Snugging up the linkage rods

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Snugging up the linkage rods
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Buelke on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 07:11 pm:

For those of us with more time than common sense to fiddle with our T's, here's another project. Throttle and timer rods wear and develop distortions that result in looseness or binding. The timing rod is a real snake where past adjustments have produced twists and improper angulations at the either end resulting in noticeable slack in your timing control. Even new setups have loose tolerances and later there is often wear so that the angle at the end will ride into the eye and corkscrew as it operates. Before you start, examine the rods and lever arms to see if moderate restoration will help or if they should be replaced. Ascertain that they are angled/fitted precisely at both ends without binding, because when you've completed this procedure they'll fit tighter and be very difficult to bend. 

What I am demonstrating is how to use spent 22 short casings as brass bushings to tighten these linkages. Those pull rods are 7/32”, but the casings are several thousandths less. You can't just drive a drift punch to expand them because they will split, bend, or fold, so you need to create a slightly oversized sleeve in which to do this. Using a hole in some hardwood stabilizes the shell while expanding it with a tapered rod. To start, you'll need two scraps of oak/hardwood, several spent 22 cal. short casings, and a few inches of 7/32” drill stock or hard rod. Drill two holes in the hardwood: A 7/32” in both pieces and a 15/64” hole in one. Ream the holes up and down as you drill to marginally oversize them. 

Now place a shell in the 7/32” hole and carefully (it's tight) tap it in with a leather or rubber mallet until it rests on its rim.

Then flip the block over and sandwich the cap against an undrilled area on the other block for backing. Hold the blocks together firmly. Insert the 7/32” drill bit into the open end of the casing, at first rotate it counterclockwise by hand as it penetrates the shell down to the cap to assure you don't damage the shell wall, and then proceed to drill out the cap. The backing is to help keep the shell from spinning and "punching out" as you drill. Using a drill press and vice assures accurate alignment. Then use the blunt end of the drill to drive out the shell.

Next we stretch the casing in the other hole (15/64”). The shell fits loosely here, yet is sufficiently supported so it won't distort as you expand it. Insert the punch into the bullet end with the cap aligned over the smaller hole in the backing block

This is the reason for the small tip—to allow the extended tip to protrude to help you align the cap over the second smaller (7/32”) hole so you can drive the expanding punch without pushing the whole cartridge ahead. This time you'll need a heavier steel hammer and use some force. Continue to drive the punch all the way through for thorough expansion, finishing with another set-punch to drive it on out.

Now, reverse the 15/64” bit and gently use it to drive the shell out of this hole and here's a set of what you'll have. These brass bushings should fit snugly over the rods.

Champfer the tip of the rod and remove any obvious burrs. If the rods are slightly worn, you also can tin them with solder to fill the defects.

A quick twist with a damp cloth or steel wool before the solder hardens should leave you with no additional thickness. Align the rim of the shell casing on the end of the rod, then place the block with the 15/64” hole over it to drive and twist it on. DO NOT attempt to tap it on a cappella because these casings will fold or bend very easily. If there is too much solder, just heat the whole thing and continue to slip it on until the cartridge rim is at the elbow. If they are too loose, sweat with more solder. You may need to drill out the cotter pin hole again because the of the solder and because the brass half covers it on some.

Pick up some flat 1/4” washers, or even better some 6M metric washers that have narrower rims and try to place one on each side of the lever arm when you insert it to keep it centered. Some lever arms may only allow one washer; then try to place it on the side most likely wear.

When you install them, they should fit snugly and function without binding. If they bind, they'll just wear out. This was the reason to have the rods properly aligned at the onset. It you feel some of them may still need a tweak, NEVER handle the bushing with a pliers or in a vice. Instead, to facilitate some re-angulation, secure the rod in a vice below the elbow and use a set punch and hammer at the tip beyond the brass . I sprayed mine with some graphite lube (John Deere) for good measure.

You'll be amazed at the precise control you now have in your timing and throttle linkages.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 07:17 pm:

I'm about 150 miles from the coast. It's too far to go for shells. How about a turtle or tortoise shell? Can we get shells at a pet store?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 07:50 pm:

Great idea Don, thanks for sharing. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eyssen - Abilene TX on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 05:23 pm:

I use different sizes of "nesting" brass tubing found at hobby, craft and hardware stores to do the same thing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 08:59 pm:

Tim that sounds like a lot less work!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 10:30 pm:

Don,

Thanks for posting that. It is always good to here the solutions that other T guys come up with to fix problems. There are many ways to skin a cat and I now know another one! I have used several ways to take up the slack in the control rods and yours looks to be just as effective, and maybe easier than some of the other methods I have used. As a re-loader I now wish I had saved a few of the thousands of 22 shells I have gone through. I never could find a reason to keep any since they are not re-loadable and I could not figure out how to melt and make brass lights out of them!


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