I've just completed the rebuild and reinstall on my '26 Touring front axle. While doing the work, it struck me as odd that the pitman arm / drag link ball and the drag link / tie rod end ball would be left exposed to the dirt and grit of the road. After a search, I've not found anything connected to this. Have any of you tried to make a boot for these connections? If so, how did you do it?
I'm contemplating working one out of canvas. I live on a dirt road and I'd like to protect my work for as long as possible. It would be nice to keep the grease from attracting all that gunk. Of course, maybe this is just a solution looking for a problem.
More expensive cars of that time had leather coverings, or boots, over those joints. They were stitched shut. Canvas may hold moisture that will help to create rust. Soft, oil soaked leather might be best.
Safe to say, that most Model T's probably spent most of their time on a dirt or rock road, with out adverse affects.
I have seen leather wraps for the front springs. I agree with the principle, but it would be a hassel for upkeep. It would have to be soooooo packed with grease to keep the leather from getting wet and holding the wetness against the metal parts. But, then, what about T upkeep is clean and mess free already?
I don't know if still available,but we used "diaper Wraps for big electrical wires in the oil field .They would have been good here.
I have a theory that may or, may not, make sense. I like to use marine grade grease that is designed especially for boat trailer wheel bearings,.....the idea being that marine grease might tolerate moisture better than most other type chassis grease.
Harold, that is exactly what I use. It works for me because I live in a very wet area and drive year round. I also like the pretty blue color as it is easy to see where it is and how much of it there is. I have apco style spring loaded caps on mine so all I have to do is pull the safety wire, unscrew the plunger, push in fresh grease, then turn the plunger back in, forcing the grease into the socket area. More fresh grease in pushes dirt laden grease out.
Thanks for the input guys. Obviously most Ts lived a hard life on dirt / gravel roads. Perhaps there weren't any adverse effects. But there is no harm in protecting the joints when a workable solution can be found. Sounds like canvas is a big no.
I've thought about making spring wraps too, for the same reason (also for looks...). I'm tempted to see what I can come up with. I've never sewed leather before... sounds like this might be an interesting gateway project.
If I come up with anything worth sharing, I will make sure to do so.
Maybe use that super-stretchy silicone tape that sticks to itself and is used for sealing leaks?
I found a period ad for leather covers for the steering links in the new book about the english Model T Ford; http://www.modeltbook.co.uk/index.html
A local harness maker or saddle shop should be able to fashion something out of leather for you. If you want to make them yourself then perhaps they can offer suggestions and supply you the material. I purchased a sail making needle kit which has many different sizes and shapes of needles (curved, straight, etc.) that are heavy duty enough to use for upholstery and leather. A craft store should have leather making tools or you can buy them on line.
you might try rudy rosales in cleveland. he specializes in spring gaiters and leather boots for classic cars. 1-800-248-rudy
Thanks! That is exactly what I was thinking of!
I'll see if I can't work something up, using these pictures as a rough guide. Perhaps I'll stop at Michael's craft store on the way home from the office.