Following on from fitting polybushes to the rear trailing arms, there's always an ongoing debate over whether genuine metalastic bushes are better value in the long run and perform better when compared to polybushes. There are a few pros and cons associated with each and some interesting arguments put forward over on LR4x4.com.
The argument against standard bushes boils down to:
Land Rover don't expect you to be offroading constantly, so they fit a bush that is a compromise between off and on road handling. A polybush is more durable and therefore is better at taking offroad punishment.
The argument for is:
If polybushes are so great, why aren't they fitted as standard considering they're cheaper to produce than standard metalastic bushes? Presumably it's because Land Rover know that they will fail within the warranty period.
An interesting point considering that they are sold by aftermarket suppliers as an upgrade and cost fair amount of money. It's probably the "bling" factor that makes people buy them. The bush failures we had in Belize were probably associated from using pattern parts rather than genuine. This was a budget thing as genuine bushes were expensive to import, but actually their value may be better considering some pattern bushes i've fitted have started to crack within a year.
In an expedition setting, any bush is going to get a hammering. The key point for me is that if a genuine bush fails, you have to find a press (or spend hours cutting/burning it out), whereas polybushes can be replaced easily. If it means replacing a polybush twice in a trip and a genuine bush once, I'd rather take the quick and easy method.
For running in the UK, there's probably no better value than fitting genuine bushes. We just have to suck up the initial price tag.
What do you think? What is your experience? Comment below.