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Polyurethane or Rubber?

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There is an ongoing debate among owners regarding suspension bushings. More specifically, which of the two main available types is better: traditional rubber or polyurethane?

Short answer? It depends.

Nearly all OEM suspensions use rubber bushing. These rubber bushings came about in the 1950s and were seen as a marked improvement over the original metal components that required frequent maintenance and replacement due to extensive wear. Best of all, rubber was cheap, and we know automakers liked that. Rubber bushings under a load tend to flex, stretch, and compress. This can transfer into your steering, causing some difficulties with traction and creating oversteer or understeer.

While polyurethane offers a stiffer ride than rubber, it has some slight drawbacks as well. Poly bushings don’t flex and twist as much as a rubber bushing, they actually spin on the cross shaft. After time, they can dry out and begin to bind a bit. The resulting binding and sticking in the suspension causes the annoying “poly squeak.” Keep some lubricant around in a spray bottle, and that problem can be solved with just a couple of sprays.

Now, the one thing that comes into play here is our new driving styles. If all you plan on doing is taking your classic out for some good old fashioned Sunday cruising, by all means, go for the rubber setup. If you intend on doing a road course, or better yet some auto-crossing, take a look at some of the polyurethane options available.

Speedway Motors carries both styles of bushings, so the choice is yours on what style of ride you want with your vehicle. To look over a selection of what we offer, Click Here.

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