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Old 04-06-2019, 09:58 PM
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Spring bushing Material

With all the recent threads debating leaf springs. I got to thinking nobody has brought up what the benefits of rubber vs polyurethane in the bushings. Just curious to hear from those that actually have had both and were able to tell a difference.

I read an article that mentions Rubber may provide a little softer ride but don't last as long, where the poly will ride a little stiffer but last longer.

Then it seems like I heard something about the poly bushings being really squeaky, not that it matters much, I'll just turn up the Radio...

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Old 04-06-2019, 10:21 PM   #2
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I currently use poly Daystar greasable bushings and couldn’t be happier vs rubber, no squeaks, a little more responsive, and equal if not better ride quality.

Pros: Last longer, if god forbid the main eyes had an issue it’s cake walk to change out main-eyes vs rubber
Cons: Requires greasing once a year, a bit more expensive.

https://www.quadratec.com/products/16044_30X_PG.htm
https://www.quadratec.com/products/16045_1X_PG.htm
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:47 PM   #3
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I just went with poly bushings and greasable bolts all around. Seem nice but really I’m getting more use to the new springs then the bushings so I’m not a good judge.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:44 PM   #4
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I have ran poly bushing greased and non greased and i have never had them squeak. Poly bushings are easier to install than rubber and are easier to remove and last longer. There probably is truth to them having a harsher ride and transmitting more vibration but i am so used to my jeep being all poly except for the motor mounts i dont even notice it.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:03 AM   #5
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Doesn't matter... lift springs are made for poly bushings... rubber is not an option...
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:17 PM   #6
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I'm running poly in the frame eyes and the pre-installed rubber in the spring eyes as well as grease-able boom shackles from M O R E. So far, works well and is holding up well.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:38 PM   #7
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I dunno about how long each type of bushings will last. My stock rubber bushings were still in good condition when I changed my 27 year old flat springs. The new springs all came with new main eye rubber bushings. I reused the rear shackle bushings because they didn't show any wear or deterioration. The only reason I used new front shackle bushings is because they came with the new tow shackles.

Anyone that states they can tell the ride difference between poly or rubber spring bushings must have a real sensitive butt. I'm thinking it must be like the seat of the pants dyno.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #8
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I've been wrenching since I was about 4 years old. My old man as an ASE Master Tech for numerous dealerships and shops and an eventual service manager. Here's my take on poly vs rubber...

Rubber gives exception ride quality, is cheap, is easy to install on an assembly line, has less parts to inventory (important for OEMs), and lasts a long time under normal conditions. The caveat is the last part - "normal conditions". In a daily sedan or even typical work truck, a rubber bushing will serve a long life, as evidenced by the millions of cars on the road doing just fine with OEM bushings.

Once you start pushing the limits of service, such as heavy wheeling, higher horsepower, etc. the weaknesses of rubber become apparent. It simply lacks the molecular fortitude to withstand harsh service.

I've never personally noticed a harsher ride from poly and in my experiences when we've serviced cars or trucks with poly bushings, the ride usually improved (though to be fair, the rubber bushings we replaced weren't exactly new or in top-notch condition). Poly does tend to transmit some low RPM vibrations through the motor/trans mounts, but it's minimal from the applications I've used them in.

The big advantage I like about poly bushings is that I can replace them in 15 minutes in the field. If I blew out a spring or shackle bushing, a quick reach into my service bag and in just a few minutes, I'm back on the road.

In regards to squeaks, early on I did notice some squeaking. However, I bought a mini-tub of the Energy Suspension super thick poly grease (it's like petroleum jelly but with the consistency of frozen peanut butter!). A thin coat of this stuff and I've never had a squeak on a poly bushing since.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:17 AM   #9
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Wait, so the original rubber bushings in my 10,000 lb diesel dually that tows another 20,000 lbs behind it and has almost 400,000 hard miles on it don't see harsh service like those in a 4000 lb jeep do? Lol

Rubber does ride softer and any company selling poly will tell you that... it is marketed as a performance modification. It is a compromise between factory rubber and full race metal bushings.

I would also argue that rubber is more expensive and sometimes harder to install but much more durable...
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TJ dash speakers that actually rock! Kicker sub and amp in center console
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #10
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I had no intentions of using poly initially, it was only due to an issue with my main eyes shifting, the poly main eyes solved the issue, and they didn’t have any adverse effect on the ride like I had heard so many times, so I figured what he hell lets get the shackles done as well.

Up until this point I had been using brand new Mopar springs and bushings all around, when I went to replace them with the Daystars the rubber of the 1 year old bushings had already started to develop cracks.

I use my YJ as a pleasure cruiser, so it doesn’t have a rough life, so we could surmise the cracks developed in the various bushings were due to the main eyes shifting slightly, or that the rubber was old when I bought it, or they don’t make stuff like they used to, but it still doesn’t change the fact that they developed issues in a short time span.

Moral is the story I’m sold on poly
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gottagofast View Post
Wait, so the original rubber bushings in my 10,000 lb diesel dually that tows another 20,000 lbs behind it and has almost 400,000 hard miles on it don't see harsh service like those in a 4000 lb jeep do? Lol

Rubber does ride softer and any company selling poly will tell you that... it is marketed as a performance modification. It is a compromise between factory rubber and full race metal bushings.

I would also argue that rubber is more expensive and sometimes harder to install but much more durable...
I would say that in your example above, that no - that isn't "extreme service" - it is the exact service that the rig was designed, engineered and built for. While it is indeed "severe" compared to what a typical 1/2 ton truck or Jeep would be used for, it is sized accordingly. The last diesel rig I worked on had 7/8" shackle bolts and a spring bushing that was ~2" in diameter.

I've seen a fair share of big 2500/3500 rigs pulls tons of weight for decades without issue. However, they too are susceptible to damage once they start running larger than factory tires and begin to flex their suspensions to the bump stops frequently (particularly if the suspension and original geometry has been changed). The same can be said of their huge differentials - many hold up just fine for millions of miles. However, start turning some screws and many Dana 70's and even 80's have gone kaboom when they would have otherwise served very well otherwise.

Regarding the install, my opinion is that in a manufacturing environment, a standard rubber bushing has many benefits (not talking about ride differences here, just a manufacturing perspective). The two big ones are inventory control and install process. Inventory management on a single item is always easier than 3 items (even if bagged, which adds expense, a process step, and waste). On the actual install, rubber bushings are quite easy to install with a large press. In a manufacturing/assembly environment, rubber bushings would be classified as a single, linear movement. In hard parts assembly, "movement" equates to waste. While it would be possible to engineer a press to install typical poly bushings, it is unlikely that it would be single-movement and there would be 3x as many failure potentials (from a QA/QC perspective, it could be a problem for sure).
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:28 AM   #12
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We'll have to agree to disagree....

We both possibly the best yj springs in the world
And since nobody makes rubber bushings to fit em we're both running poly too.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gottagofast View Post
We'll have to agree to disagree....

We both possibly the best yj springs in the world
And since nobody makes rubber bushings to fit em we're both running poly too.
Fair enough

And FWIW, when I replaced the bushing in my W150 project, I used rubber bushings in locations where I could...

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