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Your aftermarket toe links worn? Here's help

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Old 02-26-03, 09:39 AM
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Arrow Your aftermarket toe links worn? Here's help

First off, my car is daily driven and sees 15,000+ miles a year along with autoxing about 25 events a year. I bought a set of Pettit rear toe links a while back and promptly wore the things out. I called Pettit and after about 3 seperate conversations they finally decided they would charge me for new rod ends and refund me when I sent the old ones back. Now I have worn these out as well and rather than deal with them again I decided to just solve this problem permanently. The rod ends Pettit supplies with their toe links are bottom of the barrel as far as what's available. After being lazy I have finally got the measurements needed to replace these with high quality parts.

These specs are for the Pettit rear toe links. I do not have access to the M2 links but they use off the shelf parts as well so if yours are worn you can replace the rod ends with much higher quality units for less money then purchasing new ones from M2.

The Pettit toe link rod ends have a 5/8" bore and a 5/8"x18 thread. You will need two right hand thread and two left hand thread to replace all of them. The Pettit rod end is a two piece steel that wears quickly since it has a low quality race around the ball. I recommend switching to a three piece that is teflon lined and then going one step further and adding dust seals. These should now last nearly forever.

www.bakeprecision.com has all these parts and the part numbers below are exact (but much higher quality) replacements for the Pettit parts. Total cost is just over $100. Here's what you need:

x2 JMT10 here
x2 JMT10L here
x8 SE-010 here

Last edited by DamonB; 02-26-03 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 02-26-03, 11:05 AM
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Good Post!
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Old 02-26-03, 12:06 PM
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You are da MAN! Thanks!

(I knew there just HAD to be a cheaper, better way to do this.....)

Can you replace the stockers with these or are they metric?

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Old 02-26-03, 02:57 PM
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Just what I need...

But what is the length of the rod? any link as well? I have been looking for the rod, and could not find it.

Reza

Last edited by reza; 02-26-03 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 02-26-03, 03:23 PM
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haha GREAT I haven't installed mine yet, but will be using dust boots when I do. One of the things I learned from years of mountain biking is sand/dirt/dust and bearings don't mix-even if they are sealed. Approximately how long did your pettit links last? I recall a couple other forum members posted re the short life of their aftermarket links.
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Old 02-26-03, 03:28 PM
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This is excellent "Archive" information.
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Old 02-26-03, 03:32 PM
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baker precision don't have the rods listed on their website.
What kind of rods will work and what length?

reza
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Old 02-26-03, 04:19 PM
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anyone know if the ones sold from Rotormotorsports are the same as the pettit/M2? Mine are very loose after just 6 months and 10K miles. You can actually shake them when the car is on a lift.
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Old 02-26-03, 06:30 PM
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I believe the ones which were sold by Rotormotorsports were just rebranded K2RD pieces.

The most important part of maintaining a suspension part which uses rod ends is to keep debris out of the joint. The rubber seals should be included with the parts, if you ask me.

An "open" rod end will never last on the street, nor would the pillow bushings in the rear suspension if they didn't have rubber seals.
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Old 02-26-03, 06:46 PM
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Glad to hear you guys are excited but some clarification is needed. An aftermarket toe link consists of two rod ends, a length of rod that the rod ends thread into and adaptors for the rod ends to bolt up with the stock bolts. You can't just buy the parts I listed and bolt them on, you have to have a Pettit toe link kit to begin with. The part numbers I gave are rod ends with a 5/8" bore, much too big for the stock 8mm (I think? Have not bothered to measure) bolts.

As for the tube the rod ends mount to any dirt track racecar supply shop can fab these in about 15 minutes, you can even find them online if you know the length and thread you need. That only leaves the small metal adaptor bushings that allow the 8mm bolt to fit the 5/8" bore of the rod ends.

I know the part numbers Pettit uses for their rod ends but add that to the price of the tubes and hardware included and if you were very generous you may be able to reach $75 in parts. I don't want to be in the toe link business though, I just want to share with you guys how I am upgrading mine.
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Old 02-26-03, 07:33 PM
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For the M2 toe links, the same parts should work. They are also 5/8-18 thread. I assume the rod ends on the trailing link set are the same kind, but I am not sure which thread direction they need.

After comparing a lot of different rod ends from various vendors and manufacturers in terms of load capacity and price, I decided to try some QA-1 units from Jeg's for $18.99 each. They have a static load rating of 17,955 lbs. You need two each of 122-XML10 and 122-XMR10. They say they are self-sealing, but those seals that DamonB posted look like they might be a big help in reducing wear. Aluminum foil is supposed to work pretty well, but people might make fun of you for it. The rod ends I got have been holding up well so far. I am sure they will wear out eventually, but they are still good after 5000 miles or so.

-Max

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Old 02-26-03, 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by maxcooper
For the M2 toe links, the same parts should work. . .
After comparing a lot of different rod ends from various vendors and manufacturers in terms of load capacity and price, I decided to try some QA-1 units from Jeg's for $18.99 each.

-Max
Max:

Based on your post I infer that the rod ends that came with your M2 links wore out. How long did they last?
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Old 02-27-03, 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by CCarlisi
Max:

Based on your post I infer that the rod ends that came with your M2 links wore out. How long did they last?
I wish I kept better records so I could tell exactly, but they seemed to be fine for maybe 10-15K (???) miles and then all of a sudden they were loose. I almost failed tech at a TCRA event because of it. I don't fault M2 for the rod ends wearing out; I think it is going to happen with any rod end. Hopefully my new ones will last a little longer, but they are fairly easy to swap when I need to do it again. The seals that DamonB posted should help extend life, so they are probably a good idea.

-Max
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Old 02-27-03, 02:45 PM
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I agree it seems to be a design flaw that's inherent with all of them. I was looking at the suspension on a 996 turbo yesterday and was shocked at how much beefier everything is. Maybe it is possible to use bigger rod ends with more surface area to support the load better.

A local FD owner also suggested that compliance in the stock links may be necessary to prevent the suspension from binding during the travel stroke. If that is the case (and Iím not sure what he bases his opinion on) I can see how zero compliance links would wear down quickly.

About 75% of my time is spent driving in the city. I hope I can get at least a year out of them.
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Old 02-27-03, 03:20 PM
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Save upto 30% by using Barker Precision's www.bakeprecision.com on-line ordering. Their 5/8 inch rod-end seals are $2.50 each on-line vs $2.75 each on the phone.

I just spoke with Hung at Baker who volunteered the info on prices and he was very helpful verifying on-hand quantities, etc. so I just went ahead and ordered, but next time I'll use their web site.
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Old 02-27-03, 03:23 PM
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High quality rod ends should live nearly forever, but what wears them is the constant exposure to road grime and not the load through them. When the toe links are installed the ***** are basically fixed and the eye rotate around them as the suspension moves. Grit gets caught in there and finally wears the thing out. I cleaned my worn ***** (no pun intended ) and got all sorts of crud out of there. The new items I am switching to are proabably overkill but they are still affordable. The dust seals alone may be enough to solve this problem though.


A local FD owner also suggested that compliance in the stock links may be necessary to prevent the suspension from binding during the travel stroke.

The stock toe links are solid spherical joints as well. The rubber you see is just a dust cover; no compliance in them. Besides, the toe links merely point the upright in the correct direction and since the upright pivots on spherical bearings there is no chance for binding there.
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Old 02-27-03, 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by maxcooper
I wish I kept better records so I could tell exactly
I have a small zippered binder in which I keep a notebook and a pen. Whenever I do any work on the car at all I record the date, mileage and the work I did along with parts replaced or any adjustments made. Takes less than 5 minutes each time and I always know how old a part is, when's the last time I changed plugs, how old are my tires, what alignment am I running, is a part still in warranty etc. I find it a big help.
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Old 02-27-03, 03:34 PM
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Do you think if I added theh rod end seals to the pettit toe link kit I should be good to go??
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Old 02-27-03, 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by Bucrx7
Do you think if I added theh rod end seals to the pettit toe link kit I should be good to go??
They certainly will be a big improvement. If the rod ends are not yet worn and the seals keep them clean then it would have to be a tremendous help in longevity.
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Old 02-28-03, 02:42 PM
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Can the rod ends in the stock toe links be replaced with items similar to the ones you are using for the aftermarket toe links?
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Old 02-28-03, 03:51 PM
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A local FD owner also suggested that compliance in the stock links may be necessary to prevent the suspension from binding during the travel stroke. If that is the case (and Iím not sure what he bases his opinion on) I can see how zero compliance links would wear down quickly.
I have checked for binding on my rear suspension with the shocks removed. It moved very freely, much better than we expected. I was really checking if the Unobtanium bushings at the body end of the trailing links would bind (they didn't), but I did have some toe links on there at that time.

There are six "degrees of freedom" (direction/ways in which something could move) - translation (uh, movement) in X, Y, and Z. And rotation about X, Y, and Z. All six: Tx, Ty, Tz, Rx, Ry, Rz. Stick your hand out in front of you and make a fist. Move your first up and down: Tx. Move your fist left and right: Ty. Move your fist in and out (like throwing a punch): Tz. Now twist your fist like you are opening a faucet: Rx. Twist your fist like you are revving a motorcycle: Ry. Now twist your wrist like you are grinding your fist into a wall (hey, it's the best I could think of ): Rz.

Rod ends allow no movement (more or less) in the translational degrees of freedom, and free movement (with some limits, obviously) in the rotational degrees of freedom. That makes it very unlikely that you would get any binding unless you hit the limits of free movement. For toe and trailing links on the FD, there is no chance of binding.

The stock toe links are solid spherical joints as well. The rubber you see is just a dust cover; no compliance in them. Besides, the toe links merely point the upright in the correct direction and since the upright pivots on spherical bearings there is no chance for binding there
I thought I saw that they were spherical bearings suspended in rubber, which means they are mostly free in Rx, Ry, Rz, and stiff but not super stiff in Tx, Ty, Tz. Solid replacements are stiffer in Tx, Ty, Tz. There would be no reason to buy faster-wearing replacements if there was no improvement in stiffness. Well, except that the replacements can be cheaper.

High quality rod ends should live nearly forever, but what wears them is the constant exposure to road grime and not the load through them. When the toe links are installed the ***** are basically fixed and the eye rotate around them as the suspension moves. Grit gets caught in there and finally wears the thing out. I cleaned my worn ***** (no pun intended ) and got all sorts of crud out of there. The new items I am switching to are proabably overkill but they are still affordable. The dust seals alone may be enough to solve this problem though.
Agreed, these things aren't being overstressed, they just wear from the brake dust, road grime, etc. and become loose.

I have a small zippered binder in which I keep a notebook and a pen. Whenever I do any work on the car at all I record the date, mileage and the work I did along with parts replaced or any adjustments made. Takes less than 5 minutes each time and I always know how old a part is, when's the last time I changed plugs, how old are my tires, what alignment am I running, is a part still in warranty etc. I find it a big help.
That is smart. I know I should do this, too, but I'm too lazy I guess.

Can the rod ends in the stock toe links be replaced with items similar to the ones you are using for the aftermarket toe links?
No. Here are some pics of the stockers on the Mazdatrix web site: http://www.mazdatrix.com/h93-95c.htm

-Max
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Old 02-28-03, 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by maxcooper
I thought I saw that they were spherical bearings suspended in rubber...
According to Mazda, the large ends of the toe links are "suspended" by a rubber layer between the pillow bushing and the toe link "body", as shown in the picture below (highlighted in light yellow) that I sent to Steve Cirian for use on his site.



Agreed, these things aren't being overstressed, they just wear from the brake dust, road grime, etc. and become loose.
I agree with Max. It's simply the unprotected joint collecting debris and eventually "erroding" to the point that the joint develops slop that kills rod ends in street applications. Protect the joint with dust covers, and you should get far more life out of the joints before they require replacing.
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Old 02-28-03, 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by jimlab
According to Mazda, the large ends of the toe links are "suspended" by a rubber layer between the pillow bushing and the toe link "body"
I pressed my original toe links bushings apart and I know absolutely that the joints press into the toe link with metal to metal contact. There is a layer of rubber INSIDE the joint?
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Old 02-28-03, 07:24 PM
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The pitcure looks that way -- metal sleeve with rubber (highlighted in yellow here) inside, and a spherical bearing at the core of the bushing.

-Max
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Old 02-28-03, 08:23 PM
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I just installed a brand new set of Pettit's toe-links and was able to use the Baker rod-end seals on the inboard ends (body side), but here was not enough clearance at the uprights. What modifications have others done to allow rod-ends with seals to be installed there? Custom spacers or ????

PS - The rod-ends supplied by Pettit were AURORA brand and had part numbers VCM-10 and VCB-10.
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