cases this was caused by improper installation or lack of lubrication.

      It is difficult to come up with a scenario where rubber suspension bushings on the same vehicle in the same circumstances outlast even average quality polyurethane bushings. Polyurethane is just a much more durable material and complies with suspension movement while holding its shape better than rubber. Poly bushings may need to be replaced after a lot of hard mileage but rubber bushings will almost certainly require several replacements in the same circumstances.

      The notion that rubber sway bar bushings have some sort of performance edge over polyurethane is a little far-fetched, just by virtue of the fact that rubber has much less resiliency than poly. Rubber is so compliant that a sharp turn at speed distorts the bushing which fails to properly locate the bar in that moment, reducing its effectiveness. Most bushings job is to isolate noise and vibration, but of equal if not greater importance is the job of locating suspension components.

      The design variations that you mention in regard to D bushings all have to do with grease retention of poly bushings which, as you pointed out, can sometimes be a problem especially in wet, adverse terrain. These are actually just design improvements on a material that already outlasts rubber by a wide margin. PTFE lining is actually employed in rubber D bushings more often as a way to increase their lifespan since continual torqueing of rubber causes its deterioration.

      All of this to say that there are some legitimate applications, driving styles, or terrain where poly suspension components are not the best option, but as a general rule – rubber is a better noise and vibration isolator for a smooth ride while polyurethane holds suspension components with more consistent alignment, providing more responsive handling for a longer lifespan.

      Thanks for the different perspective Paul.


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