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Help on ball joint - vertical link fit

tdskip

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Hi guys - having an issue on my TR4a IRS front suspension. Neither side ball joint is fitting properly on the vertical link. The new ball joints are not able to be tightened to fit flush with the top of the vertical link, which is screwing up my suspension geometry and would appear to be unsafe.

This one isn't fully tightened but I'm getting just very slightly less of a gap before you just cannot tighten them any more. I bought a replacement link from Marvin (thanks!) but am having the same fit issue.

balljointfit.jpg


I know / expect it will take some effort to snug it up so that isn't the issue.

I was thinking to <span style="text-decoration: underline">lightly</span> hone the opening on the vertical link to see that makes a difference.

Other ideas?

This is the spare link - it was powder coated but the opening was not.

newlink.jpg


Ball joint part #

Mosspart.jpg
 
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tdskip

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Update - the ball joints on the car have a pink band on the rubber that holds the seal on the post whereas the new ones have a blue band. Not sure that makes a difference.

Also - I pulled the rubber seal up to show how far down the ball joint post goes.
 

TR3driver

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Do the old joints fit properly?
 

KVH

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I'm not sure anything is wrong. My old ones had a gap, and the new ones slightly larger--I think. But it's been driving great and no issues at all. Are you sure you're geometry is messed up. I got some faith Moss and the others know the clearances and proper seating. I would not hone that vertical link until you get to the clear bottom of the issues. If there's problem, I must have one two. That large gap is the first thing I noticed and it never occurred to me it was wrong--and that the seating of the lower wishbones would be impacted adversely. Curious.
 
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tdskip

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TR3driver said:
Do the old joints fit properly?

I wasn't smart enough to save them Randall. Yes, that was quite dumb. And yes, I am reminded of your point that the older parts are often better quality.


Lesson learned. Again.
 
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tdskip

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Hi KVH. The car is sitting high and I just got her to neutral camber, she was positive (excessively so). Was thinking that the ball joint not seating properly would contribute to that.

I am pretty sure everything else is correct, and she has her original springs. She does have poly bushings and spring packing, but I have that on the other cars without issue.

Edit - good to hear your 4a is driving great!
 

TR4nut

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Well, I've got to admit that looks pretty unusual - can you tell where the threads end on the ball joint?
 
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tdskip

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Hi Randy - I get good thread coverage with the nut. I'm away from the car now but I'd guess a touch less than 1/4 inch of thread sticking down.

I did notice the ball joint boot will stick up toward the body of the ball joint if you push it up.

I guess the basic question is what gap should there be between the link top and bottom of the ball joint?
 

HerronScott

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Tom,

Just a couple shots of a well-used balljoint and vertical link. Sorry for the poor photos but it was dark and I just had my cell phone with me. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything to measure the distance from the bottom of the ball joint to the vertical link with me.

There is definitely a gap there but hard to really tell how it compares with your nice and clean one. Any particular measurement you'd prefer?

WP_000180.jpg


WP_000181.jpg


I'll try to get out there tomorrow and measure it for you.

Note that this was the original front suspension on my first car. Not sure if the ball joints had been replaced between 1966 and 1979.

Scott
 

Darrell_Walker

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I measure just under an inch on my car.

PS The wire holding the boot on my joints is green
 
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tdskip

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You guys are great - thanks for all of the help.

I think it is good to take all the measurements with a grain out salt due t production difference and reproduction parts etc, but my gap is similar to Scott's but I have less exposed thread than Darrell.

Is the vertical link opening tapered as well?
 

Darrell_Walker

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Sorry, my slightly less than an inch measurement was between the top of the vertical link and the bottom of the ball joint housing.

The opening in the vertical link is tapered, to my best recollection.
 

bgbassplyr

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I just looked at my new ball joints and although they are the old style TR4 like the TR3, IMO as long as the nut covers all of the threads, all should be well.

With the suspension at full droop, you will find that there is very little clearance between the ball joint and the vertical link due to the angle at that point. My boot is mashed pretty tightly between the two.

I think you are good to go.
 

HerronScott

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Tom,

One more picture with some of the grease cleaned away. The distance from the top of the vertical link to the centerline of the bolt holes is 1 1/4 inch on mine.

100_1794.jpg


I also thought the hole on the vertical link had a slight taper as well. Assuming your measurement is significantly different, is there any possibility that the powder coating left a ridge around the hole?

Also, I seem to recall that we had touched on this before but what's the length of your front springs and are you using aluminum spacers or not?

Scott
 

startech47

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Do not hone the hole in the vertical link! The angle is critical. It looks like your gap is similar to the pictures furnished by others.
 
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tdskip

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Hi guys. Scott - thanks for that additional picture, my gap is about the same.

I did run a hone on the vertical link opening for about 15 seconds to make sure the ball joint was not getting hung up.

At this point I think I have a spring issue - which is odd since they are original to the car. (No spacers Scott)

Anyway...

Thanks guys!
 

HerronScott

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Tom,

I measured the ones that came with this suspension while I was there and they were 10" also with no spacers. I'm pretty sure they were original springs as well.

Was this the TR4A where you had to do some lower front suspension repairs and is your problem positive camber? Any shims in the lower suspension?

Scott
 
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tdskip

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Hi Scott - yes, this is the 4a that had positive camber. I've got some shims in there now and she is not quite neutral now but <span style="font-weight: bold">much</span> better. But the ride height is off.

Trying not to pull everything apart, but heading that way.
 

HerronScott

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Tom,

Was this also the car that we had the discussion on the ride height last year?

TR4A ride height

The distance from the top of the tire to the wheel well arch was 2.5-3" on my older cars with 165R80-15 tires. What's your measurement?

Scott
 
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