At Your Command

Aug 24, 2012

Many performance enthusiasts like to focus on the feel of their vehicle-how it hugs the road or track with firm, responsive handling.

For customers seeking improved ride quality, greater surface contact for the tires and better braking, shops can offer the latest polyurethane suspension components.

Often available in vehicle-specific kits, the polyurethane bushings, mounts and related products improve handling characteristics and upgrade weak links in factory suspensions. Manufacturers say they last longer than rubber, and can be marketed as improving performance, suspension life and even vehicle safety.

“You are offering your customer a choice by replacing the worn-out bushings instead of replacing the entire suspension component,” says Michael Santa Cruz, director of marketing for Energy Suspension. “You are also offering better-than-rubber replacement parts with polyurethane, which outlasts rubber 5-to-1, and providing a firmer durometer for better vehicle handling, control and safety.”

For shops unfamiliar with polyurethane components and the benefits they can provide, we checked in with four suppliers to get the latest on the market, new product offerings, and how speed shops can make more money selling these versatile suspension upgrades.

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Energy Suspension
San Clemente, Calif.
Michael Santa Cruz
Director of Marketing

Our hottest new polyurethane product is…

…we actually have two applications that have taken off very well-the first being the 2007-’11 Jeep Wrangler JK two-door and four-door bushing sets, as well as our suspension bushings for Charger and Challenger LX/LC chassis.

Being that both sets of vehicles were offered as purpose builds- one for off-road and one for muscle car performance-we quickly discovered there were weak links in the suspension, mainly OE rubber control arm bushings that are compliant for daily driving but do not hold up during performance driving or off-road use.

We also offer a popular Heavy-Duty line. We are well-known for being the first to specifically develop polyurethane components for the trucking industry, including polyurethane gladhand seals as well as under-hood and suspension components for class 7-8 trucks.

Its best features include…

…as with all of our Energy Suspension components, these products utilize our patented Hyper-Flex polyurethane material. All of our polyurethane is specifically formulated in-house to match various durometer ratings (hardness) from 70 to 98 durometer depending on the application.

Other features of the kits include correct fitments so no modifications are needed, and durable, zinc-coated hardware to prevent corrosion.

Polyurethane components offer shops exciting opportunities because…

…you are offering your customer a choice by replacing the worn-out bushings instead of replacing the entire suspension component. You are also offering better-than-rubber replacement parts with polyurethane, which outlasts rubber 5-to-1, and providing a firmer durometer for better vehicle handling, control and safety.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling polyurethane components is…

…when selling to a DIYer, it may be explaining the complexities of removing old, stock bushings and properly installing polyurethane bushings. The upside is the shop has an opportunity to sell the labor and experience of installing the product properly at their shop, saving the customer time and money.

An unexpected benefit of offering these products is…

…safety. Worn-out suspension component bushings negatively affect the vehicle’s responsiveness and control. New bushings help vital suspension components function properly and retain proper alignment for better tire surface contact, handling and braking characteristics.

On the drivetrain side, many of Energy Suspension’s motor and transmission mounts are engineered with our patented interlocking design. In case there is a bushing failure, the mounts are molded with a metal, interlocking design to prevent movement and/or separation.

Shops can immediately begin making more money selling polyurethane components by…

…taking advantage of their profit margin and improved customer satisfaction. Energy Suspension components last longer and are manufactured in the U.S., offering the dealer greater profit margins and the customer better-than-rubber replacement parts. Also, the shop has an opportunity to offer installation services and charge for labor for a bushing or mount install.

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DEE Engineering Inc.
PROTHANE Products
Costa Mesa, Calif.
Rick Sadler
Vice President

Our hottest new polyurethane product is…

…our Total Kits. These kits include most every component for the individualized vehicle, whether it is an import or domestic car, truck or SUV.

Its best features include…

…being proudly made here in the USA using specially formulated polyurethane blends to achieve the desired results for each application. PROTHANE Products pours nearly 20 different formulas with specific properties in each blend.

Polyurethane components offer shops exciting opportunities because…

…the PROTHANE product line allows for good profit margins when compared to other product categories.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling polyurethane components is…

…they have been led to believe that a polyurethane component will squeak. The squeaking is actually a transmission of high-frequency sound waves caused by dirt or improperly lubricated components.

The PROTHANE Product kits have more than enough Teflon-based synthetic grease that is specially formulated to properly lubricate the installed components

An unexpected benefit of offering these products is…

…that they are covered with PROTHANE’s exclusive lifetime warranty.

Shops can immediately begin making more money selling polyurethane components by…

…contacting us directly. We service jobber shops to major warehouse distribution. We supply all customers with all necessary data such as product weights, dimensions and bar codes, as well as high-resolution images of every kit.

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Daystar Products
Phoenix
Mark Turner
CEO

Our hottest new polyurethane product is…

…Daystar Kevlar Infused Polyurethane.

Its best features include…

…the polyurethane is incredibility soft, which makes for a better ride quality. Even though it is softer, it is vastly stronger.

Most times to make polyurethane stronger it gets harder. But with Daystar Kevlar Infused Polyurethane, the parts remain very soft and extremely strong.

Also, we are an ISO 9001 – 2008 Certified Aftermarket Suspension Manufacturer.

Polyurethane components offer shops exciting opportunities because…

…all Daystar Products are competitively priced and are 100-percent made in the USA. All of our Leveling Kits even carry a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty. It doesn’t matter if they are the 20th owner of the vehicle-”if it has my part number, it’s covered.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling polyurethane components is…

…people think steel is stronger. Steel has its place, like a frame rail, but you would not want a steel tire like a freight train.

Feel the ground when a train passes  by-”is that what you want to ride on? Polyurethane is a perfect isolator and is used in many vehicles from the factory.

An unexpected benefit of offering these products is…

…long-lasting replacement products and they keep jobs in the USA.

Shops can immediately begin making more money selling polyurethane components by…

…simply offering the products to customers.

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WHITELINE USA
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Jared Chavez
Account Executive

Our hottest new polyurethane product is…

…our new Mustang product line featuring our Engineered Synthetic Elastomer bushings.

Its best features include…

…application engineering that delivers improved levels of articulation, deflection and compliance where needed. The bushings also boast an innovative internal grease retention system to efficiently manage and distribute the applied lubricant to counter squeaking with zero maintenance.

Many of our bushings also provide alignment tuning by either offsetting the mounting point or with eccentric adjustable hardware, which can rectify alignment issues or optimize alignment setting for performance gains.

Polyurethane components offer shops exciting opportunities because…

…everyone can benefit from bushings, whether it is for general replacement or performance enhancement. A staggering amount of cars suffer from bushing failures that are never addressed, and I find a lot of shops aren’t even equipped with a press to service bushings.

The biggest challenge shops face when selling polyurethane components is…

…for our customers we have the challenge of customer education, breaking down stereotypes of typical poly and the problems associated with it-”squeaking, noise vibration harshness and eventual failure are all standard with aftermarket bushings.

The performance market is shifting to a more “race-oriented” performance product with spherical ends and solid aluminum replacement. We are retaking that market with our motorsports bushings.

An unexpected benefit of offering these products is…

…instead of just offering strict replacement parts, many of our products feature alignment correction to improve the driving experience. We offer a product that can be sold as an enhancement, not just general replacement or performance, therefore giving those daily-driven cars an upgraded option.We also focus heavily on consumer confidence and that’s why we support our Whiteline Chassis Control bushing range with a limited lifetime warranty.

Shops can immediately begin making more money selling polyurethane components by…

…educating themselves on the benefits. Customers need to be educated on how these products make their vehicle better, so shops need to be able to identify areas in a customer’s vehicle that can be enhanced by synthetic elastomer bushings and then educate the customer on the potential for improvement.