chknhwk HalfDork
April 4, 2012 7:45 a.m.

I've upgraded the front and rear sway bars on my X-Type and it has been a hassle trying to find solutions that work. For instance I keep breaking the rear sway bar end links.


I apologize for not getting a front shot but the car was on the ground and it's hard wrangling my hand around the front. I can try again later if anybody wants to see the front.
For comparison's sake here's a picture of the stock end link:
I've broken the endlink in two places, where on of the threaded ends threads into the end of the sway bar (seems like a small diameter to be threaded into the end of a sway bar - might be part of my problem) and the short section that is welded in between the two round ends. I'm guessing this is a combination of too much resistance to flex from the upgraded sway bars (factory rear was measured at 447 lbs/in deflection versus the upgraded bars at 831 lbs/in deflection...). Questions are, what IS causing this and how do I correct it? Hotlinked pictures or links would help immensely but I'll listen to any advice you have to give.

GameboyRMH UberDork
April 4, 2012 9:05 a.m.

You doing stage rallying with this thing?

Driving over really horrible roads on a regular basis?

Edit: Oh I see you've put super-hard sway bars on this car. Well then you'll need beefier links.

dculberson Dork
April 4, 2012 10:20 a.m.

Huh. Were these new end links when you installed them or did you use the original links?

fast_eddie_72 SuperDork
April 4, 2012 10:52 a.m.

My first guess would be that the bolt wasn't torqued well. But if it's happened several times, it could just be that the stock part isn't up to the additional force of the bigger bar. Seems odd though.

Don49
Don49 Reader
April 4, 2012 11:14 a.m.

I would check to make sure there is no binding. The geometry of those doesn't look great and any binding could fatigue them.

N Sperlo UberDork
April 4, 2012 11:15 a.m.

My assumption would be beefier bolts. Keep in mind if you beef things up too much, it may have negative effects on the wear of other car parts.

Edit: Oh, those are goofy looking. May be hard to get stronger parts. May mean cash.

Shaun HalfDork
April 4, 2012 11:21 a.m.

That is a very compromised looking setup for an endlink. The bottom ball joint is getting pulled strait up. Huh- to make a good piece of steel shear like that I might guess there was some machining done during the manufacture of the ball/taper/thread piece that left a sharp corner or sharp groove bottom. forces accumulated at the sharp and did their magic.

Looking at it from way over here, I would be inclined to fab up a "L" bracket that changed the setup geometry. The foot of the L would bolt bolt down to the suspension member through the existing mounting hole, and the vertical of the L would stand parallel to the face of the tab area of the sway bar and have the appropriate hole to accept the shaft of the heavy duty link I found somewhere.

a heavy duty version of one of these:

or make one up with parts like this:

chknhwk HalfDork
April 4, 2012 2:11 p.m.

Would something like this work: http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/html_techtip/techtips/sway_bar_links.htm ? How would I get the one rod end to bolt to the lower suspension mounting point? I'll get better pics tomorrow - I'm at work and the cars at the body shop.

chknhwk HalfDork
April 4, 2012 2:12 p.m.

Speaking of suspension geometry I've been contemplating shaving 1/2" or so off the ends of the sway bars and rethreading them with a larger diameter hole, thoughts? Again, I'll provide better pics tomorrow.

chknhwk HalfDork
April 4, 2012 2:21 p.m.

Since the top of the bar moves up and down would I want non-pivoting rod ends? http://www.colemanracing.com/Non-Pivot-Rod-Ends-P6212.aspx
I need to go read Chassis Engineering again...

Shaun HalfDork
April 4, 2012 4:54 p.m.
chknhwk wrote: Would something like this work: http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/html_techtip/techtips/sway_bar_links.htm ? How would I get the one rod end to bolt to the lower suspension mounting point? I'll get better pics tomorrow - I'm at work and the cars at the body shop.

I personally want boots and grease on my ball joints with a street car. Some people say they get lots of life with those and i have read plenty of threads where people give up on them on a DD because they die so quick.

I am not picturing the hack of 1/2" and thread it idea.

I think the two arcs that the mounting holes are moving through would bind with non pivoting ends. One of those pivot ends might accomplish the same thing thing as the bracket I was talking about though. In fact, I think it is a better solution... from way over here. One of those that matches the hole on the top (maybe you open that one up a size and match it on the bottom) and then find the right length booted link.

chknhwk HalfDork
April 4, 2012 5:07 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Driving over really horrible roads on a regular basis? Edit: Oh I see you've put super-hard sway bars on this car. Well then you'll need beefier links.

Yes and where do I get beefier links? I haven't seen anything on Coleman Racing or Pegasus Racing that looks anything like this.

dculberson wrote: Huh. Were these new end links when you installed them or did you use the original links?

The original end links broke then the new ones I replaced them with broke.

chknhwk HalfDork
April 6, 2012 9:48 p.m.

I happened to run across this setup tonight, what's the consensus on this:

I'm thinking I might try to replicate this setup... From this site: http://www.spohn.net/shop/2003-2011-Dodge-Ram-4x4/Extreme-Duty-Front-Sway-Bar-End-Links-For-2-Front-Leveling-Kit-2003-2011-Dodge-Ram-4x4-2500-3500.html

EDIT: Is there any way to tell whether or not a setup will bind before trying it out? Or is it just a matter of trial and error?
I also found these: http://www.buyhardrace.com/product/hardrace-front-sway-bar-end-links-94-01-integra-gsr-type-r_27.html

dean1484 SuperDork
April 7, 2012 8:37 a.m.

Where did you get the bars from? I would get back to the manufacturer and see if they sell an upgraded part. IT may be a known issue.

chknhwk HalfDork
April 7, 2012 10:07 a.m.

It's a known issue because I told them - my car is the only one with these bars. I was the test mule for new parts.

TreoWayne Reader
April 7, 2012 11:13 a.m.

Maybe put higher rate springs on the car so the sway bar doesn't have to work so hard?

chknhwk HalfDork
April 7, 2012 1:29 p.m.

In reply to TreoWayne:

That's interesting. I have been looking into a lowering kit but the springs I was going to use are lower but the same spring rate. At least according to the general consensus on the Jaguar Forums, the H&R's are about a 1.25"-1.5" drop but the same spring rate as stock or close enough to not make a difference. I was going to use those with stock Bilsteins off of the OEM Sport package. Maybe I should go with the Eibach's?

YellowRotary510
April 7, 2012 9:34 p.m.

In reply to chknhwk:

The problem I see with these end links is that the load from the swaybar is trying to pull the ball out of the spherical bearing. This is the direction where they are weakest. Note in their picture that they are depending on tapered washers to keep it from coming completely out of its housing.

Ideally, what you really want is the stud of the spherical bearing pointing down and the hole in the bearing have the same orientation as the hole in the swaybar. This will minimize any binding forces. One problem you definitely have is that the end links are so short so the bearing could run out of angularity very quickly. Good luck!

chknhwk HalfDork
April 8, 2012 12:37 a.m.
YellowRotary510 wrote: In reply to chknhwk: Ideally, what you really want is the stud of the spherical bearing pointing down and the hole in the bearing have the same orientation as the hole in the swaybar. This will minimize any binding forces. One problem you definitely have is that the end links are so short so the bearing could run out of angularity very quickly. Good luck!

Do you have any pictures/diagrams of what you are talking about and would making the end links longer help? Seems that might make any possible binding worse?

Curmudgeon MegaDork
April 8, 2012 6:57 a.m.

Where the stud broke off, that's partly because that is in 'single shear', i.e. only one side of the stud is supported. I say 'partly' because you mention that another link broke in the middle and that would pretty much be from tension. So that means the other thing to look for is the sway bar 'bottoming' on something. Here's what I mean: the bar is just fine until it gets near the end of its travel, then something causes it to bind. When that happens, the bar no longer flexes and the weakest link (see what I did there? ) breaks. It looks like you will need to make stronger links but when you do the next weakest link in the chain will pop up.

So I'd say get the car high enough that you can see what's happening but have the wheels at normal ride height (a four post lift would do) and then try working the suspension. This could mean having a bunch of buddies climb in one side so only that side will go down for instance and look for places where things bind. You can also go under the car and look very carefully for places where the bars have contacted something. It could even be a frame bushing that looks fine sitting still but under load it deforms until the bar hits the frame brackets.

It could also be the ball joint for the end links bottoming on the sides of the 'cup' that the ball rides in. I think that's probably most likely and to fix that will mean either modifying the ends of the bar to change the angle the ball studs operate at or coming up with a end link that has a greater operating angle.

YellowRotary510
YellowRotary510 New Reader
April 11, 2012 3:17 p.m.

In reply to chknhwk: Sorry, but I can't seem to post an image here. The old "copy-&-paste" doesn't work. Go to Google and type in "swaybar end link" then go to images. Look for the image that has spherical bearings on each end and the bolts are parallel to each other. Having longer links would help reduce any change in angularity, which is a good thing, but the installation area usually determines how much longer you can go.

noddaz Reader
April 11, 2012 4:24 p.m.

Will be a lot of work, but it sounds like you need to get the car on a 4 post lift (like Cur suggested) and get some friends to lean on the car on the front corners to work the suspension while someone is watching the suspension move. Disconnect the bar and push things around. Hook up the bar and do it again. Find what is binding and change it...

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