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Is polybronze the way to go?

Hey guys, I've got a couple weeks of free time coming up and one of the projects I wanted to tackle on my 911 is replacing the 30 year old worn out A-arm bushings, and rear torsion bar bushings with new ones. It appears that OEM bushings, and even aftermarket rubber bushings are unavailable, so I'm looking in to other options.

I use my car as a daily driver, with the occasional weekend fun run on mountain roads, and I'm trying to find the right product to suit my needs. I've looked in to the polybronze bushings, and I'm impressed by the engineering, but I'm wary of going "full polyurethane". I've heard horror stories in general (not necessarily pertaining to 911's) about people "refurbishing" their suspension, thinking they are doing a good thing by installing polyurethane bushings, and ending up with a car that is just too rough for city streets. I don't want that to happen, I want to be able to drive my car daily.

So in the end, do you think polybronze bushings are the choice for me, or is there some other direction I should be headed in?

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Old 12-16-2007, 09:19 PM
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jonbot,

I can not speak for you, when I decided to redo my bushings, I thought aboutt he same thing.

I do touring, autocross and the occasional DE.

I ended up putting Neatrix in the rear. The Polybronze was an attractive alternative, but ultimately cost won over the polybronze.

I was going to replace my fronts, but upon inspection, I did not think replacement was warranted. If I needed to replace them, I would have went with PolyBronze as I have no facility to machine urethanes to fit. An alternative would have been to give the car to a local speed shop who can do the machining and have them install urethanes.

Maybe I helped a bit?
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:23 PM
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Look at elephant racing site...they have all the info...they replace a-arm bushings with stock bushings if you send them. They also have their polybronze setup which is highly regarded.
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Last edited by edgemar; 12-17-2007 at 08:13 AM..
Old 12-16-2007, 09:37 PM
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My '73 911 came with polyurethane bushings that squeaked like hell. I replaced them with Polybronze and, considering the purpose of the car (mostly autocross), I'm very satisfied. The ride is a little harsh, as you'd expect with stiff torsion bars, but no "resonating" into the chassis and NO SQUEAKING. However, it was somewhat of a challenge to get them to fit properly and work smoothly. I would call the low-friction mounts essential.

That being said, if I were only going to do street driving, I would probably have the control arms reconditioned with stock rubber bushings. Elephant Racing can do this, as can Smart Racing Products and probably others. Note that aftermarket rubber bushings like Neatrix are in no way similar to the reconditioned control arms.

While you have the control arms off, consider replacing the ball joints and tie rod ends if you haven't done this already. Consider having the car corner balanced after you get it back together.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbot View Post
I use my car as a daily driver, with the occasional weekend fun run on mountain roads, and I'm trying to find the right product to suit my needs. I've looked in to the polybronze bushings, and I'm impressed by the engineering, but I'm wary of going "full polyurethane". I've heard horror stories in general (not necessarily pertaining to 911's) about people "refurbishing" their suspension, thinking they are doing a good thing by installing polyurethane bushings, and ending up with a car that is just too rough for city streets. I don't want that to happen, I want to be able to drive my car daily.

So in the end, do you think polybronze bushings are the choice for me, or is there some other direction I should be headed in?

The horror stories about polyurethane are true. They squeak and ride harsh. I would advise you to stay away from polyurethane bushings.

PolyBronze is not a polyurethane bushing. It is a bronze bearing encased in a polyurethane jacket. Rides smooth and no squeaks.

PolyBronze is the right choice for -

a) performance, they are the best handling option available
b) DIY, you can install them yourself
c) people willing to give them the occasional squirt of grease

Your alternative is to replace with rubber bushings. You can't DIY this for control arms. You can DIY this for spring plates. These make sense for people that need a zero-maintenance product and are willing to trade out performance to get it.

Both products give good ride quality.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:05 PM
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I have Welt black street bushings all around. It's a very harsh ride for city streets and overkill for even LA streets.

I rode in a 911 with Neatrix rear and Welt black in front and was surprised that it's 75% less harsh. It's actually doable for city streets.

My car has 21/27 T-bars and the other had stock '72 S T-bars.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:08 PM
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Is polybronze the way to go? Yes. I made the very expensive mistake (labor-wise) of replacing rubber A-arms with polyurethane, and even after a week of driving, they began to bind and squeak. The next week I had polybronze (Elephant Racing) bushings installed. My handling improved as well as my ride. Harshness? You'll get a harsher ride out of the plastic than the steel (or whatever the polybronze is made from).

Equate it this way: which rides better as a road bike - plastic or steel? Steel, of course.

My next project is the inner swing arm bushings along with some bigger rear torsion bars and revalved rear shocks. (save me a pair, Chuck). I figure my ride should be stiff but controlled.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:19 PM
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I personally stopped at Elephant Racing and looked at the poly bronze bushings while attending Jerry Woods class...in my opinion that's the way to go. However, I'm not expert in suspension set up, just looking at it logically.

It may cost more, but the quality is on the money...or is it the other way around!
There's a metal bearing that the bronze bushing rides on, hence the occasional greasing. However, the grease nipple makes that a simple job.
I'll be getting these when the time comes.
Chuck is also very customer oriented and will answer your questions and is very accommodating as we just showed up without an appt.!....Damn Hawaiians!

On my bimmer I have urethane bushings...no bearings and the ride is harsh, so I'm used to it, but looking at Lafant Racing's (sp. is for chuck) set up I doubt it will be as harsh and there's a lot less stress/friction on the mounting point.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:41 PM
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I have poly bronze and monoballs - not harsh at all - just direct and precise
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:01 AM
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:06 AM
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Replaced front A-arm and rear springplate bushings with Polybronze and installed trailing arm monoballs. Of course, replaced a whole bunch of other stuff "while you're in there".

After approx. 10K miles of street, some autox and a couple of DE's, I am very happy with the Polybronze. Installation was straightforward. Chuck Moreland was very helpful whenever I had questions. Overall, the ride is stiffer (not bone jarring), but I think that's due to the struts and torsion bars not the bushings.



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Old 12-17-2007, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
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I have poly bronze and monoballs - not harsh at all - just direct and precise

Ditto even on the horrible roads of Western NY.

The only problem I have with the polybronze is that on the rears I can't get my grease gun on the fitting far enough to actually inject grease. The zerks on the poly bronze busings don't stick out far enough. Has anyone firugred out a fix?
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
Ditto even on the horrible roads of Western NY.

The only problem I have with the polybronze is that on the rears I can't get my grease gun on the fitting far enough to actually inject grease. The zerks on the poly bronze busings don't stick out far enough. Has anyone firugred out a fix?
Is it possible to get longer zerks? [fittings]?
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
Ditto even on the horrible roads of Western NY.

The only problem I have with the polybronze is that on the rears I can't get my grease gun on the fitting far enough to actually inject grease. The zerks on the poly bronze busings don't stick out far enough. Has anyone firugred out a fix?
Grease gun tips vary in diameter. Larger ones can cause clearance issues to the spring plate cover. If this is the case, touch one side of the tip to a grinder to thin it a bit.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:48 AM
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just go for polybronze

i have the project done early this yr with polybronze f R monoballs plus revalve dampers fr bilstein also change the 22 29 torsion bars retain the stock sway bars for 87 carrera car drive very smooth in street actually I track the car most of the time,I will have to tell you it worth the investment.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:48 AM
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you can buy a flex hose for your grease gun at any auto parts store that will fit
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kelly View Post
Ditto even on the horrible roads of Western NY.

The only problem I have with the polybronze is that on the rears I can't get my grease gun on the fitting far enough to actually inject grease. The zerks on the poly bronze busings don't stick out far enough. Has anyone firugred out a fix?
Google "flexible grease gun hose"
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:34 PM
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I just put polybronze in my '88 Carrera (front and rear) and I am very happy with the results. I put 20k miles per year on this car so the ride quality is very important. I only have 150 miles on these so I can't speak about wear, but the ride quality is great.
Old 12-17-2007, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun 84 Targa View Post
Google "flexible grease gun hose"
That isn't the problem. It's the tip on the flexible hose that is a little to big (long), at least that is my problem.
It's a bit tight but I manage to get grease into them. If I had to do it again I would position the zerks slightly different.

If you have the money PB is the way.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:36 PM
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That isn't the problem. It's the tip on the flexible hose that is a little to big (long), at least that is my problem.
It's a bit tight but I manage to get grease into them. If I had to do it again I would position the zerks slightly different.....
I know what ya mean, as I have just one that is a bit of a PITA. I've tried a few different tips (none work very well) on flexible hose and manage, but in hindsight, I would position that one at a slightly different angle (although the other side is virtually the same position and has no problem). I like 'em!
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:56 PM
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