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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the last ride was a bit eventful and left me with a bent lower radius rod. Doing some searching on our site vendors as to what kits are out there, all the better built options (imo) are easily $500-700, and the best built options (imo) are well over a $G. Not exactly excite to spend that kind of $$$, and really not wanting to install another stock rod, I looked into DIY projects on Google.

One option came up is using 1" or 1.25" Steel or Alum swaged theaded tubes. These tubes can be found easily on Summit, Jeggs, other speedshops, and direct from the mfg ... and all quite affordable ($20-30 ea tube). Other bands have chromoly tubing, but at a much higher cost ($75-140 ea tube). Some SXS guys have simply added a heim and bolted things up. Others on Google opted to buy DOM tubing cut to length, weld in threaded bungs, and add their heims.

Some tube brands included AFCO, AQ1, AllStar, QuickCar, Keyser Mfg
https://www.summitracing.com/int/se...ending&keyword=threaded tube&kr=threaded tube

We know the stock radius rods are these lengths (bolt centre-to-centre)
Upper: 26 23/32"
Mid: 28 7/16"
Lower: 27 3/32"

Stock rod diameter is 1”

I will be making some time to go measure things up and see if there would be any clearance issues on my X3, but just the initial research has shown a steel swaged tube to be about $20 ea (25-27" long), and heims are $20-35 ea depending on the brand or how severe duty you go.

a full set of 1.25" steel swag tube radius arms with decent heims could be in the neighborhood of $400-450.

going middle of the road for cost:
6x 1.25" tubes @ $20/ea = $120
12x decent heims @ $25/ea $300

1.25" should be plenty stronger than stock, maybe 1" could be a cheaper option.


What are peoples thoughts?



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I think you'll probably be fine with that. The FK heims (with the T for teflon) are generally the choice for strength and durability. JMX-10T and JMXL-10T.

The upper and lower rods are only slightly different lengths. If you get 23.5" rods you can use them on both upper and lower. You need a 25" rod for the middle.

Those swaged tubes are probably just as strong or stronger than stock. For smething more burly, another option is Kartek. Go to their website and search for tie rod. You will see option to build them in any length out of either burly as hell chromoly or 6061 aluminum. They are 1" .250wall material....stout. The aluminum ones are about 90 bucks a pair and chromoly is about 110 per pair. I won't say you can't tweak those chromoly rods but I doubt you could make one actually fail without yardsaleing the whole car.
 
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So the last ride was a bit eventful and left me with a bent lower radius rod. Doing some searching on our site vendors as to what kits are out there, all the better built options (imo) are easily $500-700, and the best built options (imo) are well over a $G. Not exactly excite to spend that kind of $$$, and really not wanting to install another stock rod, I looked into DIY projects on Google.

One option came up is using 1" or 1.25" Steel or Alum swaged theaded tubes. These tubes can be found easily on Summit, Jeggs, other speedshops, and direct from the mfg ... and all quite affordable ($20-30 ea tube). Other bands have chromoly tubing, but at a much higher cost ($75-140 ea tube). Some SXS guys have simply added a heim and bolted things up. Others on Google opted to buy DOM tubing cut to length, weld in threaded bungs, and add their heims.

Some tube brands included AFCO, AQ1, AllStar, QuickCar, Keyser Mfg
https://www.summitracing.com/int/se...ending&keyword=threaded tube&kr=threaded tube

We know the stock radius rods are these lengths (bolt centre-to-centre)
Upper: 26 23/32"
Mid: 28 7/16"
Lower: 27 3/32"

Stock rod diameter is 1”

I will be making some time to go measure things up and see if there would be any clearance issues on my X3, but just the initial research has shown a steel swaged tube to be about $20 ea (25-27" long), and heims are $20-35 ea depending on the brand or how severe duty you go.

a full set of 1.25" steel swag tube radius arms with decent heims could be in the neighborhood of $400-450.

going middle of the road for cost:
6x 1.25" tubes @ $20/ea = $120
12x decent heims @ $25/ea $300

1.25" should be plenty stronger than stock, maybe 1" could be a cheaper option.


What are peoples thoughts?



View attachment 232517
Don't forget to add the cost of (24) 5/8" to 12mm misalignment spacers (or 5/8" to 1/2" misalignments + (12) 1/2" bolts and nuts.

I was thinking the same as you, but buy the time I added up the aluminum, LH & RH taps, FK heims, jamb nuts and misalignment spacers, I ended up just buying a set from a vendor for not much more.
 

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Kartek tie rods arrived today 2 days after ordering.




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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Don't forget to add the cost of (24) 5/8" to 12mm misalignment spacers (or 5/8" to 1/2" misalignments + (12) 1/2" bolts and nuts.

I was thinking the same as you, but buy the time I added up the aluminum, LH & RH taps, FK heims, jamb nuts and misalignment spacers, I ended up just buying a set from a vendor for not much more.
these Afco/Keyser swaged tubes that I referenced are already threaded, no need to buy any large/expensive taps. they come in steel or alum, .095" walled, and the 1.25" are about the same cost which is a free strength bonus (vs a 1").

even adding the misalighment spacer, or buying a heim that includes them, the over cost can still make it worth while imo.

ill have to dig deeper into these Kartek rods

it all comes down to the total a cost/strength balance.


The upper and lower rods are only slightly different lengths. If you get 23.5" rods you can use them on both upper and lower. You need a 25" rod for the middle.
the Afco/Keyser tubes come in 1" increments ... there's 23", 24".... 28". sadly no 1/2" sizing. ideally id like to have the heim thread in as much as possible of course.
 

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I have some of those aluminum staged tubes for spares. Super light but not nearly as strong as the Kartek ones. Same for the steel version. Just a matter of how much strength you need for the driving you do. If I didn’t push my car so hard in rough desert the cheaper option would probably be fine.


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I have an in-law who fabed his own, not sure what he used but it wasn't expensive, added heims for his popo and he thrashes the hell out of them and have held up fine!
 

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Another thing those threaded tubes are good for is end links. I ran the zinc plated steel ones on my 5500lb race truck and never had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I think you'll probably be fine with that. The FK heims (with the T for teflon) are generally the choice for strength and durability. JMX-10T and JMXL-10T.

The upper and lower rods are only slightly different lengths. If you get 23.5" rods you can use them on both upper and lower. You need a 25" rod for the middle.

Those swaged tubes are probably just as strong or stronger than stock. For smething more burly, another option is Kartek. Go to their website and search for tie rod. You will see option to build them in any length out of either burly as hell chromoly or 6061 aluminum. They are 1" .250wall material....stout. The aluminum ones are about 90 bucks a pair and chromoly is about 110 per pair. I won't say you can't tweak those chromoly rods but I doubt you could make one actually fail without yardsaleing the whole car.

went to Karteks site, added everything you mentioned to my cart for a .250" wall chromoly setup, 5/8" heims, misalignment spacers, ect ... came to $1110 before any coupon code (found 5% or 10% codes that may work). cheaper than say Geiser, with less brand name cool factor.

going to .156" wall chromoly, running 3/4" heims, misalignment spacers, ect ... $1045 before coupon code.

both way out of the budget lol

swaged tubes may be out as an option as I want the rods to be a decent strength upgrade over stock. it didn't take much effort to wreck a stock rod so no point in going thru the effort/cost to build something with only a negligible strength upgrade.

back to the drawing board ...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cut stock links in half and sleeve with 1.25” tubing. Cut bent part out and slide the ends in the tubing. Cheaper and easier.
Spoke to a fab buddy, he suggested the same idea using 1.25” od dom tubing. Even paying him full shop rate, it’d be under $300

The value is strong, strength should be a large improvement. Just need to see if there will be any clearance issues when things are in motion during riding
 

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Spoke to a fab buddy, he suggested the same idea using 1.25” od dom tubing. Even paying him full shop rate, it’d be under $300

The value is strong, strength should be a large improvement. Just need to see if there will be any clearance issues when things are in motion during riding
they are very close at knuckle side but not close enough to be an issue. Been running mine for 6 months now.

here is some info

https://www.maverickforums.net/foru...ds-very-thin-how-thin-mega-info-inside-2.html
 

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I think sleeving the stock ends would be a great cheap way to make the rods stronger. You just won’t be able to adjust them and you’ll have the minor slop inherent in the stock bushing ends.
 

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Well that looks like a smoking deal. Check that the heims are indeed JMX versions because FK makes more than a few different types. The tubing thickness of those is at most half of what the Kartek rods are made of but still probably pretty strong. In any event just 12 good rod ends and 24 spacers is gonna set you back over 500 bucks just about anywhere.


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Discussion Starter #19
Well that looks like a smoking deal. Check that the heims are indeed JMX versions because FK makes more than a few different types. The tubing thickness of those is at most half of what the Kartek rods are made of but still probably pretty strong. In any event just 12 good rod ends and 24 spacers is gonna set you back over 500 bucks just about anywhere.

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Yep .120 wall is less than either karteks options, which were both over $1000.

I think these .120 chromoly tubes would stronger than the 6061 aluminum options I see for the $500-700 area.
 

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For a quick reference I typically use 2/3 for yield. IE 6061 has 66% of the yield strength of 4130. If you know the OD of each then you could make a fair comparison.
 
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