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Thread: Prothane or Energy Suspension bushings for control arms?

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    wh23g3g's Avatar
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    Default Prothane or Energy Suspension bushings for control arms?

    On my 99 even though the front end rebuild doesn't even have 3,000 miles on it but a couple years now. The uppers are already cracking. They were original Mopar bushings I had put in when a shop rebuilt the uppers and replaced the lower control arms. The lower control arm bushings look fine but the bushings on the upper control arms are swollen and cracked. I don't know if it was because they were old stock or the shop tightened everything while the truck was in the air. I'm pretty sure they tightened it all up in the air instead of on the ground. I'm going to have a more competent shop do it this time who does major suspension work non-stop daily. I want to use the urethane from Prothane or Energy Suspension. I see Prothane lowers already have the shell on them but not the uppers and Energy Suspension doesn't have shells on either. Are the equally good just more work to put in? I'm redoing it because I also want to get 4 new tires and don't want a sloppy front end eating the tires. They had a hell of a time getting the truck within specs at the alignment shop. They hate the alignment bar on these trucks.

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    1LoudRT's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the energy suspension bushings on these trucks
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    wh23g3g's Avatar
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    Yeah I already picked up the Energy Suspension set because when I was at the car show at Summit Racing they had it in stock. Does anyone make the urethane sway bar end link bushings? Those are already cracking too.

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    I just did an r&r on my uppers/lowers with ES pieces. While I used a press at work, it was still a bitch. If I was to do it again, I'd burn them out while they're still in the arms, clean the shells, and install the ES bushings. FYI, during the bushing r&r, I also installed Hotchkis drop springs and sway bar. Now the Black Pearl is a whole new animal. The 2" drop looks perfect.
    If you haven't lived for something, you'll die for nothing.

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    I tried "Performance Suspension Technology" and they were crap. Crapped out again in a few months. Went to Energy Suspension and no problems so far.

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    wh23g3g's Avatar
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    I just want to make sure they are good for when I get a new set of tires. I don't know how the Mopar bushings are so cracked within 2 years and not even 5,000 miles. It's mostly the sway bar link bushings and the upper control arm bushings that are cracked. The lowers are still good. The tires on it are from 2008 but have good tread but I want everything to be tight and alignment to be good when I get a new set of tires since they are expensive. I don't mind the factory ride height. I like to be able to get under without having to jack it up to change the oil. There's just enough room right now.

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    The installer didn’t tighten everything up with the truck on a lift and the suspension unloaded, did they? That’s a fairly common error, and a quick way to a short life on the bushings.

    You always tighten the control arm frame bolts with the truck’s weight on the suspension.
    Gene Beaird,
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    wh23g3g's Avatar
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    Yeah it needed a front end rebuild bad when I got the truck. So I had a shop close to my work fix it and it was a kid working on it. It hasn't even been 6,000 miles and the upper control arm bushings look as bad as they did when I first took it in. They did in fact change them because I stopped by while they were working on it and they were pressing them out and gave me the old parts. I'm almost 100% positive that they did in fact torque it all down while up in the air. Either they didn't want to torque it on the ground or they didn't know. The shop I'm having do it this time specializes in suspension and axles so he knows better. I've got all my parts. The upper control arms will have to be rebuilt and I'm swapping back the original lower control arms with new Energy Suspension bushings and new ball joints. I still need 1 lower control arm bump stop but haven't ordered one. It's hard to find them new. He told me it would actually be easier to put in the urethane bushings than the rubber bushings. I'm trying to do it before I order a new set of tires because the tires that were on my truck still have good tread and not dry rotted but are over 10 years old. They are Continental.

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    Anyone happen to have a list of the Energy Suspension part numbers?

    I’m feeling lazy.

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    wh23g3g's Avatar
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    I went to Summit and bought the 5.3122R control arm bushing kit for my 99 which are the bushings in Red which covers 1997-2004 Dakotas. They were cheaper than the Prothane but the Prothane I believe had the outer shells on the lowers. It came out to be cheaper than Rockauto. Depending on front sway bar diameter there is two kits 5.5137 for a 28mm or 5.5141 for a 30mm. I'm not sure what the factory R/T's have. I'm not sure I'll change my sway bar bushings because I think the original Mopar one's I bought were urethane on the frame except for the end link bushings which are worn out already too. They show a rear sway bar bushing kit part number 5.5148 for a 9/16" rear sway bar. Not sure what factory is. They even show a tie rod boot kit 9.13119. R or B at the end of each part number to designate red or black colored bushings.

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    Thanks man

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    Corey's Avatar
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    Energy Suspension Bushings here as well. Make sure you have it aligned whenever you replace them.

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    Bowman24's Avatar
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    Energy suspension bushings is the way to go, I rebuilt my front end last year and used those bushings. It's a night and day difference driving.
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    I ordered Energy suspension bushings, but had to order Prothane rear swaybar bushings because ES doesn't make the correct size for R/T's


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    I have Prothane bushings on another car and I've regretted it. On my Dakota, I got the Energy Suspension.

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    I've got most of the parts for my Energy suspension rebuild on my 99 R/T but still trying to change as much of it as I can to ES parts. I've already had the original lower arms rebuilt using the ES bushings along with new balljoints, and $30 Chrysler bump stops. What about for the sway bar bushings and end links? What do you'll do? I just bought some aftermarket oem replacement end links but was going to use the ES grommets on the links and the ES sway bar bushings. I measured my oem bar at 30MM. Do you recommend using the ES shock bushings? I got some new shocks but they are just run of the mill shocks nothing special but was wondering if it made a difference if I swap their bushings for the ES. I've yet to get anything for the rear. Does it make more difference if everything in the rear is changed to ES too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wh23g3g View Post
    I've got most of the parts for my Energy suspension rebuild on my 99 R/T but still trying to change as much of it as I can to ES parts. I've already had the original lower arms rebuilt using the ES bushings along with new balljoints, and $30 Chrysler bump stops. What about for the sway bar bushings and end links? What do you'll do? I just bought some aftermarket oem replacement end links but was going to use the ES grommets on the links and the ES sway bar bushings. I measured my oem bar at 30MM. Do you recommend using the ES shock bushings? I got some new shocks but they are just run of the mill shocks nothing special but was wondering if it made a difference if I swap their bushings for the ES. I've yet to get anything for the rear. Does it make more difference if everything in the rear is changed to ES too?
    For the end links, you can get whatever you want really. Moog, ACDelco Professional, etc. Some make greasable ones but that's maybe a bit overkill.

    For the sway bar bushings I have ES bushings they worked fine. Pretty sure I just bought Moog links and replaced the bushings with the ones that came in the ES kit.

    AFAIK ES doesn't make a "shock bushing kit"?? I've got the Belltech Street Performance shocks in my truck, no complaints there. I tried cheaping out on the rear shocks first and bought a crappy set off Rockauto and they were just as bad as the 10 year old rotted ones they were replacing...IMO do yourself a favor and get real shocks or don't bother.

    -Justin

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    wh23g3g's Avatar
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    I've tried so many different shocks over the years on trucks I owned and never found a good match for any of them. Of course the ones that provided the best ride were always the dealer ones. But NOS shocks for a 99 Dakota are long gone. Although I found a couple NOS rear shocks online but they thought they were gold. At least if I don't like the ride of the shocks I can always change those myself without having to take it the shop. The front end rebuild and having access to the press it too much of a hassle so I'm having a shop do it that knows how to do it. He's already got the lowers built and ready. I found the ES sway bar kit just have to order it. I know they don't show a part# for the shock mount bushings but they have a universal section you have to refer to by measuring the old ones. I came up with the 9.8104R shock bushings. The measurement were identical to the shock bushings that came with the new shocks. But would they offer any benefit changing them to the ES bushings just for the shocks other than probably outlasting the shock itself? What about the tie rod boots? Should I spare the $3 for a set of ES tie rod boots? I'll probably throw on some new tie rod ends while I have it in the shop since it still has the originals. The last time I had it in the shop for the front end I had them replace the rack bushings so they should be good.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by wh23g3g View Post
    I've tried so many different shocks over the years on trucks I owned and never found a good match for any of them. Of course the ones that provided the best ride were always the dealer ones. But NOS shocks for a 99 Dakota are long gone. Although I found a couple NOS rear shocks online but they thought they were gold. At least if I don't like the ride of the shocks I can always change those myself without having to take it the shop. The front end rebuild and having access to the press it too much of a hassle so I'm having a shop do it that knows how to do it. He's already got the lowers built and ready. I found the ES sway bar kit just have to order it. I know they don't show a part# for the shock mount bushings but they have a universal section you have to refer to by measuring the old ones. I came up with the 9.8104R shock bushings. The measurement were identical to the shock bushings that came with the new shocks. But would they offer any benefit changing them to the ES bushings just for the shocks other than probably outlasting the shock itself? What about the tie rod boots? Should I spare the $3 for a set of ES tie rod boots? I'll probably throw on some new tie rod ends while I have it in the shop since it still has the originals. The last time I had it in the shop for the front end I had them replace the rack bushings so they should be good.
    Honestly you're overthinking this too much man. You don't need none of that extra universal fit crap. Use the bushings that come with the shocks, and like I said get a good set (that means not anything on RockAuto). Belltech works. You can find others that people use by searching on here. Other shit like tie rod ends you can use any old generic brand (Moog).

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    Bilstein makes a great shock.

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