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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Rochester, NY
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OEM or urethane buishings for street?

74 914/1.8. Just got a stock front swaybar for it and will also replace the lower A-arm bushings at the same time. The car is almost 100% street, I may do 1 AX a year when it gets done. Would those in the know here recommend OEM rubber or urethane bushings for the suspension and the swaybar?
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:39 AM
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Properly installed urethane will produce no ill effects for the street. the car will simply react crisper. The ride and overall handling will be more affected by shocks and T-bar or spring choices. I plan on installing urethane bushings on my work truck.

The important thing is to be sure they are installed w/o any binding on the suspension arms. Urethane gives you the opportunity to have free movint parts with no slop. I mention this because some of the bushings supplied are a tight fit and others have found it nescessary to machine them for a better fit. Look into the grease zerk modification which you can do your self. It would be well worth the effort for a street car, IMO.
Old 04-13-2003, 08:05 AM
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If that is the case, then 99%+ of all aftermarket bushings are installed incorrectly. Most of the time, the ride will be noticeably harsher with the aftermarket bushings. If they stick and bind on the suspension, the ride is immensely worse; if they don't stick it still tends to be a bit harsher. All the little vibrations and tiny bumps make their way into the cabin...

--DD
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:18 PM
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Check out GRM, they have an article on replacing the bushings with bearings. They seemed to like the ride.
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Old 04-13-2003, 05:16 PM
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Well, Double D, I don't know if we disagree or the bushings are perhaps truly installed incorrectly. I'm not an expert here. My belief is based on the fact that the bushing is a bearing in place to allow articulation. To me, if a rubber bushing had a dual purpose, the second of which is to give the car a better ride, then something else suffers in return. In this case it would be subtle changes in alignment. I believe as you do that more road noise will be transferrred to the chasis w/o the insulating properties of rubber. However, I did not include that in my meaning of ill effects. As far as the ride being actually harsher with no other changes being made at the time of bushing replacement, I would be willing to debate that further.
Old 04-13-2003, 05:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I have the GRM article, also saw that the bearing sets are $500, so I'm going to pass on my low-buck ride (I think they give you a pkg price of $899 if you do front and rear, but the mag isn't in front of me). I'm just looking to restore what's been lost through degradation of the rubber mounts. I wasn't sure about urethane because so many people seem to complain about noise and harshness, so I'll have to mull over Zeke and Dave's positions.
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Old 04-13-2003, 05:31 PM
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Zeke, my contention is that the noise is just a higher-frequency harshness.

Will, you might look up Mueller here on this board or on the 914club.com board. He also has versions of the bearing setup, for both front and rear. No idea on how that affects the ride...

--DD
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:47 PM
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hmmm.... I didn't know it was possible for a 914 to be to loud or rough, especially if it improves handling!
Old 04-13-2003, 10:00 PM
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I'd go with the "street" version of the poly bushings if cost and no maintenance is an issue. As much as I'd love to sell my needle bearing kit, I don't want to push them on someone that does not need them.

The key to these poly bushings working is ensuring that the A-arms rotate freely after the bushings have been pressed into the metal stamped housings. I have seen lots of the housings that are not round anymore from abuse or whatever.

The needle bearings will transmit more road noise, but the ride is much better since the shocks and springs will now work instead of fighting the rubber bushings which are "squeezing" the shaft of the a-arm.
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