What are bushings? As far as Jeep maintenance goes, you can’t get much more basic than that. Like the Jedi Force, they help bind your Jeep together...
What are bushings? As far as Jeep maintenance goes, you can’t get much more basic than that. Like the Jedi Force, they help bind your Jeep together. Jeep bushing kits help work with and connect many of the moving parts you have, allowing them to operate smoother and dampen vibrations. By dampening vibrations (aka absorbing shock), they prevent damage to the Jeep's vital parts.
Bushings themselves can be big or small. Most of them are on your suspension, but even body mounts (which we've talked about before) are a large round bushing and don’t actually move. But they do dampen vibration.
Most of the bushings on your suspension do move though, even if it’s just a small amount.
What Are Bushings For Jeep Suspensions?
There are several types of bushings, including:
- Control Arm Bushings
- Swaybar Bushings (where it mounts in the middle, usually two are needed)
- Swaybar End Links
- Leaf Spring Eyelet Bushings (if you have leaf springs)
- Trackbar Bushings (sometimes)
- Shock Bushings
These are just a few of the better known bushings you'll find on your ride.
Engine mounts and transmission mounts are sometimes known as bushings as well since they dampen vibration. But they’re usually not round like a traditional bushing, as far as what they look like.
Jeep Bushing Materials
What are bushings made of? Bushings can be made from one of two popular materials. In most cases, that would be a high-grade automotive composite rubber. Rubber is soft enough to absorb vibrations before they reach another part, they also tend to be pretty much noiseless. Rubber bushings can wear out and go bad over time, especially where there are extremely high and low outside temperatures.
The other choice is a polyurethane material (often made in colors, such as red, but they can be black as well). This material is hard to compress and doesn’t give way easily. While it will “tighten” up your suspension, to where it might feel harsher, they are also very durable. They’re normally used in high-performance and racing applications. Some people believe urethane bushings can “squeak”, though I think some graphic lube might easily take care of that if that’s the case.
It’s not so much that one material is 100% better than the other. It really depends on what you plan on doing with your Jeep, and how it will be used. Plus, you can mix and match. Some bushings can be rubber, some will be urethane.
Bushings are one of the many things you should inspect every so often. Particularly if they are rubber, and even more so if they are the stock ones, and many years old.
If you're looking a Jeep Wrangler bushing kit, we have new bushing replacements ready to bring your Jeep back to life, so don't hesitate to call us.