Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page, we hope this answers some of the questions you may have. If not, please call our Customer Service team at (800) 325-6114 and we'll be happy to help!
How does an ATRO bushing differ from standard rubber bushings?
We made 2 major changes from standard rubber bushings, both a Material change and a Design change.

Material Change

The material change was using polyurethane instead of rubber. We used polyurethane when originally designing our product line for 3 reasons - durability, chemical resistance and flexibility.

Polyurethane is a stronger, more durable material than rubber. Rubber, under constant load, compresses and cannot return to its original shape. Polyurethane, however, has "memory" and can return to its original shape after the load has been removed, which is significant for load-bearing applications in heavy-duty vehicles (think of a rubber bushing which has "squished out"). In addition, many polyurethanes outperform rubber in resistance to abrasion and tearing.

Polyurethane is a chemically resistant material which means that diesel fuel, road salt, cleaning solvents, hydraulic fluid, etc. does not affect it. It does not crack, become harder or softer, or age more quickly with exposure to these elements like rubber does. Road salt, dry air and ozone, for example, all cause rubber to dry out and crack over time. Certain oils can cause rubber to become very soft and jelly-like. Polyurethane isn't affected by these elements.

Polyurethane is incredibly flexible and recipes can be altered to achieve very different properties. This simplifies the product design process for our engineering team.

Design Change

Our biggest design change was chemically bonding our polyurethane to bushing outer metals but allowing the inner metals to rotate. Because our polyurethane is not bonded to both metal surfaces, twisting and tearing stresses on the polyurethane material are eliminated, leading to longer bushing life.

Besides longer life, another benefit of our rotating inner metal design becomes very obvious when installing a bushing. First, you can often rotate the inner metal to align with the attaching part, making installation quicker and easier. Second, this design allows the bushing to automatically "zero out to ride height" per OEM requirements, without pre-stressing the bushing as happens with a bonded, rubber bushing.
Aren’t all polyurethanes the same?
No! Currently ATRO chooses from 11 different proprietary polyurethane formulations depending on the specific demand of the application. We have polyurethanes for vibration dampening, quick rebound, high temperature, and extreme load bearing to name a few. By changing the formulation of the polyurethane, we can dramatically change the characteristics. To say that all polyurethanes are the same, or even that all polyurethanes of equal hardness are the same, is false.

Similarly, the color of a polyurethane makes no difference and is simply a pigment mixed into the recipe. Currently we use blue as our primary color, red for high-temp applications, black for bumpers external to the vehicle, and various other colors for parts specified by our customers.
What is the difference between the words “urethane”, “poly” and “polyurethane”?
There is no difference, they all refer to the same material.
Why does an ATRO bushing sometimes feel harder than a rubber bushing?
The hardness of an ATRO bushing is comparable to that of a rubber bushing. Most of the rubber used in standard bushings is a 75-A durometer, a standard measure of hardness. When the manufacturer assembles a rubber bushing, the rubber is compressed between the inner and outer metal by about 20%. The effective hardness of the compressed rubber becomes 90-A (75 x 20% = 15, 15 + 75 = 90) which is comparable to an ATRO bushing. Rubber bushings may feel softer because the exposed rubber you can touch is uncompressed and remains a 75-A durometer. A reading under the outer metal without releasing any compression would relate to ATRO's 90-A.
Can I mix ATRO bushings with rubber bushings?
We do not recommend mixing ATRO bushings with rubber bushings, in fact our warranty is void when doing so. Because of the material and design differences of ATRO bushings vs. standard rubber bushings described above, mixing them may put unintended stress on the rubber bushings and cause them to wear out faster than they normally do.
Where does the word "ATRO" come from?
The word "ATRO" comes from “American Torque Rod of Ohio”, the original name of the company when all we did was remanufacture torque rods. As we expanded our product line - and moved to Missouri - the name of the company was changed to ATRO Engineered Systems.
As an ATRO distributor, how do I get set up to place my orders through the ATRO website? Are there advantages to ordering online?
To establish an online account you must first call our Customer Service team at 800-325-6114 and they will give you a login and password. After that you're good to go!

You will be able to order from our entire product line, see stock availability, choose from shipment carrier options and costs (for orders not meeting prepaid freight), receive email ship notifications with links to tracking numbers, and view past orders and invoices (that you can print).
Do you take requests for new products?
Absolutely! If you are looking for a part and cannot find it on this site please let us know. We are always adding new products to our line. You can use the contact form on this site (choose the "New Products" option to route to our design team) or contact our Customer Service team or your local ATRO representative. Please give us as much information as possible including part application, make/model, etc.
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