We don’t live in an age of magic carpets, so flawless ride quality isn’t a thing. Any vehicle that makes contact with the road is going to generate some level of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), but new materials and technologies have helped parts manufacturers reduce such undesirable feedback.
In 2017 we wrote about how RideTech, a manufacturer of performance suspension parts and accessories, is aiming to bring ride quality even closer to perfection with its “revolutionary” R-Joint rod end and bushing technology. More recently, the company has brought this exciting product to the 4WD and off-road market with the new R-Joint XL.
Like the regular R-Joint, the R-Joint XL is engineered to strike an ideal balance between full-range articulation, resistance to vibration, good lateral stability, and noise-free operation for a smooth, quiet ride. It does this through the use RTX10, a proprietary composite alternative to rubber and polyurethane.
RTX10 is a friction- and wear-resistant thermoplastic designed for use in high-load mechanical applications. According to RideTech, it outperforms rubber and polyurethane options commonly used in suspension systems in several key areas.
“Rubber bushings cancel noise and vibration nicely, but inherent deflection hinders performance,” RideTech wrote in an article on its website. “Poly bushings resist deflection, but transmit vibration and are prone to binding and squeaking.”
RTX10, RideTech said, is self-lubricating and self-tensioning, allowing for exceptional articulation without binding, quiet operation, and long-term durability. What this means for real-world driving is a “tight and settled feel.”
RideTech’s R-Joint XL rod ends utilize this self-lubricating technology in the form of a composite cage that houses a stainless steel ball and uses a wave spring to maintain tension. A heavy-duty, 17-4 stainless steel rod end casing—independently tested to a tensile strength of 59,000 lbs.—or a carbon steel weld-on casing completes the assembly.
RideTech R-Joint XL units are available in left-hand and right-hand thread sizes of 1.25-12 and 1.00-14 and a variety of bolt sizes ranging from 0.562-inch to 9/16-inch.
Our friends at Summit Racing visited the RideTech booth at the 2018 SEMA Show in to learn more about the latest version of the R-Joint. You can check out the video below.