That ball at the end of the front axle wishbone--I think it's called the universal ball. Can anyone tell me what its proper diameter is? Im working on my front axle and noticed that the ball is worn. My plan is to build it up with a wirefeed and then grind and shape back to it's right size, whatever that is. Appreciate the help.
Brian, the ball on the wishbone is the radius ball and measures 1 5/16". This measurement came from a wishbone I have that has very little wear to it. There are various options on tightening up the fit to the pan and cap sockets.
how much wear does your ball have? Welding then grinding the ball round and smooth seems time consuming. What ever the repair is, you want to make the repair dosen't weaken the wishbone or any other components. You'll have your hands full if it fails.
The "Universal ball" is on the drive shaft where it mounts to the transmission.
1st it needs to be round! That does sound like a lot of work. If it were me I would go one of two routes, buy one of the weld on replacement balls or two find another wish bone. How is the socket where it mounts. If it is worn it will need attention also. I will let someone else chime in here that knows how to fix that.
**** The ball, and the ball socket is 1+1/4" plus or minus a few thousands of an inch**** not 1+5/16.
You might also consider flowing silver solder, such as Harris Safety Silv 45, over the surface of the ball. It should wet out and flow evenly over the ball surface making it easy to true up and forgiving if it wasn't perfect.
I thought one vendor sold..or I think I saw a rubber cup that fits in the socket to compensate for a worn unit...? any one else see something like this?
Mick,that's for a Model A.
I just went out and measured the ball on my wishbone, (keep in mind that my calipers is really old and crappy), but I came up with 1and 1/4 inch. It looked worn and felt sloppy when I took it apart. Maybe it was just loose, Ill have to inspect the cap and springs when I put it back together. By the way, how tight should those nuts be, should the springs be collapsed all the way?
If you completely collapse springs,The ball has no place to float and it will cause excessive wear on it. The cap should be snug ,but still have movement. Do not forget to figure-8 safety wire it so the studs will not back out.
I put a piece of leather in the socket under the crankcase above the ball joint. Just grease it up good.
Seems to work.
Adam, Thanks for making me question my sanity and going back out into the cold to recheck my measurements. I took my good calipers out this time and measured 1.300 on this ball. I measured 3 other balls on wishbones and they all measured 1.250 I grabbed the only odd ball in the pile to measure. It fits real nice in the socket of the oil pan that I picked up recently for my next project.
Brian, if your ball is in decent shape you can probably make a cupped shim to put in the socket to tighten things up.
The old boys used to shim a wishbone ball with a copper penny.
I think my wishbone ball is good, I just need to check some other things as the front axle goes back in. Im just happy I have all the bushings out and replaced, what a S.O.B>
Like Norman Kling, I have a piece of leather in the wish bone socket on my T. I greased it up years ago when I put it in. I have put a lot of miles on and it is still snug. When I pulled the engine a couple of years ago, I checked it and put it back together with some new grease.
The only reason that I pulled apart and rebuilt my front axle is that on the way to a car show this last summer I got what can only be described as the "death wobble" in my front tires. It was pretty scary. I figured my front axle needed new bushings, along with spring perch bushings. Now that Ive done that, I just want to fix anything else to avoid that same feeling. Thats why Im looking at the wishbone ball. This all takes place after my back wheel passed me when the rear axle broke, which warranted a rear axle rebuild last fall.