Import rod ends

Drivetrains, ECUs, brakes, lights, radiator, instruments, etc
Midlana1
Site Admin
Posts: 2671
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 16:44
Anti-spam question: 4
Are you a spammer: No
Location: Southern California

Import rod ends

Postby Midlana1 » 08 Jan 2015, 08:58

And I knew better.

I bought them because I was on the Midwest Controls website buying threaded tube ends and there they were. Figuring "why not, they're just for fit-up", it was all too easy to get them instead of more expensive U.S.-made parts on a different site. Being lazy, the import rod ends worked their way onto the car, now I'm paying for it.

I was checking over the car for Saturday's event and was both surprised and disappointed to find that the left rear wheel had about 1/8"-3/16" of slop in toe - which is huge! Turns out that the inboard toe link rod end had basically worn out, with the ball shifting back and forth maybe 0.050". However, that amount gets mechanically amplified through the links and tire diameter, so by the time it reaches the tire it's a whole lot more. Not good.

All import rod ends are being replaced with U.S.-made parts. I went through Baker Precision (http://www.bakerprecision.com) and ordered FK bearings, the "JM" line for all bearings except the rear lower trailing link and toe link. Those higher stressed points get the higher rated "JMX" line. Keep in mind that just about any rod end will work, but component life suffers with the lower end parts. The JM part is about $10 each while the JMX is $25 and for the whole car it totaled about $325. Keep in mind that the really good parts are made by NHBB and are $93 each... I couldn't justify that.

In summery: I do not recommend import rod ends because they don't last.

PS: I'm surprised that having that much play in rear toe wasn't more apparent while driving. I wonder what it means; was it that I'm not sensitive enough to notice, were the forces on the bearing such that in the driving I was doing, the bearing ball stayed against one side of the bearing cup, or was it that rear toe doesn't matter as much as I thought? I don't know.

bgkast
Posts: 599
Joined: 17 Dec 2012, 11:33
Anti-spam question: 4
Are you a spammer: No

Re: Import rod ends

Postby bgkast » 08 Jan 2015, 10:15

This is very disappointing. I have ordered all of my rod ends from there. What model were you using? I was using the MTM line (steel with Teflon coated race).

How many miles are on Midlana now?

Midlana1
Site Admin
Posts: 2671
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 16:44
Anti-spam question: 4
Are you a spammer: No
Location: Southern California

Re: Import rod ends

Postby Midlana1 » 08 Jan 2015, 11:23

Short answer: You can probably use all but four of them, and note comments below about left-hand thread rod ends.

Long answer:
I can't give you a black or white answer because it all depends how the car's driven and over what type of roads. If you have potholes all over the place, they'll take a real pounding. I'll have to look up the part numbers but they're Teflon-lined, but all is not lost in your case.

You can use the ones you have at the front of the car and probably the upper rear. The locations that need to be heavy duty are, in order of stress: the rear lower inboard pivot, the rear lower trailing link pivot, and the rear inboard toe pivot (the latter being the one I noticed as loose).

Note:
I found that the left-hand thread rod ends are much more loose (the ball easy to move) than the right-hand ones, even when new. It's quite possible that the right-hand ones will work fine everywhere, but like I said, it all depends how the car's driven, how much, and on what type of surfaces. I doubt that I have more than 4-5000 miles on Midlana.

bgkast
Posts: 599
Joined: 17 Dec 2012, 11:33
Anti-spam question: 4
Are you a spammer: No

Re: Import rod ends

Postby bgkast » 08 Jan 2015, 13:58

Well, I have them so I will use them. If and when they loosen up I will complain and upgrade them. :lol:


Return to “Needed parts and where to get them”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest