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Old 09-27-2020, 11:59 AM   #1
Jacques1960
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Default Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Like some of the other miscellaneous rubber parts, these are now rock-hard and no longer functioning. Right now, I have short sections of plumbing insulation serving the intended purpose. Thoughts as to possible replacements ? Thank you.
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Jaques, at one time I was reproducing the tailgate irons and purchased the anti-rattle balls from "Woodieologist", Ed Clarke in Larchmont, NY. Sadly Ed passed away and I have not been able to find out who purchased Ed's inventory. I have sold 42 sets of tailgate irons and each set used 4 balls so as you can see I purchase a lot from Ed. I wish I had four left over to give you.
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Jaques, one thing to mention is that the ball's were installed on the rods before the loop's were put on the ends. You will need to slice the balls to get them to fit over the rods, unless you heat and re-form the loops.
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Do you think radius rod bushings might work ? I see that Drake carries these. Understand that I will need to cut to install; hopefully, Barge cement will do the trick. Btw, I only have one ball on each side, which may be the real problem vs hardness of the balls themselves. I’m always amazed by the commitment of people like yourself who recreate “unobtanium” for the rest of us. Thank you !
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

One thing you might try is to purchase McMaster-Carr PN 9957K12, that is a 1" rubber ball at $6.99 for a set of 5. You will need to bore a 5/16" hole in the center of the ball. Might work until you can find the real thing.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

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Thank you !
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Rubber balls ordered from McMaster Carr; what are your thoughts regarding drilling the 5/16” hole ? I’ve had trouble in the past with drilling rubber (and lead)
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Belay that last: ordered a 5/16” Forstner bit and laboratory “cork” punch. Will let you know how these work out !
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Well, If you have a drill press, I would try to secure the ball in a vise somehow and drill it. Perhaps make some sort of wooden clamp to grab around the ball. If you had a lathe that might also work. Drilling rubber is new to me, good luck let us know how it works out.
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Jaques, this year has been a washout because of the Covid 19, but hopefully we can meet at some of the New England Woodie Shows such as Ogunquit Maine, Mystic Seaport and Whareham Mass. All sponsored by the Yankee Chapter of the NWC.
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

That would be a pleasure and, as a Tabor man, any opportunity to visit the Wareham area is always well-received.

Will report back once materials and tools have arrived.
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Keep it (rubber ball) wet with mineral spirits. That will help a lot. Use the pecking method to drill. Go to a shallow depth, retract the bit, go a little further, retract and repeat.
I'm not certain about your '38, but the '39 had but one ball per side. It was placed over the upper part of the hinge - near the middle of the entire assembly.
I cut the rod and installed the ball. Then welded the rod and metal finished. Originally, the ball was painted along with the hinges.
I masked mine (read : OCD).

Note the one ball on the hinge of this car before I'd restored it. Keep in mind this was an extremely unmolested car.
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Last edited by Kube; 09-27-2020 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 09-27-2020, 04:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Thank you Mike; I just have the one ball on each side currently. Ours is similarly unmolested. On our other thread, I have the upholsterer coming over this week to take rough measurements for spare tire cover pending response on design details from Benson Center. For the moment, we are going to mock up a copy of what you made for your ‘39; matching existing “leatherette” eliminates both guess work around canvas color, etc., and I think the deluxe would probably have had the better material versus the standard. In addition to the steel welt, did you sew a reinforcing bead around the inner perimeter which frames the rim ?
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Old 09-27-2020, 04:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

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Originally Posted by Jacques1960 View Post
Thank you Mike; I just have the one ball on each side currently. Ours is similarly unmolested. On our other thread, I have the upholsterer coming over this week to take rough measurements for spare tire cover pending response on design details from Benson Center. For the moment, we are going to mock up a copy of what you made for your ‘39; matching existing “leatherette” eliminates both guess work around canvas color, etc., and I think the deluxe would probably have had the better material versus the standard. In addition to the steel welt, did you sew a reinforcing bead around the inner perimeter which frames the rim ?

I did.
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Old 09-27-2020, 05:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Yes, one ball up to 1940 and two until '48.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

To drill the rubber balls, you might want to try freezing them, either in your kitchen freezer or by using dry ice. If you drill a hole in a ball that's being held in a vice, you could run into problems.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

Perhaps try putting the ball in a hose clamp and snug it up then clamp the hose clamp to the vise somehow.
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

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To drill the rubber balls, you might want to try freezing them, either in your kitchen freezer or by using dry ice. If you drill a hole in a ball that's being held in a vice, you could run into problems.
I like this idea. IF I ever find the need, I will try this. I used a pipe vise to hold the ball. It worked rather well.
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Old 09-27-2020, 10:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

You may want to try a hole saw. Looks like most of the small ones have a diamond grit cutting edge. Not sure how that would work but if the ball was frozen it might just be the ticket. A regular drill bit tends to grab and wad up the rubber so you don't get a true hole.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:23 AM   #20
Jacques1960
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Default Re: Tailgate anti-rattle balls (1938 SW)

They come 5 to a pack and I need 2 - will sacrifice a couple trying various methods and report back ! To hold the ball, I’ll use a 1” hole saw on a block of wood, cutting same in half (relieving 1/4” at the hole to create a clamp) and then screw back together with ball in place. This can then be c-clamped to drill press table. Very intrigued by freezing suggestion.
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