I am attempting to adjust the toe in on my 1926 Roadster. I was able to get the tie rod disconnected fine, but the adjustment will not budge. I have soaked in in WD-40, scraped away any debris to no avail. The tie rod is much more elastic then I thought it would be. Meaning that it twists but the bolt won't move.
I haven't had to adjust mine yet, but I think you have to loosen the pivot ball first, it acts as a clamp on the adjustment threads.
Experts, do I have it right?
Skip -- Use a 50:50 mixture of ATF and Acetone for your penetrant. It works about 10 times better than WD-40. Let it soak in a few days (keep applying some every now and then) and you'll be surprised at the results.
And yes, the pivot ball does need to be loosened, but it appears that he has removed the nut from it.
Slather some of the penetrant mixture all over that as well.
Some times you have to lesson the action of that bolt with an old screwdriver or chisel to get it to turn.
Do I need to loosen the pivot ball? I took the bolt off of it before I realized (at least I thought) it wasn't necessary to remove the pivot ball.
It is quite possible that you need to remove the ball. Quite possibly it is rusted/wedged in place
Ok. Tried my best. Now I have two things that won't budge. It looks like a 1/4" socket should fit in the end of the ball, but it doesn't. I hate to clamp down on it too hard with vice grips. I have soaked it in WD-40 now too (because I don't have the acetone and ATF). I don't even know what ATF is.
ATF - Automatic Transmission Fluid
Let things soak overnight and try to wiggle them tomorrow. If they wiggle, spray them some more, then wiggle more, and repeat until they loosen up completely. Be patient, they'll eventually budge.
Tap a screw driver or chisel into the slot to spread it apart a little.
Skip, any penetrating oil is better than WD 40. WD40 is a Water Dispercent, not a penetrating oil, contrary to popular belief. Dave
You remove the yoke ball to adjust the yoke.
That ball can be removed by hitting the end of the threaded shank with a brass mallet. You have to first soak the yoke threads, and the yoke ball area and threaded shaft with lots of penetrating oil...Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster, Koil, etc. Do not use WD 40, it is useless for rusted stuck parts.
Then with the yoke ball out of the yoke, you can see that that yoke ball shaft is tapered and threaded, the taper part is stuck in the yoke. So you must remove the ball.
Then the yoke will still be stuck to the threaded tie rod, so on the underside is the gap of the threaded portion of the yoke, pry open some to relieve the tension. Only then can you thread off the yoke, clean and oil the parts, to re-adjust and then tighten back together.
Refer to Para. 151 Ford Service Manual.
Nut loose on yoke ball, but the yoke ball must be backed out by driving it back. The threads on the end of the yoke ball shaft are just for the castle nut to lock it fast. You don't have to turn the yoke ball. The shaft is tapered and sticks into the yoke body.
I sprayed it down with acetone and ATF. I'll leave it all night and spray again before I leave for work in the morning. Thanks for all of your help.
Sometimes you have to take such a part off the car and clamp it in a vice to get more force with better control to avoid damage. But spreading the slot like Mark G writes is good medicine
One last bit of advice...don't keep levering with the screwdriver through the threaded portion of the link...you'll destroy the threads. You can work just as well using a short bar laid across the yoke. Also, once the ball is loose or out, you can spread the "split" a bit with a screwdriver blade and everything will start to turn, like Mark and Roger said.
While the Service Manual wording takes you step by step, detail of the parts helps to understand.
The yoke ball is designed to be a clamping force to lock the yoke to the tie rod. Removing the yoke ball is first thing to do.
a more scientific study on ATF & Acetone:
I really believe these tests come out the way the tester wants. I have seen the ams oil and other lubricant test done and each proves the superiority of their product. I believe in kroil after using it and other penetrants for years. MHO, KGB
Still having trouble with this. I have read the pamphlet a friend loaned me, but it doesn't address this.
I bought this car 3 weeks ago. Upon delivery the front tires were worn, but being new to model T's I didn't know why and I assumed it was just old tires. Well, three weeks later the right front is bald and a friend mentioned the toe-in needed to be corrected. I measured it from felloe to felloe (as the manual states) and it was 1 5/8 difference at the 3 O'clock and 9 o'clock position. Which seems ridiculously out. So I adjust the rod 8 turns and check it. It is still out significantly, so I do another 8 full revolutions and I am now about a 1/2" difference on the measurements. This seems incredibly out of line to me. The tie rod threaded end is just about to the point where it is touching the pivot.
My only other thought is that one of the rims is bent, although it doesn't look like it. Any other ideas?
Here is a photo of what I'm talking about in the above post:
Skip - The first step in checking the alignment is to make sure the wheel is not bent.
Just jack up the car until the wheel is off the ground and check the runout by rotating the wheel.
I usually place a pointer (screwdriver) on a tool box and slowly move it until it touches the wheel or rim as I rotate it.
Then I continue to rotate the wheel and watch the gap to see where it is the widest.
The "just touching" and widest gap should be consistent as you rotate things and will tell you if things are bent.
You apparently have a geometry issue - check the current board for drag link lengths, possible bent or reject spindle or spindle arm, etc.
To eliminate wheel run out from the equation do this.
1. Jack up front end so you can spin the wheels.
2. With some sort of support to steady your hand, spin each wheel and, with a magic marker, draw a line on the tire tread down the center, all the way around.
3. remove the jack.
4. Roll the car ahead 5 or 6 feet.
5. Measure the distance between the lines at the 9 o'clock & 3 o'clock locations.
You may end up determining that one of your spindle arms is bent.
Thanks Fred. I will do that tonight.
Steve, I don't see how the drag length has much to do with the toe in. I don't have that rod connected right now.
I would suspect one or the both of your spindle arms is bent. If you replace it or straighten it, your adjustment will do the fine tuning. I found one which was bent when I was restoring my car, but had another straight one, so just put the bent one in my rejected parts.
Here's the recent thread that talks about different tie rod lengths:
I agree that there is a steering geometry problem, but it could be a bent front axle as well or in addition to a bent front spindle. Model T front axles are frighteningly easy to bend, especially by lifting the car with a floor jack in the middle of the front axle. The axle that came on my 1925 Roadster looked straight, but tore rubber off the right front tire at a rapid rate. Removing the front axle and checking it on a straightness jig revealed that it was badly out of alignment. After straightening the car drives much better and the tires last much longer.
You have to measure from the same location on each wheel each time. Mark the location on each wheel when you measure the spacing forward, then rotate each wheel 180 degrees and measure from the same points you measured forward. This is what Jerry was accomplishing with his technique.
Might the spindles be reversed? The right spindle should have left hand threads.
Yeah something else is wrong/bent. There's no way that can even operate properly with the rod threaded in and hitting the spindle.
Ok. With both tires off if you measure from wheel mount to mount there is about 1/8th inch difference from front to back. This would seem about right. What would keep this from being a better way to measure the toe in? I'm new and learning and have never been much of a do it yourself person on my cars. So go easy on telling me why this is wrong.
Bent wheel rims can affect the measurement significantly. It is not unusual for a undamaged rim to have 1/8" runout. That is why to measure toe in accurately you need to use Ted's method.
Here's what dad taught me as a fool proof method of checking alignment:
First make a mark on each front rim at 6:00. Then roll the car backwards until each of those marks is 10" off the ground forward of the spindles. Measure and write it down.
Then roll the car the other direction until the marks are 10" off the ground behind the spindle. Measure and subtract from the first dimension.
You have now eliminated any effect of a bent wheel.
Thanks for everyone's help. I put my spare on the left (driver's side) and moved the tire on the left to the right (since it is less worn than the old right tire). Now the toe in measures about a 1/4 inch.
Jerry VanO and Royce both have given good methods to get an accurate measure for toe-in. Trent B also makes good points.
Another off-the-wall possibility. About a year or so ago (?) Steve Jelf showed a spindle that was somehow machined incorrectly and threw the arm way off-angle. Now, in my 40-plus years playing with these things, and hundreds of front ends I have looked at on cars or at swap meets in addition to the dozens I have owned, I have never seen one like it before. Yet (if I recall correctly), two other people were able to provide photos of similarly defective spindles. So it may be something to look at.
The flats on the spindle, where the arm slips in and bolts down, should be absolutely straight relative to the spindle itself (the tapered part the wheel is mounted on). On the defective spindles, those flats were angled slightly.
Just a thought.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2