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Hot Rods What Front End is This?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by AKGrouch, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. AKGrouch
    Joined: Oct 19, 2014
    Posts: 208

    AKGrouch
    Member

    My wife had a recent problem with a broken steering arm on her t-bucket. Have not been able to find any parts as I can't id the frontend. Neither the folks at Spirit or the crew at Pete & Jakes have ever seen it and I have not seen another like it. Also talked to Cal Custom and several other custom shops with no luck. Also spoke telephonically with Metaltwister. No one seems to know. Ended up having to weld and fabricate a pinned bolt insert into the tubing. It's stout as hell now ut I can't help but wonder about the other side. Hopefully someone here might know. The bucket was built in 1991 as for the approximate vintage of the front end (could have been a kit). front end.jpg Steering arm.jpg Broken Arm.jpg Steering arm kingpin collar.jpg
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,857

    squirrel
    Member

    tell them it's an early Econoline spindle...maybe they'll know something about it?
     
  3. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,352

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    That is an unusual but neat idea, too bad it broke!

    The spindles look similar to Model A or 53-56 F-100 with the bolt in steering arms. I've never seen Econoline spindles but I'd trust Squirrel.
     
  4. Seems like I remember seeing old adds for something like that from MAS in there catalog. MAS is long gone as far as I know, so I don't think that they will be able to help you.
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,857

    squirrel
    Member

    this is supposed to be the 61-67 Econoline spindle assembly...there are clues on the internet that Total T made the steering arms for T buckets to fit these spindles.

    [​IMG]
     
    Tim likes this.
  6. Looks like a Total Performance front end. They were proponents of using the Econoline spindle.
     
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,516

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The front end does look like the MAS units. A lot of "T Bucket" front ends used Econoline spindles at that time period too.
    A quick wheel bearing and seal check and comparison might narrow the spindle down some more as to what year or model it is off. Almost all Fords with the smaller spindles be they car or truck used the same outer wheel bearing but the inner bearing and seal may be more specific to certain models.
    Early 60's Econoline inner wheel bearings had a 1.2500 bore while the 56 F-100 had 1.3125 bore on the inner cone of the wheel bearing. 28 to 48 had a 1.190 bore on the inner cone. That should at least eliminate some of the choices.
     
    squirrel likes this.
  8. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    I would look for some solid replacement arms. Never seen tubular arms before, not surprised it broke.
     
    F&J and X38 like this.
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Looks like a strong recommendation for an actual Econoline arm...
    I'd look over the other arm and the steering arm while thinking about life expectancy and the high costs of funerals nowadays.
    Probably all the forged information was ground off the spindles before plating, but look anyway...I believe the Econoline spindles will have a PN prefix with an E in it.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  10. AKGrouch
    Joined: Oct 19, 2014
    Posts: 208

    AKGrouch
    Member

    What is really amazing is that she apparently drove it about 2 miles after broke. Fate was kind to her as she made a decision to travel on the frontage road rather than the highway. She didn't notice it until she tried to back up and the wheels went opposite of each other!!!!!!! God apparently takes good care of drunks, fools, and apparently my wife as she is definitely not a fool or a drunk.......just very lucky.
     
    AHotRod likes this.
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,516

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The stock arms have enough beef that a few hours of Trimming, grinding and polishing won't take away any measurable strength either.
     
    need louvers ? likes this.
  12. AKGrouch
    Joined: Oct 19, 2014
    Posts: 208

    AKGrouch
    Member

    Thanks for the info gang. I think it's Econoline as that square sided insert for the steering arm is the same. As for the other side, we plan on cutting it apart, inserting another large bolt, welding it up, just like the other one. Then I have to figure out where to send them for chroming as we no longer have any metal plating in Alaska. The Feds closed the last one down that we had.

    Again, thanks for the help. I should have come here first.....lol
     
  13. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 10,664

    AHotRod
    Member

  14. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Squirrel had it right right out of the gate with the Econoline spindles. The axle is just common super bell stuff, and I believe the bat wings are either modified Pete & Jake's type aftermarket stuff, OR more likely a style that total performance offered throughout the nineties and '00s.

    If this car was built in '91, that would have been just about the time that Tex Smith did an article on adapting the Econoline spindles to a typical Early Ford axle, in his magazine Hot Rod Mechanix.
     
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  15. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,215

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    What caused the failure, hydrogen embrittlement?
     
  16. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    More likely, fabrication out of crap where a forging was needed. Looks almost like it was made out of chrome sink fittings from Home Depot...betcha the steering arm is from same source and I'd replace it with something more real-like too...
     
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  17. AKGrouch
    Joined: Oct 19, 2014
    Posts: 208

    AKGrouch
    Member

    It failed internally on the tubing alongside the weld. The bolted stub part of the arm is Econoline and part of the spindle arm shown in Squirrel's diagram above. The tubular shaft and tie rod ring mount are "whothehellknows" and welded onto the stub. We plan on cutting other one and inserting a 5/8" bolt and pin, then welding it up like we did on the broken one. So far this is the only thing crappy we have found in the build [as long as you don't count the wiring under the panel-which will be redone by me). Speedway did absorb TP if that's the source of the car. Their tech said yesterday that they have nothing original from TP now. I would rather stay away from Speedway as they rape us on shipping to Alaska. They flat out refuse to use priority mail unless it is 2nd day air....can anyone spell "kickback" as they want to use UPS or FedEx? Like Summit. their claim of free shipping if purchase is over $99 doesn't apply regardless of the fact that Anchorage is the international shipping gateway to the world. Now I try to buy from Jerry and the boys at Pete & Jake's if I can.
     
    AHotRod likes this.
  18. BINGO!!!!! the wrong material for the part is what caused this failure. Something to remember when replacing parts or manufacturing parts for any old car, Mr. Ford was not a sped thrift, he used materials for a reason and if he could save a nickel he would. He didn't use forgings because they were "cool" he used them because they were necessary.
     
  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,516

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Alaska roads and age may have played a part along with the arm being built in a fashion that the majority of builders wouldn't use now. on a lot of things we did then we learned our lesson and wouldn't do now.
    On the shipping a number of local businesses that do business in Alaska use Alaska air freight. That may be to cut down on down time on processing equipment in the fishing industry as much as anything though.
     
  20. AKGrouch
    Joined: Oct 19, 2014
    Posts: 208

    AKGrouch
    Member

    Alaska roads had nothing to do with it as it was brought to Alaska about 5 years ago from Utah where is was supposedly built. We have pavement up here.....lol and the AlCan has even been paved to where you could drive your hotrod up if you took it slow and easy in construction around Kluane Lake.......:)I figure it was a combo of age and crappy part fatigue. Even though the car was built in 1991, it only has a bit over 5k miles and is in good shape. e had the pan off the other day and the insides looked new with no wear on the cam lobes even. This is the only shoddy part we've found in the 3 years we've had the car.
     

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  21. studebaker46
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 657

    studebaker46
    Member

    on a different note how many weeks ayear do you get to use a tbucket in Alaska? Tom
     
  22. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,572

    Ron Brown
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I agree with Mr48C...pick up some wrecking yard Econoline steering arms, trim off what you don't need, chrome or powdercoat chrome and use that. Guaranteed to be stronger than a tubular steering arm.
     
  23. 1930 A
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 130

    1930 A
    Member

    I ran stock econoline spindles on my T-bucket. They were just like the ones in squirrel's picture. Used them as is, just hooked up all the steering arms as Ford intended. Worked great, put many thousand miles on that car.
     
  24. I think it has already been established, but I can concur those are the early Econoline spindles. Had a set on an old roadster project made from collection of hand-offs. Used a model A axle with the Econoline spindles, using a spacer bearing as shown in Squirrel's picture diagram. The stock Econoline drum brakes were incredible for the very light roadster. Although you have disc brakes on your bucket.

    As the HAMB metallurgist, I can say your failure is certainly not hydrogen embrittlement. It is likely fatigue, although I would need to see the fracture surface close-up to say for sure. What i can tell it seems to have some poor weld penetration, that would be your stress concentration that would help initiate and propagate the fatigue crack, until it failed by overload with the remaining portion unable to support the load.
     
  25. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,857

    squirrel
    Member

    It looks like where it broke, it was cut at an angle and butt welded. Then ground and plated, Not a good way to make a steering arm!
     
    AHotRod likes this.
  26. AKGrouch
    Joined: Oct 19, 2014
    Posts: 208

    AKGrouch
    Member

    That's exactly what happened and why we are going to cut and beef up the other side. It will be hellforstout when we are done. I'm surprised it went 5k miles before it broke. Thanks again for your help, Squirrel.

    Studebaker, our season up here is about May 1st to this weekend!!! definitely not long enough.
     
  27. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers
    Member

    Hey! just saw this...
    Glad to hear your wife was okay!
    I have used the guy in idaho for plating in the past good stuff reasonable prices... well for chrome anyways.
    Its kinda ironic, the old chromer on 15th is now a state farm office.
    ...
    Always up to lend a hand if needed.
    Levi
     

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