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#4453391 - 07/08/17 12:35 PM Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6219
Loc: MI
My Jeep Patriot rear sway bar bushings are creaking worse than my knees. A forum member recently alleviated the squeak by simply lubing them with grease. But, I was thinking that if I am taking them apart, I might just go ahead and replace them....maybe.

Options are OEM Rubber, MOOG Thermoplastic, or Energy Suspension greaseable polyurethane. They are inexpensive, so cost is not an issue.

Please explain to me the pros and cons of each option. The MOOGs claim to be better than rubber, but not prone to squeaking like polyurethane. Is there actually a performance improvement with polyurethane that Energy Suspension claims??? On a daily driver street machine?? MOOG and Energy mention possible worse NVH (noise,vibration,harshness).

Thanks!


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#4453400 - 07/08/17 12:47 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
The thermoplastic is what I chose after trial & error and researching it. I think I used NAPA for my last few sets and they were made in the USA.

They were a bit firmer and longer lasting than rubber and softer than poly. The poly is too hard IMO and resulted in a very hard ride.

I don't think grease zerks really benefits these bushings...except it might help with squeaking and I only experienced squeaking with poly.

Something about those bushing mounts in the photo look like they are going to rust quickly.

Can you hopefully re-use your original factory mounts if you decide you do not require the zerk?
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#4453402 - 07/08/17 12:48 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
Dyusik Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 1982
Loc: US-WA
I had/have (no longer mounted to the body) poly bushings on my upper control arms and with that sound I wanted to scream "Timber!" I pulled them out, smeared grease on the contact surface and that was the end of it. The are a terrible bushing material as far as cushion goes, but they are tougher than nails. Squeak is non existant in my track bar from day one because they are greasable.
Bottom line:
Any bushing that is designed to dampen vibes/noise should be rubber, not poly. If vibration dampening is not a concern, poly all the way.

No experience with thermoplastic.


Edited by Dyusik (07/08/17 12:49 PM)
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#4453413 - 07/08/17 12:57 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7162
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
As a general rule, the more rubber you remove from sway bar components, the better the vehicle will feel. It tightens up the ride and improves handling a touch. As you might imagine, rubber gives quite readily during body roll. In older cars with rubber end links, AND if the sway bar is not just a token tiny part, the rubber will allow a good bit of body roll before the bar bends.

I tend to go with poly bushings and put up with the frequent lube requirements. As I prefer a tight suspension. Not everyone drives like me though.
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#4453415 - 07/08/17 12:58 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6219
Loc: MI
Thanks for the quick replies. Excellent information.

ARCTICDRIVER - I can reuse the OEM steel brackets.

The simple information you guys provide already helps me wade through the marketing spin. The Energy Suspension site really lays on the hype about how superior the polyurethane bushings are over everything else. I now conclude that maybe they are better for "built up/modified/performance" machines vs. daily driver (comfort/quiet) applications??

Thanks!

EDIT - Cujet thanks for your perspective. My 2wd Pat is an appliance and I have poor perception of performance attributes. But, I can see where it would matter for some vehicles/drivers. Thanks.

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#4453455 - 07/08/17 02:00 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
Canadastang Offline


Registered: 12/08/15
Posts: 261
Loc: Ontario Canada
Personally, I would just stick with OEM/rubber, unless you're looking for a performance upgrade.

IIRC poly and thermoplastics are very similar or the same?

Poly bushings will inevitably squeak. If you lube them, they will quiet down for a week or two and then squeak again.

My mustang has literally every bushing replaced with poly (except the upper axle, since poly doesn't flex enough and causes binding) and the road feel, handling etc. was definitely greatly improved over the stock rubber bushings -but- they squeak, even with all of the precautions I took, prelubing the bushings with the correct grease, preloading the suspension before torquing the bolts, yada yada, they stay squeak free for a little while when I grease them, but it always comes back.

It's not an insane squeak mind you, but really bumpy driveways and parking lots with the windows down are a little embarassing lol.

With that said, it's mostly track driven so, meh.

But in your Jeep Patriot's case, I suspect that will not be its intended use.


Edited by Canadastang (07/08/17 02:00 PM)

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#4453463 - 07/08/17 02:06 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: Cujet]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Cujet
I tend to go with poly bushings and put up with the frequent lube requirements. As I prefer a tight suspension. Not everyone drives like me though.


Exactly!

I really like the feel I get with ES Poly (especially on the sway bar), but they do require regular lube.

I have no experience with thermoplastic.
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#4453469 - 07/08/17 02:14 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
The MOOG ones will be a fine OEM replacement. I couldn't tell a difference from them and the OEM ones on my Liberty.

Poly ones will make way more noise and c'mon...it's a Jeep...you don't need fancy firm poly bushings for track days. smile
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#4453484 - 07/08/17 02:24 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: HoosierJeeper]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6219
Loc: MI
Originally Posted By: HoosierJeeper
The MOOG ones will be a fine OEM replacement. I couldn't tell a difference from them and the OEM ones on my Liberty.

Poly ones will make way more noise and c'mon...it's a Jeep...you don't need fancy firm poly bushings for track days. smile

Lets not try to fool anyone. It's a lowly Caliber in classic Jeep clothing (LOL my buds at the Pat forum will shoot me). Launched during Chrysler's worst years, the final models had significant improvements that, IMO, made it a tolerable purchase. The 6 speed Powertech tranny is a great improvement over the CVT.

Thanks for all the great advice. I might give the MOOGS a try since the dealer prices are a bit high.

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#4453600 - 07/08/17 04:56 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
Olas Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 3933
Loc: Manchester, England
Depending on your priorities, rubber is more compliant but perishes where poly gives better body control and does not perish.
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#4453609 - 07/08/17 05:05 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1810
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
There are other brands / manufacturers of Poly bushings besides Energy Suspension, whom are a sort of "one size fits all" manufacturer.

Polyurethane can be formulated in virtually any durometer from super soft to rock hard; it's the material's essential feature. DO NOT buy a Poly bushing without the Durometer spec. Also you ideally want different Durometer values at different points in the suspension / body mount positions.

OEMs use synthetic rubber because it lasts "long enough" ( 10 years or so) and gives the best NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Handling) for a new, off the lot vehicle.

If the Thermoplastics have an OE-quality ride, as some posters suggest, I'd personally give them a try, as the rubber begins deteriorating pretty much right from first install (ozone, UV, depletion of plasticizers, etc).
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#4453673 - 07/08/17 06:27 PM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
AZjeff Offline


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2642
Loc: PV Az
It's a Jeep Patriot/Caliber..... it's really not going to make much difference. If there are end link bushings replace them too.

Then go to the autocross!
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#4455066 - 07/10/17 09:16 AM Re: Teach Me About Sway Bar Bushings [Re: doitmyself]
MCompact Offline


Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 4113
Loc: KY
I used polyurethane bushings(and billet mount brackets with zerk fittings) when I installed an aftermarket ARB on my
Mazdaspeed 3. I noticed no real difference in NVH.
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