I am doing a four link setup in the rear of my toyota and was wondering about heim joints. Is the strength difference in the $10.00 heims and the $25.00 heims substantial enough to spend the extra money, or will the cheaper ones work.
Do not use $10 heims for critical suspension or steering. They will not last long enough; they will get sloppy way too fast and the $10 hiems are way smaller than tractor link heims. This means you have less back-up brute strength to cover you when they get sloppy (and you start slamming against the slack).
Tractor link hiems are okay for rear arms I guess (I've been using the same ones for several years now). They are extremely sloppy now. I check them frequently and they don't look like they're about to break, they're just real sloppy. I haven't decided for sure If I'm going back with another set of tractor link ends or if I'm upgrading to real heims this summer.
Lemme add this: $10 heims might be a good idea for an initial build-up while you're trying to get the details of your geometry worked out. Just plan on replacing them after a couple of runs.
I AM using a pair of $10 5/8" heims on my front track bar. One day, after I get rich, I will replace them with some "real" heims. Although turning radius would suffer severely if my trackbar were to fail, it would not be a catastrophic event. I have $50 3/4" heims on my drag link and tie rod...it surely could be catastrophic if one of those failed.
I too am using tractor "heims" on my steering tie rod, not sure what they cost me, around $15 each. Have used those tractor type several times and have bent and broke tie rods and steering arms and sheared off 3 grade 8 1/2" bolts on my steering arm but never broke the heims. Like Hatch said they will get sloppy after awhile but you can replace them just as cheaply.