There are three types of
suspension bushings for use in the following places:
- tension strut rods (the rods that connect the middle of the front lower control arm to the front of the subframe, and the rear knuckle to the body, one set of two bushing halves for each end of the rods, for four rods, so 16 bushing halves in total)
- sway bar bushings, front and rear, two per bar
- rear sway bar end link kits, two kits for the rear bar only (the front bar has solidly mounted links)
There are three types of suspension
- rubber (stock for the most part, and soft)
- polyurethane (poly) (a little harder than rubber)
- TPR or ThermoPlastic Rubber (very hard)
Increasing the hardness of the suspension bushing improves handling by reducing bushing flex and thus maintaining suspension geometry. However it does this at a slight expense of ride softness.
From the factory, all the above three types
of bushings are soft rubber except the following:
- some rear sway bar link bushings - the green ones appear to be TPR, (were used on most Gen I and some Gen II, and even then, not necessarily all the bushings on one car - I've seen a mix) and the black ones were rubber.
- the rear half of the front strut rod-to-subframe bushing set, which is red TPR.
Until recently, the most common replacement
was polyurethane, which while increasing bushing stiffness, had a few negative
- tendency to wear out, squeak, and rattle, especially on the rear and front sway bar. This can be somewhat kept under control by regular greasing
- tendency to compress over time, leading to looseness
TPR, however, has all the benefits of polyurethane, but without any of the negative side effects. It doesn't seem to wear out as quickly as poly, nor does it squeak or rattle. It's also significantly harder than poly, for even more bushing stiffness.
It is however, more costly than poly, but the kits I sell include (for the most part) new washers for the bushings, and you are getting a better product that will last longer. Specifically:
Front strut rod bushings at subframe (all
blue TPR, all washers)
Front strut rod bushings at lower control arm (all blue TPR, no washers)
Rear strut rod bushing to body (all blue TPR, all washers)
Rear strut rod bushing to spindle (all blue TPR, all washers)
Rear sway bar end links (all blue TPR, and complete link kit with HD plated hardware)
Rear sway bar bar-to-body bushings (all blue TPR, bushings only)
Front sway bar bar-to-subframe bushings (greasable poly only, TPR unavailable)
The quantities I quote on the website are enough to do one car, i.e. both sides.
An initial lubrication on installation is a good idea – you can use silicone caliper slider pin grease, such as Motorcraft WA-10/XG-1/XG-3A, or some use Slick50 Grease, which contains Teflon particles.