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Thread: Brammo Ariel Atom 2 Rod End Replacement

  1. #1
    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    Brammo Ariel Atom 2 Rod End Replacement

    [AFAIK, this was never issued as a PDF]

    TK comment: Rod ends, regardless of the source, should be inspected regularly for play (looseness), any parts separating, or wear on the surface of the ball inserts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brammo Motorsports
    It has recently come to our attention that the rod ends used on your vehicle may be of a lower specification than they should be. Please immediately inspect all of the rod ends on your vehicle. There are rod ends on both ends of each of your suspension push rods, on both ends of your steering rods, and large rod ends located on your A-Arms where they interface with the uprights. If you are unsure about the status of a particular rod end, please send in a picture so we can decide whether or not it is damaged. Pay special attention to the rear suspension push rods during inspection, these are the most heavily loaded.

    We will be sending out an update kit of replacement rod ends as soon as we can round up the necessary components.
    That wasn't particularly informative. Let me add some pictures:

    This picture shows the yellow/gold color, dimpled surface, and characteristic "waistline" of the SPM/SPB series rod ends. They also have an obvious black plastic insert between the ball and the outer housing, which may be popping out or partially missing:
    6F5S6668-s.jpg

    These rod ends will be marked as SPM or SPB (followed by the size), either on the flat face:
    6F5S6670-s.jpg

    or on the side:
    6F5S5733-s.jpg

    Note that these markings may have worn off, or be covered with grime. If your rod ends share the characteristics of color, dimples, and waistline, you should replace them immediately. The bent rod end in the first picture is one of the thick ones that holds the rear upright to the lower A-arm.

    The correct rod ends are Aurora AM/AB-xT (where "x" is the size) (Brammo standard spec), which have a silver satin finish, or Aurora PRM/PRB-xT (Brammo race spec), which have the same yellow/gold color as the problem SPM/SPB ones, but they have a satin finish and lack the dimples, waistline, and plastic insert of the SPM/SPB ones.

    Other manufacturers may make equivalent rod ends, but all my experience has been with the Aurora parts, so that's what I'm listing here.

    The number of affected rod ends is: Qty 6 of *M-6T (one end of each of 4 suspension pushrods and 2 steering pushrods), Qty 6 of *B-6T (likewise), and Qty 6 *B-10T (top of upright to A-arm on 4 wheels, bottom of rear upright to A-arm on 2 wheels).

  2. #2
    Proton Terry Kennedy's Avatar
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    I cannot over-emphasize how vitally important this is. The rod end on my passenger rear pushrod snapped while I was in the left lane of a mile-long 3-lane bridge with no shoulders. By the time I got to the right-hand shoulder after the bridge, the road had carved through my frame and ripped the oilpan open. It cost me over $10,000 in total to get the car repaired ($2K+ to ship it to Brammo, $8K+ for the repair - which installed the exact same SPM/SPB rod ends that failed in the first place!).

    I am of the firm belief that if it had been a front pushrod that let go, my passenger and I would have been killed or seriously injured.

    Rod ends have been implicated in at least one incident that resulted in an Atom being totaled.

    I have continued to spot bad rod ends on Atoms over the years, and there are most likely still some out there.

    To give you an idea of the amount by which these rod ends were under-rated, consider that the Aurora web page for the SPM-6 gives its ultimate radial static load capacity at 4210 pounds. However, the Aurora FAQ states that the ultimate axial static load (the direction in which the force is applied in an Atom) is 10% of the radial static load, or 421 pounds. That's dangerously close to 1/4 of the weight of the Atom, and remember that most of the Atom's weight is in the rear). Further consider that the Atom places a dynamic load on the rod end, a much steeper requirement than the static load quoted in the specs.

    Need further proof?

    6F5S5730-s.jpg

    6F5S573-m.jpg

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