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stupid 5 link question


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Just about every season I always change out a handful of heims on my car. It's inevitable every year and a downfall to having a 5 link rear suspenion. The heims that attach the arms to the center of the car always wear out first. I'm guessing because they get the most abuse and see alot of sand. I'm wondering why you don't see any 5 link rear ends with bushings instead of heims? I'm no sandcar builder or fabricator, so I'm curious. The front control arms have bushings and they don't wear out. Couldn't I have the arms and tabs modified to use bushings instead? It's not like the arms go any other direction other than up and down.

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I still have the same heims on the front of the car that were on there when I got it 5+ years ago. It's only a few on the rear 5 link that seem wear out every season or two. I am guessing because they are constantly exposed to more sand and side to side force.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When my front end bushings get noisy, I just clean them up and apply some of the Steelco Red Crown grease that I use on my CVs and they are silent for another season or more.

No adjustment, correct, but the outers would still be adjustable. Maybe larger ones would last longer. Not sure. I would have to make new rods or arms if I went that route too.

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I'm no engineer or chassis builder either, but in my mind, You need heims on a 5-link because the wheel makes 2 arcs as it travels.

The forward trailing arm arcs backwards as it moves up from droop, and the control arms off the side move the wheel out from droop. So the wheel will go out and back as it cycles through the travel, essentially making the wheelbase wider and longer until is hits the "Level" (I don't know how else to describe it) where the wheel will start to move back in on both planes. Or think of a VW swing axle trans where there is a lot of camber at the wheel since there is no joints at the wheel/hubs, but instead locked to the arc of the axle.

Since there is a lot of travel associated with off-road cars, there is too much "side-to-side" movement at the pivots, the forward trailing arm pivot has to rotate right and left, where the control arm pivots need to rotate forward and backward. Therefore you need a heim at the pivots that can rotate up and down as well as side to side.

Your front arm heims probably last longer because all they have to do is move up and down without any side rotation since there is no extra trailing arm.

But, I could be totally wrong in every way possible, which is often the case. That is just how I look at the mechanics of how the arms work.

Carry On!

:usa: <<<<Thank you Veterans!

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  • 10 months later...

As a 5 link travels, the wheels actually move in and out of the center line of the the car as they travel from droop to compression, heims allow the arms

to move up/down and in/out through out the travel cycle. Bushings only allow one degree of rotation,

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