As part of the ongoing freshening of the suspension on my '93 Miata, I'd like to press in new control arm bushings. Trouble is, what I'm seeing is incredibly expensive. Options from Mazda (OEM and MazdaSpeed) cost somewhere north of $500, and third-party alternatives are only slightly cheaper.
I get that serious engineering goes into bushings, but we're still talking about pieces of rubber for a thirty year old Japanese car.
Does anyone know of a cheaper rubber alternative? Perhaps a small company that produces parts for a variety of makes and models? I don't care if they're stiffer than stock or not. I just want to freshen things up and don't want to deal with the hassle and harshness of poly.
You are wise to avoid poly for your Miata (or any car that gets driven on the street for that matter) because while they are cheap (ENERGY SUSPENSION 1118102G is under $250) the NVH impact on your body/senses is rarely worth it.
That said, I dumped a bunch of 1993 Miata bushings, swaybar end links, and all four front control arms (with ball joints!) into a shopping cart on RockAuto and the total was $202.27 before shipping/taxes. I will admit I didn't check to see if I covered every part, but I think that's pretty good for a quick look! You aren't gonna get a "kit" just yet for a Miata, so just spend a little time on RockAuto/eBay/Amazon and get the best prices for each individual part number.
Agreed. I would stay away from urethane unless you are autocrossing. If you check, or type in rock auto codes, you can usually get a pretty deep discount. I would NOT pay $500 for rubber bushings as, and this may ruffle a few feathers, they are likely no better than stock and are being "marketed" as high performance to justify the price.
I have installed urethane for many a person against my advice and 90 percent of the time end up doing a second front end rebuild due to the harshness, noise, etc. Besides, every Miata I have driven is like a slot car with the factory stuff.