Rod End Revolution: Suspension Joints Improve Your Driving Experience

As performance enthusiasts, we tend to measure everything; horsepower, weight or elapsed time  against hard metrics.  That’s fine. Just remember that subjective feedback is equally important. For example, your car or truck should be fun, reliable, and sound “good”.  Shocks, suspension geometry and tires contribute greatly to the driving experience. Suspension joints play a major role also. That’s true for bushings as well as rod ends and spherical bearings — the primary focus of this article.

Conventional wisdom suggests that there is no such thing as a perfect suspension joint. All-metal rod ends articulate well, but they’ll make you crazy with noise, vibration and premature wear. Rubber bushings cancel noise and vibration nicely, but inherent deflection hinders performance. Poly bushings resist deflection, but transmit vibration and are prone to binding and squeaking. Delrin bushings are a great alternative to rubber and poly bushings. With the introduction of R-Joints, a revolution is under way.

R-joint rod ends and spherical bearings might be the perfect suspension joint solution. They provide exceptional articulation without binding.  R-Joints enjoy a long service life due to the self-tensioning and self-lubricating design. The precision articulation gives your chassis a tight and settled feel. Ride quality is not as cushy as rubber bushings, but subjectively better than poly bushings or all-metal rod ends. 

RideTech is so excited about the R-Joint that moving forward, R-Joint rod ends and weld-on bearings are standard equipment on all components such as in 4-link bars, wishbones and panhard bars. You get the best combination of bind-free articulation, high wear resistance and noise-free operation. Pre-existing four links with rod ends can be easily upgraded to R-Joints. Threaded stainless steel and weld-on carbon steel versions are available. Note that on components that rotate around a single axis such as front suspension control arms, RideTech still specifies self-lubricating delrin bushings. The two designs work very well together.

How The R-Joint Rod End Works

R-Joint is a patent-pending rod end design that combines a special self-lubricating composite cage with a stainless steel  ball and a wave spring to maintain tension. The design lives within a heavy duty stainless steel rod end casing or carbon steel weld-on casing. The result is exceptional strength and service life.

There is no end in sight for the R-Joint rod end revolution. We recently introduced upper link to axle housing bearings for 1964-1977 GM A-Body and 1978-1987 GM G-Body applications. We also introduced a tool to help press out old factory bushings and press-in your new R-Joint bearings. We will keep dreaming up new ways to use the bearing design.

While RideTech is a performance company through and through,  we have made it our mission to help your car or truck feel tight, settled and compliant. We want you to enjoy a great driving experience as your favorite car or truck goes down the road and around corners. Beyond springs and shocks, R-Joint rod ends brings us all closer to that perfect drive. 

Heres how the patent pending R-Joint rod ends works. A stainless steel ball is held within its 17-4 Stainless Steel housing with a composite cage made of a proprietary, self-lubricated material called RTX10. A wave spring keeps the ball and cage in tension while a sprio-lock retains the assembly. Bearing spacers are provided for clearance.
Here’s a welded carbon steel R-joint bearing and threaded Stainless Steel R-Joint used together to form an adjustable 4-Link suspension bar.
RideTech Motorsports has been racing with R-Joint rod ends extensively for multiple seasons as part of our Track 1 development program. R-Joints quietly helped us secure the 2017 Goodguys Autocross points championship. They’re not race parts though.  R-Joints deliver reliable, bind-free performance at the track and on the street.
On the street, we tested R-Joints in every possible scenario and on every type of vehicle from hot rods to a 5200lb Chevy Suburban. R-Joints will take your ride quality and driving experience up to another level.
They might be hiding under your car, but  R-Joint rod end’s are pretty cool looking. With a housing made of 17-4 stainless steel, R-Joint rod ends are strong, corrosion resistant and….
R-Joints are pretty, too. Heres a batch of polished R-Joints assembled and waiting for final packaging. The distinctive “R” might stand for “RideTech”, “revolutionary” or…
Here’s what looks like an ocean of R-Joint stainless steel balls and cages made of RTX10 composite material. These sub assemblies easily drop into their respective stainless steel housings. The design is serviceable.
The latest addition to the R-Joint product range is this A-Body press-in R-joint Spherical Bearing shown here with spacers. The body, made of aircraft-grade aluminum, presses into the axle housing and accepts upper 4-link bars.
Here’s another look at the all new press-in housing bearing for A-body GM cars along with a new tool that greatly simplifies removal of existing A-Body bearings as well as R-Joint installation.

For more information on R-Joints, click HERE.

For more information on RideTech 4-links, now with R-Joints, click HERE

3 thoughts on “Rod End Revolution: Suspension Joints Improve Your Driving Experience

  1. Robert Smith says:

    Looking at dirt ingress .. There seems to be no seals . How do these bearings handle daily driving with waterborne dirt and grit getting into them ?

    • Steve Miller says:

      Everybody know’s you tear the car apart once a month and clean everything!! all kidding aside, If I did’nt just replace them I would try a set, they look great.

  2. Pascal Pelletier says:

    I have noise problem with my rod ends: upper strong arms 12093699 and lower strong arms 12092899.

    Is it possible to change the rod ends by the new ”R” rod end ?

    Thank’s Pascal Pelletier

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