FAQ on Urethane/Polyurethane Bushings and Suspension Components
Why use urethane/polyurethane for my suspension?
Vehicles are built using rubber bushings in control arms, strut arms, leaf springs, body mounts, motor mounts, transmission mounts, sway bars and shocks. Additionally, rubber components can be found on coil spring pads, leaf spring pads and suspension bump stops.
Not only are rubber components on the soft side to accommodate the typical Volkswagen buyer, they tend to deteriorate rapidly. This contributes to premature component failure, a “spongy” ride and less than ideal performance handling.
Products made with Urethane/Polyurethane are a better, more efficient selection and are a more reliable option than most original rubber components.
When choosing urethane/polyurethane for needs such as those mentioned above, your Volkswagen’s ride and suspension performance will be enhanced.
How is urethane/polyurethane made?
Polyurethane is a term used to describe a wide ranging family of elastomers (any compound exhibiting the characteristics of natural rubber; stretchy and elastic). Poly meaning “many” and “urethane” the classification of the chemical structure.
Polyurethane or urethane for short, is used as a solid cast material (bushings, mounts and mount inserts) and can be as soft as a rubber band or as hard as plastic.
Will I lose ride quality?
The only change in ride quality is increased performance.
The original rubber bushing or mount was fairly soft which helped to accentuate noise and vibration that is generated by the tires and road surface.
Increasing the hardness of the bushing either with harder rubber, urethane or even metal will allow more transmission of noise and vibrations.
Some manufacturers formulate the hardness and design to reduce this effect. A softer urethane bushing allows the vehicle to perform better without the harshness, even over rubber components of the same hardness.
Do I need special tools to install?
No. Installing urethane components requires no special tools. However, if unique tools and equipment are required due to the type of vehicle, you will need them in order to do the job properly.
Does urethane squeak?
The answer to this question is NO. Squeaking is caused by high frequency vibrations that can be heard rather than felt. It is usually caused by lack of lubrication, poor installation, an incorrect part, or urethane that may be too hard for the application.
In sway bar mount applications, most squeaking is the result of not cleaning the bar thoroughly prior to installation and failing to use Mid America Motorworks squeak-proof Super Grease. Additionally, all of our dynamic application bushings feature grooves or splines designed to hold our grease (included) providing even greater performance.
Will I need to reuse my metal sway bar bushing brackets?
PROTHANE™ has a complete shell program for most popular applications. Many of our sway bar bushing kits come complete with a new shell. On some applications, you will need to reuse the metal shell, so be very careful when removing your sway bar brackets from your Volkswagen. If you do damage a bracket during the removal procedure, Mid America Motorworks sells a variety of sway bar bushing brackets.