Rod End refers to any type of spindle assembly. The end is of a specific size and shape and serves as a threaded shaft with the ability to fix into a particular material. Common materials include cast iron and brass. Rod ends are usually made of steel or aluminum, with the exception of T/K rod ends which are made of high-carbon chrome-plated zinc-zinc alloy. Rod ends are widely used in a wide variety of applications such as threading, needle-nose pliers, impact driver springs, cable retainer, connecting rods, clamps, horseshoes and much more.
Rod end bearings come in two types: maintenance-free and replacement. Maintenance-free rod ends are designed to be completely replaced when they become worn out or if you need a new one. However, it is important to note that since the rod bearings are entirely enclosed, the lubricant used to keep them working properly can build up to a certain amount and needs to be replaced regularly. Replacement rod ends also have the advantage of being able to be used in combination with T/K threading.
Maintenance-free rod ends are made from either steel or aluminum, with the exception of the T/K series kite series, which is made entirely of steel. This feature increases the rod end's life span and prevents the extrusion of rust or corrosion buildup from occurring. The advantage of maintenance-free rod ends is that it requires little or no maintenance; you simply remove the rod, disassemble it and replace it with the new one. A small hole is cut into the center of the spindle to allow the bolt to pass through, thereby ensuring that it runs smoothly and will not slip out due to misalignment.
Maintenance-free rod ends also come in various finishes and materials, including graphite, black oxide, brass, stainless steel and the most popular T/K series, which are made from stainless-steel and is resistant to corrosion. One advantage of T/K series is that its use is mostly for outdoor applications, especially since the outer surface is smooth and protected from rust build-up. For indoor applications, smooth, non-marring spherical rod ends in different colors are available. These finish models are ideal for use with Teflon coated finishing or other coatings. It is also possible to choose non-spherical plain bearings instead of the spherical ones, which are more suitable for indoor applications.
While a small portion of the rod ends are left uncoated, the rest is coated with an epoxy polyurethane finish, which protects against moisture, abrasion, and corrosion. Some manufacturers prefer to use non-spherical plain bearings in high-pressure applications, such as for automatic loading mechanism assemblies and automatic drain system components that require strong magnetic field strength. Most industry-related testing studies indicate that maintenance-free igubal spherical bearings provide the best magnetic field strength, which is required in high-pressure applications. The superior strength and robustness of maintenance free rod end is due to its ability to maintain a constant magnetic field even under high load conditions.
Maintenance-free rod ends with standard contact bearings are available in many different sizes and in a variety of specifications. In general terms, the inner surface area of the inner surface of these bearings is limited. The most popular rod ends for ATVs and dirt bikes are the ones having one-half contact bearings and one-third spherical bearings. Rod ends for ATVs are often designed to be used on larger tires, although most commonly they are used on small, narrow tires.