Installment #4:
Safety - Suspension - Wiring

Words and photos by Jok Nicholson

Now that I have most of the body work completed and the "Back-2-Basics" Vega has made its first trip to the body shop for the special primer coat, I will tell you what we have been up to. Safety is always my first concern, so when I disassembled the four-link bars I inspected the rod ends and bolts. I found a lot of wear and some corrosion on all of them and decided to replace them. When I started looking for replacements I found there was a wide selection of rod ends an even wider selection in their strength.

These are the rod ends I took out. You can see the rusty spots and corrosion. They were also "loose" in the housing, a definite indication they are worn out and needed replaced.

The "rod end" story:

Here is how I decided on the right rod ends for Back-2-Basics. I opened about five different catalogs I had from mail-order chassis shops to specific catalogs from companies that manufacture the rod ends. The main concern is radial static load capacity of these units. My four-link, and the majority on other race cars, use rod ends called 3/4"x 3/4". This means the shank that threads into the four-link tube is 3/4" UNF (fine thread) and the hole in the rod end is 3/4".

These are the rod ends we chose to replace our worn out ones. Moroso/Competition Engineering #C6130 and C6131. Chrome moly construction and plenty tough for our application.

Once I determined what I needed it was time to decide how much strength I needed in the rod ends. There are basically three types to choose from that I found.

  1. Low Carbon steel, commonly listed in catalogs as "economy rod ends." These have a static radial load capacity of about 12,500 pounds each; NOT a good choice for a four-link suspension component on a race car. These sell for about $15.00 to $18.00 each.
  2. The next choice is an alloy steel rod end with Teflon liner. These are a great choice and offer long service and plenty of strength for all but the really high horsepower or very heavy cars. These have a static radial load capacity of about 28,000 pounds each. These will usually sell for about $45.00 each. I chose this type of rod end for the Back-2-Basics car. I chose Moroso's Competition Engineering part numbers C6130 (right hand threads) and C6131 (left hand threads). These come with the correct jam nuts to lock them in place and it takes four of each part number to complete the four-link update. It is not a low-cost maintenance item, but it IS A SAFETY ITEM. Consider your combination and, if in doubt, call the Moroso tech line and get their input. I did!
  3. 3. The ultimate choice for a rod end in drag racing is a special chrome moly heavy duty unit. It has the 3/4" threads on the shank but rather than the 3/4" hole for the bolt in the rod end it is built for a 5/8" bolt. This allows for more material around the bolt and thus more strength. These are also available from Moroso under part numbers C6160 and C6161. They have a static radial load capacity of over 40,000 pounds. If you have a very high powered car or are building one the four-link brackets are different as the adjustment holes will be 5/8" rather than 3/4" so some planning is needed to implement these parts. They are also more expensive and I have seen them in chassis catalogs for $65.00 each.



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