Rod ends for racing cars can be divided into two basic classes. First is the commercial or economical rod ends. Although there are many configurations of economical rod ends, the fully swaged two-piece design is the only type that should be used in racing applications. On these rod ends, the body forms or swaged around the ball, so the race the ball rides is actually part of the body. This is the only economical rod end with good radial or pull strength as well as good axial strength.
The second type is three piece precision rod ends. These rod ends form a race around the ball, which is then inserted into a body. The advantage of this structure is that the ball fits more closely to the race and the precision is higher. This type of rod end is also known as an “aircraft style”. The three-piece design allows different materials to be used in the structure of the part to best match its application. Races can be made of mild, alloy steel or stainless steel (brass or aluminum bronze is sometimes used but they should be avoided because of their low strength) and bodies are made of mild steel, alloy, stainless steel, aluminum or even titanium.