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Old 06-19-2009, 04:03 AM   #1
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Default Sway Bar End Links

Any recommendations? I searched and only for like 3 of 200 threads that actually had anything to do with sway bars and/or end links. I'd like to avoid spending huge money (FM Heim's for $300 front and back) and would even do the DIY route. I recall seeing threads with parts lists for McMaster parts to build them, but I will be damned if I can find them now. I don't so much need to adjust the preload, but need the rose joint to avoid the binding I'm having running the FM sways with stock links. I had to do some major forcing to make the holes line up and force the bolt through. I could probably buy a bunch of parts and make something work, but if anyone has a link, that would be massive help. Or a cheaper, good alternative to what FM offers, and some other sites have. I don't really know what to look for. I see a ton of them for sale for cheap, but have no idea if they are worth a ****. I guess its only a threaded shaft with joints on either end...
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:09 AM   #2
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You can also go to Grainger and get parts that are very close to the McMaster parts. You can view the Grainger catalog at:
Grainger Industrial Supply
The other good thing about Grainger is that they have many stores you can walk into and pick the parts you need and save on shipping.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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949 Racing has some that just as good as FM's for a lot less.

949Racing Miata end links FREE SHIPPING (US only) - endlink
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:17 PM   #4
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I've been running the end links from Advanced Autosports and they've been fine. I don't think I've seen a set of 4 with good quality teflon lined rod ends for cheaper ($135). They don't have dust seals on the joints like FM's or Emilio's but it doesn't seem to be a problem (yet). Emilio's look pretty good too at $80/pr.

Before I bought them (18 months ago) I did some quick & dirty math on the DIY route and my recollection is that DIY was cheaper than AA but the savings wasn't quite enough for me to bother with DIY for equivalent parts. Half the ones you buy need to be left hand thread if you want to be able to adjust the length without disconnecting one of the ends. There are a few threads in the suspension section on m.net and it looks to me like those that came out significantly cheaper either used lesser quality rod ends, or went with all right hand thread ends. But it's been a while since I priced it all out.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:30 PM   #6
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Here my super cheap interpretation:

They cost about $15 ea.
Summit rod ends are about $5 ea.
Standard threaded coupling was about $1.50
Bolts & nuts were about $2
The single most expensive piece was the 3/8" brass pipe I used to make the spacers. It was about $8 but I was able to make enough for the whole car. It's best to cut them on a lathe. I used two 1/8" spacers at the sway bar, and 1/8" & 3/8" spacers at the control arm.
Here's a picture of the pieces:

The biggest PITA is adjusting them. I don't have a rack so I didn't even try. Once I get the corner weights done I'll have the alignment guy adjust them while it's up on the rack. Since I used the barebones rod ends, I expect them to wear out in a year or so. For right now, they work great. Eventually I want to make my own L&R handed couplings & make proper links.

BTW, the other stuff in the picture is my version of sway bar bracket reinforcements.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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off topic bryan, but how do you like the ebay coilovers with the Konis? What mounts and bumpstops are you running?

That's a pretty slick endlink setup on the cheap.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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Emilio's may be the way to go. Still more than I was hoping to spend, but why cheap out. I was hoping for magic end links for $20 each or something. Thanks
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
off topic bryan, but how do you like the ebay coilovers with the Konis? What mounts and bumpstops are you running?

That's a pretty slick endlink setup on the cheap.
They're actually bilstein HD's. I'm using FCM bumpstops all the way around with NB mounts in the rear. I'm extremely happy with this cheap-*** setup and as far as I'm concerned, the e-bay kit is one of my best purchases. I even think I screwed it up by changing the spring-rates from the included 450/350 to 450/300. The car pushes a little more than my liking now.
One thing to keep in mind though--if you just open up the box and follow the directions you won't like the results. There was a fair bit of DIY in getting it right. As provided, you won't get much lower than stock, and without the FCM bumpstops this setup is undriveable. I'll have to do a writeup one of these days. Too lazy now.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanlow View Post
They're actually bilstein HD's. I'm using FCM bumpstops all the way around with NB mounts in the rear. I'm extremely happy with this cheap-*** setup and as far as I'm concerned, the e-bay kit is one of my best purchases. I even think I screwed it up by changing the spring-rates from the included 450/350 to 450/300. The car pushes a little more than my liking now.
One thing to keep in mind though--if you just open up the box and follow the directions you won't like the results. There was a fair bit of DIY in getting it right. As provided, you won't get much lower than stock, and without the FCM bumpstops this setup is undriveable. I'll have to do a writeup one of these days. Too lazy now.
Are the HD's as **** as I have heard? I recall that the valving was too aggressive and caused for a terrible ride and not so great handling.
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
Are the HD's as **** as I have heard? I recall that the valving was too aggressive and caused for a terrible ride and not so great handling.
Far from it. The car rode like **** with stock bumpstops tho. Right now my car is very comfortable, easy to drive and predictable. My car's not a track car, but I thought it was pretty damn fast on the track too. Shocks are far from the limiting factor in my car.
Eventually I'd like to get them revalved. If there's any improvement at all, its just icing on the cake.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanlow View Post
They're actually bilstein HD's. I'm using FCM bumpstops all the way around with NB mounts in the rear. I'm extremely happy with this cheap-*** setup and as far as I'm concerned, the e-bay kit is one of my best purchases. I even think I screwed it up by changing the spring-rates from the included 450/350 to 450/300. The car pushes a little more than my liking now.
One thing to keep in mind though--if you just open up the box and follow the directions you won't like the results. There was a fair bit of DIY in getting it right. As provided, you won't get much lower than stock, and without the FCM bumpstops this setup is undriveable. I'll have to do a writeup one of these days. Too lazy now.
If you lower the rear spring rate and keep the front the same, the car will push (understeer) more, not less.

Nice DIY work on the end links though!
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:21 PM   #13
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Bryanlow,

You have the RB hollow in the front. HD's with 450/300. What do you have for a rear bar currently? Trying to work out why you are pushing.

Last edited by cueball1; 06-19-2009 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cueball1 View Post
Bryanlow,

You have the RB hollow in the front. HD's with 450/300. What do you have for a rear bar currently? Trying to work out why you are pushing.
None. Thats a big part of why I'm pushing. DDing the car there's a lot of oversteer -- primarily power oversteer. I dropped the spring rate in the rear because I thought it would give me more mechanical grip. Helped some. Now that I've tracked the car it's very apparent that more front end grip is needed. Coming out of t3 & t4 at laguna I'm waiting too long for the car to turn before I get on the power. Trail braking helps but I feel the car can be better balanced. I'm putting the stock bar back on to see how much of an improvement it makes.

FWIW, the current setup is a very good "safe" setup. Very easy to drive.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:47 PM   #15
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Back on topic, I'll just throw it out there that my ISC racing endlinks work and were priced well, but they are quite noisy and I may eventually go with 949's stuff just to shut up my front end.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:17 AM   #16
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I don't know whether to blame my sway bar bushings or end links for my terrible squeaking. Going through my back yard at a very slow speed sounds like everything is loose and dry. All 4 corners sound terrible. I guess at the same time I do the end links I will take the bars back loose and cram some more lube in them. I used that super sticky green **** that FM sent me with them, which is supposed to be some of the best. Maybe I didn't cover them enough. BTW, anybody know what its called, and if you can get it in larger tubes than the tiny thing FM gives you.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:15 AM   #17
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The stuff I got with my FM bars seemed an awful lot like marine grease to me, which also happens to be sticky and green. I bought a grease gun sized tube of it (your FLAPS should have it) which should last damn near forever since I only lube up the bushings once or twice a year.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:54 AM   #18
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btw, you only need one for each axle.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:54 PM   #19
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I made mine from parts I bought at midwest control:

here's the details:

2 DWTFL-10 Sphcl Rod End, DIN Metric, Female, Teflon Race, Wide Housing USD $6.82 Sub-Total USD $13.64
2 DWTF-10 Sphcl Rod End, DIN Metric, Female, Teflon Race, Wide Housing USD $6.29 Sub-Total USD $12.58
2 JSM-10 Jack Screw, Metric USD $4.30 Sub-Total USD $8.60
Subtotal USD $34.82

Don't forget to add left-hand and right-hand M10 jam nuts. You will also need several washers per side on the control arm. The neat thing about this is you can adjust preload without removing one of the rod ends.

The rod ends I got were very high quality, and self-lubricating. Way better than mcmaster stuff for less money.


Note I'm running only a front sway bar because I have 425/340 springs.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:28 PM   #20
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I was just looking at Midwest Control yesterday thinking about doing this same thing. I was considering the little ball joints instead of spherical ends. Basically these...

ESTX-10mm Turnbuckle, Metric -- Midwest Control Products Corp.

Turnbuckle feature eliminates needing left hand threads and a center turnbuckle for length adjustment. Midwest doesn't list working strength on these though. Another maker lists a similar item at 2400 lb shear strength vs. a similar sized spherical bearing at 4200 lbs.

Advantage of the ball joint is wider range of movement, not quite as strong though. Worth trying? 4 of them run about $6.50 each.


Bryanlow,

Have you tried putting the stock rear back in? My car was tail happy before the RB hollow went in. Put in the hollow and it is just about perfectly balanced. Your 3/2 ratio on the spring rates is what most seem to be running, I doubt that's the problem. No rear bar works for some but I vote for rear bar eliminating your push!
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