I think that missing links are a very logical and simple way to gain major travel. Was it glenn wakefield that invented them? is that what i read? anywayz...If i was to design my own, using kind of a double shackle system with a resting pad. How would i ensure that they don't buckle when they hit full articulation? i've seen pics that look as though the shackle could just as easily fold under the wrong way and cause breakage. i've seen shackles that have a small bar welded on one side to limit it. but i've also seen other pics of homemade ones with nothing to stop that? Is it really a problem? or am i just over thinking this?
The main problem you'll run into when fabbing your own Missing Links is to make sure they have hyperextension protection. If the shackles fold back the wrong way, which will happen without some sort of 'stop', the springs can kink and bend. I went thru a couple of nice OME springs before taking the time to engineer a built-in bumpstop.
Some of the aftermarket places use a simple little rolled tube welded to the face of the shackle. This is cheesy to me. Built it into the structure of the shackle system and it won't fall apart if you bump it on a rock or stress a weld.
I don't think Glenn invented the missing links, I believe he was the first to produce a kit for the Samurai though. I remember seeing a leaf sprung Isuzu Amigo many years ago with missing links and Chevy truck springs, before the idea spread to 'Zukis.
If you make your own.... they Do need something to keep them from folding backwards. I've seen it happen with homemade missing links, luckily nothing was damaged but it took a few minutes with a Hi-Lift to fix it.
i'm still in the process of making them... and i want to do it right the first time. But i think that gravity should hold them on thier pads when driving. and i don't think I will be able to hear anything as i'm using a polyurethane pad to rest the shackles on.