I have a bent drag link and a smaller bend in the tie rod on my 26 Tudor, and want to heat and re straighten, can anyone advise if this will cause any weakening of the piece/s.
Thanks in advance David
I had the same situation resulting from where a tow chain had been attached. As it didn't interfere with the steering performance and wheel alignment adjustability, I left it. Bending metal past its point of elasticity can only weaken it. There is some mention in the Ford manual of bending something back to shape (I can't remember what it was) but it said to do it cold.
David, I have straightened drag links cold with a hammer and anvil. Just be careful not to pound a flat spot. Never thought about heating them. The tie rod being a hollow tube is better suited for heating and bending. I have done a few of those as well. Not as easy to get straight. I wouldn't hesitate in the slightest using heat on either. You don't have to heat it bright red to bend it.
You can heat and bend both. Is temper and strength removed in the process? Maybe. But I have straightened and run many on my cars with no apparent problem. The hollow tube is tricky. A lot of heat must be used to make sure the tube is elastic and bendable as the metal is easy to tear.
You should be able to bend the drag link cold. If it breaks it was no good anyway. However, heating probably wouldn't hurt either.
You are 100% correct to want it straight! Drag links and tie rods that have bends are dangerous in that they can bend further, (i.e. collapse), when higher steering forces are exerted. For example, swerving to avoid an accident or when traveling a rough road. Of course, it's at those times that you depend most on good parts, in good condition.
(I wonder how many T's have bent up steering linkages and Rocky Mountain brakes as well?)
Thanks for those comments, l used my tow trailer which has a nice rectangular section just perfect for a cold bend, 5 minutes, back on the car.perfect.