Polyurethane sway bar bushings

Reviewed by: Manuel Patino - manuelp@mindspring.com

Polyurethane bushings and brackets to replace OEM equipment in sway bars.

I purchased the kit from PBC back in November last year ('98) along with new shocks, springs, brake pads, and an Aerorotor (but that is another story).

My intention was to install these new bushings at the same time the other suspension mods and the brake pads. We quickly ran into problems trying to remove the old bushings from the sway bar links. We were unable to even begin to remove them using a vise and some contrived tools. I put off their installation until the Aerorotor came, figuring that the next shop would be better equiped. Well, just last week when my forced induction system finally came, Hector at R Speed tried to replace these link bushings but could not remove the old ones. I took the links to my work and using a 10 ton hydraulic press and a number of dies and punches I was able to rip the rubber bushings with the hardened steel bushings off the links. These rubber things are pretty near indestructible! The rubber that remained attached to the links would not be scrapped or cut off (try cutting a tire, same thing). I tried a propane torch to burn them, no luck. I tried to grind them off with a rotary air grinder and sand paper, no luck. Finally, I got some help from the shop guys and used the oxy-acetylene torch to carbonize the rubber and scrape it off. Success at last! The rest of the bushings are very easily replaced, no problems at all. I think that there might be a slight improvement in the cars handling. I'm sure that it could not hurt. I enjoyed the satisfaction of finally installing them but according to some guys who rode the car, replacing the bushings is not anything like replacing the sway bars as far as performance improvement.

These bushings are a relatively inexpensive up grade one can perform. The jury is still out as far as actual performance increase. If you do not have access to a hydraulic press, plenty of things to use as punches and dies, and an oxy-acetylene torch, do not bother trying to change the link bushings.
Would I do it again? I'm not sure, replacing the sway bar might be a much more noticeable improvement. On the other hand, the harder the sway bars work, the less your expensive suspension works. Also, the harder the sway bars work, the harder the attachment points in the car work too. These are pretty flimsy and I'm sure that a heavy enough sway bar will break them off.

Back to Product Reviews 14 June, 1998