When it comes to precision suspension and steering, nothing puts components to extreme like dirt track racing. The one component in suspensions, steering, and linkages that racers depend upon more than any other, is the humble rod end. Generally comprised of two part or three part construction, their simplicity hides the engineering and complex features of the bearings.
Choosing the right rod end can be the difference between finishing and winning the race, or suffering a devastating failure on the track. We went to the experts at FK Rod Ends to get some quick tech on these complicated components.
OneDirt: What type of rod ends are used in the dirt track racing?
FK Rod Ends: We recommend our CMX series of rod end due to its strength. This is a rod end that is made out of certified alloy steel, something that offshore rod ends can’t say. We recommend this rod end because of the abuse dirt circle track racing puts on suspension components.
FK Rod Ends is a big fan of using a PTFE (Teflon) liner on an dirt track race cars. This liner works as a lubricator and a wiper for the ball. With a liner installed the amount of force it takes to lock the ball up is raised considerable. Also with the liner working as a wiper it keeps the rod end from wearing out from the dirt and debris.
OD: What are the benefits of using a rod end instead of a bushing?
FK: A rod end will allow lateral and horizontal movement while a bushing only allows horizontal movement.
OD: How do you know when it is time to replace a rod end?
FK: That is such a tough call. Unfortunately it is very difficult to know when a rod end is worn out. The best thing I can tell you is to replace them after a bad crash or when the ball gets lose in the rod end housing. The loser the ball the closer you are to having a problem.
For more information on FK Rod Ends and their line of suspension and steering components, visit them online at www.fkrodends.com.
About FK Rod Ends
FK Bearings Incorporated, is a world-class manufacturer of rod ends, spherical bearings, custom-engineered bearings and related products. Established in 1983, FK Bearings brings over 36 years of experience to the industrial and performance racing and off-road markets.