Select Thread Type

1,207 products


Heim Joints Buyer's GuideHeim Joints Buyer's Guide

Showing 1 - 36 of 1,207 results

If you have performed a substantial amount of work on your street rod, muscle car, or race car, there is no doubt that the term “heim joint” has come up. These ingenious pieces of engineering are used in a variety of different applications in anything from off-road vehicles to classic muscle cars for steering, suspension, shift linkage, and much more. Back in the 1940s, the H.G. Heim company received exclusive patent rights to produce these rod end bearings. Over time, people started calling them heim joints. Much like you would call soda, Coke, the name “heim joints” stuck. Today they can be called several different names, but their overall design and usage are the same. Regardless of what you call them, knowing how a heim joint works and where it can be used is vital information that everyone, yourself included, should know.

What is a heim joint?

A heim joint is classified as a mechanical articulating joint that allows the bolt or rod passing through it to have a certain amount of misalignment. Sometimes, making and keeping a right-angle (90-degrees) connection is simply not an option. This is where the heim joint comes into play. By using one, flex and articulation is greatly enhanced, as opposed to a fixed joint. The heim joint also provides a pivot or rotary function provided by the inner ball socket.

If you are working on a vehicle’s steering system, for example, the traditional ball joint may not cut it. To get around this issue a heim joint may have to be used. Speedway Motors stocks a high variety of heim joints on hand to help you complete your project. No matter if you want a beautiful chrome rod end for your show car or a hiem joint with a higher angle of operation for your 4x4, we got you covered!

What are the most common types of heim joints?

Choosing the right heim joint can be vital to your car’s performance, steering, and handling. Depending on what the vehicle will be used for will determine the type of rod end needed.

A rod-end heim joint is by far the most used. They can have left- or right-hand male or female threads. A suspension link, for example, is usually comprised of a hollow bar with a male rod-end heim joint on each end. If you need to adjust the suspension geometry regularly, using opposite threads (left-hand thread on one end of the bar and right-hand thread on the other) will allow you to make your adjustment without having to disassemble any components. No matter what kind of heim joint is used, a jam nut must be utilized to prevent the rod end setting changing from working itself due to vibration.

In certain cases, such as most factory steering links, the use of a male heim joint rod end is not possible. Therefore, a female heim joint must be utilized as it can work on rods with smaller diameters. This is true for smaller linkages such as shifter linkage, throttle linkage, push/pull rods for battery shut offs, and more.

Although most heim joints will look similar to the untrained eye, there are different variations. A run-of-the-mill, budget-oriented heim joint will usually be comprised of two pieces, the body, and the inner ball. Ideally, these would be used on applications where movement is limited and not a high-load situation.

The pros tend to pick heavy-duty rod ends, which are made up of three components. Those being the body, the inner ball, and a liner usually made from Teflon. Adding a liner between the body and the inner ball helps to reduce friction and acts as lubrication. Chromoly steel is often used when building these rod ends thanks to its increased strength.

When weight is a concern, opting for a lightweight aluminum heim joint may be required. Reducing a car's overall weight will ultimately make it faster. If shaving ounces off your car is essential, your best bet is to go for an aluminum rod end that can support your needed application. If you are not sure what works best for your application be sure to take a good look at our rod end and heim joint buyer’s guide on The Toolbox.

What are Heim joints used for?

Heim joints have an almost endless use in the automotive industry. There are several ways a heim joint can be utilized on a build, with suspension joints being the most common.

There is no doubt that when upgrading your suspension, or building a new one, a heim joint is extremely important. An adjustable heim joint is often used to get maximum articulation, no matter if you are building an off-road monster or a quarter-mile beast.

There are several advantages when it comes to comparing a heim joint vs bushings. Manufacturers like to use bushings simply because they reduce vibration and offer a more acceptable ride for John Q. Public. But if you want to get the most from your suspension system, chuck them out and put in a quality heim joint.

Telling the wheels where to go is left up to the driver, but that input is controlled by a heim joint steering linkage in most cases. Heim ends play a crucial part in keeping your car going in a certain direction. In the heim joint vs ball joint battle, the heim joint wins in terms of flexibility. However, most automakers will opt out for ball joints due to their durability. If you want to get the best of both worlds, we offer a steering shaft heim joint.

Mentioned above are just the most common uses. Heim ends come in all different sizes for a variety of different applications, that’s why Speedway offers thousands of different heim joints from several manufacturers ready to ship straight to your door.

How long do heim joints last?

When compared to a rod-end ball joint, the standard heim joint will have a shorter lifespan. However, they both have their respective uses in the automotive industry.

When used as intended, a good quality heim joint can last upwards of 10 years. Then again, a lower grade can seize or wear out in as little as two. It essentially boils down to the stress it will be subjected to and what materials were used to build it. If a heim joint is to last as long as possible, it must be used within recommended specs.

For example, a good quality Chromoly steel heim joint has a static load rating of 28,000 lbs. and a three-piece construction, whereas most standard rod ends are rated at 12,000 lbs. and are only made up of two components.

Of course, build quality will affect the durability, but the abuse a heim joint is subjected to will also directly impact how long it may last. Luckily, there are ways to make sure an adjustable heim joint does not fail prematurely.

One way to do so is by using a protective rubber seal. The engineers at Seals-It produce a simple, yet effective way to stop dirt and debris from entering between the ball and body with their rod end seals. Since tolerances are so tight, even the smallest bit of debris can significantly reduce a heim joint’s life expectancy. An extra couple of dollars now can help save you save hundreds in the future, along with several headaches. You will also find some heim joints with greaseable fittings and still others that are rebuildable, all helping to extend the life of your heim joint.