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Mate Issue with Connecting Rod


I have an issue, where Solidworks refuses to allow me to add a mate for a connecting rod.

I have two rotating assemblies and a rotating arm mated together. At the top is a common axle, which Assembly 1, and a rotating arm, are attached to. Assembly 2 is connected to the bottom of the rotating arm, and can currently rotate independently from Assembly 1.

I need to mate a connecting rod between Assembly 1 and Assembly 2, so that they operate together. As the rotating arm is pushed to the left, Assembly 2 will be forced to rotate by the connecting rod and Assembly 1. Assembly 1 has an arm that connects to a slot which restricts its travel, not shown here.

For some reason, Solidworks will not allow the two holes pictured to be mated at the distance of 12.03 inches. I can manually move the assemblies so that they have a greater or smaller distance between them. I can get to nearly 9 inches, or 14 inches.

I have tried mating the connecting rod using concentric mates, but it errors and breaks other mates instead of moving the parts to fit. I have also skipped the connecting rod entirely, using a distance mate from center of hole to center of hole. Again, it breaks other mates instead of moving the parts. "Pushing" or "pulling" on the rod as it is mated to only Assembly 1, refuses to rotate the assembly. Grabbing the hole itself works fine.

Any ideas to make this work? Thanks for any help.

Image attached. Hopefully my scribbling helps explain how it should be moving, and what I'm dealing with.