The MGA With An Attitude
URETHANE BUSHINGS And Lubrication -- FS-103E

On 26 January 2013, Art Pearse in Ontario, Canada wrote:
"How tight should the sway bar bushes grip the bar? Should it be so tight that all the motion is in the rubber, or can the bar be allowed to move inside? Same question for the end links".

Urethane bushings are hard, and the shaft will rotate inside, no matter how tight the bushing may be on the shaft.

I once had urethane suspension bushings in my MGA for a few years, ran dry with no noise, and were like new 40,000 miles later, no perceptible wear. The fit was snug, but I could pull the bushing off the shaft by hand. I also use urethane parts in my aftermarket type sway bar with donut grommet type links. The end links last a log time with no noise.

Several years ago I changed from rubber to urethane for the sway bar frame bushings. It is common that urethane bushings are supplied with some form of lubricant when new. This is not because they wear, but because they sometimes squeak. Mine do. Apparently the lubricant didn't last very long before they were dry. Then they creak and groan like crazy with the slightest movement. I don't notice it during normal road speed driving, but when I slow down for a slow turn, or just a little bump driving into my garage they squeak. If I put one hand on a front fender and bounce it a little bit, they squeak. They never wear out.

I think the creaking and groaning may be cause by the bushing being too tight on the shaft. It is on my wish list to some day hone out the urethane bushings so they may have a couple thou clearance. If that doesn't stop the noise, then I would drill them and install grease fittings.

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