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Adjustable Torque Rods

Hank Scorpio

Chubfest 2009 Survivor
300+ Club
Tools needed:
right angle drill
1/2 drill bit
3/4 wrench and 3/4 socket
Welder (not really needed on the car, you can do this ahead of time)
Cutoff wheel

Parts needed:
I used link rod and threaded adapters from www.hrpworld.com You'll need 4 1/2X20 threaded inserts and matching rod. This is what I used You'll need about 3 feet of rod.
4 1/2X20 Heim Joints I used these (CM8s)
4 bolts, I used 1/2X20 Grade8 3 or 3.25" long, 4 nuts and washers. Grab a few extra nuts just in case. Also, you'll need 4 Jam Nuts for the rod ends, but any normal nut will work.
Something metal and tubular that is atleast 1/2" ID. 6" is plenty.


OK, so I bet your wondering why you want to do this. Well, when you lower a 240, it throws the rear suspension geometery off. Everyone knows already about the panhard, but the torque rods also have a negative effect. When the suspension compresses (or is lowered) the torque rods fixed length causes the axle to rotate back, or up if you look at the driveshaft. This not only moves the driveshaft closer to the floor but it also causes the wheels to be moved further back in the wheel wells.

The other benifit is you get rid of the sloppy bushings and replace them with solid heim joints. If your abusing the car at all you've no doubtly turned what was a round bushing, into this:

Mine were not only ovalized, but the mounts were completely cracked through on both sides and both ends!

So heres what you need to do. When you get your parts from HRP your going to get the rod in uncut form. What you need to do is cut the rod so that your total length from threaded insert to threaded insert is 12.5". I found this gives plenty of adjustment. Now, you dont cut the rod this long, you adjust for the inserts at both ends.

Then slide the inserts in and have them welded up. You should end up something like this

Now like I said, the TOTAL length is 12.5, the adapters you use may vary so be sure to adjust. +/- 1/2 inch or so shouldn't be a problem.

Now, I bet your wondering why you need all the standard stuff. Well, our cars torque rods use Metric bolts, or 12mm's. Problem is, the heim joints are made for US standard, 1/2 which equates to 12.8MM. This gives .8mm slack in the joints. Do NOT think this is acceptable, it will quickly turn the bolt into a pretzel if you try to run it this way.

So, heres where the drill comes in. You will have to slightly open all the holes that the former bolts went through. Piece of cake. You should be able to slide your bolt through like this.

The car side is a bit more challenging. Obviously, the bolt threads into the frame rail. The outter bracket is easy to modify, so just drill out the frame with the 1/2" drill through the threads. You could probably actually rethread this with a tap for 1/2X20 threads.

Or, the threaded insert will break out of the frame. This happened to me on one side before doing this anyways. So, what I did was take a cut off wheel and cut a rectangle hole out of the bottom of the frame rail like so:

Then, I slid the bolt through, using fender washers on both side and just put a nut on the other end.

Now, before you do this, you can obviously see that theres some "slack" between the rod end and the bolt ends. What you need to do is make some "spacers" to take up the slack. Obviously, your sizes will vary so just do your best.

Then, just tighten everything up and you should have this:

Adjusting the torque rods:

I found the best techique is to leave one side completely off. Mount the one rod and adjust it where you think you need it. Jack the axle up to just before it picks the car off the jack stands. Look at the side of the car and see abouts where the wheel falls in the well. When you think you've got it close, lower the car on to the ground and see if it looks good. When it is adjusted right, install the other torque rod to the same length.

You should be able to go from this:

to this

or even more centered if you want.

Nice write up Doug! However, I have to ask why you're setting up the whole rear suspesion with heim joints. How bad where the poly(I just bought some from Dale)? While you have a rediculous amount of torque, and a lowered vehicle, I always sorta figured if you had new bushings and suspension components you'd have a centred and adequate suspension... mind you i love the idea of having everything adjustable, but are the heim joints really that much better? How much harsher are they?
Hi Johathan, I used poly's in the rear. They just had to much compliance for the amount of power I had going through them. Heim joints will have no flex and will still allow plenty of suspension movement. :D So far, they don't seem to be any harsher than before. I took a nice hard sweeping offramp at a 100-110 ish and the car felt more stable than it ever has :-D
niiiice... when you gonna get that car dyno'd anyways.. while i think it's great that one of the faster cars on the volvo boards has nothing to prove it's power to the skeptics, it would be neat to see what your setup has produced..
gotta bump this thread...

just installed my adjustable torque rods with poly bushings...nothing special, just modified stock Poly Rods, with fresh poly.

I measured the stock rods when I removed them and got 16" eye-to-eye...reduced my adjustable ones to 14.5" eye-to-eye...noticed the extreme angle it put my driveshaft at and couldn't barely make it home, such a ridiculious shudder.

can only assume they are too, short.

any advice on an ideal length...i know this may be dependent on a lot of things. also, what about the panhard?

That'll go over how to adjust length appropriately.

thanks dude...dug around on the search function and found where Mueller suggested a length of 15-1/4" eye-to-eye, for his lowered 242...went back to the shop and let them out from the 14-1/2" I turned them down to, to his recommended length. Made all the difference!

I must have caused some damage to the driveshaft carrier thing...rubber thing it spins about...because there is some occasional, erratic driveshaft slap against the tunnel...must have done that when I drove home with the torque rods too short...gotta go get a new rubber piece on Sunday.
I am lowering my 240 at the moment with 3" lower springs, is it to the same effect to just shorten the upper rods? ie just cut an 1" out maybe?

Ya don't have to saw holes in your subframe with the ones you can buy. A complete bolt & play deal. I have the ones IPD sells.
holy year + bump
ghetto rods.

Made a set up, 1" CDS tube and 1 3/4" eyelets, turned some poly bar I bought off Ebay for the bushes with Stainless inserts. Had to use a metric thread as getting UNF in a decent length was proving hard over here. but I think IPD use metric M16 threads.

Worked very well for me, wouldn't say they were 'ghetto' but I certainly haven,t spent $100s on them.

Poly is proving to be a bit noisy and harsh for me, but I think the grade is pretty hard to make it machinable, sooo Im re-bushing with new rubber ones to see if its more suited to UKs potholed roads!

Will try get a pic up!
Because of a V8 conversion and a shortened drive shaft I had the need to install adjustable torque rods to be able to ‘tune’ the driveline angle. IPD sells such a thing for about $160 and I found others in the $300 range but this really didn’t look like rocket surgery.

I used 3/4" National Fine thread cadmium plated bolts and nuts from ACE Hardware hoping to look a little like OEM but the welding blew most of the bright cadmium away. Two and a half inches was the longest bolts I could find without a shoulder. The inside of the tube takes the 3/4" bolt easily but is within an eight inch, maybe closer to a 1/16" clearance. Close enough that a larger standard sized bolt would not fit. Cut a section out of the OEM torque arm equal to the bolt head and two nuts plus about a quarter inch. I have maybe 1 1/4" of adjustment capability which should be far more than enough.

A local machine shop welded the bolt head to the short front section and a nut on the rear section of the original rod. The welding distorts the bolt/nut thread to the point that it is advisable to ‘chase’ the threads with tap and die so that they fit again.


Cost: $14 for the bolts, $35 for the cutting/welding at my friendly neighborhood trailer shop. Already had the bushings but they were really cheap as a complete set of everything for the car.

Got everything cleaned up and installed this afternoon. Here is my version of TurboBricks Brand $49 adjustable torque rods, $14 if you weld yourself or have a buddy that does:
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