First off, I have ordered all of the manuals from the MTFCA which should arrive later this week. I have also searched previous threads to see if my specific question had been asked\answered already...
After I got my car home from PA, I noticed that the front radius rod ball is detached from the mount on the engine. I am not sure if this was a result of winching the car onto the trailer or whether it was a pre-existing condition. Either way, it is disconnected at this point and I know it is a major safety issue.
I have seen other narratives regarding the studs and safety wire between them - I will make that repair in this process. That was very helpful input. I am planning to replace the studs as well because the one on the far side looks shorted than the other.
Although I have read about replacing the ball cap, my question is with regards to the upper half which seems to be riveted the oil pan. I have not seen whether that is a replacement part or not and if anyone has had problems with that part.
In this case, what should I inspect? I assume that in order for the ball to come free from the mount, that something had to break away, I am just not sure if I replace everything including the upper half, or just the lower cap.
The ball on the end of the wishbone often wears and sometimes the mount itself also wears. If the part of the mount that is attached to the pan is worn you can shim it but it is important to maintain the same angle on the front axle. You have an accessory ball cap assembly on your car. It has a spring inside in addition to the springs on the outside. The internal spring tension can be adjusted to take up wear on the wishbone ball by removing the cotter pin and screwing up the slotted piece the pin ran through. Sometimes the internal spring rusts away so make sure it is in place and that it and the little cap that it pushes up onto the wishbone ball are in place. The vendors sell replacements if they are lost or worn. The fact that you have an accessory like that on the car may indicate that the ball is worn or that the socket is also worn and that is why it was used in the first place. It also looks like the springs on the pan mount are a bit relaxed and could be snugged up a bit. I don't recall what the diameter of the wishbone ball is and don't have my reference material handy but I would mic that up first to see how worn it is. Decent ones are available if it is too far gone. I would then tighten up the springs on the outside with the ball in place (I tighten all the way and then back off a full turn and a half to allow for some slight movement) then I would tighten up the spring tension on the accessory lower cap of the mount and see how everything is. If everything is tight you should be OK. Be sure to grease everything up, safety wire the studs and replace the cotter pin in the lower accessory cap. Whatever you do, don't drive the car until you have this problem fixed completely.
When you replace the studs, run a bottoming tap in the holes to be sure they're cleaned out.
The ball was 1-1/4" dia.
That wishbone ball must be round, spherically round to be retained in the crankcase socket.
Appears your wishbone ball is not up to specs, needs to be 1.250" dia. and round.
Perhaps the former owner used that accessory spring loaded cap as an attempted repair, but you just have to get back to mechanically sound fix of a round ball the right size.
This pic shows two wishbones, one good, the other one in gray primer is only fair and shouldn't be used as-is.
this one was repaired with bronze (brazing) material added and reshaped back to round size, 1.125".
When fitted to the crankcase socket, wire each nut to the other, and the wire also passes thru the studs and keeps them from turning out too.
The wishbone must be secure, as your axle will shift, wobble, and steering will be erratic or maybe even dangerous.
Thanks for the input.
When I started this thread I had a written proper title but somehow the title from my previous post was inherited - not sure how to edit it at his point. Thanks for not flaming me over that.
I will measure the ball later this week, but would not surprised if it was off (the assy. cap may be an indicator at this point)
I like the idea of brazing to build it back up, my question regarding that is how to re-shape the ball afterwards? It's not like the entire radius rod can be hung on a metal lathe.
The braze can be just ground to size, that is what appears to be done on my wishbone,
this earlier post, if you wade down in it, shows the same, tig weld up the ball, grind and polish it down using a guage. Just needs some time and good hand work to complete
Patrick Hartzell: Don't ever ever ever attach your strap to the front axle. Attach to the front frame cross member. I see no problem attaching to the rear axle and always do that. If your car is a later year and has a radiator apron I am not sure what you do.
Mama don't allow no editin' around here. Once you click the Post button, it's carved in electronic stone forever. Even after proofreading several times, I sometimes post misteaks.
As Dave posted, Don't attach tie down straps to the front axle. Also do not tow the car by attaching your tow line to the front axle.
Even an almost correct size ball can be pulled out of the socket on the pan.
I have done that and learned from my mistake.
Thanks Dave and Willie. That's exactly what I did; the winch cable was connected to the center of the front axle and it pulled the car very nicely onto the trailer. I suppose too nicely.
Now I have learned the lesson.
I'm really enjoying this car so far and look forward to learning more about it.
Thanks for everyone's input.
Here is what I do, and so far have not pulled out the ball. I attach the winch line or tie down straps to the axle right at the point where the spring and spring perch are attached. All my cars have the wishbone attached below the axle. For the earlier cars with the attachment at the top, it might be different. When I am on a long trailering event, I attach 8 straps. One forward and one backward from each axle. I have also seen others who have a front rail on the trailer run the car all the way forward until the front wheel is against the rail, and then attach straps to the axle near the wheel.
This may have been posted above, but the nature of the springs on the ball cap, allows for movement of the ball cap (up and down on the studs), in addition to (supposedly) keeping tension on the ball cap, wishbone ball, and ball mount riveted to the pan. If the front axle is pulled on, the pressure is transmitted to the wishbone ball. If the ball is secured to the pan with an original ball cap (not worn and tightened properly), the ball is less likely to be pulled out of the socket, although it still isn't a good idea to winch on the axle, only. With the spring tension ball cap, the ball can easily pull out of the socket if tension from pulling on the axle, is transferred to the ball and cap.
Patrick, I have built up the ball with my mig welder and filed it back to shape, not as hard as it sounds. Make a template and use it to gage the diameter. As far as the socket on the pan, that's where most of the wear comes in, shim the socket and use a new cap on the bottom, tighten the nuts down until the spring are pretty much compressed and wire together as mentioned above. You should be good to go for a long time. KGB
If you have a later T, and cannot attach your winch and/or tie-downs around the front cross member because of the radiator apron/shield? Connect to the front spring itself as close to the frame as you can get. That should be plenty strong at that point.
Drive (and trailer) safely, and enjoy, W2
I measured my part this week and it sure is worn. 1" from top to bottom of the ball. I am fully aware that it needs to be repaired prior to driving the vehicle.
Instead of brazing to build up the ball and then grinding it back down, has anyone had a machine shop turn a new ball on a post? From there, I can cut off the old ball and weld the new one in place. I know that there is a parts supplier that makes something exactly like I am describing, but seems a tad on the expensive side.
The other idea was to find the right sized ball bearing and cut and weld that in place. Anyone tried this?
I bought some 1-1/4" stainless steel balls on ebay a few years ago. I have a local professional welder cut the old one off and weld on the new one. I know that some folks cringe at the idea, but that's why I take it to a known capable welder instead of doing it myself. I don't expect any problems.
If you winched it on the trailer, you most likely attached to the axle and pulled the ball out. You can likely refit the ball and socket. You can make a shim from metal flashing and shape it with a ball peen hammer . Be sure to wire the the nuts together. Since they are on studs cotter pins won't do the job. Tighten the nuts so you fully compress the springs and nuts are tight , then wire them together.
Patrick, it is best not to winch the car onto a trailer with the cable around the axle as mentioned by others. If you have a flatbed trailer it is also not agood idea to tie the car forward around the front axle either, as mentioned. However, if you have a rail across the front of the trailer, against which you can rest the front tyres, it is perfectly OK to tie around the axle. All you are doing is tying the car down without trying to stretch it apart. This is preferable to tying around the frame, as it allows the suspension to work, just as it does when the pros use tyre nets.
Just the way I have done it for many years.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thanks Ted and Allan.
That's exactly what I did - winched it by the front Axle. I am sure that's why the ball pulled out of the socket. Good thing is that it made me look at that area - no safety wire, one stud replaced with a bolt- items to clean up now
Although I can simply put the ball back in the socket, I would prefer to repair it now since it is worn down.
I have an excellent welder that can square this away and we were thinking of taking Mike's approach to replacing the ball.
We sell the shims for this,Bob
Try and do a forum search.
I know there were older threads about this and the way folks have repaired the wishbone ball in the past.
Did Ford always use cotter pins as stated in the article or did they eventually change to wire between the studs and nuts for safety?
Methinks the article is referring to cotter pins in the BOLTS on "the steering gear and spindle connecting rods".
But it is slightly confusing.