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Old 08-07-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
IansPlatinum
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Default Ian's BAFTRs (Big A** F***ing Torque Rods)

It's unnecessary and overkill, but I'm doing it.

Planning a few trips to colorado and big bend in the near future, and need the wagon to be able to handle some abuse, so in my free time, I thunk & drew these up.

I got the idea from viewing some off the shelf currie products for jeeps:

Those don't fit, however, so I have to adapt them to the metric specs volvo uses.
Torque rods right now are going to be made with:

2x 3/4" Johnny Joint CE-9112SP-12 LINK[2x $58=$116]
2x Weld on Johnny Joint CE-9112P-12 LINK[2x $49= $98]
630mm (25 in) of 4340 1.25" OD pipe, 0.12" wall thickness [$35]
2X tube-end weld nut, 3/4-16, 94640a365 LINK [2x $8 = $16]
2X 3/4-16 jam nut LINK [~$2?, probably snag from ACE]
Welding- awaiting a quote from a friend

So now begins the phase of refinement. I've gone thru a couple revisions of the idea, and this is the latest. I initially wanted to go poly on the frame-side bushing, but I'd need to either re-use the existing torque rod shell, or find 50mm ID pipe to use, or cut my own poly. For about $40 more than super pro poly bushings, the weld on johnny joints will work great, and give the bar two additional degrees of freedom.

Plus, it means there's no down time on my wagon, since I can fully fabricate these torque rods as drop in replacements.

The big WHY?
I know several vendors sell these for cheaper than it's going to cost me to fabricate. Then why do it? Short answer is, I know what I want, and I'm going to go for it, and have fun doing it. Not everything is about $$$. I want full articulation of the torque rods, with reasonable NVH and damping. I also want greasable joints. Obviously, trailing arms and panhard bar will need attention to maximize the benefits of these torque rods. That's in the future. Why not LH/RH threaded on both ends? I like the idea that if a nut loosens from vibration, the torque rod cannot physically unthread itself.

Adjustment range:



Think this is enough adjustment for a stock ride height wagon, which will receive a ~2" lift in the future?
Also, the ID of the bolt hole on the joint is 1/2", so somewhere around 12.7mm. Do you think that's too loose to keep using the existing 12mm hardware? I might drills axle side out and use 1/2", but the body side has a weld nut, so I have to stay 12mm. What do you think?

Open to feedback and nitpicking. I want the community's opinion before I go off and make these.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:01 PM   #2
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Just my thoughts after having made roughly the same rods:




Used M16 rod ends, Teflon lined and a rubber cap. By using the bigger size rod ends I made a adapter/alignment spacer with something like 12 and a little bit mm inside diameter so it fits nicely with the stock hardware. Both ends together is ~1,5mm of play almost when you use 1/2" rod ends. Of course it should not move when it's all tightened but still, one more thing to go wrong when it's being fitted too. Maybe use 1/2" on the axle side yeah. Or can you make new misalignment spacers for the Johnny Joints?

And I'd use rubber/stock bushing on one side over poly. The rod end is essentially solid in the direction it's loaded, even with one stock bushing the amount of compliance is reduced greatly. And the poly stuff does not have that much flexibility in other directions, which can be a real downside of you want to go off road and or need the axles articulation. I'm going to ditch the poly on the chassis side of my diy tq rods and use meyle rubber bushings.

The stock tube that the bushing is fitted in is pretty weak when it is used with poly bushings. Would not re-use those. The ones of the stock tq rods had a bad case of oval-shape after a few years of abuse. The new ones have a wall thickness of 5mm. The Johnny Joint ones look excellent, would use those and as said the poly isn't that great anyway.

Could you use two Johnny Joint CE-9112SP-12, one with left hand thread one with right hand thread, for easier adjustment?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JW240 View Post

Could you use two Johnny Joint CE-9112SP-12, one with left hand thread one with right hand thread, for easier adjustment?
I could. I might consider that route too... my inital concern is if both nuts come loose, then your torque rod can "fall out", but I feel like I'd hear the pinion whine long before that happened... idk. In the design i have above, if the nut comes loose, nothing can come apart. I think I might be overthinking it though. Plenty of people use the double sided design for track use without them loosening up ever right? Or are there horror stories?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #4
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yep, did the same back in the day with 3/4" heims and .095 wall iirc....super overkill beef, but I never broke them again. They just made some god awful noises in the back of the car due to being solid.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RvolvoR View Post
yep, did the same back in the day with 3/4" heims and .095 wall iirc....super overkill beef, but I never broke them again. They just made some god awful noises in the back of the car due to being solid.
Yeah, that's why I want to go johnny joints over heims. They have poly ball sleeves that add some damping. Supposed to be great for bumpy/rocky terrain
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
Plenty of people use the double sided design for track use without them loosening up ever right? Or are there horror stories?
I've never had the RH/LH nuts come loose on the torque rods. Instead it's the bolt into the chassis that comes loose on a regular basis. This is on the drift car and rally car.

I would suggest going with LH and RH, it makes it all a bolt in affair once you get the reducing spacers figured out. No welding at all. It's also much easier to dial the pinion angle in.

Allstar and AFCO have 3/4" RH/LH threaded hex or swedged tubes in the length (12") that you want for ~ $10/each.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:14 AM   #7
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In all my years of motor sports I have never seen a RH/LH "link" un-thread itself. Def go with the RH/LH setup and save yourself the hassle of removing one end to adjust.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:17 AM   #8
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Can anyone confirm that if you raise your car, torque rods need to lengthen, and if you lower your car, they need to shorten? That's how I'm picturing the pinion geometry in my head.

Think 25mm of lengthening (or 50mm with swaged tube RH/LH design) is enough? I'm thinking it is...

Also thinking about rolling some 28/30 gauge aluminum sheet to fill the difference between the 12mm fastener and 1/2" hole in the johnny joint.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:44 PM   #9
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The 12" threaded tubes work well for stock height and full range of suspension travel. If you were going to have a lifted volvo, a 13" tube is where I would start, but that might even be too long. You only need to correct for a few degrees of pinion change, the length change is pretty minimal.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:16 PM   #10
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Gonna go the swedged/swaged tube route. Cheaper, and more range.
New calculated range is 15.1-17.25 inches, or about 380 to 440mm

Order placed. Going to use greasable 1/2" bolts on axle side, and try to fit a thin roll of aluminum on chassis side to snug up the 12mm to 1/2" difference.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
Going to use greasable 1/2" bolts on axle side, and try to fit a thin roll of aluminum on chassis side to snug up the 12mm to 1/2" difference.
I think you’re overthinking this. 1/2” is close enough to M12 that you can just plop them in and tighten them up.
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Old 08-10-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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The 12mm bolts will absolutely rattle in the 1/2" heims. I had the same problem on my 242 years ago. You'll need metric or a sleeve.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hank Scorpio View Post
The 12mm bolts will absolutely rattle in the 1/2" heims. I had the same problem on my 242 years ago. You'll need metric or a sleeve.
Thanks for the input. I tried searching, but it doesn't look like anyone makes sleeves for 12mm to 1/2. Have you heard of any?

Also, it has begun:

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Old 08-10-2019, 03:56 PM   #14
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https://www.bneshop.com/products/1-2...educer-bushing
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hank Scorpio View Post
The 12mm bolts will absolutely rattle in the 1/2" heims. I had the same problem on my 242 years ago. You'll need metric or a sleeve.
Then I’d rather try reaming the holes in the mounting tabs slightly to fit 1/2” bolts instead of fiddling around with foil.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:18 AM   #16
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Then I’d rather try reaming the holes in the mounting tabs slightly to fit 1/2” bolts instead of fiddling around with foil.
I'm doing that on the axle side, but cannot on the chassis side due to the chassis weld nut restricting my options to 12mm metric fasteners. The screw in the pictures above is 1/2"

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Thanks... reducer bushing... there's always a term for something. I was searching adapter sleeve or something like that.
Gonna order a few
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:02 AM   #17
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I'm doing that on the axle side, but cannot on the chassis side due to the chassis weld nut restricting my options to 12mm metric fasteners. The screw in the pictures above is 1/2"

drill a hole on the frame rail opposite of where the captive nut is, blast the captive nut out, and just used a nylock on the 1/2" bolt...done
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:48 PM   #18
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Returning 12" swedged tubes for 11"; in this particular application, the 12" is too long because the johnny joints bottom out in the tube, leaving 2 1/8" from tube end to center, so minimum length is 16 1/4", which may be too long, and doesn't allow me to return to stock length if I choose.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:24 AM   #19
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Installed. Need an angle finder to fine tune pinion angle. Right now it's eyeballed.

Went with swedged tube AFC-19511 from summit. 11" was perfect. For now, I kept the 12mm hardware and just torqued to spec. We'll see if friction holds the ball sleeve of the johnny in place...

No noticeable increase in NVH, but my clunk when giving it gas in reverse is gone, and now when the car stops, it a very solid, more rigid stop. Those are the two biggest observations, outside of the elimination of rear end clunking.

Up next is installing Ben's spherical TABs...
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:28 PM   #20
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:44 AM   #21
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Then I’d rather try reaming the holes in the mounting tabs slightly to fit 1/2” bolts instead of fiddling around with foil.
Good idea, those sleeves crack pretty easily being so thin under any decent power.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:22 AM   #22
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Good idea, those sleeves crack pretty easily being so thin under any decent power.
I'm not putting any extra power to my wheels. Stock NA B230 right now.

As of right now, I didn't ream the mounting holes, or use a reducer sleeve.

So far, friction seems to keep it in place. A bit of a force fit might be helping too, as the ball joint width is 2" (50.8mm), and mounting tab on axle is 50mm.

If I start noticing creaking or shifting during acceleration or reversing, I'll ream the axle side for the 1/2" greasable bolts I bought.

The ID of the ball joint is a good bit larger than 0.500", measured at 0.515", so actually 13mm.
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Old 08-27-2019, 12:31 PM   #23
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Good idea, those sleeves crack pretty easily being so thin under any decent power.
They are holding up fine on hacksters car... he makes decent power.

They can get hammered when you have loose bolts.

A thin SS sleeve that is backed by a Hardened alloy steel bearing is essentially the same as the bearing itself having a smaller ID.
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Old 08-31-2019, 07:28 AM   #24
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They are holding up fine on hacksters car... he makes decent power.

They can get hammered when you have loose bolts.

A thin SS sleeve that is backed by a Hardened alloy steel bearing is essentially the same as the bearing itself having a smaller ID.
Never had loose torque rod bolts, the lower trailing arm bolt did lossen after a few launches before folding your tubular arms.
Checking fasteners for loosening and retorque is pretty normal for a car that's tracked as you would know. hacksters car also hasd fasteners loosen. I also drag race which is harder on those specific parts, I guarantee I make 150-200 more whp which hammers those parts even more, but your computer analysis overrides and real world experiences.

Last edited by 2fast242gt; 08-31-2019 at 07:34 AM..
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