One thing that I need to do on my '21 Touring is to replace the homemade (not by me) radius rod ball retainer and the mismatched bolts and wrong size lockwashers. I have the right stuff that I bought from Lang's. How should I prepare for the switch? There seems to be a lot of pressure on the bolts. Do I leave the wheels on the floor and support the radius rods with a floor jack?
I have pulled my wishbone ball down a few times to clean it and install new grease. I don't remember there being a lot of pressure on the wishbone ball.
You can leave the car on the ground. Put chocks on the forward and aft sides of one front wheel so that the front axle won't move (you can chock both front wheels for extra insurance if you have enough chocks).
Some folks tighten the nuts until the springs are fully compressed (coil bound), I chose not to go that far on my car.
Don't forget to wire the studs and nuts to each other when you're done, cotter pins will not work in this location because the studs can back out.
If the ball is slightly loose in the socket after you have tightened the nuts and compressed the springs, insert a shim into the socket. The vendors sell a special shim for the purpose. If the slop is really bad, you may have to do a more complicated repair to the ball and/or socket as shown in a the older threads below.
On my 1919 Touring the ball/wishbone did shift forward a bit when I took off the nuts/springs and pulled down on the ball to clean and inspect years ago. I do not know if this was due to a sagging frame or pressure from the front spring assembly but I could not push the ball back into place. I had to attach a come-a-long between the front and rear axle and gently pull them together a 1/4" and then push the ball upward and into the socket.
Mark, I'm with you. It makes no sense to me to tighten the springs down until they are fully compressed. If you want to do that, just leave the springs out, they are not going to do any good. I don't understand their thinking. Am I missing something? Dave
We make the cap and studs and also sell the complete kits, Bob
I disagree with David. It does make sense to use the springs. Especially if the cap is tight. You can tighten until the ball does not move up and down. As the socket and cap wear the cap will move closer to the socket because the springs will push on it to make it tight.
The springs should be used. The cap should be tightened until the ball will not move up and down. The springs will help reduce the wear on the socket and cap if not tightened all the way. They should not be tightened all the way, but should be tightened enough that as the ball and socket wear the cap will remain tight. As wear occurs, the springs will keep the cap tight.
A friend of mine was set up to replace the wishbone balls, though I don't think he is now. Used a 1-1/2" ball bearing to replace the ball, good metal! He set up the wishbone in his mill and would mill the original ball down to the diameter of the "neck" on the wishbone, bore out the ball bearing that size and braze it onto the wishbone. When finished, there was no visible change, the strength of the original design was not compromised either. Some worry about the strength of the brazed joint, but the front parts are brazed on, and he researched the joint strength, which was plenty strong ( I don't remember the numbers). I have one of his repairs under my '16, although I haven't driven it yet--lots more to restore first!
Norman, that's pretty much what I said. If the springs are completely compressed, they aren't going to do any good. Now, if the ball is large enough to be tight before the springs are compressed, that's a whole different thing. Dave
FWIW, I was just reading the Rodda booklet on the 1909 Model T and it said the ball was pinned and brazed to the wishbone.