LIGHTEN THE RIDE OFF YOUR RIG
4LOW Offroad Magazine|February/March 2021
Aftermarket suspension systems typically use one of three end types on their suspension links.
Christian Sturtz

These three types of ends are rubber bushings, polyurethane bushings, and ball and cup flex joint design. All three have different strengths and weaknesses. Some companies use two types of ends on their suspension links to benefit from the strengths of both types.

Rubber bushings are vibration and noise dampening, dependable (when new), simple, and relatively inexpensive. However, rubber bushings are fairly rigid, can limit the suspension flex/travel, dry up/break down (with age and use), and usually require special equipment (hydraulic press) to install.

Polyurethane bushings are stiffer than rubber and provide a more positive road feel. However, their stiffness limits the suspension flex/ travel. They are inexpensive, although more expensive than rubber. They usually require no special equipment or tools for installation.

We will refer to the ball and cup flex joint design as flex joints. Flex joints usually have a steel/stainless steel ball construction with a softer material used as the cup material (some do have steel cups). Flex joints often transfer at least as much noise and vibration as polyurethane bushings. The ball and cup design allow for twisting and rotating of the ball in the cup for smooth suspension travel and flex. However, they are more complicated because they have moving parts, and though they are dependable many require maintenance. Flex joints are the most expensive option and often require manufacturer-specific tools for service or are not serviceable.

What if you could get a link/bushing that had the best characteristics of all three? Metal Cloak’s Duroflex bushing is the answer. It has high vibration and noise dampening properties, as well as plenty of flex, both rotationally and transversely. They also are low maintenance and serviceable/rebuildable. (Figure 1) Metal Cloak offers products for CJ, YJ, TJ/LJ, JK, JL, and JT models.

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