Finding the Right Suspension Links
When off-road vehicle enthusiasts talk about suspension links, they talk about strength. Suspension links are important parts of the link suspension as they hold the axle and pinion in place in a triangle. The materials used in suspension links should be able to withstand tension and pressure to maintain its shape. So if you are decided to turn your car into an off-road monster, then you should lift your car to make it appear massive. How would you choose the right suspension links for your vehicle is not easy to decide, but we advice that you design it with strength and safety in mind.
- Drawn-over-mandrel tubing. This material is most commonly used for suspension links. Known for its weld integrity and surface finish, a DOM is made from cold-drawn, electrical-resistance-welded tube that is drawn through a die and over a mandrel. Despite its strength, this material is affordable and is readily available in most areas. Its yield strength is 50,000psi, and its ultimate strength is 60,000psi.
- Aluminum. The 7075-T6 aluminum grade is the most suitable and accessible material for suspension links, if you choose this material. This type is used mostly in aircrafts due to its light weight despite its high strength. It is lighter than DOM, and has greater yield strength. It is more flexible, however, than the DOM making it more prone to bending or breakage. Still, it goes back to its original shape after bending. This material's yield strength is 73,000psi, while its ultimate strength is 83,000psi.
- Chromoly. This type of tubing may offer the highest strength among the three types, but it also requires machining and welding for it to achieve its ultimate capacity. With this material, you can get a thin but stronger support for your suspension links. Its quenched and tempered version at 1000F has a whopping 170,000psi of ultimate strength, and 156,000psi of yield strength. Its normalized type, however, still has an ultimate strength of 97,000psi, and yield strength of 63,000psi.
Things to consider
- Fitting Make sure that the suspension links that you are buying are made for your car's make, model, and year. This is the first step to assuring your safety, since these links are supposed to fit perfectly on your vehicle to support it, and not breakdown.
- Warranty. This is important, especially when you purchase an aluminum-type of suspension links. In case the material breaks down, you can have it replaced, or you can get your money back.
- Price. There are several suspension links to choose from, but you should be wary about the price. Some links are sold individually, while some can be purchased by set. Buying in sets is always cheaper than buying per piece, and you are also assured that each piece is compatible to the others.