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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

At one time I had a 1973 Morris Mini, in which I had eventually installed polyurethane bushings to the suspension, replacing the old rubber components. The improvement to steering, cornering and handling, shock absorption was noticeable.

Since my Insight is now over a decade old, I'm guessing the original bushings are probably compressed if not cracking. I think I could probably benefit from replacing them. Anyone here replaced theirs? If so did you replace them with rubber or polyurethane and where do you get the polyurethane bushings?

I went through another thread from a year or so ago that seemed to indicate VW Golf bushings would work for the Insight:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/modifications-technical-issues/17742-rear-axle-poly-bushes-5.html

Seemed to focus on the rear, but I'm considering replacement of ALL bushings all around. I still can't get over the feeling of my old Morris before and after getting those polyurethane bushings installed. It was literally like driving a different car. Additionally, a smoother ride will transmit less load to the engine which will in turn make a difference in improving the fuel economy of the vehicle.

EDIT: I just found another thread in which there was a quest for a Costa Mesa, CA company that makes polyurethane bushings to provide them for the Insight (with no result?). This links the third page of the thread, the previous page has a post with a link to the 'Prothane' website who produce aftermarket bushings:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forums/problems-troubleshooting/11248-source-my-front-suspension-noise-3.html

This search for polyurethane bushings has been going on for a while, it seems.

In any case, thanks in advance. :rolleyes:
 
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I was in progress of replacing all of the engine bushings with custom fabbed poly bushings. The problem was that filling the bushings resulted in a very crappy ride. So much noise/vibration would transfer into the cabin that it was unbelievable. I've had poly bushings in my other cars and it was never like that.

Now, replacing all of the bushings, aside from the engine could be a good idea. I'd take a bumpier ride as long as it cornered better. But replacing the engine bushings with anything other than stock is a bad idea. Maybe if we had a fourth mount, it wouldn't be so bad. But since we don't, it sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
... that filling the bushings resulted in a very crappy ride ...
Interesting. So, you attribute that to the polyurethane? You're referring to the motor mounts when you say "engine bushings," right? Is it possible there was a fabrication error instead?

I know the poly bushings are supposed to be stiffer, but when I put them in my Mini they seemed alot smoother riding than the old rubber ones which seems strange I guess. I can only think that the old rubber was so crapped out I had basically no bushings left, just hard, black, crapped out junk in the linkage.
 

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The basic idea is that polyurethane for auto bushings is usually much harder than the rubber used for auto bushings. The result is increased noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH)... On top of this, the Insight has some funky gaps in the bushings undoubtedly meant to increase isolation, increase the cushion... So if you fill the area completely - with harder polyurethane - you've done away with two of the features engineered to do what the bushings should do... On the flip side, rubber bushings can supposedly get much harder when they age - so if you replace those aged, crumbly, hard rubber bushings with new poly, you might come out ahead...

I have some experience with rubber vs. poly on a miata. The miata's are meant to be handling machines, and the poly bushings tighten up the suspension geometry (i.e. the poly bushings will hold the 'critical' alignment numbers better under varying loads). But they made the ride quality a little unpleasant; 'thuds' turned into 'thunks', ripples turned into rattles...
 

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There are a number of discussions on here about poly/rubber bushes. Try some seraches.

I tried a softer pourable rubber compound in my rear engine mounting but it still made the engine noise unaceptable. Pics in one of the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Considering New Shocks Too

... the ride quality ... unpleasant; 'thuds' ... 'thunks', ripples ... rattles ...
My tires were replaced last week. When they had the car up on the lift, I tried to see if I could scope any bushings out. I don't think I could, but when I saw the rear shocks they looked terrible. Like really old, really shoddy, very upgradable components.

I know this thread's about the bushings, but the bushings in the shock mounts are pretty integral to handling and feel of the ride as well. If you're replacing those bushings you might as well get new shocks. My shocks are as old as the car, now that's ten years. That said, I don't think that Koni's or any aftermarkets are made for the Insight as far as I can tell. So if I am getting new shocks too I'm going to have to consider what to use besides considering the bushings. One of the links in my OP talked about adapting Monroes for Insight useage.
 
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