Racedreamer
Racedreamer New Reader
10/21/08 3:22 p.m.

Can anyone tell my why I would and would not want to use rod ends on my tie rods? The car is also my DD.

My thoughts are they might make the steering a little more responsive and possibly remove a little slop at the same time..

fiat22turbo
fiat22turbo SuperDork
10/21/08 3:37 p.m.

They wear out faster than tie-rods and I believe they have potentially less movement range depending on how they are mounted.

There are dust boots available for some rod ends so that can help improve their longevity. They still won't be greased like tie-rod ends.

Otherwise they are routinely used to provide the benefits you mentioned as well as easier adjustment of bumpsteer and faster replacement at the track. Just be aware of the range of movement (otherwise you could snap the mutha off) and use a washer on the open end in case the ball seperates from the housing.

RedS13Coupe
RedS13Coupe New Reader
10/21/08 3:52 p.m.

Sometimes they allow more articulation the a stock tie rod end. Stock tie rod ends don't have THAT much range of movement so its not to hard to have a rod end with more.

They will wear out faster though, and less compliance means more random bumps transmitted to the steering rack and potentially back through the steering system.

I like the ones I have on my car though

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Reader
10/21/08 3:59 p.m.

Be careful to get rod ends that are strong enough for your application. The rod ends are rated to a yield strength but ideally you only want to use 10% of that.

noisycricket
noisycricket New Reader
10/21/08 6:01 p.m.
RedS13Coupe wrote: They will wear out faster though, and less compliance means more random bumps transmitted to the steering rack and potentially back through the steering system.

Unless you have a Ford with the awful rubber bushed tie rod ends, the compliance should be exactly the same: None.

Racedreamer
Racedreamer New Reader
10/21/08 6:55 p.m.

I tell ya this is why I love the board so much. Great replies right away.

Would any of you have any recomendations as to were to get quality rod ends with proper strength?

Thanks everyone for the great info and responce.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Reader
10/21/08 7:04 p.m.

Aurora Bearing Company rod ends are very good. I would recommend their high misalignment rod ends.

RedS13Coupe
RedS13Coupe New Reader
10/21/08 11:09 p.m.
noisycricket wrote:
RedS13Coupe wrote: They will wear out faster though, and less compliance means more random bumps transmitted to the steering rack and potentially back through the steering system.
Unless you have a Ford with the awful rubber bushed tie rod ends, the compliance should be exactly the same: None.

ehhh, free play not the same as compliance...

I would imagine stock tie rod ends compress slightly under high loads, especially since they need clearance for grease and likely softer then metal bearing surfaces?

Racedreamer
Racedreamer New Reader
10/22/08 6:31 a.m.

I know if would be hard to say but how long might a set of rod ends last on a DD? I do live in FL. so ther is sand everywhere. I take it nobody makes boots to help keep debris out?

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/22/08 6:39 a.m.

If I remember correctly from my Jeep Off Road days.. that these joints are generally illegal on steering components. Check with your local DOT.

and if you're going to use one of these joints, just don't use a washer to contain them should they come apart (single shear applications only... need apply) Use these washers.. http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productselection.asp?Product=3068

much stronger.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/22/08 7:20 a.m.

Three things to consider:

1) as noted earlier, they have a limited range of movement compared to regular ol' tie rod ends

2) they are generally shorter than a tie rod, meaning you may have to come up with a longer iner tie rod or adjusting link

3) the hole for the tie rod in your knuckle will have a 7 degree taper, meaning the hole will be smaller at the 'nut' end than the 'link' end. You can drill the hole out to allow the use of a standard straight bolt, but now you can no longer use a tapered type tie rod stud. So, no going back unless you buy another knuckle!

Racedreamer
Racedreamer New Reader
10/22/08 7:51 a.m.

WOW thank god for people with more knowledge than me. It sounds like all things considered I'll stay with my stock tie rods.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH Dork
10/22/08 10:51 a.m.

If you have bushing-type tie rod ends, you can get aftermarket ones that are the same dimensions but have spherical bearings instead. I got some for my AE92 and it gives better road feel and precision.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf Reader
10/22/08 11:18 a.m.

Normal rod ends are 17-24 deg of movement. most ball joint ends are 45-60deg of movement.

They offer greasable rod ends but if you look at the specs the grease hole drops the load by 2/3rds. I don't like'em on race cars and personaly would never use a rod end on a DD.

If you've ever lost the capability of steering you'd understand....I have once on a street car at about 80mph i lost the drag link on my 69 Bronco going up hill. I had a hot date in the truck at the time...It ended very coldly. After we limped back to campus with a coat hanger holding the drag link on. I've had several times on the track too.

44Dwarf

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/22/08 11:32 a.m.

I think we need a little more precision in terms :) You're basically comparing rod ends to ball joints. You can get low-wear versions, but it's all relative. What you really need to watch for is the amount of misalignment. If you hit the limit of travel on a rod end you'll rip it apart. Definitely check your range of motion if you're going to use them.

Racedreamer
Racedreamer New Reader
10/22/08 11:54 a.m.

Its sounds like there are better ways to improve handeling.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/22/08 12:06 p.m.

The best way to improve handling is to determine what the biggest problem is, and address that.

96DXCivic
96DXCivic Reader
10/22/08 12:44 p.m.

The Aurora high misalignment rod ends would give you a much greater range of movement. Providing you chose a rod end that you will only use 10% of the ultimate yield strength on a regular basis you should have no problems with them but this means lots of calculations so if you don't have the ability to do this I won't recommend doing this modification.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/22/08 1:18 p.m.

I looked into this a while back when doing the Abomination's steering and I ran into all the problems I noted above. The rod end I was looking at allowed something like 26 degrees of angularity but at max travel it would have been at 29 or so, meaning the bolt would bottom out on the ball race. The biggest problem, as Keith noted, if you get to the end of the angle travel in the rod end and it bottoms out something's going to give. On a Formula Ford or similar where the suspension travel is really short, this may not happen. On a production based suspension with a lot more travel, yes it could definitely happen. You might get by with it for a couple of times, then SNAP and you start hollering 'OH, SNAP!'

Racedreamer
Racedreamer New Reader
10/22/08 8:05 p.m.

Thanks everyone for all the great info.

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