So I'm sure I'll get flamed for "cheap Megan crap", but I was in a position that I felt like it was worth the risk. Here's what happened.
I've been working on suspension on my S14 slowly (I recently purchased an existing business and am a now self employed for the first time in my life and it's been a bit of a rollercoaster, but I'm happy). Since my work is seasonal, I have more spare time in the winter, and that's when I do most of the modifying of my car. Last winter I made the TERRIBLE mistake of putting ES bushings in my car. It has, without a doubt in my mind, been the worst money I've ever spent. I hate them. I should clarify that I hate them in the rear of the car. They seemed fine in the front, but they RUINED the rear.
If I was running super high spring rates, it probably wouldn't be so bad, but I'm running a brand new set of NISMO S-Tunes. This is a weekend warrior kind of car. Something I like to drive around and beat up on the weekends. That being said, ride quality is important, and I don't want it slammed. I love my S-Tune setup. And when I replaced all the rubber bushings in the front (the stock T/C bushing was torn and oozed all over) I was happy with the result. So I tackled the rear. As I said before, it sucked.
Ofcourse, in hindsight, I decided to start doing some research. Then I start finding info about the suckiness of the ES bushings for the rear of the S13/S14. Basically everything I find says you need to modify all 16 bushings to get them to work worth a damn. I don't want to be messing with grease zerks and reaming the bushings out, so I decided to get NISMO bushings. Not so easy. As you may not know, the FLCA and RLCA bushing are NLA. Whole arms only, special order from Japan, can take 90 days. Heard this from multiple places online. Plus the cost is ridiculous.
I'm a bit put off at this point and very disgusted with myself for not doing more research. Then I hear about Hard Race and Megan Racing bushings. I still can't get a definitive answer as to whether they're different or not, but whatever. I find a place that has all of the MR bushings in stock for the whole car. So as a test, I bought just the T/C rod bushings. My thinking was 2 fold. First off, it was the cheapest set (tied with the LCA bushing), and secondly, it has the most rubber and is the most likely to fail.
I got them in the mail a few days later and I have to say, I'm impressed. If you had put these in a NISMO box, I wouldn't know the difference. And I'm familiar with NISMO rubber, as I've seen them on my S-tunes and helping with other cars in the past. I don't have them installed yet, but by simply handling them, compared to the poly's in the car, they're nearly as stiff. I'm happy enough with what I've seen that I ordered the rest of the bushings for the whole car (minus the diff and subframe, those will remain poly since they don't have to rotate in any way, so it doesn't really matter if they have stiction)
My hope with all of this is firstly, to restore the ride close to what it was with the stock bushings and the S-Tunes. Secondly, is to get a definitive answer as to the quality and longevity of these bushings. Once the rest of the bushings come in, I'll get them installed and update this post with a comparison between unmodified ES bushings and MR bushings and my opinion about what I think the ride is like compared to stock.
I know most of the members here are die-hard's and may say spherical is the way to go, but from a budget and use standpoint, it would be nice if there was another option for someone who wants good handling, doesn't want to be greasing bushings all the time, and isn't building a race car.