while looking for the "slop" on my 1911 Ford, I noted that the ball that attaches to the drag link is badly worn. Do I: (1) cut off the worn ball and try to weld on a replacement? (2) add weld to the ball and try to file it to 1" as original? (3) Send it to someone who knows what to do to get it back to correct.?
Michael, I have a method of re-furbishing these balls and those on the early pitman arms.
I grind two flats 1/2" apart on each side of the old ball, then two more to make a 1/2" square. Then I knock the corners off and file it into round. This then has a 1/2" fine thread cut using a hand die.
I buy adjustable tie rod end balls with the straight shank from the vendors. The straight shank is held in the lathe and the ball drilled so I can tap the same half inch thread into it. Then the ball is cut off, threaded onto the receiver and tack welded to stop it ever winding off.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I just acetylene welded more mass to the worn ball. I then filed it to somewhat smooth and let it be. That was 10 years ago. Jerry
Don't the vendors sell the rounded inserts for this purpose?
I made my own with a small washer, using a socket and small ball peen hammer to round it to fit into the drag link end.
Really tightens things up for a smooth no slop joint.
Hope this helps.
Hi From a Blizzard In Iowa - I usually use a trick my Dad showed me when I was in Jr high ('58) working on my first T (bought when I was 11)! Take a nice soft copper penny of the current year and place it in the loose cap (I always put Abe's head down so he doesn't wear and I can read the date). I then place a ball peen hammer of the right size on top of the penny in the cap layed on a piece of soft pine. Use a brass hammer (please do not use another hard hammer)and strike the Ball peen hammer head a couple of times or until the proper curve on the penny is ready. Now you have the shim you need!! I have some in use over 50 years and still going! Have A Good T Day - John
Michael, as long as the ball is not horribly worn and is pretty much round these work great. https://www.modeltford.com/item/2728APCO.aspx
I do the same thing as John Williams. I like to keep the original parts. Shape your penny and fill it with grease and it will work well.