Notices
C3 Tech/Performance V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

Strut Rod Bushings: Rubber or Polyurethane?

 
Old 11-25-2015, 12:13 AM
  #1  
ATHANASE
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
ATHANASE's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2003
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 145
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Strut Rod Bushings: Rubber or Polyurethane?

Got to replace the strut rod bushings. Not sure if I stay with rubber or go with polyurethane. Any thought?
ATHANASE is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 01:12 AM
  #2  
toobroketoretire
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2009
Location: Great Plains Iowa
Posts: 2,633
Thanks: 0
Thanked 102 Times in 98 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by ATHANASE View Post
Got to replace the strut rod bushings. Not sure if I stay with rubber or go with polyurethane. Any thought?

I'm not sure as I never had any polyurethane bushings until just recently. I have heard a number of people say they'll crumble after a couple of years so I'm not completely sold on them.
toobroketoretire is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 05:11 AM
  #3  
jb78L-82
CF Senior Member
 
jb78L-82's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2007
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 6,243
Thanked 426 Times in 382 Posts
Default

Neither....

I have had stock strut rods with the OEM bushings, the stock strut rods with poly bushings (lasted over 20 years and still have them in the garage) and currently for the last 9-10 years Competition adjustable Heim jointed strut rods (no bushings at all) which are by far the best strut rod for a C3.

Why? One of the biggest weaknesses in the rear suspension of a C3 is the amount of suspension deflection (adverse camber change) that the stock strut rods allow in the IRS which effects the ride, steering response and handling. Competition adjustable Heim joint struts offer 3 advantages over the OEM type rubber bushing strut rods:

1. Much stronger than the stock OEM struts which will bend/flex under load
2. Eliminates the OEM camber bolt adjusting method in place of a fixed bolt system with adjustable length rods on the strut.
3. NO BUSHINGS to deflect under load and for even just cruising down the highway.

One of the cheapest and best upgrades to the rear suspension of a C3 is the competition adjustable struts with Heim joint endlinks. These struts made the rear end feel very solid, planted, and predictable under all driving conditions-These struts are superior to the alternative struts and not just if you race which I don't with my 78 but just in everyday driving. I have these:

http://www.mamotorworks.com/Corvette...d-kit-602910-1 BTW-the not recommended for street use comment from MidAmerica, I completely do not understand since the ride is hardly effected by these struts on my car...10 years experience now and others have commented the same over the years that use these strut rods

Poly bushings will allow for less flex in the rear suspension but the stock strut rod will also flex under load. My poly bushings lasted forever and are still in good shape but they did tend to squeak...

Last edited by jb78L-82; 11-25-2015 at 07:20 AM.
jb78L-82 is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 06:40 AM
  #4  
mikep3
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Dec 2005
Posts: 900
Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts
Default

If its a street machine with standard tires, rubber/OEM style.
mikep3 is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 07:01 AM
  #5  
TedH
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
TedH's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 1999
Location: Tampa Bay FL
Posts: 8,187
Thanked 24 Times in 20 Posts

Default

I installed Vette Brakes' poly adjustable strut rods. Stronger and infinitely more adjustable than the stock rods/rubber bushings. That was over 15 years ago. No squeaks and look/handle like new. That was before I went through the entire rear suspension (half shafts, trailing arms/bearing assemblies... all from Van Steel). The 9-leaf spring was replaced by a PO.

To compliment the VB&P rear struts, I went with their (at the time) TRW based, HD front rubber bushing/ball joints/idler arm/tie rods kit with the tie rods that have same adjustability as in back (but with rubber bushings).

The car handles exceptionally well with the KYB shocks and 255/60R15 rubber on all four corners.

Over 36k miles and over 18 years on my pair of $200 "poly adjustable strut rods" from VB&P and the rear suspension is nice and tight.

Last edited by TedH; 11-25-2015 at 05:10 PM.
TedH is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 03:25 PM
  #6  
Sayfoo
CF Senior Member
 
Sayfoo's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2005
Location: Orange County Ca
Posts: 1,592
Thanked 33 Times in 30 Posts
Default

I went with poly bushing and they were shot after a few years and 8-10k miles. They distorted and were loose. I made up a Heim joint package and it has worked fine since. The MidAmerica kit for $200 is not outrageous.
Sayfoo is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 04:24 PM
  #7  
ddawson
CF Senior Member
 
ddawson's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2001
Location: Davis CA
Posts: 5,130
Thanked 358 Times in 342 Posts
Default

Rubber or Heim joint.
ddawson is offline  
Old 11-25-2015, 06:51 PM
  #8  
TheSkunkWorks
CF Senior Member
 
TheSkunkWorks's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2007
Location: Graceland in a Not Correctly Restored Stingray
Posts: 7,353
Thanked 56 Times in 39 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by ddawson View Post
Rubber or Heim joint.




Simple poly bushings aren't particularly well suited to linkage points which inherently move in 3D rather than rotating in a single plane.
TheSkunkWorks is offline  
Old 11-26-2015, 04:07 PM
  #9  
dugsgms74
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2014
Location: Cherry Valley CA
Posts: 880
Thanks: 0
Thanked 29 Times in 28 Posts
Default

My poly bushings lasted about 6 months before crumbling and falling out, I vote for rubber.
dugsgms74 is offline  
Old 11-26-2015, 04:33 PM
  #10  
jb78L-82
CF Senior Member
 
jb78L-82's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2007
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 6,243
Thanked 426 Times in 382 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dugsgms74 View Post
My poly bushings lasted about 6 months before crumbling and falling out, I vote for rubber.
The material used today for Poly must be junk...The poly bushing OEM struts that I took out (installed by me in 1985) for the heim jointed struts in the 2006-07 timeframe were over 20 years old and looked brand new, as mentioned previously....

I could reinstall them today if I wanted and they would still work as intended...now 30 years old....try that with rubber

Last edited by jb78L-82; 11-26-2015 at 04:35 PM.
jb78L-82 is offline  
Old 11-26-2015, 06:28 PM
  #11  
leadfoot4
CF Senior Member
 
leadfoot4's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2001
Location: Western NY
Posts: 57,834
Thanked 401 Times in 370 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dugsgms74 View Post
My poly bushings lasted about 6 months before crumbling and falling out, I vote for rubber.
Just curious, what brand were they?


Although I haven't purchased any poly bushings in a number of years, the Energy Suspension poly bushings I did purchase NEVER dried out or cracked over MANY years of use.
leadfoot4 is offline  
Old 11-27-2015, 02:01 PM
  #12  
dugsgms74
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2014
Location: Cherry Valley CA
Posts: 880
Thanks: 0
Thanked 29 Times in 28 Posts
Default

They were from Zip, no brand name on the packaging.
dugsgms74 is offline  
Old 11-27-2015, 07:25 PM
  #13  
DUB
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Apr 2009
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 19,578
Thanked 2,482 Times in 2,156 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by ddawson View Post
Rubber or Heim joint.
Those are the ONLY two options I will sell.

If a customer brings me polyurethane adjustables...then that is their choice and I do not have to worry about a warranty. The current polyurethane seems to be failing a lot sooner than it should.

DUB
DUB is offline  
Old 11-27-2015, 07:58 PM
  #14  
MajD
CF Senior Member
 
MajD's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2008
Location: Lebanon OH
Posts: 374
Thanked 29 Times in 27 Posts
Default

I went through two sets of new stock strut rods in four years due to poor quality rubber that tore and disintegrated. I don't know that it matters where you shop for something like a strut rod. I suppose most of them are made somewhere over seas and its the same manufacturer no matter which vendor you purchase them from...but perhaps I've had a bad experience.

I went with heim joint strut rods because I got tired of replacing the stock ones, and poly isn't the proper material for that application. I noticed an improvement in handling but no noticeable decrease in comfort or ride. I definitely recommend heim joint strut rods. Hope this helps.

MajD
MajD is offline  
Old 03-14-2019, 10:20 PM
  #15  
ace_cobra
CF Senior Member
 
ace_cobra's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2007
Location: Porters Lake Nova Scotia
Posts: 357
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I know this is an old thread, and maybe a left field question, but if rubber is better than poly in this situation, and adjustable is better than fixed, why doesnt any manufacturer make an adjustable strut rod with RUBBER bushings? Or why dont people purchase rubber bushings for their adjustable units?
ace_cobra is offline  
Old 03-15-2019, 02:00 AM
  #16  
Buccaneer
CF Senior Member
 
Buccaneer's Avatar
 
Member Since: Nov 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 903
Thanked 134 Times in 114 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by DUB View Post
Those are the ONLY two options I will sell.

If a customer brings me polyurethane adjustables...then that is their choice and I do not have to worry about a warranty. The current polyurethane seems to be failing a lot sooner than it should.

DUB
Cast in point DUB. Like ACE said...THIS IS A VERY OLD THREAD, but since I just decided to replace my stock strut rods and go to heim joint, (which I should have done a long time ago) I thought this was appropriate to post this. I've had an issue with my strut rods that are poly. It all started when I put the DRs on and made hard launches. I guess the struts didn't like that and I could never get them to hold an adjustment and scratched my head a little since they weren't that old and poly. Thinking they were not bad and just a bad design when more power and tire bite was going on I decided recently to start the upgrade that has been sitting on the bench for the last 6-8 months now that I finally have the time to do it

I pulled off the worse side which was the drivers side. When I pulled the eccentric end out, this is what I found (see pic) I was shocked and then knew why it wouldn't hold an adjustment and the last time I launched my new motor hard the *** end wanted to walk a bit. You couldn't see it was gone from the backside installed with the bracket in the way. Keep in mind these struts are about 8 years old and poly, not rubber. It had crumbled to nothing and had a pile of crumbled poly lying in the bottom of the strut bracket. Even the struts look fairly new still. Surely these are made in china crap poly bushings.

All that was left when removed

This is the same end, just the other side. So only one side was toast. The other end was fine on both sides, even the bushings looked new.

I didn't even pull the other side out yet since when I saw this I decided I wanted to make everything stronger instead of using a 1/2" bolt with a 5/8" heim wasn't going to cut it. I decided to use a spare 82 strut bracket and mod it to accommodate a 5/8" bolt on the eccentric end. Dropped everything off at my machinists shop today and I may have it back maybe next week if lucky, ready for maybe blasting the bracket, TIG the support brackets to ensure they are strong and then have it power coated. I'll post up the process pics as I do it. I guess this will just be another stock to heim upgrade, but a bit stronger in the long run I suspect. My machinist scratched his head a little and wondered why they only used a 1/2" bolt on the other end.

Last edited by Buccaneer; 03-15-2019 at 02:09 AM.
Buccaneer is offline  
Old Yesterday, 05:24 AM
  #17  
Metalhead140
CF Senior Member
 
Metalhead140's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2015
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,574
Thanked 267 Times in 235 Posts
Default

I just pulled out poly to put in some heims - not because of any problems but because I was doing a bunch of other work back there and had the parts available. My Energy Suspension poly bushes still looked like new after 3.5 years and over 40,000 hard street and track miles.
Metalhead140 is offline  
Old Yesterday, 06:51 AM
  #18  
jb78L-82
CF Senior Member
 
jb78L-82's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2007
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 6,243
Thanked 426 Times in 382 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Metalhead140 View Post
I just pulled out poly to put in some heims - not because of any problems but because I was doing a bunch of other work back there and had the parts available. My Energy Suspension poly bushes still looked like new after 3.5 years and over 40,000 hard street and track miles.
Same...my post #10...when I put on my heim jointed strut rods on 12 years ago, the poly bushings in my OEM strut rods that were over 20 years old at the time that I Installed in 1985 looked perfect. I still have them stored in the garage and now 30 years old look great. This constant drone that poly is junk is tiresome.

Poly is far superior to rubber in just about any application BUT because of junk poly now being produced and sold, the poly material has been tarnished. Lots of junk rubber and inferior foreign suspension parts for all cars out there too....Junk is junk..poly or rubber
jb78L-82 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Strut Rod Bushings: Rubber or Polyurethane?


Sponsored Ads
Vendor Directory

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: