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Old 09-12-2004, 01:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Heim VS Bushing VS Jjoint VS Etc

There have been a number of threads out there lately ( one was mine ) showing 4link rears. Being that there is so much to consider when designing a link system, I was hoping to start a thread that would clear up some of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of link mount.
That said, I just finished the basics of my 4link with heims on all corners. I started my setup with heims on one end with standard spacers/bushings and urethane YJ spring bushings on the other end. Before I got the links made, I decided to to change it to heims on both ends. I was concerned the suspension would outflex the usable twist of the heim. I am very happy with the suspension. ( as it sits in the driveway, the rest of the rig is far from done )
What got me thinking was this: today I was out measuring to build a gas tank. I had to flex the suspension up to make sure my links would not hit the tank and I noticed something. When the suspension is fully flexed, I do not even come close to using up one heim joint, let alone two. After looking at it for some time, I decided I had just gotten lucky when I designed it and got the mount angles dead on.
The point here is that I could have saved almost $200 on heims, bushings, adapters etc. if I could have forseen this.
I know most of you out there are like me. We don't have an endless supply of cash sitting around to burn on a bunch of exotic crap we don't really need. Bang for the buck, what are other experiences out there that might help the new guy trying to buid a link setup as cheap as possible?
For me, I would say:
#1 SEARCH THE PBB!!! there is too much good info here not to do so.
#2 DOWNLOAD the link calculator!!! search for TRIAGED and get the newest version
#3 TAKE YOUR TIME I cannot tell you how long I stared at this thing and did and redid mounts to get it right. In the end my brother came over and refused to go home until we had welded it all together.

Now for the experts..... Why did you use what you did, and what would you have done different?




I will post a couple pics later showing the links I was describing later. I am on a crappy dial up now that won't allow me to post.
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Old 09-12-2004, 02:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I haven't done it yet, but from my rather limited experience.

Bushings - limited misalignment travel, makes for less flex if the suspension isn't designed right, but also makes for IMO the most reliable dialy driver/trail rig connection.

Heims - good misalignment, but wear fairly quickly and start rattling. They are still good but make noise. Realistically, they are not rebuildable.

J-Joints - good misalignment, rebuildable, quieter than heims but cost a good penny more.



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Old 09-12-2004, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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OK now here is what i was talking about. In the first picture take a look down the link and notice the angles of the mounts ( the verticle pieces ) and in the second picture take a look at the same thing. This rig is 109" wb and the front is lifted 38" with 39.5 tires for reference. Because the angles of the mounts follow the arc of the travel, there is very little twist involved. I might think it could have been done all on yj spring bushings without binding. This would be a substantial cost savings.
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Old 09-12-2004, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Waldher
I haven't done it yet, but from my rather limited experience.

Bushings - limited misalignment travel, makes for less flex if the suspension isn't designed right, but also makes for IMO the most reliable dialy driver/trail rig connection.

Heims - good misalignment, but wear fairly quickly and start rattling. They are still good but make noise. Realistically, they are not rebuildable.

J-Joints - good misalignment, rebuildable, quieter than heims but cost a good penny more.

Bushings - everyone I know that has gone this way wishes they didn't. They wear out.

Heims - Used like they are supposed to (no side loads) work great. All mine from my build up nearly two years ago are going onto the new buggy. None of them make any noise. The crappy heims that came with my swaybar squeeked constantly after a week of use, I suspect they have no lining, just steel on steel.
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Old 09-12-2004, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have been using bushings at the frame and JJ at the axle on my s10 with rockwells for about a year and half. In my case I wish I would have put Jjoints at both ends. The bushings bust or rip from twisting. I have a buddy with a scrambler and he is having similiar problems. This mentions nothing of the "squishy" feel they provide and axle wrap they allow. My new rig will have jjoints at both ends..In my case and my friends the bushings are polyurathane. If I was to ever try bushings again I would use rubber instead..Just my experience...and someone in a previous post mentioned the Jjoints cost a penny more than Heims...I would disagree unless he is talking cheap heims that I would not use for supsension links to begin with. The good Heims (read inch and a quarter are not cheap particulary when you get your tubing bungs and misalignment spacers..) The big heims make a 40$ Jjoint look reasonable.;but, they are sure cool looking.Good Luck.
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if I will ever get the $$$ to do a link suspension on my K5 but if I was I would use some regular poly bushings at the front of the links and some rubber or poly (but most likely rubber) radius arm bushings at the axle. I would try and get the upper links as long as possible in side view (maybe even longer then the lowers) so that the radius arm's wouldn't have to take much flex. The radius arm bushings wouldn't have to flex to much and they could twist as much as they wanted to. You could weld a large piece of threaded rod into one end of the link and use 2 nuts in order to change the length of the link and just weld some tube to the other end for the bushings.

Then again the geometry might go to hell in droop with the upper longer then the lower so maybe I wouldn't do that?
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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this is the end of my second season using the same set of bushing's at the axle end of my links, they are still in excellent condition.

but damn are they squeeky!!!
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would like to second 1ton's comment on the heims. Mine were more than a Jjoint once you add in the bushings and inserts. I am starting to think that a lot of people are buying budget heims, or tractor joints and using that for their reference. As for the wear and rattle, this may also be a factor here. It will be a couple more months before my CJ6 is on the road, so I cannot confirm the longevity of mine at this time.
I noticed TRIAGED here and I would like to thank him for his work on the link calculator. It is literally how I could, as a complete newbie, design my own suspension.
On a geometry note, I prefer the longer lower shorter upper scheme. I went with nearly the 75% rule on mine and the pinion always points where it should. Add to this that the driveshaft has the same engagement stuffed or extended, I really like this setup. I have seen a few that BOOGER WELDZ has built and they really seem to work. We are both using a CV style shaft though. This would not work as well otherwise.
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Old 09-14-2004, 09:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1972CJ5+1
I would like to second 1ton's comment on the heims. Mine were more than a Jjoint once you add in the bushings and inserts. I am starting to think that a lot of people are buying budget heims, or tractor joints and using that for their reference. As for the wear and rattle, this may also be a factor here. It will be a couple more months before my CJ6 is on the road, so I cannot confirm the longevity of mine at this time.
I noticed TRIAGED here and I would like to thank him for his work on the link calculator. It is literally how I could, as a complete newbie, design my own suspension.
On a geometry note, I prefer the longer lower shorter upper scheme. I went with nearly the 75% rule on mine and the pinion always points where it should. Add to this that the driveshaft has the same engagement stuffed or extended, I really like this setup. I have seen a few that BOOGER WELDZ has built and they really seem to work. We are both using a CV style shaft though. This would not work as well otherwise.
That is kind of what I suspected...but I would have to spend many more hours proving it to myself because I am a bit thick of scull.

Don't worry. The next addition to my calculator will be driveshaft angles and plunge
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Old 09-14-2004, 09:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ive got ~3-4000 street miles and 5 wheeling trips on mine. the bushing are in perfect shape(quality 7/8 heims at the other end), dont squeek or have the edges peeling off like you see on shackle/leaf spring eyes(my front suspension included)...

i think the people having probs with bushings arent running them 90* off the link and designing there mounting tabs at the angle of triangulation, when flexed if the bushing is mounted on the link paralell to the axle housing(or frame mount) and the link is triangulated it experiences much more deflection when flexed?? i might be too far into this 12 pack....
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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i use heims at the axle and bushings at the frame. i have had bad luck in the past using poly bushings because of all the issues listed above. i ended up using the rocklogic bushing sleaves that hold the tj style rubber bushings and i have been very pleased with them so far. also the sleves rocklogic sell are very thick and they won't deform like other tube/bushing setups i have run in the past.
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Old 09-15-2004, 07:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I used JJoints and Big Skyjacker heims on my lowers and 3/4 heims on my uppers.

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Old 09-15-2004, 08:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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BOOGER WELDZ, Is this what you meant about the mount angle or do I have it backwards? The way I was looking at it, the closer to the arc of the suspension, the less the work of the bushing, heim, etc. No bind here......
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 1972CJ5+1
BOOGER WELDZ, Is this what you meant about the mount angle or do I have it backwards? The way I was looking at it, the closer to the arc of the suspension, the less the work of the bushing, heim, etc. No bind here......

i mean bushings mounted on the links like my current setup, vs. the red 'truggy'...

looks like you flexed your 'jeep' too much and the body fell off, fawk it, strap a loveseat to that frame and lets go for a sunday drive
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