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TR2/3/3A TR3B vertical link

TFB

Jedi Knight
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I am trying to loosen up some tightness in the drivers side steering.I replaced the new upper ball joint that was tight with another new one that is looser,but I stil have some minor tightness.The front end was rebuilt by PO's shop and link is slop free and turns nice before upper A arm ball joint is tightened.Looks like the vertical link might be bent slightly to rear,applying a little side pressure to the threads.I have tried slightly different ball joint alighments,but dont think thats it.
Is this something that is likely to quickly to loosen up,on its way to wearing out,or can these be straightened or serviced?
I see Moss has link for $250 but I am hoping to avoid that route.
Thanks
Tom
 

TR4nut

Yoda
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These links can get bent from previous accidents - I had one that wouldn't thread into a new trunnion because the threaded section was actually bent. Not sure if they can be straightened - but if you replace I would take my chances and try to get a used one - you can do a lot better than $250. Not to put Marv on the spot, but my guess is he or someone else might have a spare for sale.

The other thing which is unlikely but I'll say it anyway: if you accidentally installed a new TR4 trunnion it would shift things to the rear as well. There I said it, but I doubt you did that!
 

CJD

Yoda
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Hey Tom,

I had just your problem. When I bought the car the steering was terribly stiff. As I was doing my front end work, I realized one vertical link was very badly bent, and the other was just slightly. The good news, they can be straightened with patience. Here is how I did it...

I placed the threaded end in a drill press. I then set a dial indicator to read the tapered hole runnout for the ball joint. At first, when I slowly turned the link by hand in the press, the runout was almost a half inch. If it is not zero, then the trunnion will bind when you turn the wheels. In other words, the extended centerline of the threaded portion that enters the trunnion must go straight through the ball joint mounting hole.

I then went through an iterative process, where I marked the link, removed it, used a press to gently straighten it, and then checked it again.

The first link took several hours till I had the runout at absolutely zero. I had the hang of it by the second link, so it only took an hour. Now the steering is greaaa...well, lets just say it doesn't bind at all (it still feels like a TR3, though!}

John

PS After working on these links, I think it would take no more than clipping a curb to bend them to begin with. They are not overly strong!?!
 
OP
T

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Jedi Knight
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Thanks Randy and John,
The tightness worsened with the new poly upper a-arm bushings,so I guess the old rubber allowed a little more movement.I didnt notice the upper hole wobble when turning,but I didnt indicate it either.
Thanks for the tips about bending.
Tom
 

Marvin Gruber

Yoda
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Thanks for the plug Randy, Tom has already got parts from me as well and I do have spare v links if you need one.

Merry Christmas

Marv
 

vivdownunder

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If a vertical link is suspected of having taken a hit, please consider getting it crack tested.

I've seen them cracked on the inside of the turn at the top and also where the thread for the trunnion becomes a plain shank. Stub axles should be crack tested too, as I know of a failure.

A colleague had a vertical link snap at the trunnion on his small mouth TR3, pulling him into the path of an oncoming sedan. By long odds, the sedan driver happened to be a friend of my wife. I'll never forget the telephone calls each of us received that Saturday morning. Fortunately neither car was travelling at speed and nobody was seriously hurt, but both vehicles were write offs.

When a vertical link breaks, steering is lost, the flexible brake line is ripped out so there's no brakes and the frame drops down on the road. Not good at all.

Viv.
 
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Jedi Knight
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Thanks for all the replies.
Althought the tightness might be at the upper end of acceptable,I think my next step is to disconnect upper ball joint and indicate the hole while turning link,and then dissasemble to check for cracks and straighten or replace.

Do I need the special hub puller to dissasemble?

This cars front end,wheels brakes etc,were rebuilt before I got it and I have not had the hubs off.
I see the stub axle bolts into the link,but I have a feeling removing the rear nut will still not allow the hub ass. to just come off.
Tempted to get out the torch and true in place,but I will resist my caveman thoughts.
Marv,good to know you have some links if I need one.

Thanks
Tom
 

TR4nut

Yoda
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No special tool is needed for this, other than something to compress the front spring if that is installed. No need to pull the stub axle. If you are pulling the rotors just get the grease cap off, pull the cotter pin, and undo the castle nut.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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If you do replace the VL, it's probably best to replace the stub axle as well. It has a locking taper into the VL, and it will be locked. I did manage to remove mine using a grade 8 nut on the outer threads and a spacer against the VL, but it was a tricky operation (and I was replacing the stub axle so I didn't care if I broke it).

Next time I have it apart, for sure I'm installing the uprated stub axles and spacers.
 
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Jedi Knight
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Thanks Randall,I wll be setting up something to indicate the hole ,and most likely will have to pull it all apart.I only have an arbor press and not sure about heat or hammer to try and straighten.The tapered arm looks pretty beefy to me.
I hoping nothing else is bent.
Thanks
Tom
 
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Jedi Knight
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I took off the upper a-arm today and setup a makeshift indicator.Runout was .025 -.030.but some of that was the slop in my setup,so the actual number must be lower.I need to setup a dial bracket on the steering stop bolt to get a good reading.
I did notice the trunnion didnt rotate freely,so I lossened the nuts two flats from just tight and the trunion now rotates freely.Reconnceted upper ball joint and there is slight impovement,but still seems a lttle stiff.
Anyone know the vertical link runout tolerance?
Thanks
Tom
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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I don't know the tolerance, but .030" sounds plenty small enough to me. As I recall, I had more movement than that even with a new trunnion.

Any chance the upper ball joint is binding inside? And you've still got the tie rod disconnected, I assume.
 
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T

TFB

Jedi Knight
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Hey Randall,I already replaced a ball joint that was real stiff,the new one is better,but new and yes a little stiff as are the new tie rod ends,that were disconnected to check the vlink turning resistance.The lower trunion nuts were so tight that even with the wheel on,and the a-arm off it was tight to move,and I coudnt force it all the way forward so the stop bolt hit.
So that made it actually pretty steady when turned turned to read,but
I had an anvil on the floor,with a magnetic base dial indicator,so I know I
had some extra mocement.
If .030 doesnt sound like alot to you I may just run it and see how things are
Thanks
Tom
 
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