Vanagon – attempts at making cup washers

Not quite an unqualified success, but not a complete failure, I’ll settle for that. One of my sway bar drop links broke again and instead of the kind of repair I did previously , I decided to make new ones from stainless and beefier stock. I’ll detail that build when I have them welded up and bent. But I needed new cup washers and rather than buy them ( aren’t they around 13 bucks each?) I thought I’d have a go at making some from 2″ stainless washers. Here are my results.

First I tried pressing a ball bearing into the washer with a socket as a back up. You see on this test washer that it doesn’t make a good profile.


And on the 2″ washer.

So then I tried a different approach. Pretty self explanatory.



Useda friend’s press,applied between 10 and 15 tons of pressure. I also tried both ends of the male die, but the result wasn’t that great.


So I tried again. A quickly made female die with a rough profile of the shape I wanted, and a not very close match on the male.


Back to the press and…

Well not great either, but I’m going to stop. I’d didnt do any research on how one should make dies for this purpose, i bet I am missing something quite obvious

The end of my unfinished drop link.

And with polyurethane bushings and the new washers. Hey, note that I have ground a rough radius on the inboard side of the bushings. This helps them fit into the recess on the lower control arm. No’ they aren’t quite that same as the stock washers. The stock washers have a larger un curved area and turn up more quickly at the edges. But I figure when the bushings are compressed when installed, the washers will make enough contact and still allow some lateral movement of the drop link.

  1. #1 by Paul on April 7, 2015 - 5:34 am

    Nice work work Mr. Leahy.

    • #2 by albell on April 7, 2015 - 7:30 am

      No, not mr leahy, no.




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