I am about to replace my tie rod bolts and bushings, and I heard that I should ditch the split steel bushings and go with bronze.
I also seem to recall someone mentioning that they should be faced once they are pressed in- or am I thinking of the spindle bushings?
Can anyone set me straight as to the process for replacing the tie rod bolts and bushings?
It's the spindle bushings that get faced. Either split steel or bronze is fine. Everyone has their favorite choices.
Ford used steel bushings for years and years and seemed to work OK.
As far as how to replace them I pressed them in with my vise.
What I did was to drop the front end assembly and replaced all the bushings at one time.
When I had the front axle jacked up one day I was checking the spindle bushings and noticed how much slack there was in the whole unit.
You may be surprised to find out how much slack that shows up when all of the weight is off of the front axle and you slowly turn it back and forth.
I'll blather about both tie rod and spring/perch bushings. I suspect the ones listed in Lang's catalogue as brass are really bronze. I recently joined those who use the bronze ones for tie rod and springs and perches, on the theory that I'd rather wear out the bushings than the hangers and bolts. If you get spring and perch bushings in and the hangers don't fit, use a 9/16" reamer on them. If the hangers are loose, they may be worn enough to need replacement or fixing.
Sometimes you can press out the old bushings without much trouble. But occasionally they're stuck so fast that the only way is to put a hacksaw blade through and cut them, being careful not to cut into the perch. It's usually the ones in the perches that are a booger to get out.
Here's a press. The small pipe (1/8 I think) is slightly under 9/16" OD and pushes the old bushing (if it will move) out into the piece of 1" pipe. To install a bushing, remove the small pipe and press it in. It's a good idea to grease the hole and put a little bevel on the end of the bushing to help it get started.
Pressing out an old bushing.
Pressing in a new bushing.
If you're going the bronze route for hanger bushings, sizes are:
9/16" ID, 11/16" OD, 1½" L (Front)
9/16" ID, 11/16" OD, 2" L (Rear)
I get mine from BRC in Wichita, but a Google search should find a dealer in your area. Or you can order them from one of the Model T parts dealers.
I used steel in my cars. The material isn't the issue it's the lack of lubrication that is the deal killer. Properly lubricated steel bushings will last for many years.
Don't know if Dad's Touring car has bronze or steel bushings. I oil them and they've been in there for 40 years or so. Any day now they'll wear out and I'll know the truth. (Hope I live that long.)
I want the bushings to wear out if it will save the hangers.
After I installed the last new set of tie rod bushings and bolts I bought, I still had some slop. The bushings fit snug into the spindle arm, but after doing some measuring, I found that the ID of the bushings was .010" bigger than the new bolts. I cut a piece of .005" steel shim stock and wrapped around the bolt to tighten it up. That tightened them up so there was no slop. That doesn't sound like much, but we all know it adds up. I don't know whether the bushings or the bolts are made wrong, but I know the fit of the new parts together was not right.
For the springs, I understand Steve's logic in using bronze bushings. For the tie rod bushings, I don't know that it would really make a big difference, since replacement bolts are fairly cheap anyway. I'll get out the calipers before I buy bronze bushings.
It seems like the spindle bushings are a bit more involved, perhaps I should just remove the front axle assembly and try to renew it all at the same time.
You can use a similar tool that Steve uses for his springs on the tie rod bushings, you can sometimes heat the old bushing up and as it cools it will become loose. For taking up the ball caps I use a penny shaped by driving a ball peen hammer into the center of a penny supported by nut at the rim.
I just came across this posting and I hope today I finished the front axle, everything replaced finally, the one thing I find is there is no room for an oiler in the spring, any suggestions on plugging the holes after oiling?
I have the same issue Thomas. I think the original "flip-top" oilers used in that application were extremely short, with the lid resting just off the surface of the perch. I'm not sure if the oiler manufactures make them that short now days. I need to look myself and see if something like that is still obtainable. I know the vendors only offer the standard examples. Sadly that may be my first clue.
I don't plug the holes. I put a couple of drops of 600W in them every once in awhile, Don.
Thomas, that has been a problem for years. Unfortunately, the vendors don't mention this. The original oilers on my '25 coupe are close to half of the height of the repros. I just left them out when I rebuilt the front end on my TT and just squirt a shot of oil in them. Dave
Since I have replaced everything including new perches I had hoped there would be room for the spring oilers, I'm thinking it would be better to not have the open hole at all! Well the car I have has been around for 91 years axle deep in mud many times no doubt so I don't see it as a game changer! Funny how a car can talk to you if you take it apart and put it back, I'll bet the old girl has heard some strong language!
Mike: I know you don't probably have much money, but I didn't either when I was your age, but I still bought stuff I know I would use. One is a bushing driver set. I've never regretted it. The next thing is two or three adjustable reamers, I think they are also called Critchley reamers. You will use all this stuff for years if you continue in this hobby. I like to buy my bushings from Chaffins, cause he has bronze, but it's probably available from McMaster Carr too.
You'll be just fine. Chances are that you wont be driving in mud bogs....:') just keep everything well oiled. If something does get in there you can easy use a Qtip to clean out the hole.
I recycle worn king pin/spindle bushings for tie rod bushings. The OD is correct, I bore and ream the ID to suit the pins and leave a little of the kingpin bushing flange to act as a thrust face to take the weight of the rod when it is in use. This allows the yokes on the ends of the rod to be filed flat to remove wear grooves.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.