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Polyurethane bushings interest

Started by timbo, March 27, 2022, 04:42:06 PM

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Well, since much of the "progress"...or lack there of...for poly bushings from either of the big vendors hasn't even gone past emails, I've begun the process of having custom poly bushings made up.  I'm currently in the design and pricing phase, but wanted to put this out there as it would be much more economical to get multiple sets made.  Plan is a harder (85+ durometer) bushing in black.

From a design standpoint, I'm trying to keep as many of them 1 piece vs a split design, especially at the knuckle.  Also need to see if it's feasible to use the later rear upper mount that is a spherical design on the earlier arms (Mine's '11 and seems like that's the year things changed).  Later using a design like the rear upper control arm mount at the knuckle that accepts the alignment bolt.

I'm experimenting with some universal swaybar bushings (30mm and 20mm, respectively) and rear upper spring pads, as that would be easiest to do.

Breakdown of 10 or 11 different bushings (20-22 total):

Front control arm: front and rear

Rear knuckle: drag link/trailing arm, lower control arm, shock mount

rear chassis: drag link/trailing arm, lower control arm, upper shock mount (might have found some universal), forward upper control arm, rear upper control arm (optional/use later spherical design), and alignment link.

I'm hoping the alignment link inner bushing didn't change on the Explorer since it uses a spherical design at the knuckle vs a ball joint style.  Upgrade my wife's car at the same time.

Once I get estimated cost I will post.  I'd like to do at least 10, but obviously more would reduce cost.
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock


I always wondered what a soft riding car like the SHO would drive like if all the front and rear bushings were hard 80A type urethane. Would it be like the engine mounts and too stiff you get nasty vibrations ?


* Interested *

Sent from my SM-N986U1 using Tapatalk


Yes please.

Upper trans mount would be huge also.
2016 SHO Non-PP, GH/AJP E30 Tune,3Bar MAP, K&N Typoon, EPP Noisemaker Delete, H&R Springs, ZEDD SL5 19x9.5, PS Drilled/Slotted rotors, TreadStone TR8C FMIC, SSM Trans Mounts, TCE Custom Catted DPs, FMIC Sprayer, XDI35

Current Dyno: 421/503 (pre-dp/XDI)


Quick update: every stock bushing manufacturer seems to be on backorder with a couple of the bushings (upper and lower rear control arm at the chassis primarily), so it's hard to get accurate measurements.  I'll be installing H&R springs that have been sitting in my garage for about 3 years now (adding kids and moving doesn't help)...120k miles, we'll see how everything is on the car (bearings, bushings, etc).

My initial intent is to buy universal poly bushings (1.5" id) from energy suspension and some Aluminum and steel pipe to make sleeves.  I have a lathe and the expertise to do this.  I purchased a rear knuckle to measure off of as well.  I really need to get tapatalk so it's easy to upload pictures as I do this.

The 3 companies I found that will make them said the initial cost will be pretty high due to setup and making molds.  The only bushing I see NEEDING to be made by someone else is the rear bushing on the front control arm.  I'm hoping there is a sleeve with a round OD on the stock bushing to be able to use or else it'll require some complex machining and either a custom broach or an interesting bushing design.  Why did Ford use a hex at the end of the arm?!?!  Frustrating.

Hoping to get some updates for everyone in the next couple of weeks on the progress of these things.
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock


Quote from: GotGrip? on March 31, 2022, 04:08:25 PM
Yes please.

Upper trans mount would be huge also.

I'll have to take a look at that.  Might just be a window-weld kind of job initially.  I'd look at doing the engine mount as well, but the design looks weird.  Will have to actually have one in hand.  Unfortunately, both of those mounts are around $50 a piece. 
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock


Quick update:

Some bushings are on backorder.  I did some rough measurements and found some universal solutions.  Unfortunately, the cost is pretty high due to my thoughts on optimal bushing designs, as the straight, 2-axis motion allowed with universal bushings isn't very appropriate for a few locations.

I have new control arms in the front currently and will send out an old bushing to see what can be done regarding the hex portion of the front control arm.  I know some BMWs have been using this design for a while and have some poly options, so it's doable.

Here's a breakdown of my thoughts:
Front F: steel sleeve with 1.5" universal bushing
Front R: custom

Rear Knuckle:
Lower Arm: Aluminum sleeve 1.5" OD universal bushing
Drag link: spherical joint
Shock: poly bushing (testing one that measures as if it will work)
Upper arm: stock is a spherical joint

Rear Chassis:
Upper Fwd: Steel sleeve 1.75" OD universal bushing
Upper rear: later 11 and newer joint is a spherical joint
Lower arm, drag link, and lateral link (threaded one for toe alignment): Johnny joints to allow deflection and minimize stress on outer joint.

Upper shock bushings and upper spring isolators are universal from Energy suspension.  Got a pair of each installed on my car right now.

The cost of just the joints as of right now (barring any sales or discounts I will try and get) is just under $580 NOT including the custom one for the rear position on the front control arm.  This also doesn't account for machine work to both the tubing and the bushings (shock mount bushing probably needs a little turn on the lathe).

I bought a pair of good rear knuckles to clean up and assemble to minimize down time.  There's not easy way to press some of the bushings out, unfortunately, so it'll probably take some heat.

It might be possible to just do the rear uprights and the front control arm positions initially to tighten up the suspension.  Replace the inner with new rubber to get a good mix.  Lots of ways to do this, honestly.  I have no idea what the longevity of these bushings would be in this application since most are slightly smaller than stock.

I dislike the stock rubber because everything must be tightened after the vehicle is at ride height. 

Now, for a company to make a proper bushing in almost every location, it would have to be similar to the solid axle rear bushings that are in a metal sleeve.  The lower control arm at the chassis, upper control arm, shock at the knuckle, and drag link at the chassis could easily be just a bare poly bushing.

With that all said, I'll be out of town until July, so I won't make any real headway on the knuckle side of things.  I just got done getting everything set with the lowering springs and new shocks, so hopefully I can forego an alignment until after I get the rest situated.

Again, i'll keep everyone posted on my progress when I finally get things moving forward beyond computer spreadsheet and measurements.
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock


2007 Ford Edge SEL, Powerstop F/R Brake Kit, TXT LED 6000K Lo & Hi Beams, W16W LED Reverse Bulbs, 3BSpec 2.5w Map Lights, 5W Cree rear dome lights, 5W Cree cargo light, DTBL LED Taillights

If tuned:  Take note of the strategy code as you return to stock (including 3 bar MAP to 2 bar MAP) -> take car in & get it serviced -> check strategy code when you get car back -> have tuner update your tune if the strategy code has changed -> reload tune -> ENJOY!


I'm very interested in this, would most likely buy a full set
2013 MKS EcoBoost - GH tune, GH intercooler, BC DS coilovers w/ rear linear spring perches, 14k/28k, Steeda Explorer rear sway bar, Steeda Explorer rear trailing arms, Carbotech XP12 Pads front, OEM PP Pads rear, 18x10.5+18 Konig Freeform, AdvanceTrac off button, PP Radiator, PP Trans Cooler, Derale 15870 Remote Trans Cooler, PP Trans Thermostat, PP oil cooler adapter w/ 16row, SPC camber bolts front and rear, Race Louvers RT hood vents


Well, as life happens, so do delays.  The week after I returned from out of town my 2yo broke his leg and any time I have home is spent with him.  I did purchase another set of uprights so I can minimize any down time my car has.  They still need to get disassembled and cleaned up before I move forward.

I did make a couple changes to which bushings to use.  I decided to allow some articulation on the lower/inner bushing by using the DayStar spherical type.  The housing will need a little turn on the lathe, but it should minimize any binding in the suspension.  Also, the lateral link (toe adjustment) will remain stock, but using another DayStar bushing.  The housing is a little smaller than the hole, but a little welding will fix that.

I did finally get tapatalk, so I'll upload pictures as I get things done.  The shock bushings did require a little bit of a turn on the lathe, but are done.
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock


Check out this website for poly bushings.  Use the Explorer for your search as there are more available and they do interchange between platforms.  Essentially identical suspension outside of the shocks/strust and the rear, outer toe adjustment bushing (Taurus uses a ball joint and Explorer uses a flex joint).


I will say the poly is a bit softer than most you find here, but it does seem like good quality.  If you've dealt with Powerflex, it's like their Yellow bushings.

The only bushing that definitely does not fit is the rear, lower control arm inner bushing.  It's too small of a diameter.  Luckily, the Daystar 2" flex joint housing presses right in.  I did have to bore the hole to 14mm (7/16" stock), but that's easy for me.  I will also have to add about 4mm of width (happen to have 2x 2mm thick washers in my hardware bin).  I also got their subframe bushings, along with the whiteline ones for the S550 Mustang that apparently work as well.  Not in a hurry for those, but am working on at least the rear setup so I can get this thing aligned.
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock


It's hot in Miami and everywhere in the southern eastern quarter of the US.  Slow going on projects due to work and kids, but here's where I'm at:

The ONLY bushings I would bother with getting from Durable parts are the Front control arm (front and rear), rear upper forward, swaybar, shock, and subframe.  The rest of the bushings have the inner sleeve bonded to the polyurethane and bind during articulation.  I have multiple solutions, but I'll itemize:

Forward - Siberian Bushings from Durable Parts
Rear - Siberian Bushings from Durable parts (I have the Moog arms with the smooth rear shaft that is around 35.5mm in diameter, so I simply threw them in my lathe, but these are also bonded and bind under articulation.  There's no alternative though at this time.)

Upper forward: Siberian Bushings from Durable Parts
Upper aft - stock late 2011+ or whenever they went to a flex joint.
Lower inner - I'm experimenting with a few things.  It's a 2" OD that presses in nicely, so anything with that size of a body.  FK CPW14 cup, FK WSSX14TF1 bearing, [/size]A1-SG14-1012 misalignment spacers could be an option.  I have a few flex joints I ordered to experiment with as well and will update with pictures.
[/size]Lower outer - Same as above, but the bushing size is about .020 smaller, so a small turn on the lathe for any bushing/bearing cup.
[/size]Toe Link - I have some adjustable links with an outer rod end and inner flex joint.
[/size]Lower front link (compression strut) - Same as the Toe link, but have a yoke from Synergy from a Jeep. Unfortunately, I was only able to get 4 and no clue if they will make more.
[/size]Compression strut at the Knuckle/Upright - Change to a flex joint.  40mm OD with a 50mm width to accommodate the wider Jeep yoke.

[/size]If you're alright with some mild binding in the bushings, then you can get the lower outer control arm, lower forward control arm (on the arm/chassis, not at the knuckle), and toe link inner bushings from Durable parts.  The forward lower control arm at the knuckle has a 14mm bolt for the Explorer vs the Taurus 12mm bolt.  Easy enough to drill out the arm if desired.  Just as easy to get the Flex joint from SPC with a 40mm dia and 40mm width.

[/size]Once I get these parts in and really start experimenting, I'll take some pictures and give some ideas of cost.
2011 SHO PP - Mild mods and 13+ Brakes
2018 Explorer Sport - Stock