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Words by Richard Kratz photos by Richard Kratz and Brian Walker
Every new car that rolls off a dealer’s lot is by definition a compromise. No two car
buyers are alike and everyone has different features and specifications that they
put a priority on. Some owners are looking for straightline acceleration, others
want handling, or great gas mileage, or luxury with a quiet and isolated-from-the-
road ride. Also, the manufacturers have to hit targets for emissions and safety
requirements. Between all of the possible variables it’s amazing anyone is
happy with any new car.
One area that the vast majority of owners agree is called Noise, Vibration and
Harshness (NVH), they don’t like it. Whether it’s the high mileage enthusiast
in the newest hybrid or a performance enthusiast in a turbo or supercharged
factory vehicle, new vehicle owners want to hear their stereo, not drive around
in a shaking paint mixer or arrive at their destination beaten up, sore and tired
from their ride. So manufacturers put a lot of thought, engineering and design
into systems and components that reduce NVH.
Suspension, chassis and frame bushings are an area where a lot of effort is expended by the car makers to tackle NVH. There is a tremendous amount of vibration and noise associated with spinning wheels and tires bouncing along rough pavement. For comfort and quiet you would want very soft and giving bushings that isolate the body from the suspension and frame. The problem with this is soft bushings deflect and allow suspension arms and parts to shift and move around changing the geometry of the suspension and allowing the wheels and tires to squirm around and out of the ideal alignment specifications during cornering, acceleration and braking.Race cars often eliminate all bushings, using hard metal-to-metal mounts and heim link ends and joints. A heim link end is a solid mechanical connection that allows movement and articulation but has virtually no give or flex in it. This solid approach works great for race cars where the priority is on absolute performance and no thought is given to driver comfort or NVH.
This is the full catalog of Whiteline suspension bushing upgrades offered for LX/LC late model Mopars. The large package on the left contains the rear subframe cradle bushings.