The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jeff34, Aug 30, 2021.
Starting to look like my idea of a hot rod…
I have an issue that I'm trying to track down, and could use a little guidance/help. Last Sunday as I was driving home from an event across town, I made a right hand turn, and the car turned HARD right much more than I had turned the wheel. Startled me, but I got it straightened up and home. I lifted the front off the floor and tried pushing and pulling to see if something was obvious, but I didn't find anything. I'm pulling the Tie Rod and Drag Link to clean up all the parts, replace the seals, cups, and springs to see if that makes an improvement. I'll adjust the steering box (again) to see if that helps and check toe-in (again). Other thoughts on what might be causing this? I know bump-steer could be contributing, but there wasn't a vertical motion component during the turn. Could just the roll of the body cause this type of reaction?
Also got the tail light mount cut down to size and mounted to the back with the plate.
Additional information on steering. With the Tie Rod disconnected, the play in the front wheel is significant. If I turn the wheel half way to the right stop, and pull the back of the wheel out, it moves significantly more than expected. I tightened both of the adjustments on the steering box VERY tight, and it still happens. I think something is happening inside the steering box, so I'm going to pull it and tear it down. I think that's fine since I need to replace the gear oil that's in it with some cornhead grease. Of course, if anybody has another suggestion, please let me know since I'm not looking forward to tearing the box down...
I had a similar experience on an old farm hack I picked up, had excessive play in the king pins
I decide to take a deep breath and check things out a bit more last night before I pulled the box out. Looks like a lot of work, and if I can avoid it, that would be great. I disconnected the drag link from the pitman arm. When I pushed on the pitman arm, it didn't have too much slack, but I noticed that the steering wheel would move in and out as I pushed harder allowing the pitman arm to move further. It took more force to drive the worm axially, which might be why it happened during the turn. I took the worm adjuster screw out, and noticed that the screw wasn't landing on the flat on the upper race housing, but rather on the O.D. Whoever put the box together didn't get them lined up. So I rotated the race housing until the flat was aligned with the hole, put the screw back in, and adjusted the axial play. Now the movement of the Pitman arm is minimal. I reconnected the drag link, and movement of the wheel is minimal. Now I just need to get the rubber seals for each end of the tie rod, reassemble everything, and adjust toe. Hopefully this solves the problem, and I don't need to pull the box to figure this out. Fingers crossed.
Jeff, you might try moving the wheel back and forth just enough to start everything moving. If you
can have someone move the wheel for you, while you watch every component start to move, by doing
this you will see what is slack, this is done while the wheels are on the ground. You might have a broken
spring in the tie rod end. Next jack each wheel up and grab the tire top and bottom moving it to determine
king pin play. Good luck.....
Nice solid lookin roadster, congrats. I believe that red horn is supposed to sound like a cow, have you "honked' it yet?
Thanks, Nobey. I pulled all the springs out and cleaned them up. They are all intact. No play in the kingpins. There is a bit of wear on the rod end balls, but not bad. Hoping that the end play on the box will "fix" it. Should know more when the new seals arrive and I can grease it back up and drive it. I'd also like to check to see what the caster angle is. I know it can't be changed, but maybe there's something funky going on at the wishbone mount.
Thanks RV. Yup, sounds like a cow!
Sounds good Jeff. Some other things to check would be the wishbone ball, some have springs on the cap and
can come loose. Look at the U bolts for tightness and make sure the spring didn't shift and the spring bolt is
still seated in the cross member. Stock wheels can be a problem as they crack around the spokes at the center.
Lug nuts, axle nuts tight. Something went wrong for sure, so don't trust it until you find it. Are you going to
pull the box apart and check the sector? Sound like there was a problem with the box assembly. I'm confident
you'll find the problem, you just have to check everything. Good luck Bud....
Ahh...Pucker moments...Death Wobble sucks...anything loading metal in shear is worrisome...chasing slop...thou's at a time...Even if the Cars Solid doesn't mean all is A-Ok and your Near Mobile...Boy you're really going Prewar...
Yeah Stogy it can be frightening, the car sat for a long time and it could be something as simple as a stuck spring
shackle that let go in the turn.....
Great story enjoyed the read will be following along.
I’m really glad the deal with the boat and the trip all worked out. A few years ago I made a 600 mile one way, trip with a two place car trailer and a pocket full of cash to buy a couple old cars. Two separate owners and ended up coming home with a empty trailer. Neither car was close to being as advertised what a let down.
Removed the top and “refinished” the belt line wood. I was going to fill all the holes and try to make it look “pretty” but I think that would have been too nice. Decide to give it a quick sand and put some cutting board finish and furniture wax on it. I like it.
Great deal!---You scored good on that swap!---Wish I had that old bull horn!
Looking at the axle more closely. I tried to measure caster, and it appears to be 0 degrees. I also noticed that both ends of the axle are angled backwards by a bit. I looked at my 34 pu axle and it’s straight. Bent axle?
Here’s the right side
And the left
That is not good Jeff. You need a straight axle, you can check them with a straight edge. They also
make cones with rods that go through the king pin and perch holes so you can see if all four holes
line up. Most of the axles that you find a swap meets are bent. Also check that wish bone, it too might
be bent. I will look in the barn today and see if I have a straight A axle for you.....
That last pic shows a bent tie rod. You should replace that immediately. They are not really thick walled tubes, there is a slug in the end to provide support for the threads. Any significant bend like that is a future bend or break point.
^^it's not just bent but slotted and worn through...axle is bent time to find a dropped axle
Separate names with a comma.