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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A warning to anyone who has had there sway bar end link tabs welded to reinfoce them.

I had mine welded a little over a year ago.(I have an 04 FXT BTW) Two Saturdays ago, the entire lateral link snapped in half right where the weld was done across the top. I have the large Hotchkis SB set on the stiffest setting...but still...this failure was absolutely due to the weld work. I guess the guy at the machine shop got the arm a bit to hot and it allowed a small crack to develope. I can tell by rust in the top part of the break that it had started to crack a while ago.
I thank the BIG GUY that mine snapped at slow speeds.

With that lateral bar broken, the tire can toe way out and it could easily cause loss of control...if you were at highway speeds.

Take a look at your bars...and I highly suggest you consider swapping them out if you did have them welded.

P.S. The lateral link arm is hollow.....which I'm sure leads to it not having a chin to tolerate weld temps. ??

Here is the best close up that I could take of the wound.


And another



I was able to limp the car to a parking lot the night that it snapped. I came back the next day and did this...so that I could gently drive it(sway bar un-attached) 12 miles or so to my home/garage. Don't laugh...it worked !!




Please be safe folks.
 

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Thanks for the heads up... I had one of my tabs welded back on after it snapped off. I'll make sure to check for any developing cracks.
 

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EYIEEEE
Thats not good at all. normally we do not weld suspension components after they come from the factory. we do not know how they post process them if at all. sounds like you go lucky! i replaced mine with some STI alum arms. no problems after almost 30K
good luck.

Tom
 

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The other ScoobyMods Guy
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Discussion Starter #8
Pics added to first post.

Tom: Well...now I've learned a basic on weld and structural integrity. I'm up to snuff on most things tool and tinkering wise. The basics of welding and metalurgy is not one of them.....and it's now on the list of things to knock out.

The real drag with this is...that I took the car to my local machine shop to have this weld work done and I was paying this cat 20 bucks for what should have been his knowledge on the subject. He of course did not inform me of any potential issue.



Yet another reinforcement of why...I do everything repair wise(home/car)...myself.

Off to find a Welding 101 book......................................
 

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i think i might have my stockers here if you want them
just throw me down some $$ for shipping.

i am running the rear aluminum ones from an 05 STi.
i have no plans of making the links at the moment. the liability is WAY to high for me to sell them. i dont know how some of the other smaller companies make them and sell them. the liability insurance keeps me away. Unless they have no insurance. that is totally possible and i wish them the best of luck.

Tom
 

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When I broke my front tab I took it to a workshop and they refused to weld it , they said they would only replace the whole control arm.

Waited until I was out on the relative's farm and MIG welded another small plate to the remains of the existing bracket (didn't touch the control arm body at all) and everything is OK.

With the problems the sway bars can cause, and as I disconnect them when I go off-road, I'm thinking of just removing the front sway bar altogether.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the Offer Tom....much appreciated. I was able to source a set of stock 04 STI take offs....from a Local Vendor (Miles @ Racecomp).

Those STI Lat Links are about an 1/8 inch shorter than the Stock FXT's. I've had a shop dial in the allignment for me...and the camber was fine....so no noticible problems. I run 225 tires as well....so I'm sure that compensates for the track differences. I may run some slight wheel spacers too....but we'll see.

pleiad7: Be very careful with your welded tabs/links. I'm not convinced that frequently taking a look at them could catch a failure before it happens. Mine did show signs that the crack had started sometime before the total failure....but how long...is tuff to say. I'd be very worried that one could stike a moderate pot hole....and quickly start a crack that gives out a few miles down the road. I may be exagerating the danger a tad.....but if so...I'm happy to do it. We should be modifying our Cars for the better (in most regards)....and it appears that this is one mod that is dangerousely unwise.
 

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Kevin said:
With the problems the sway bars can cause, and as I disconnect them when I go off-road, I'm thinking of just removing the front sway bar altogether.
I sure like having anti sway bars! I'm really close to having a quick disconnect solution for the end links. After I finish the prototypes and they (hopefully) test out well, I'll provide a drawing and parts list.

After getting the SX lift installed recently, I noticed there was a bit more torque on the endlinks due to the control arm angle. Do you think it broke because yout stock endlink couldn't handle the angle, or because of an impact with a rock? The later comment is because I thought you showed a pic where the bracket had been damaged.
 

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TurnInConcepts said:
given this, and the fact that Tom doesn't want to touch this (with very good reason) I gotta ask - has anyone tried the whiteline lat links?
I don't think anybody has. They look like a nice inexpensive option. Do they have an application that works for a 2004 WRX STI? The Hotchkis also look nice for the money.

I'm running Poltec titanium lat links, and they are sure nice.

It looks like the bottom line is you need to replace the lat links to STI or some other variety if you want to run a larger than stock bar. The shortcuts don't seem to work too well and you get the handling benefits.

Glad nobody was hurt.:icon_cool:

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXTi
 

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wadejg said:
I don't think anybody has. They look like a nice inexpensive option. Do they have an application that works for a 2004 WRX STI? The Hotchkis also look nice for the money.

I'm running Poltec titanium lat links, and they are sure nice.

It looks like the bottom line is you need to replace the lat links to STI or some other variety if you want to run a larger than stock bar. The shortcuts don't seem to work too well and you get the handling benefits.

Glad nobody was hurt.:icon_cool:

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXTi

Well, I'm looking at the Whiteline catalog, and here's what I come up with -

KT109 - rear control arm adjust camber/toe - GD2 WRX Sedan
KT108 - Same as above, but for wagon

We have sold one set of these so I know what they look like and these would work except for the mounting tabs being underneath ala WRX style.

For the STi there is only a toe adjustment kit which is the front control arms, and 4 bushings so it looks like we're out of luck on a direct STi swap. I also looked under the Forester section, and it's the same thing as the STi.

This leads to two possibilities -

1) Use the WRX version with WRX endlinks - may have to mount the links on the inside of the bar though give the bar width.
2) Use the WRX version, but flip-flop the rear control arms to put the tabs on top

If someone wants to experiment with this let me know and for the sake of science we can work out a deal on the control arms.

There is also a very remote possibility. I know through some sources that Ksport is soon releasing their own rear control arms and trailing arms. I MIGHT be able to talk to my source to see if he can talk them into making some forester ones.
 

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Yep..my snapped. I was probably driving around like this for a cpl of days before I noticed. I went to subaru and the replacement part is only $35 dollars (later link). So I just upgraded w/ the STI alum lateral links and pink STI trailing arms, also the front chrome STI tie rod. Oh what a difference- night and day. You can see the alum lat links from behind, it looks very cool. Subaru dealership sent me coupon for.... I think %20 percent off. I had them install the above mentioned parts plus a COBB rear sway, plus cost for parts, for about $1300. Oh VONS has a sale on mac n cheese- 10 for $1...lol.
 

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hmmm...I'm wondering since I've been kinda out of the loop, is this a problem with XT's only? I've not had any problems with mine do so. Please forgive me if I'm asking a dumb question.
~Benson
 

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lateral link welding

i have no clue as to why your link snapped in half. the bolt holes on mine were fish hooked by the end link after setting my cobb rear swaybar at stiffest setting, but they did not snap in half.
 

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I welded my endlink tabs, been driving Subie like she's stolen, and haven't had a problem yet. This is on Cobb's medium setting. When I welded the tabs on, I took steps to avoid the formation of martensite. Another thing to consider is minimizing the HAZ (Heat Affected Zone). Welds are strong, but they weaken the material around them. One last thing you could do is ground down the weld. Avoid any sharp points, as these are places where stress concentrates. If executed properly, these techniques/factors can help reduce the chances of fracture and failure.
 
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