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Bushings... rubber vs poly?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Thumper, Oct 27, 2000.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Hey,
    I have seen all these new upgrades coming out from ORD etc. and they all seem to be using polyurethane bushings. I thought rubber would be better for flexibility than poly? Isnt polyurethane very stiff and hard versus rubber? I have my annual trips to the States coming up and I was planning on picking up a total bushing kit for Thumper, but someone mentioned about the rubber vs poly thing so I had to ask.
    BTW, does anyone know if 4wd shops (like 4wpw, or Desert Rat) will order in stuff from ORD? I would love to pick up some of thier stuff, but in order to save shipping I need to buy from a shop, or have an address where I can pick it up at when I am there.

    Thanks
    Mike


    <font color=blue>Thumper
    85 Fullsize Jimmy
    [​IMG]
    <font color=red>Lets Go Wheelin! </font color=red>
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    The way I understand it is that as long as you DONOT over tighten poly it allows the flex needed just fine. If you over torque the mount to the point the poly starts to buldge then it becomes very stiff and doesn't flex.
    Poly will last allot longer than rubber too....

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  3. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    My only complaint with the pollys I have on both trucks is squeeks. I have energy suspensions on mine. Try to get the grafite impregnated or the Greasables

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  4. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Poly bushings and rubber bushings are actually totally different beasts, even apart from the obvious material difference. Stock rubber spring eye bushings are actually vulcanized into their metal housings. Then the center post has teeth that make it stick to the shackles so that it can't twist. Twisting movement in the bushing comes from the rubber itself twisting. This is the biggest reason that they are so quiet. Nothing is rubbing at all. All of the movement is inside the rubber. Sometimes when people try to remove these bushings they get confused and think that they are supposed to operate just like the new poly bushings that they have in their hands. The real reason that you can't slide the rubber out and replace it with poly is that the rubber is stuck to the metal not because of old age, but because of design. The rubber is actually a spring of it's own.

    Poly bushings, on the other hand, count on the bushing sliding against the metal for twisting movement. This allows for freer movement, but creates the characteristic squeak. They will allow twisting more freely than rubber, but will not allow the whole spring to twist side to side as easily. While the poly material lasts a lot longer, a rubber bushing can go much longer without maintainence, since the poly needs grease to work right. There is also no danger from overtightening a rubber spring eye bushing like there is with poly.

    Which one is better is really personal preference. I prefer poly for sway bar bushings, but rubber for spring eyes. Sure, it wears out faster, but new rubber will give you 10 years, probably. Even after they start to crack on the outside, the inside is usually still working well.

    That's my take on the whole thing, anyway

    New 4x4 driver: "A lot of money in that truck, eh?"
    Me: "Oh, about 1/4 of a new one"
     
  5. sosamantx

    sosamantx 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>If you are considering poly bushings, go with polygraphite, graphite is a lubricant, therefore they are self lubricating. I have heard the same thing about polyurethane squeaking. I have the graphite ones on my Nova, and I have no complaints. The whole front end is a lot stiffer. - Steve</font color=blue>

    <font color=blue>Steve Sosa a.k.a. "sosaman"</font color=blue>
    http://sosaman.home.texas.net/carpics.html
     
  6. shum1

    shum1 1/2 ton status

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    So if you buy new springs from someone like tuff country or other, how can you gwt rubber bushings installed?
     
  7. blazen91

    blazen91 1/2 ton status

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  8. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    So is there any drawbacks to buying the total bushing kit from a shop in polyurethane? Is it a good kit? Also, toyboxoffroad... are they a shop? Or mail order? I want to be able to get some ORD stuff without mail ordering. The shipping and exchange to Canada kills me. I will be going down to the States in early Jan or Feb and I want to pick up some ORD stuff while I am there, will a shop order it in for me?

    Mike


    <font color=blue>Thumper
    85 Fullsize Jimmy
    [​IMG]
    <font color=red>Lets Go Wheelin! </font color=red>
     

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