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Old 06-17-2011, 07:02 AM   #1
Terry,OH
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Default tie rod hitting the front radius rods

My 34 is lowered, it has modified arms on the back of both the spindles for the more modern tie rod ends. The tie rod ends are attached to each other by a tie rod running under the the two front radius rods. The bottom of the two radius rods have been clearanced (cut) so the tie rod can move under the radius arms, but still when turning the steering wheel to both extremes the tie rod binds on the back of the clearanced area, preventing the steering from full movement.
Is there a special dropped set of adapter arms for the rear of the spindles that will drop the tie rod and ends? At this time the rod is 6" from the ground and hides behind the I-beam nicely. Do I have to extend the clearanced area under the radius arms? Smaller diameter tie rod? Who has what I need to correct this problem?
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
Lawson Cox
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

Go back to stock and you'll be fine. LOL
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

Check with chassis engineering in Iowa, they will have what you need.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

Do you have the steering stop nuts on the king pin keys? If not maybe you're turning too far.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:07 AM   #5
DICK SPADARO
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

This is a common problem when attempting to use a dropped axle on A to 34 radius rods. There is no easy solution. You need to itemize the parts you are using to get an accurate answer to your question.

Depending on the spindles you are using you may attempt to use the hot rod style steering arms that bolt directly to 37-48 Ford style spindles , if you are using earlier spindles nothing fits.

The Hot rod style bolt on deep drop steering arms are your best bet, they lower the tie rod by about 1 1/2" over the stock steering arm position, this still may not be enough clearance.

Around here I reverse the perch pin boss on 32-4 wishbones to get more clearance. This is done by carefully cutting the seam weld at the junction of the radius rod to the perch boss with a 1/8" cutoff wheel and separating the boss from the radius rod tube. Then exchange sides of the bosses R becomes L , L becomes R, now by inverting the bosses you will see that the wishbone drop which had been biased to the bottom becomes biased to the top of the boss. This picks up about 3/4" extra spacing to prevent the tie rod from rubbing on the wishbone. It also allows you to reset the caster of the axle when you weld the parts back together. You must use some accuracy in this operation because cutting to much of one side of the wishbone tube will place the axle out of square.

You should avoid at all costs bending the original steering arms downward for clearance as this changes the steer ratio at the spindles and can produce spooky steering at higher speeds.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

so-cal type hairpins are one $olution, the tie rod will then pass between the rods of the hairpin, and it has the lower shock mount cast into it also. i have seen some dropped axle spindles steering arms heated and bent to pass over the top of the stock wishbone, but then the tie rod can hit the frame during a hard bump, if you are also using a reversed eye spring. and a lowered front crossmember makes it even worse.
as mentioned previous, chassis engineering makes a nice pair of forged dropped bolt on steering arms that will pass under the wishbone.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

As Dick stated above, it's pretty tough to comment without knowing what all you have in place for components now - some pictures would be best, along with a list of the components if known.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
Richard (EV8G)
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

Just as a comment, considering that alot of changes have already been made to your car, and some of those changes were apparently not correctly done, with typical results... Like the components are not compatible...

On 32-34's, even with dropped axles, we always use the original spindles, which have longer tie rod arms than do the 35+ which right away keeps the tierod more rearward and out of the way of the front crossmember and forward parts of the wishbones AND keeps the tie rod ABOVE the wishbones as 32-34's originally were. This also retains the original arm for the draglink, whereas the aftermarket "hair pin" and other types of adaptors are incorrectly made and screw things up further.

We rework the original spindle arms so they clear the axle on full turns, while
retaining the original toe-out on turns (Aka Ackerman) AND clearing the tops of wishbones by about 1/4", which keeps the tie rod away from the oil pan. It is NOT necessary to perform ANY surgery on the wishbones and everything clears and works properly. Being from Southern California, we might be just a little "strange" but we like to work with what Ford put on the car originally whenever possible, as we have learned (the hard way) that mixing later stuff sometimes creates new problems such as those that you are experiencing... and worse. Retaining all of the original front end and steering geometry does wonders for driveability!!!
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #9
Terry,OH
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

This is a CA car and all the front end work was done before I bought the car, I am trying to get this cars steering corrected. The front end work was done either in CA or Nevada. The front radius rods are not split and they are original to the car. The front axle is dropped, my guess is 4". There is a reverse eye mono leaf front spring, it sets high in the original crossmember, with all the spacers under the leaf and bolted to the crossmember with the original 34 hardware. I have no idea as to the mfg of the hot rod steering arms that are bolted to the rear of the spindles. At this point I am not sure of the spindle year but there are 47-8 hydraulic brakes.
The tie rod clears the bottom of the modified radius rods by 1/4 inch in the straight ahead position and only hits the unmodified area of the radius rods during an extreme turn, yes the turn stops are installed in the king pin locks but the spindles can not turn far enough to touch the stops and the king pins do not have the socket on top, so they are hot rod style.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:43 PM   #10
Richard (EV8G)
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

My 2-cents: The spindles are probably aftermarket 37-41's OR original 37-41's that have had the original arms chopped off. You have "one size fits all" aftermarket bolt-on arms that are more suitable for 35-48's where the tie rod MUST go below the radius rods because the engine in those years is further forward in the chassis. These arms are the root of your problem, but not all of it... They are what they are and cannot be modified for more clearance with the radius rods. At least not SAFELY in my opinion...

You also have the old stand by "hairpin" add-on arm for the draglink. They are
made incorrectly, as they are directly above the axle center, when the original 32-34's were 3/4" FORWARD of the axle center with the front wheels pointed straight-ahead. The originals were made that way so as to form a 90-degree angle with the draglink. It appears that you are using the original draglink, but cannot tell if it has been shortened to compensate, but most likely not? If so,
when the steering gear is on center, the car will be making a LH turn, and when the car is going straight, the steering will NOT be on center, so there WILL be alot of play in the steering when driving straight-ahead. This has nothing to do with your clearance problem BUT will cause unequal turning radius ability from one side to the other...

To fix your problem CORRECTLY will require some major changes... but could be done as per my first post... Good Luck!
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

Hard to tell from the picts., but the hot set-up from the days yore was to use '38 Willy's tie rods. The have the same 7 degree pin as Ford and also same thread for the older style tie rod.

Why these work is because they are forged with drop in it just like your axle.

I have a few sets in the garage and get you the part# later this weekend.

If you like it, you don't have to go back to stock.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

A picture is worth bunch of text so I will have to be somewhat corrected. What you have is what you are going to get, later design spindle, deep drop steering arms and a hairpin steering arm on the axle, this is it, other than flipping the perches as suggested before.

The only other cure is to hunt down a pair of original 32-34 front spindles and go Richards route back to the stock parts. This idea for tie rod clearance works fine for going straight ahead but due to the deep drop and the angle that the steering arms orbit when turning, the outside position lower steering arm swing upward as they rotate thu upper turn limits. This drags the tie rod on the radius rod. Lowering the steering arm any more is asking for problems.

Richard is correct about the hairpin steering arm position also, so you will have to check the length of your drag link to see if it is still stock or a shortened version. This hair pin idea seemed to look good and they sold a bunch of these components but they weren't sold with an instruction sheet so some important information was left off regarding angles of operation.

Since you already have the spindles mounted one last ditch attempt would be to see if the hot rod straight No drop lower steering arms will work, these position the tie rod above the wishbone and they have a taper on both sides of the eye so the tie rod will come in from the top or bottom. You will have to check that the tie rod does not bottom out on the frame rail or cross member with this application.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

I'm putting together a front end for an AV8 with an unsplit wishbone. I made the wishbone up with the center section from a Model A and the two legs came from an ugly '48 wishbone. The '48 wishbone legs are kicked way up in the front. With a stock axle, I'm pretty sure there'd be no clearance issue at all (later spindles.) I have a dropped axle and i'll have to drop the arms just an inch or so.

Looking at the picture Terry supplied, it looks as if those steering arms are already dropped way down low. He might want to consider running the tie rod OVER the wishbone legs. Of course, he'll have to make sure there aren't any issues with the front crossmember, pulleys or whatever else may be in the way.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: tie rod hitting the front radius rods

Thanks guys! I now have much more insight as to what is going on, and what my prospects are. Richard your 2-cents are worth a lot more to me.
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