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Technical Steering Modification

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by ursus2, Oct 12, 2019 at 10:19 PM.

  1. ursus2
    Joined: Saturday
    Posts: 2

    ursus2

    My Model A coupe was converted to 1940 Ford spindles, tie rod, and brakes back about 1965. I like he brakes and general performance but don't like the way the tie rod hangs below the stock front axle. The tie rod connects to the 1940 lower steering arms that are part of the spindle assemblies. Is there any way that the tie rod can be moved up above the wishbone as in a stock Model A, with steering arms mounted to the upper part of the backing plate?? I see that some of the vendors like Speedway have quite an array of options for such a modification. Any thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. irishsteve
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 352

    irishsteve

    If theres clearance you can run a 7 degree tapered reamer through the top of the hole in the arm,and ream it half way through.The tie rod can then be run on top assuming the rod clears the top of the wishbone.
     
  3. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 3,062

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Your new but we all like pics.:) There is amazing knowledge and tech around here. So , stay a spell.
     
  4. brading
    Joined: Sep 9, 2019
    Posts: 13

    brading

    Not a fan of a half tapered arm. I would ream out the arm to use this type of bush. The shoulder sit on top of the arm and the bush is tapered from top to bottom. Think you might be able to get them from Speedway Motors.
     

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  5. brading
    Joined: Sep 9, 2019
    Posts: 13

    brading

  6. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,098

    alchemy
    Member

    I'm guessing your Model A sits kinda high? If you had lowered it, and there was less clearance between the axle/wishbone/frame, you would be glad for the tierod below the wishbone.

    Tapering the steering arm halfway from the topside works just fine, I've had the spindles on my sedan done like that and still tight after a dozen years. But I bet you might still need to bend the arm up a bit for the clearance.

    I would never recommend cutting the stock arms off and bolting on arms. If your stock spindle's arms are good, just heat and bend to fit. It will require disassembly and maybe a new lower kingpin bushing if it gets heated too much. But still a much better final product and no bolts to come loose. I've been in a car driving down the Interstate when the bolts holding the steering arm came loose. I don't recommend it for anyone.
     
  7. ratreo
    Joined: Jan 24, 2010
    Posts: 21

    ratreo
    Member
    from Preston,Wa

    (QUOTE)

    I would never recommend cutting the stock arms off and bolting on arms. If your stock spindle's arms are good, just heat and bend to fit. It will require disassembly and maybe a new lower kingpin bushing if it gets heated too much. But still a much better final product and no bolts to come loose. I've been in a car driving down the Interstate when the bolts holding the steering arm came loose. I don't recommend it for anyone.(QUOTE)

    Bolted on steering arms have been used for decades. Cross drill the bolt heads and install stainless safety wire to keep the bolts from backing out. It’s easy enough to research the proper wire layout arrangement that along with the investment of safety wire pliers will get you safely on the road. Race cars and bikes have been doing this forever
     
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  8. Fabber McGee
    Joined: Nov 22, 2013
    Posts: 736

    Fabber McGee
    Member

    Safety wire is Air Worthy, that means it is certainly street worthy. Plus, it looks really cool when done correctly.
     
  9. ursus2
    Joined: Saturday
    Posts: 2

    ursus2

    Thanks for the comments. First off, the suspension is stock Model-A, excepting the 1940 spindles, brakes, and tie rod. It does have a high compression Model-B motor which fits my intention to keep it in the "rest-rod" mode. Currently, the '40 tie rod passes beneath the wishbone. The tie rod ends are mounted from the top of the steering arms via a fully tapered hole (stock '40?) and the tie rod centerline is about an inch above the top of the arm.

    My thought is that new steering arms with the appropriate amount of drop would allow the tie rod to clear the wishbone from above instead of its current position hanging below the front axle. I would leave the stock lower steering arms in place just in case somebody wanted to change back or use them on a '37-41 Ford.

    Another complication is that the previous owner had cut off the steering arm mounting of a Model-A driver side spindle and welded it to the upper part of the 1940 spindle so he could use the Model-A steering arm that connects to the the Model-A drag link. I've never seen this before and wonder about the safety of that weld but he drove it for years that way. Most would have used the "hoop" type upper steering arm for this build - I've seen some interesting stuff over the years.
     
  10. rustythumb
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 91

    rustythumb
    Member

    seems odd that your tie rod is above the steering arms. i've had a lot of stock ford spindles over the years & the tie rods have all attached below the steering arms! by the way i had an upper steering arm welded on to a '40 spindle on my '32 in 1972 [by dan woods] & it's still fine after 22,000 miles.
     
  11. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,285

    flatford39
    Member

    Heat and bend your steering arms.....
     
  12. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,098

    alchemy
    Member

    Bolt on arms meant for these spindles won’t fit at the upper boss. Not deep enough.
     

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