You can go to this web sight and see some nicely built track rods.
Oemy's Web Site - DIY Trac Bar
I'll tell you a little of what I did and if you want some pictures I can TRY to post some. I have not done that for some time on this forum but I'll give it a shot.
I used 1/2" plate steel and made a differential (DF) plate using 4 of the DF cover bolts and just replaced those four bolts with 4 longer ones.
The plate on the frame was also made out of 1/2" plate. There were already two holes drilled in the frame so I only had to drill one more. I used 1/2" grade 5 bolts for the frame mount.
The connecting link is really called a, "Top link" and is used on tractors when extra equipment is added. You can go to any tractor supply web sight and google top link. I bought one locally for $20. I needed one that would adjust down to about 17" and stretch out to about 24". Since it's just like a turnbuckle I wanted to have as much thread inside as I could so it would be stronger. It's closed size was 16" and I really needed about 17". The hole in the end of the link are 3/4" in diameter. If you find a link that has a 3/4" hole it's probably a CAT 2 in quality and that's plenty strong.
You may know how to make a gasket using card stock and a ball-pean hammer or you may not. It's fairly simple.
To make the plate for the DF I used some card stock cardboard thicker and stiffer, and used scissors to make a rough size. Once I got it right on the outside the next part is even easier. You have to locate and cut holes for the bolts. Using a ball-pean hammer just place the cardboard cutout over on of the holes while holding the cutout fairly close to the others. Now lightly hammer using the rounded side over the hole location and it will cut a perfect hole. Now put a bolt into that hole holding the cardboard in place and line up the remaining hole locations and the second hole. Once two are cut put that bolt in and the cardboard will stay. Hammer the last two out.
Even if you don't have access to a shop as I do make these out of cardboard and I don't think a metal shop would charge you more that $30-50 to make both brackets.
The top links are rated by a number system CAT 1, CAT 2, CAT 3 etc. The larger the number the heavier the link. Mine was a CAT 2 and it is plenty strong.
Like I said I can maybe send you some pictures. If you send me your e-mail address I can for sure send pics that way but that's up to you. I'm just not a familiar with posting pictures on some of these web sights.
I've got 2,000 miles since the track rod was installed and all is well.
Just let me know if you want to build one. I just could not see spending $300-500 for a track rod.
4 years AF
Son it a LT. Col in AF
Brother is retired AF
I was also born in PA near Pittsburgh.