Lubricating the Radius Ball Caps

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Lubricating the Radius Ball Caps
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Perkins on Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 11:49 pm:

What is the advice regarding lubricating the radius ball caps on my 1926 Roadster? I am referring to the ones on the steering rod and Pitman arm. Seems to me that these should be lubricated, but there are no grease fittings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, April 08, 2016 - 12:15 am:

I open them up and put grease in them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charles Weisgerber on Friday, April 08, 2016 - 12:19 am:

As Steve said.... Don't worry Mark, I've thought the same thing a few times.

Charles


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Friday, April 08, 2016 - 12:23 am:

If they are snug, as in newly rebuilt, you can. However, lubricating worn drag links, tie rods, and spindle bolts can cause the front end to "shimmy". Just saw that on a car last weekend.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Friday, April 08, 2016 - 01:07 am:

I just put some oil on them from time to time. It doesn't show because of all of the other oil that's under there.:-) Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, April 08, 2016 - 07:56 am:

I've heard of folks 'tightening' them up by inserting an oil or grease soaked piece of leather.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, April 08, 2016 - 10:11 am:

Verne, they still need lubricating - you just have to tighten them up first.
Problem is when the balls starts to wear uneven and eggshaped - filing the cap may make it tight when steering one direction while it gets stuck when steering the other way. Apco spring loaded accessory caps is a way to get by until you find better balls - the steering arm is available new and for 1918-27 cars the ball on the tie rod is also available.

There is a risk filing the standard cap too much even if the ball is round - it may get too thin, so the alternative is to file on the drag link instead or put in a cupped copper penny as a shim. Avoid the cupped steel shims from the vendors - one of them wore through on Constantine's Africa trip and made the steering get stuck. A copper penny shim won't do that. But all solutions needs frequent adding of grease or oil. If yo drive a lot on dusty gravel roads you may consider making leather covers for the links.. sand in the grease makes a grinding compound.

leather boots

(Message edited by Roger K on April 08, 2016)


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