I looked at all the previous discussions on the forum dated back to Feb. 11-2008 concerning the Front Radius Rod Ball Cap and have followed all the advice but I have a question concerning a little different issue.... I installed a new ball cap and studs but as you can see in the picture the hole in the stud is below the castle nut.... I tightened the stud as tight as it would get, installed the spring and the nut...I tightened the nut tight and backed it off a quarter turn but the hole is still below the ears on the nut....the safety wire should go thru the slots in the nut but I don't think I should back off anymore on the nut because it will be to loose... should I drill a new hole for the wire....Am I missing the boat here? Just doesn't seem right...Any advice...
Same problem on this end, Chester. Just received a new kit 2 weeks ago and I must say that previous kits have NOT been this way. I wondered about adding threads on the top side which would allow the stud to go deeper into the casting, but didn't.
That's normal, install the safety wire and you should be good to go.
You need to add a spacer under the nut, or shorten the stud so the safety wire captures each nut to the stud and the studs to each other. Otherwise the nuts can back off and loosen up the ball cap.
I have installed three of these and all three were just like this. I put washers between the spring and the nut so the safety wire keeps the nuts from turning. If you don't tighten the spring enough the ball could easily come out.
It looks like the springs are fully compressed. If this is correct then why are the springs there anyway?
Thanks for the advice, I will take care of it in the morning... ready to get it back on the road..... had the front axle completely rebuilt and this is about all I like...... thanks Chet
You are right Justin. If the spring coils are not free to move, there is no point in having the spring. All that needs to be done is back off the nuts until the split pin does engage in the nut slots. That will let the spring work as is intended.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
OOPS!! make that the safety wire, not the split pin.
Allan from down under.
Curious. Why aren't you using this type instead? https://www.modeltford.com/item/2736APC.aspx
The spring is not intended to move. The nuts were properly installed by Chester originally. The ball should rotate in the socket. The ball cap, properly adjusted, should never move. The springs should be fully compressed.
The springs are intended to eliminate rattle if the cap / cup become worn.
You could stack washers under the nut until the castellations line up with the hole in the stud.
Okay, I'm still not following. The only way that the springs can take up any slop and eliminate rattle as the ball and socket wear is if the mating flanges aren't touching each other when the springs are compressed. This would mean that the ball cap is resting only on the ball. If I'm not mistaken, the flanges in the picture above are mated.
The flanges should not touch if the parts are in good shape. If they are touching then you need to shim the ball to make up for worn out parts.
I went with Royce and tightened them tight and backed off a quarter turn, If I back them off until the slots are positioned right to run safety wire thru, than the ball feels loose and unsafe when my wife tunes the steering wheel back and forth... I know from the past there was a lot of discussion on this and I don't mean to get it all started again...There was just nothing brought up on my particular issue and I was concerned on what direction to take or if I was the only one having this problem.... Thank You and I will use the spacers....Chet
Rod, the answer to your question may be $49.95.
Old housings for the Apco accessory cap can often be found cheap used - but the cap and spring may be missing and the pot metal adjustment screw is usually junk. New screws, springs and caps are available for $7.50 a piece, considerably cheaper than the full package.
An Apco cap shouldn't be used on a wishbone with a nice and round ball - but it can extend the life of a slightly oval shaped worn ball.
Steve I don't think that was the reason, I just put new Apco's on the Tie Rod and Drag Links when the axle was rebuilt but forgot to purchase the one for the Radius Rod...I had this from a previous order and wasn't aware of the APCO's until my axel was rebuilt....I just was asking for some info because this didn't look right to me and I am eager to take a ride this weekend....Chet
Thanks for the clarification. I still need to do mine since someone just put bolts in it with no wire years ago. I assume that the shims are a replacement for filing down the cap as Ford stated in their literature.
Steve, I went back out to the garage and started working on the T but just couldn't get your comment off my mind.....It just reminded me when I was young in school and had to wear hand me down cloths and shoes because I was the youngest of three boys.... We were not the richest kids in school and I could here some of the other kids snickering because my clothes wasn't new and shoes wasn't the shiniest....Sometimes because someone doesn't purchase something you think they should, money may not be the only issue.... If it had of been an issue, why would you bring the issue up and make someone feel bad...I had enough of that in my life...I just asked for a little advice and all was appreciated but don't concern yourself with my financial concerns.... I am still not the richest kid in class but I try to have fun and do the best I can....
I would not trust the item described here for two reasons. If the springs are not adjusted tight enough, the ball can come out of the socket and cause a crash! If the cap is bottomed out, it does not prevent the ball from being loose and the springs do no good. I think the extra dollars for the upgrade with one spring in the middle is well worth the peace of mind and the insurance of knowing that the ball cannot ever come out of the socket.
One thing I did not see addressed is the springs. Are they long enough?
There are five things which could cause this problem. One is the depth of the socket. This is usually worn and so the ball goes farther up into the socket in the crankcase. The next thing would be the cap. Is this a new aftermarket cap? If so is the thickness the same as the original one? If thinner, it would cause the problem. The third thing is the studs. Are they the same length between the end which screws into the crankcase and the hole drilled for the wire? The fourth thing would be the springs themselves, are they the correct length? The fifth and last thing would be the nuts. Are they the same distance as the original studs between the flat surface which goes against the spring and the slot?
Having listed the possible causes of the problem, I will now address a simple fix. Washers between the nut and the spring. The idea of the springs is to keep the cap tight in the joint so that as it wears the springs will keep the cap tight against the ball. From the looks of the picture, it appears that the cap is all the way against the socket. The ball might actually have some freeplay even when the cap is completely tightened. A shim between the top of the ball and the socket would correct that problem and perhaps you would not need washers.
Here is another type of accessory wishbone cap I recently fitted.
Uses a spring and cup inside to tension the ball of the wishbone, plus this design has a finger post to prevent the wishbone ball from leaving the socket.
Best of all.
Thanks Rod, I will be ordering one next week...
and I apologize to you Steve for my outburst....I probably just took your comment wrong...
This is no excuse, but a close friend of mine just lost his 16 year old son yesterday with heart failure... He played Hockey with my grandson on the Jr. Preds and had never been sick a day in his life...Very Sad and again just shows how precious each day is for everyone...
Chet, my comment had a lot less to do with your finances than it did with how cheap I am. My dad was notoriously tight with a dollar, and I'm carrying on the tradition.
Dan, is that one you made or purchased?... Looks like a great idea...
Got everything back in and will test drive tomorrow... My axle was completely shot and thanks to Dan Hatch, if I installed it right I should be ready to enjoy again... Dan stated he didn't see how I ever drove it the way it was.. I didn't know....it's my first and I just thought they drove that way...I may be able to go 35mph now... Model T tours....yes....Thanks Everyone
Ed, have you ever used one of these, looks pretty neat...what is a decent price...I never seen one but there is so much I have never seen....
The springs are not there to "take up wear." They can't. When the ball and the socket wear, the cap is prevented from moving upward by all the steel around the edge of the ball area and around the bolt holes.
The springs are there to allow the ball area of the wishbone to twist on the poor roads of the era and yet stay fastened to the crankcase. Very much the same purpose as the radiator springs.
Chester, I also put these Tie Rod Ball Cap Sets on my T. https://www.modeltford.com/item/2728APCO.aspx
What about a little bit of give when some clown tows a T by the axle? or winching on a trailer!
Those springs are the reason why that shouldn't be done.
Shouldn't be done at all, full stop.!!
The cap does in fact mate up to the socket in the pan, and it's the job of the springs to keep it that way. Tighten the cap and springs, and back off the the next cotter pin hole, and safety wire. I use a good amount of wheel bearing grease in the cap and socket. I've always had a number of NOS studs around, so the distance has never been a problem for me. However, reproductions sometimes are not right on the money.
I found this in one of my old Ford Times magazines. The cap is only supposed to contact the ball and not the flange, like Royce said. Note how they talk about the use of cotter pins. I wonder how long it took to correct that?
OooooH~ use of pins instead of wiring could be deadly.
Took my first ride this morning...Boy what a difference...I hit every bump in the road I could find to see if it would react as before and thank goodness it didn't....I am going to recheck the toe to double check I got it right I will make a quick device to measure front and rear.... I'm not sure my wife understood where to hold to tape....Not her fault, I just want a more precise or accurate way so in my mind I am assured it is right... Thanks for all the help and comments on this thread....Chet
It is obvious the illustration about is only a rendering, but notice the two castle nuts?
Larry, that's the way I tightened it but I did have to add a couple spacers between the castle nuts and the springs to get the safety wire in a slot in the castle nut... I feel pretty good with it.... I jacked it up and had Pat to turn the steering wheel all the way back and forth and there was no movement in the ball that I could feel.....Thanks again for all the advice given.... It keeps me from second guessing myself or wandering if there may have been a better way.....each time I'll have more confidence.... Chet
Larry's comment about the two castle nuts pertains to the fact they are two different styles. The left nut is a "square bottom" nut in which the gaps cut for the cotter pin are cut square. The nut on the right is a "round bottom" nut in which the gap us cut with a radiused milling cutter that leaves the bottom of the cotter pin gap round.
The square bottom nuts were used until the late teens, and the round bottom nuts were used from the late teens through the end of Model T production. I usually find square bottom nuts on bolts that were made using a screw machine. Round bottom nuts are usually found on bolts made by cold heading (the bolt is made from wire od the appropriate thickness with the hex head formed by swaging), and the threads made by rolling the threads into the shank of the bolt. These bolts are typically a smaller diameter from just under the head until the threaded area.
Some Ford engineers believed that cold headed bolts were not as strong as cut threaded bolts. This is why connecting rod bolts may have forged heads, but always had cut threads.
Trent, I wasn't very observant...... I see the difference now that you brought to my attention...... without your information I would not have known why..... thanks, now I will check mine to see which one's I have..... interesting....... Chet
Larry was with me when I spent half of one of my days at the Archives researching square vs. round slots to try to get an idea of when the changeover started. I was very surprised to learn that there is absolutely no documentable use, in the drawings or the releases, of ANY square slotted nuts except the driveshaft pinion nut. ALL castle nut drawings show round bottom slotted nuts from the first one drawn in 1907 all they way up through the mid '20s. I'm not saying they don't exist or weren't used, just that Ford apparently never admitted to it.
the Model A judging standards claim the change was in the 1930 model year. (post Model T!)
Well, those fellows are very, uh, fussy...so they'd probably know if anyone would.