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1930artdeco 01-31-2014 05:27 PM

steering ball replacement
 

I need to replace the steering spindles on my car. I purchased some that have a pressed on ball and then are tack welded and cleaned up. I am no expert but I was a little worried that the small weld would not hold up.

So I ordered some of the ball stud combos and am going to have the old balls cut off (please leave the comments at the door:D) and new ones welded on.

Can anyone tell me the benefits of either strategy on these? Which one is better?

Mike

Vic in E-TN 01-31-2014 05:49 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

15 or 20 years ago I believe that was the normal way that the balls were replaced. I never had any trouble with them. Since then I have had Wylie Higgins in Georgia replace the worn out balls. He cuts off the old balls and drills out a hole. He inserts a new ball with a stud and back welds the stud at the bottom. I have had no trouble with these. He has written about them in the Restorer. I spoke to him a few months ago and he said that he has done over 5000 of them. He is alive and well and I had him do some for me a few weeks ago. His price is good.
Vic

Pmsqrd 01-31-2014 06:33 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

You might call Bert's. They turn down the balls and weld on a drilled out bearing ball. That method does not comprimize the original casting. I have sets on both my cars with no problems.

montanafordman 01-31-2014 06:39 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pmsqrd (Post 814849)
You might call Bert's. They turn down the balls and weld on a drilled out bearing ball. That method does not comprimize the original casting. I have sets on both my cars with no problems.

I'm with Pmsqrd on this one. I think turning down the ball and pressing a new drilled ball on the stud and welding the top is the best way to go with the least chance of failure since the original forging is left intact. I sent mine off to A&L a couple years ago to have this done and have been very happy with the results. I think A&L does the work and suspect other vendors send their arms there also that use the same method.

31 RPU 01-31-2014 06:51 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Wiley Higgins is a super nice guy. I saw two 5 gallon buckets at his house full of balls that he has cut off and replaced.
He did all my spindle arm balls, steering sector housing, shortened pitman arm and service brake cross shaft. I would recommend him to anyone. He is top notch and very particular about what he does.

28ACoupe 01-31-2014 07:37 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

I have done the cut off, drill, press in and weld up method on a bunch of these. I weld both top and bottom. To date: no failures.

quickchange 01-31-2014 08:16 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Cut the old ones of , drill the 1/2" hole , THEN press the new one in , weld on the back with low hydrogen rod . Weld only stops ball stud falling out , done dozens this way no problem, The ball shaft takes the stain , weld holds in . But i have yet to get too 100mph.

glenn in camino 01-31-2014 08:32 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

I always have the worn area on the balls built up with weld. Then, using a file and some calipers to measure roundness, dress the ball as round as possible. Remember, the steering arms are supposed to be one forged piece.

Tom Wesenberg 01-31-2014 11:25 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by glenn in camino (Post 814931)
I always have the worn area on the balls built up with weld. Then, using a file and some calipers to measure roundness, dress the ball as round as possible. Remember, the steering arms are supposed to be one forged piece.

That's how I repaired my Phaeton steering balls. It took a long time to hand file and I'll probably use A&L the next time.

TDO 02-01-2014 10:33 AM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

I just got mine back from A&L, will install them this weekend .I believe the balls they press on and weld top only are stainless steal. They look great.

tbirdtbird 02-01-2014 11:33 AM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Tom, a right angle die grinder with a roloc sanding disk works great for this method...you can rough it out easily then dial in with a file

Growley bear 02-02-2014 10:27 AM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vic in E-TN (Post 814830)
15 or 20 years ago I believe that was the normal way that the balls were replaced. I never had any trouble with them. Since then I have had Wylie Higgins in Georgia replace the worn out balls. He cuts off the old balls and drills out a hole. He inserts a new ball with a stud and back welds the stud at the bottom. I have had no trouble with these. He has written about them in the Restorer. I spoke to him a few months ago and he said that he has done over 5000 of them. He is alive and well and I had him do some for me a few weeks ago. His price is good.
Vic

I have two sets of steering knuckles repaired in this manner. I cut the flat ball off drilled the hole according to the directions chamfered the end of the stud took the knuckles with new parts installed and had them heliarced by a reputable welder. That was 2000 miles ago and no problems although I check all my undercarriage parts frequently. This has worked very well for me and my "A".
Chet

scooder 02-02-2014 05:06 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

With the cut, drill, press and weld method, can you use a mig for the welding? What's your experience?
Many thanks,
Martin.

RonC 02-02-2014 05:25 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Has anyone replaced the wishbone ball?

Growley bear 02-02-2014 08:05 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by scooder (Post 815971)
With the cut, drill, press and weld method, can you use a mig for the welding? What's your experience?
Many thanks,
Martin.

Heliarc (TIG) is recommended. MIG has the possibility of looking like the most beautiful weld bead you ever saw but penetration is almost nonexistent. These should be welded by an expert.
Chet

ryanheacox 08-29-2019 10:16 AM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by montanafordman (Post 814854)
I think A&L does the work and suspect other vendors send their arms there also that use the same method.


Old thread but I believe this is correct, I was there yesterday and he said he had about 200 steering arms in to reball. Somehow I doubt all 200 came to A&L direct from customers.

redmodelt 08-29-2019 11:09 AM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

I am pretty sure the ones you saw came from suppliers like Snyder's as cores.

Synchro909 08-29-2019 07:03 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Over here, the only way you can legally weld any steering component is to have it X-rayed after and certified OK so cutting off the old ball and welding on a new one is out (legally), so is cut, press and weld. That causes a real problem. My solution is to build up the worn part of the ball with weld, then reshape it to the required 1" diameter. (1 1/2" for the A frame ball) While the legality of this is questionable, I figure the chances of failure are pretty much zero.
I have made a gauge (like a big washer) in each size to help get the right shape and size.
I'll go this way if ever I need to do it again.

Kurt in NJ 08-29-2019 07:48 PM

Re: steering ball replacement
 

Ford did a brinell hardness test on every steering arm ---if you look there is a flat grind spot with the indentation from the test
I spent the time searching for NOS, don't want any welded ones on my car, and usually with some searching I can get nos for less that repro, rebuilt


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