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Old 08-08-2020, 06:08 PM   #1
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Drag Link Spring Compression?

Seems like I've read posts where folks have had to 'compress' a new Drag Link spring, in order to get the steering ball wedged into the Drag Link. Any ideas on how I can compress the spring, and still get it pushed into the Drag Link?

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Old 08-08-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
J Franklin
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

Just leave the plugs loosely screwed in and everything should install without much difficulty.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

As Mr Franklin says, leave the plugs loose - just started on the thread and things should go together fairly easily. I've had to squeeze the tie rod onto the ball to separate the cups far enough but I did it with only my hands. Once the ball is in, you can tighten the plug and insert the split pin. Done!
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:06 PM   #4
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

I must be doing something wrong, because I've got the end plug out completely. The ball is hitting the link rod on one side, and the teflon cup on the other. I've rammed the cup and spring in as far as I think it will go. I can feel the spring by sliding a thin screwdriver through the grease fitting hole....

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Old 08-08-2020, 08:23 PM   #5
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

OK, you must have the new reproduction springs that are a tad too long. Here's what you do, place the spring in a vice and crank it until fully compressed. Let it hold there for a few minutes and then try it. Might want to measure before and after to make sure the vice trick worked on your springs.

The new springs are too long and the new reproduction cups are too thick which adds up to extra length which doesn't allow you to get the ball stud in. I just went through this. Once I compressed the spring and re-used the still good Ford "cup", all went together as designed.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

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Trying to visualize this ...is it possible that the grease fitting is inserted too deep and is holding the spring, keeping it from retracting into the bottom. ??

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Old 08-09-2020, 07:45 AM   #7
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

Thanks all. I'll try the 'vice trick' first. If it still doesn't fit, I'll try a new-spring/old cup combo, or vice-versa. JoeCB - I've got the grease fitting removed, so hopefully the spring is inserted as far as possible.....
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:34 AM   #8
Bob Bidonde
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

I read in a catalog that the Teflon seats are thicker than the original steel parts, so special plugs are necessary. This may be the cause of your problem.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

If your close, put a little grease on the cup and ball and press it on with a C clamp.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:27 AM   #10
Roger V
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

I agree with Tim on this. Having bought kits over the years I ran into some springs being longer than others. I've also heard of the C clamp technique. My concern was if I could get the longer spring to compress and installed, I couldn't know if it was virtually totally compressed. Then screwing the plug in to at least not have the ball stem touching on the hole might compress the spring further if possible. Obviously, I used the shorter springs but still had to use the original used cups. So the question is whether there are two different kits available today and how to find out.
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:50 PM   #11
1930-Pickup
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

I've used the C-clamp method too.
It worked, but I felt dirty. lol

I got to thinking: Do the old springs really shorten or soften so much over time that they become useless and need to be replaced? Or, have the springs been cycled so often that they are fatigued and about to break?

Most folks tend to replace the springs like their working on some ignition condensers...they get replaced because we just 'happen to be in there'.

Further, I would put forth that the Quality of older springs is probably better than most of the newer springs.

All bets are off if the springs are broken or damaged. There will always be exceptions to rules, and there is no one fix for every problem.

I don't think my post is too OT from the OP's question. If the older spring works well, and its still good, then that would solve his problem.

Maybe someone can shed some light of why the springs are frequently replaced?
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:23 AM   #12
J Franklin
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

Mostly the springs are replaced because they are included in the kit. I use good original parts if I can.
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Old 08-11-2020, 06:02 AM   #13
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1930-Pickup View Post
I've used the C-clamp method too.
It worked, but I felt dirty. lol

I got to thinking: Do the old springs really shorten or soften so much over time that they become useless and need to be replaced? Or, have the springs been cycled so often that they are fatigued and about to break?

Most folks tend to replace the springs like their working on some ignition condensers...they get replaced because we just 'happen to be in there'.

Further, I would put forth that the Quality of older springs is probably better than most of the newer springs.

All bets are off if the springs are broken or damaged. There will always be exceptions to rules, and there is no one fix for every problem.

I don't think my post is too OT from the OP's question. If the older spring works well, and its still good, then that would solve his problem.

Maybe someone can shed some light of why the springs are frequently replaced?
I can't speak to the frequency part, but I just happened to have NOS springs and cups as well as the replacement springs. When the new springs were giving me fits, I did a little research.

If you Google the problem, a bunch of past threads popped up. After reading this, I went and measured everything. Sure enough all the new parts were indeed longer (springs) and/or thicker (cups).

Interesting, my used springs were just slightly shorter than the NOS springs, so they are either incredibly strong springs or they had light wear. You'll know if you're springs are no good as soon as you start loading up the slotted end cap.

Fred @ Southside Obsolete can supply you with new, NOS springs and cups for (I believe) they are the same for '28-'34
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:01 PM   #14
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Re: Drag Link Spring Compression?

Again, thanks all. I ended up using the old spring with new cup, so I am good for now.....
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