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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem, I've seen people posting pretty often that the front endlinks after a while pop the ball out of the socket.
Last year I replaced mine with heavy duty ones. I do drive somewhat aggressively, so that may be a contributing factor.
Be that as it may, I feel these are a weak link ( pun intended ) in the front suspension.
Braking 3 in less than a year ( though 2 were old, possibly original) is annoying to say the least, especially since I'm getting ready to put in the upgraded front sway bar to complement the upgraded rear bar that I installed last year.
Bigger front bar would surely put more stress on the endlinks.
I've been thinking about making one out of rod ends like I've done on my other cars.
While browsing the web for materials and ideas, I came across a posting on another forum where a guy did just that and it just happen that his end result would fit perfectly, so I'm copying him. Going to put the order in this weekend. Only thing I may change is to use a rod end with grease fitting, though a standard one will run just fine for years.
Another is to use standard thread parts, metric parts add unnessesary cost.
Check it out.



I will post part numbers as soon as I place the order.
So far it looks like the total will be around $60 shipped.

Alex...
 

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I've thought about doing the same myself. I replace both endlinks under warranty at least once a year, usually more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, ordered 1/2" components, just to be sure these can withstand anything I can trow at them.
Total shipped $75. Would have been about $10-$15 cheaper if I had a local place that I know for sure I can get the jam nuts for both left and right hand thread.
Still, heavy duty links are around $30 and I've already broken 3.
This will last likely the life of the van.
Part numbers:

From midwestcontrol.com

2x - TR5000-11.000 Rod, Threaded 1/2-20 USD $5.75 ea.
2x - ES500-1 Ball Joint USD $5.95 ea.
2x - ESL500 Ball Joint USD $6.30 ea.

From Jegs.com

1x - 555-82724 Zinc Plated Steel Jam Nuts 1/2"-20 LH 4/pkg $3.49 ea.
1x - 555-82714 Zinc Plated Steel Jam Nuts 1/2"-20 RH 4/pkg $3.49 ea.

From Ebay.com

2x - 350292305678 Stainless Steel Nylon Lock Nut 1/2-20 (Pack of 3) $2 ea.

Total with shipping ~$75

Will post pics once everything arrives.

Alex...
 

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are you sure your sway bar isn't bent? seems odd to keep breaking the joints
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
are you sure your sway bar isn't bent? seems odd to keep breaking the joints
Pretty sure it's fine. I brake them in the same spot, medium speed sweeper with a light at the end that I always try to make with a bump just before the light. That's where I broke the passenger side, twice.
Driver's side was another sweeping turn with a bump.
With these, there will be no more breakage.

Alex...
 

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2002 Grand Caravan ES 3.8L
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Would have been about $10-$15 cheaper if I had a local place that I know for sure I can get the jam nuts for both left and right hand thread.

Alex...
Too late, I know, but your header indicates NYC... Can't believe you can't find a high-end hardware jobber.

I use a place in Dover, NJ (Morris County, ~Exit 35 of I-80)


Sheaffer Supply
314 U.S. 46,
Dover, NJ 07801 (973) 366-2858
sheaffersupply.com

They stock a LOT of oddball stuff and can get other items next day. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You'd be surprised how little hardware vendors we have in NYC. I've tried in the past looking for hard to find metric hardware, found a couple but their prices were sky high. That and serious lack of time to look for them dictates that I spend extra. It's true what they say, "Time is Money"!

Alex...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update. Most of the parts arrived this past Friday and I've had a chance to install one side. The locking nuts that I ordered from Ebay still have not arrived, so by using extra jam nuts I was able to assemble one side.
The finished link is about 1/4" longer than stock. I thought about cutting the rod down a bit but then decided to leave it as is, since I'll have driver's side in in a couple of days ( hoping ) and I'm expecting the remaining stock link to live until then.
Installation was pretty straight forward, only additional step ( besides using cut-off tool to remove the seized endlink stud from sway bar ) was to clean up the holes in the strut and sway bar. The new studs fit in the stock holes very tightly and I didn't want to chance damaging threads by just jamming them in by force. A few seconds with a dremmel using a grind stone to clean things up solved the problem.
Here are the pics:
Notice how much beefier the new endlink is compared to stock, think it will ever brake? :biggrin:







Alex...
 
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