Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts

Rod End and Heim Joint Buyers Guide


Speedway's vast selection of rod ends offer a large range of shank and hole size configurations, as well as a wide variety of strength and weight options depending upon what is required for your application. Whether it's for general purpose, heavy duty, race or off-road applications you can compare the features of these five main designs.

Heim Joint vs Rod End

You may have noticed the terms Heim Joint and Rod End used interchangeably in the industry. The truth is they are one in the same. Heim is actually a brand name from the early 40's when the first rod ends were produced. Heim Joint became such a popular term that the name stuck and has become commonplace for describing a rod end. This is no different than calling a facial tissue a Kleenex or a soft drink a Coke!

Standard Rod Ends
  • Static load rated at 12,000lbs
  • Designed for standard duty applications
  • Carbon steel body
  • Used with clutch, brake, steering, and suspension
  • 2-piece construction (body, ball)
  • Shop Standard Rod Ends

Standard rod ends are suggested for light duty applications which see minimal movement and when low cost is a primary requirement. They can be used on suspension applications but they will wear quicker than other types of rod ends and replacement will be needed more frequently.

Precision Rod Ends
  • Static load rated at 15,000lbs
  • Designed for standard duty applications
  • Carbon steel body
  • Used with clutch, brake, steering, and suspension
  • 3-piece construction (body, liner, ball)
  • Shop Precision Rod Ends

Precision rod ends are an excellent choice for suspension components on street driven cars at mild to medium power levels. The Kevlar race and PTFE liner make for a self lubricating and long lasting joint. These are quieter and smoother operating than Standard or Pro-1 rod ends. The down side to the Precision line of rod ends is a slightly reduced misalignment angle compared to Standard or Pro-1.

Pro-1 Rod Ends
  • Static load rated at 25,000lbs
  • Designed for heavy duty applications
  • Black oxide coated chromoly steel body
  • Used with steering and suspension components
  • 2-piece construction (body, ball)
  • Shop Pro-1 Rod Ends

Pro-1 rod ends are an excellent choice for steering and suspension on medium to high horsepower racing applications. High load ratings provided by the chromoly steel body and two piece design with excellent misalignment specs lend itself well to all sorts of off-road and racing applications, especially circle track suspensions.

Chromoly Rod End
  • Static load rated at 28,000lbs
  • Designed for extreme duty applications
  • Heat treated 4130 chromoly steel body
  • Used with high load steering and suspension
  • 3-piece construction (body, liner, ball)
  • Shop Chromoly Rod Ends

Chromoly rod ends are an excellent choice for racing suspensions and other high load applications. The 4130 chromoly steel body along with an injection molded Kevlar race and PTFE liner reduce friction and provide self lubrication. The large body design increases strength at the expense of reduced misalignment. These work well in many off-road and high horsepower racing suspensions, especially drag racing rear suspensions.

Aluminum Rod Ends
  • Static load rated at 10,000lbs
  • Designed for medium duty applications
  • Lightweight, heat treated aluminum body
  • Designed for motorsports where weight is critical
  • 3-piece construction (body, liner, ball)
  • Shop Aluminum Rod Ends

Aluminum rod ends are ideal for racing applications where reduced weight is critical and a slight reduction in load rating is acceptable. The injection molded Kevlar race with PTFE liner provides self lubrication and reduces friction. Aluminum rod ends are widely used on circle track cars where rules allow them, typically Sprint Cars and Late Models.

Specialty Rod Ends

A variety of specialty rod ends are available from Speedway Motors as well, including steering shaft heim joints designed for supporting 3/4" diameter steering shaft, chrome-plated heim joints for the suspension on your show car, 11/16" tie rod heims that can be used in place of a 11/16"-18 tie rod end, and a variety of male or female rod ends with a stud, which are ideal for making carburetor, brake or shift linkages.

Rod End Spacers and Seals

A broad selection of rod end spacers are available to aid in installation of your rod ends. From standard spacers, to cone spacers or even high-misalignment spacers the choices are nearly endless.

Another great addition to your rod ends are seals from Seals-It. These will seal out dirt and debris which will increase service life of your rod ends and reduce maintenance intervals.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Front Spring Choices for Traditional Straight Axle Hot Rods
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
It may feel like a daunting task attempting to determine the best leaf spring for your traditional hot rod straight axle build, but our buyer's guide will surely help.
Solid Axle Choices for Your Traditional Hot Rod
by Eric McMillan - Posted in Tech
When it comes to a traditional style build on an early hot rod it just has to be rolling on a solid front axle of some sort. In this buyer's guide we take you through I-beam and round tube solid axles, spindle choices, radius rod needs, and more.
How to Choose a Racing Suit
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Your body dimensions, field of racing, and budget are all factors in picking the best racing suit for your needs. Our racing suit buyer's guide will help educate you on all aspects of racing suit features and benefits so you can make an informed decision.
Steering Shaft and U-Joint Selection Guide
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Designing a steering system for your street rod or muscle car can be tricky. In this buyer's guide we'll show you how to choose the right steering U-joints, steering shaft, and accessories to complete the job quickly and safely.
Create the Perfect Exhaust Note with Performance Mufflers
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
We all want that tough, aggressive exhaust note emanating from our hot rod, muscle car, or classic truck's tailpipes, but which muffler is best suited for your project vehicle? We're here to help with our muffler buyer's guide!
Best Brake Boosters for Better Braking
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Power brake boosters offer lower pedal effort and better braking characteristics, but which one is right for your hot rod, muscle car, or truck? We take the guesswork out of that question with our latest buyer's guide.
Choosing the Right Headers
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
What size header should I use? Short or long tube headers? Learn how to answer these exhaust questions and choose the right header with our expert guide.
Selecting the Proper Tear Offs for Your Helmet
by Eric McMillan - Posted in Tech
This comprehensive guide will step you through the process of choosing the correct tear offs to fit your helmet as well as how to install them.
Snell Helmet Certifications SA2015 vs SA2020
by Eric McMillan - Posted in Tech
This guide explains what a Snell certification is and the difference between a Snell SA2015 and SA2020 helmet.
Electronic Fuel Injection Retrofits for Your Street Rod or Muscle Car
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Fuel injection is here to stay and we delve into the benefits of such retrofit systems for your classic muscle car or street rod in our EFI retrofit buyer's guide!