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How2 Aluminium Rod Ends & Suspension Brackets


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#1 mopar68

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:22 AM

Ok, quick how-to, we'll have a go at rod ends. These can be used for suspension and steering linkages (and whatever else you can think of). They're quick and easy to build, so give it a try :)
I like to use styrene for as much of my scratchbuilding as possible, but it doesn't hurt to use other materials if you can. And you know what they say, nothing looks more like metal than metal :D
This is not the best or the easiest way to build rod ends, all my scratchbuilding methods are WIPs so go ahead and experiment ;)

While not a replica of any particular 1:1 rod end, this one will be based off something like this-

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http://www.bearingboys.co.uk

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Here are the materials/tools that will be used-
1/16" K&S tube (1.6mm)
Pliers
Pinvise; 0.5mm and 1mm bits
Hex bead
Needle file
Hobby knife
Superglue
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I'm using 1.6mm rod here, but of course you can use this same technique for different sized rod to get different size rod ends.

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First up we're going to flatten about 5-7mm of the end of the rod. Try to use a part of the pliers that is flat (if possible), or you'll end up with a crinkle cut style rod end :lol:

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Next up, grab your pinvise and 0.5mm bit. Drill a hole in the middle of the flattened part of the rod, but close to the top. See pic-

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Now swap to a 1mm bit and drill the hole out bigger.

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Edited by mopar68, 30 September 2012 - 10:46 PM.


#2 mopar68

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:24 AM

Now it's time to start shaping with your needle file, If you don't have one, you can use a Dremel bit and/or sandpaper to a similar effect :) It's a good idea to file both sides of the flattened area smooth too. Shiny B)

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Here's the tricky part. You need to file the rest of the flattened part thin enough to fit into the rod. In the rod we're using here, that's about 0.8mm. Just be careful not to bend (or more like kink) the bit you're filing, or it'll probably break off or distort beyond simple repair.

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Now get that hobby knife out, and cut the excess aluminium off. I used an old blade, save blunting a new one.

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Now time for the hex bead (actually it has seven sides, but only rivet counters notice that :D ) I got a bag from Spotlight for a few dollars, there's enough for a few rod ends in there. They are available in a few sizes, and they're already plated- perfect!

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The next part is simple. Slip your bead on, add a bit of glue and stick it in the end of a tube in need.

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#3 mopar68

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:25 AM

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Presto!! :D

Feel free to post up any questions, corrections, or comments. Hate mail can be PM'd :P

Have fun! B)

#4 Gothic Kustomz

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

Kewl, thanx bud for that....

#5 mopar68

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

No worries mate, it's a simple one but it's handy :)

#6 JasonFL

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:52 PM

Man Zac, that is cool. I don't think I have a lot of the materials but you gave me a good idea on how to go about making them.
Thanks so much for posting up the tutorial, I appreciate all the help as I'm sure everyone does.

#7 mopar68

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:51 PM

Glad to help when I can Jason ;)
Not sure how they gauge the size, but these are the same style beads, hope this helps- http://www.firemount...p?PN=H20A1188SB

#8 southpier

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:03 AM

why not just make it from styrene?

#9 mopar68

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:31 AM

why not just make it from styrene?

That you could do Joe :D Or auminium sheet rather than flattening the tube. It's all about experimenting really, that's why I used K&S ;)

#10 Guest_G Holding_*

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:46 AM

And brass would be the best.

#11 mr moto

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:52 AM

why not just make it from styrene?

I've done that and it works but I wish I had used metal! The plastic ones are so delicate that you'll probably break them twice before the model is finished.

BTW, BRILLIANT tutorial!! That's what I'll do in the future.

#12 mopar68

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:41 PM

Thanks Manuel! :D

Ok just a little follow-up tutorial which was requested by JasonFL. Sorry it took a bit longer than expected Jason :wacko:


Let's have a crack at suspension brackets shall we :D Nice and simple one, these come in handy for other things too, for example roll cage gussets could be done in a very similar manner. Sorry for the less than amazing pics though, new camera and I'm still working out the settings lol :lol:

This is our test subject- a not quite completed scratch built beach/baja type buggy thingamajig. The perfect candidate :D
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First of all, we'll roughly sketch out the size we want the bracket on some 0.5mm styrene sheet. Probably not totally necessary but helpful to some extent I suppose :P
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Let's grab a round file and make a nice little notch where the bracket will attach to the frame. Obviously the shape of this side will depend on the shape of what you're attaching the bracket to.
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Now we'll find our pinvise and drill a couple of holes in each soon to be bracket. These are for whatever 'bolts' we're planning on using in there later on, so drill each hole in roughly the same spot so they'll line up later :)
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Ok, now we can use our trusty No. 11 to cut our brackets out. Don't worry too much about the shape just yet; you can afford to cut them a little too big.
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#13 mopar68

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:43 PM

Now we can glue our brackets onto the desired area (no, on the model I meant, not your fingers :P ). Space them according to what you're planning on bolting between them ;) Make sure you use a fairly strong glue, you'd be surprised how much these things will go through between now and final assembly. I usually use Plastruct Weldene, it's pretty strong as long as the fit is good.
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Now we wait for the glue to dry. Once it's dry, we'll wait for it to dry a little more, just in case :P Now we can grab a file, or one of those little scraps of sandpaper floating around the bench, and shape the brackets to make them all pretty :D
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Aaaaaaannnnnd presto! Beautiful brackets, made by you, for you :D Extra credit for the super-rushed 'coil-over' in this pic lol
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So there you have it, hope this benefits someone somehow. Have fun people B)
As always, feedback/criticism/hate mail/whatever might come to mind is welcome :D

#14 george 53

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:29 AM

Zac,what's in the water in paradise??? Are ALL you OZ guys this talented,or is this forum just lucky to have the ones we got? I am costantly amazed at you guy's creativity! Have you seen Greg Armors(Stumpy) builds? I appericiate this tute, and also your willingness to share it. You OZ guys are all right in my book!!!!

#15 mopar68

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:50 AM

Thanks George, got a few more tutorials to finish putting together when I get the time.
I have seen a few of Stumps' builds, very talented bloke I must say.
And I'll tell you the secret- it's the Vegemite :lol:

#16 george 53

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:13 AM

Wait, I JUST got a jar of Nutella, NOW you tell me it's Vegemite???? Yeesh no wonder I can't build like you guys. I can't find it here!!!!

#17 mopar68

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:39 AM

It's ok! Nutella will do the trick, but you need to eat twice as much for the same effect :P

#18 JasonFL

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:06 PM

Ok just a little follow-up tutorial which was requested by JasonFL. Sorry it took a bit longer than expected Jason :wacko:


Just don't let it happen again Zac...lol, jk!

What another great tutorial, it's gonna be a big help when I go to do my link bars and tabs. Im not a big fan of Nutella but i might have to suck it up and eat a jar, or 3...haha.
Thanks again, I appreciate you taken the time to make these tutorials. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your tutorials, what do you have in store next for us?

#19 mopar68

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:48 AM

:lol: No worries Jason, always happy to help where I can ;)

what do you have in store next for us?

Well, I still need to finish off my turbo tutorial. I was part way through it when we moved house and I lost some pieces somewhere lol. I'll have to dig through my model mess and find them, so I can finish it off. Here's a built one-
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#20 JasonFL

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:15 PM

That's sweet man, you do some clean work. Look at it this way, sometimes diggin through all your old ###### looking for one thing, you always find some thing else you forgot you had. I don't have a big parts box but when I did I used to love looking through all that ######, used to come up with all sorts of ideas.