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Vertical Links


Jedi Knight
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I have the new bearings in hand, But took a second look at he axel stubs and some of the pitting and scoring, I thought I might as well replace the axel stubs too. To get the stubs off I had to pull the vertical link loose off the upper ball joint. Then I noticed that the vertical link is pretty tight in the trunnion. How thght or loose should it be ? The trunnions are new but the vertical links are orignal.After rebuilding the steering bow and installing urethane bushings the steering wheel still would not center it self. The right side trunnioun has much more friction then the drivers side. Any insight would be apperciated.


Luke Skywalker
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I'd make sure your stub axles are not scored, and get new ones if necessary.

When I reinstalled my vertical links, I had the same question you have about "how tight." Of course I was reassembling the front end and installing the trunions to the vertical links with no load, since the coil springs are removed at that point.

I called Harry at Moss Tech Support, now retired but someone I really liked and relied on, and he said you can tell instinctively.

He explained that when you put the trunion on, greased of course, it should not feel tight because it will then bind on a turn, and that if you put it on as far as possible with no binding on regular turns (meaning within the intended steering limits in both directions), with the trunion seal properly in place and not binding, it will be right.

I spent a few minutes studying each side, and he was right. The trunion will only go on so far, and still move freely without binding.

If one of yours is tight, I'd find out why and address the issue.

I'm not sure what you mean by the steering wheel not centering itself. If yours is like mine, then after putting the new bushings on, you may well have to loosen the upper bracket, pop the steering rod up and refit the rod into the splines. Not sure that's your issue, but whenever I'm messing with the bushings, the steering will be off and must be reset. Resetting isn't easy either. I always miss by a little, and I'm sure others know some easy way that eludes me.

Good luck.


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
The vertical link should turn easily (like a bolt into a nut) until it hits the end of it's travel, or, if the grease zerk is in place and the trunnion has already been greased, starts to displace grease from the bottom of the trunnion.

The TR3 and early TR4 suspension has zero caster, so doesn't center as strongly as later cars. But it should still come back to center (when you are driving of course). If not, there is something binding or possibly something is bent. Herman reported finding a bunch of vertical links that were bent and would not turn easily with hard bushings plus new trunnions & ball joints, but mine were OK. Before I connected the steering, the links would literally flop to one side under the weight of the brake caliper.

The TR3 steering box has a center point, which you should be able to feel with the box properly adjusted. The steering wheel should be connected so it is centered at the same point. Then the tie rod ends get adjusted to make the car go straight with the wheel & box centered (and to set the toe-in, of course).


Jedi Knight
The TR3 steering does not "self-center" out of a turn very well -- if at all. There is no (actually zero) caster angle in the system. You turn 'em in, and you turn 'em out.

The picture of your axle is not very pretty. It looks scored where the outer bearing should ride. I've followed your "bearings" thread -- and I haven't any insight into how/why it failed -- but if that axle feels as rough as it looks on the thin part, just inboard of the threads, I'd replace it too.

The vertical link shouldn't feel tight in the trunnion. Moving it from stop to stop shouldn't require two hands. But even if everything is all loosey-goosey and proper, your TR3 will still have to be steered out of turns, as well as into them.

I have heard that TR4 parts -- trunnions, upper A-arms and ball joints -- will bolt onto the rest of a TR3 suspension and improve this situation. They change the caster angle from 0 to 3 degrees, improving the self-center of the steering. I'm thinking about this mod -- for 2011 maybe.


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Moseso said:
But even if everything is all loosey-goosey and proper, your TR3 will still have to be steered out of turns, as well as into them.
I disagree. When it's right, it will return to center. The steering axis is tilted side-to-side (king pin inclination), which does create centering force.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
Thanks for all yhe advice guys, I am going to replace all the parts (stub axels, bearings, vertical links, etc) I want the car to drive as fum as possible. I just sent the order in to Moss. Another $500 order but worth it.
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