Rubber-to-Metal Parts Added to Gates Catalogue
A new range of Rubber-to-Metal (RTM) parts extends the Gates brand even further into the aftermarket comfort zone. By reducing noise and harshness, while acting as damping forces that control vibrations, RTM components play vital roles in improving road safety and enhancing ride comfort.
The RTM range from Gates is very broad. It includes parts such as engine mounts, shock absorber bushings, engine support arms, anti-roll bar bushings, lift mounts, stabilizer links, drive shaft mounts, strut mounts and bearings, axle bushing mounts and suspension bumpers.
Importantly, many of these will continue to be essential parts of the design for hybrid cars and electric vehicles. This ensures that the products have longevity. As they are fitted to a variety of on-board systems, the Gates RTM parts range features five sub-groups. These are:
- Axles and Wheel Suspension parts
- Engines & Transmissions parts
- Suspension parts
- Steering parts
- Exhaust parts
Gates considers that the RTM parts range represents a perfect complement to PowerGrip belts, tensioners and kits for timing belt drives. There is a particular affinity to the Micro-V range of belts and kits for accessory drives. That’s because this is a range that already features Torsional Vibration Dampers, Overrunning Alternator Pulleys and Overrunning Alternator Decouplers. These are parts that also provide important degrees of vibration control.
Ahead of the release of the latest RTM parts range, Gates carried out extensive market research.
Consequently, the first package of 400 part numbers is drawn from three of the five product sub-groups and features parts where the research showed demand to be high - and rising. As a result, the Axles and Wheel Suspension sub-group contributes 190 part numbers. There are 130 from Engines & Transmissions and 80 from Suspension. Part numbers for the Exhausts group and the Steering group will be released in the second package.
As an OE manufacturer of solutions for drive systems, Gates is always aware of the need to supply high-performance parts that are reliable, durable and of OE quality. Consequently, these parts all use plate or cast aluminum alloys with a range of shore grades that conform with the highest ratings for quality. In developing the Gates RTM range, every effort was made to ensure that all materials and all processes used to manufacture them are as good as those used to produce the OE products.
Further part numbers are scheduled to be released before the end of 2022. They will be selected to reflect the rising demand for each part at garage level.
- Axles and Wheel Suspension
Parts catalogued under the axle and wheel suspension category are divided between the front and rear end of the chassis. When a vehicle is cornering, stabilizer bar rubbers prevent the body from rolling. The axle bushings allow the axle to pivot and ensure that it may do so without binding. Meanwhile, control arms allow upward and downward movement of the wheels but prevent them moving forward or backward. Control arm bushings cushion the suspension system, for a softer ride over bumps in the road.
Part failure in this category is often related to prevailing driving behavior, the condition of the road surfaces in general, oil leaks, vehicle age or even weather conditions. Tears in the rubber may be observed, while gradual wear will cause the performance of the rubber to decline and fail. Indicators that failure is taking place include reports from drivers about impact noise or rattling noises. They may have felt a shudder or shaking when turning the wheel.
Typically, there may be one transmission mount two upper engine mounts, plus a lower mount, which limits engine pitch. This lower mount is usually called an "anti-par" mount. It’s worth remembering that engine mounts are not all the same. While some may be constructed of solid rubber, hydraulic engine mounts are far more complex. For example, they may feature a hydraulic oil chamber embedded inside the rubber, which provides the dynamic sensitivity needed when driving in ‘sport’ mode. It’s good to know that the Gates range includes part numbers for these and other associated components.
As with axles and axle suspension, part failure in this category is related to prevailing driving behavior, the condition of the road surfaces in general, oil leaks, vehicle age or even weather conditions.
Over time, the rubber itself begins to wear. Signs of failure include excessive vibration and driver reports of ‘bumps’ from the engine bay area, which may indicate engine movement, This is especially noticeable in modern start-stop systems where the engine starts and stops continuously as a fuel-saving measure. It should not be forgotten that the vibrations and shocks derived from engine blocks in poor condition can subject the engine and gearbox to additional stress, as well as affecting drive shafts, exhaust lines, and even electrical elements
The major components in this category are shock absorber strut mountings, bearings, bushings and bumpers. While the role of the strut mount is to secure the shock absorber to the vehicle, strut mounts and their associated components like bearings and bushings also help to insulate the vehicle from the transmission of vibrations and tyre noise.
Once again, part failure of system components is related to prevailing driving behavior, the condition of the road surfaces in general, oil leaks, vehicle age or even weather conditionsthe rubber itself begins to wear. Common indicators of failure include abnormal noise in the system, rapid wear of shock absorbers, excessive vibration, adverse steering issues when cornering and increased wear on tires. Uneven tread wear may also be a common indicator.
The major parts in this are category are shaft bushings, dust covers, column joints and rubber steering clips and steering arms. These are all safety-critical parts. For example, steering arms direct power and pressure from the steering box to the tie rod ends, which ultimately provide the ability to turn left and right
Exhaust mountings are the only item listed in this category at this time, but there are a wide range of applications.