Suspension Springs, struts, coilovers, sway-bars, camber plates, and all other modifications to suspension components for Cooper (R50), Cabrio (R52), and Cooper S (R53) MINIs.
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Dirt cheap swaybar endlinks

  #1  
Old 02-23-2004, 07:40 PM
2Cool
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Color me stingy, but I couldn't see spending $109+ for a pair of swaybar endlinks, especially after forking over the $119 for a set of Perrin links for my Evo... shoulda known better, but I learned. Note that the stock endlinks are 9.25" long (23.5 cm). If you lower your car you should shorten the endlinks to maintain the swaybar at a position parallel to the ground when the car is on a flat surface. With a set of H&R springs I find 8.5" is the correct length for the rears.

So here is how you make your own for less than $40 a pair, and I even did 2 versions for personal testing:

All parts except misc nuts/washers are purchased from McMaster-Carr, and you can do a direct search on the part numbers to add to your shopping cart. All fittings are 3/8" by 24 thread, so close to the stock 10mm that its not worth paying half again as much.

First set, traditional hollow tube middle with male end links. Require 4 each pn 60645K241 zinc plated male right hand thread end link @ $5.85 each - $23.40 so far. Then add 2 each 6516K61 RH threaded 6" connecting rod @ $6.57 each - $13.14. Then get some 3/8" by 24 thread nuts and washers from your local hardware store, roughly $2 for 8 nuts and 4 washers. Total damage $38.54. Only issue with these is that the max length should be 8-1/2", otherwise there doesn't appear to be enough thread engaged into the connecting rod. So use this setup only on a lowered car:



Next one, the one I use on my car, more of an industrial T3 look: 4 each pn 6072K33 female RH threaded self lubricating rod ends @ $6.27 ea - $25.08. Then add one pn 98848A031 stainless 3/8" by 24 thread 3' threaded rod @ $5.44. I splurged on 4 stainless jam nuts at Ace Hardware at $.35 each, plus $1 worth of regular 3/8" nuts and lock washers. Total damage $32.92. This one can be made to any length, so I will use this design to replace my front links soon as well.



Comparison of the three end links:



And one shot of the tube style in the car:



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  #2  
Old 02-24-2004, 05:12 AM
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2Cool, Great stuff! nice documentation. Thanks for the DIY solution . :smile:
 
  #3  
Old 02-24-2004, 05:41 AM
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Is it necessary to change the endlinks when lowering the MINI?? I have lowered mine with H-sports springs, H-sport rear control arms and Madness swaybar but still have the same stock endlinks. Pros-Cons are keeping or changing them.
 
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Old 02-24-2004, 07:09 AM
2Cool
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Maintaining the swaybar parallel to the ground gives optimal handling. When you lower the car the link end tends to rise up at an angle as the wheel sits further up into the wheel well. So shorter endlinks are a good thing. Another issue is people breaking the stock links, mostly when they are using a performance swaybar and doing some hard driving such as autocross (my main reason for owning the car, other than the chick-magnet factor). So there are several good reasons for going to a stronger, adjustable endlink. No cons that I have seen so far.
 
  #5  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:38 AM
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2Cool, noticed any increase of noise due to transference through the new joints. Do you have any plans for DIY rear controll arms.
I'm tight myself and would rather fabricate/build what I can rather than throw money at it anybody can do that. It's a hands-on hobby for me.
 
  #6  
Old 02-24-2004, 08:06 AM
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Rear control arms would more of a problem, mainly due to the spacers required for each side of the heim joint to fit into the frame and spindle mounts. They need to be a good fit so the end joint would not slide side to side on the bolt. I have a set of RDR control arms on the way now, and will see if I can find any off the shelf parts that would work as well.

I have found a few online suspension stores that sell large internally threaded connecting rods, for use on control arms/panhard bars, so that piece wouldn't be an issue, only how it would bolt up securely.

As for noise, not so far no. Same amount of road noise from the Azenis as before, and no noticeable clunks/rattles.
 
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for posting this info, I have been planning to get adj. links for some time. I am still somewhat concerned about failure though as a very smart friend made links for his MINI and broke or bent one during one of the first autocrosses he had them on, at the Virginia Pro-Solo, last year. He said something later about needing more offset on one or both ends. Do you foresee any problem in that regard? My MINI ran about 20 autocrosses last year sometimes with two drivers always lowered and on some less than perfect pavement, like the North course at the Solo Nationals and never bent a stock link but I would like the ability adjust their length for several reasons.

Are the hollow links noticeably lighter?
 
  #8  
Old 02-24-2004, 08:49 AM
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Excellant how to, very well done. YES it is necesary to use the correct length end links. We found this out the hard way two weeks ago when a lowered Mini had the end link fail . It wa apparent that at a angle the already suspect piece just couldn't do the job. It is designed to work level with the bar and when it isnt it is at a very weak angle. The end piece just pulled out causing a minor wreck on a canyon run. Total loss was two Volk racing wheels , one drive shaft and a nice afternoon. Could have been worse.If you drive a lowered Mini aggressivly you should really think about swapping them out. Make some like these or buy some from a vendor but at the very least check yours frequently. Randy
 
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Old 02-24-2004, 08:56 AM
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Do you have any plans for DIY rear controll arms.
>>I'm tight myself and would rather fabricate/build what I can rather than throw money at it anybody can do that. It's a hands-on hobby for me.

Cool thread (no pun intended). Althought they design for high misalignment, check out this site for link fab.

http://www.spidertrax.com/fabrication.htm


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  #10  
Old 02-24-2004, 09:19 AM
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what about the frount end links? can they be made the same way? have you made any yet if so what are the specs on the parts i have rear endlink but am currious about frount ones. thanks
 
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:38 AM
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2004, 10:13 AM
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Nice links, I am saving all of them to favorites to use later.

As for the fronts, yes, they can be made the same way. I just need to pull them off to get measurements.
 
  #13  
Old 02-24-2004, 10:22 AM
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awsome can't wait
 
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:11 AM
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>>try this site:
>>
>>http://www.colemanracing.com
Thanks jlm, saved to favorites for future projects.
 
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:23 AM
macncheese
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>>try this site:
>>
>>http://www.colemanracing.com

Yeah but my best friend from highschool doesnt own that site :smile:

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  #16  
Old 02-24-2004, 02:07 PM
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I ordered set of endlinks from Randy but he told me the failure(a?) he was experienced with occurred with another make of rear bar than the Alta which I have. The bar which had the associated failure was not bent right and I there was some interference between the endlink and the spring. He didn't think there would be a problem with the Alta and stock springs. He talked me out of the purchase.

Thanks for the How-to. I love reading this even if I (hope) I won't need to do it. However there is a slight clunk in the front and I am thinking maybe an endlink is bad, should check.
 
  #17  
Old 02-24-2004, 07:34 PM
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VERY nicely done 2Cool. I'm looking at building up the same thing right now (like you, I can't justify the $119 for an alta set. To save me crawling under the car in the cold and snow, was the measurement you made from center to center of the stock links?

Stephen
 
  #18  
Old 02-25-2004, 05:22 AM
2Cool
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Yep, measuring from the center of each bolt the stock ones were 9-1/4" long.
 
  #19  
Old 02-25-2004, 07:09 AM
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>>Yep, measuring from the center of each bolt the stock ones were 9-1/4" long.

Great information 2Cool...can't wait for the front specs so I can order the whole set at once. Thanks for the good work.

Sid

 
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:17 AM
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Bravo 2Cool! Excellent write up, and thanks for the great ideas

Cheers,
Ryan
 
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:33 AM
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the links are exposed to some nasty road funk and weather and the 2Cool specified rod ends are un-protected. Note that the stockers at least have one side sealed and a rubber boot aroung the stud to protect the spherical joint.

I recall seeing rod end boots out there somewhere; deifinitely worth having.
 
  #22  
Old 02-25-2004, 07:47 AM
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>>the links are exposed to some nasty road funk and weather and the 2Cool specified rod ends are un-protected. Note that the stockers at least have one side sealed and a rubber boot aroung the stud to protect the spherical joint.
>>
>>I recall seeing rod end boots out there somewhere; deifinitely worth having.

Prothane sells some.

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Old 02-25-2004, 09:21 AM
2Cool
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Every aftermarket endlink I have seen, from Alta to Perrin, uses open rod ends. I used the Perrin ones for 9K miles, with no issues. I did spec the stainless threaded rod and jam nuts, as well as the self lubricating rod ends for my MYOS (Make Your Own Sh*t)endlinks. Those items are above the quality levels of the $119 Alta parts.
 
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Old 02-25-2004, 09:33 AM
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ditto 2Cool's observations - the stock rubber-booted endlinks only see a very little bit of turbulence-applied dust. The positioning on the car does not put them in harms way in terms of moisture or debris/dirt. I would say the stock unit's using boots is counteracting the ultra-cheap spherical bearings underneath from losing their lubrication.

Cheers,
Ryan
 
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:20 AM
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in any dirty environment, i'm with jlm. i like greaseable spherical joints with boots. some sources:

http://www.out-pace.com/steelgreaseable.html

http://www.out-pace.com/raceboot.html

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...es/sealsit.php

flyboy2160



 

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