Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Early V8 (1932-53)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-22-2018, 10:45 AM   #1
Marshall V. Daut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Posts: 1,444
Default 1937 Drag Link Confusion

Hello again from the Model A and T Ford world where I normally live! Iím returning to the ďFordbarnĒ early V-8 arena with a request for advice to help repair my 88 year-old friendís 1937 Standard Fordor Sedan, which he has owned from the late 1950ís. You have helped me in the past with questions about repairing the braking system, which turned out quite successfully, thank you. We are now trying to solve a problem with increasing free play at the steering wheel. Itís getting scary to drive the car now! My experience is with 1909-1931 Fords, so my only knowledge in regards to my friendís early V-8 is what I have gleaned from the Internet, this website and a stack of books and manuals that he owns. An Internet and website search here did not answer my dilemma with the drag link. So, I again turn to you guys. Please forgive my ignorance about what is probably a very mundane problem to you all.

Firstly, I adjusted the large nut on the steering box as far as it would go, which wasn't much. Virtually no change resulted in the play at the steering wheel. I then had my friend turn the steering wheel back and forth while I watched the steering arm (pitman arm in Model A speak) and the tie rod action. The ball joint at the steering arm moved quite a bit before the wheels began to move. That would translate to play at the steering wheel. Aha! Worn ball joints are the culprit! Time to replace all four ball joints, which Iím sure are original and past their expiration date.

My friend ordered a new drag link assembly from Macís, part #11Y-3306 on page 20 of the 2018 Macís catalog, which is supposed to fit 1935-1941 passenger cars and trucks. Itís the only drag link listed for our 1937 passenger car. The shipping box arrived earlier this week, so yesterday I jacked up the front of the car, placed it on jack stands, removed the front wheels and knocked out the drag link and tie rod from their mounts. To my surprise, the removed drag link is a thick, straight bar with no bends, unlike the new drag link. See the attached comparison photo. In reading through a couple 1937 manuals and studying the lone exploded view of the 1937 front end that I could find, this straight drag link is probably Ford part #68-3306, which was a carry-over to early 1937 Fords from the 1936 models. According to the text on page 4-10 of ďThe 1937 Ford BookĒ, there were a couple drag link designs used in 1937: 68-3306, 78-3306-A1 and 78-3306-A2 (Thompson design), which had originally been designated 78-3306-B.

Is what was on the car as seen in the accompanying photos an early drag link 68-3306? Only one end has a replaceable ball joint, so in order to replace worn drag link ball joints, it appears that the entire assembly must be purchased as a unit. But from where? I see no comparable straight drag link in Macís catalog for early V-8's, so I assume such an animal is not available.

So, is the new drag link usable or will it cause problems? As long as it is adjusted to the same length as the old one I removed, I canít see that this one would cause a problem, unless there is an interference issue during its travel side-to-side. Why else would bends be placed in the new drag link, if not to eliminate hitting the oil pan or other chassis components? Is this an improved version of the carried-over 1936 straight bar drag link? Will its noticeably thinner diameter be too weak for this heavy passenger car? Finally, judging by the orientation of the drag link pictured in the catalog, I assume the adjustable end goes on the driverís side?

Because steering is kind of important, Iíd like to get this all straight in my mind and install the proper parts. Thanks in advance for your input!

Marshall V. Daut
Davenport, Iowa
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1852_resized.jpg (54.0 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1853_resized.jpg (63.4 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1854_resized.jpg (68.5 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1856_resized.jpg (58.2 KB, 40 views)
Marshall V. Daut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2018, 10:58 AM   #2
19Fordy
Senior Member
 
19Fordy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Coral Springs FL
Posts: 8,186
Default Re: 1937 Drag Link Confusion

I don't know the exact answer to your question but, check out this Speedway drag link available in different lengths for $59.
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Plain...Ends,3306.html
19Fordy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 06-22-2018, 01:28 PM   #3
DavidG
Senior Member
 
DavidG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 7,065
Default Re: 1937 Drag Link Confusion

The original drag link in your photos is one of the 78-prefix versions. The difference between the 68-prefix and 78-prefix versions is simply the location of the grease fitting on the fixed end. That fitting is on the side of the ball joint housing on the 68-prefix version, but it was moved to the bottom, as in your photos, on the 78-prefix version.


It could be the photos, but the replacement looks to be a little longer than your original, but it may work if there are no clearance issues and it can be adjusted to the required length.


As for the strength of the replacement bar, it is not so much the diameter alone that will determine its strength, but rather a combination of its diameter and metallurgy that we determine its strength.


As shown in the photo below of an installed 78-prefix drag link, the non-adjustable end attaches to the Pitman arm.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2972.jpg (86.3 KB, 116 views)
DavidG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2018, 01:29 PM   #4
1937sedandelivery
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 279
Default Re: 1937 Drag Link Confusion

I recently re built my entire 37 front end. The drag link and tie rods ends I bought from Joe's Antique, and they were reasonable and direct replacement fit for me. The attached PDF illustrates the assembly.
Sorry, just tried to attach the pdf and it failed. It is way under the stated max file size, go figure. You can pm with your email address and I will send it that way.
gregg
1937sedandelivery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2018, 05:55 PM   #5
Capsacto
Member
 
Capsacto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: NorCal
Posts: 68
Default Re: 1937 Drag Link Confusion

I recently replaced all the tie-rod ends and drag-link on my 37 sedan. The aftermarket Bob Drake drag-link that I got has the bend. DavidG is correct about the fixed end attachment to the pitman arm. I have no clearance issues with the new drag-link.
__________________
Ed

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
- Thomas Jefferson
Capsacto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2018, 06:38 PM   #6
Terry,OH
Senior Member
 
Terry,OH's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,543
Default Re: 1937 Drag Link Confusion

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Your original drag link is not Ford. It is a made up replacement. The stationary end of the original drag link is not welded to a pipe, it is molded to a solid rod. At the adjustable end the original increases in diameter to accept the replaceable tie rod end. In 1941 Ford did away with the 78 style drag link and introduced the 11Y- drag link which has an adjustable steel link eliminating the need to remove one end of the drag link to adjust it's length. The 11Y style is supposed to directly replace the several different styles of drag links from 1935.

The replacement you have looks to be a modern replacement of the 11Y style drag link. If your not happy with it look for a NOS 11Y style drag link
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 40 ford drag links (2).jpg (15.9 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 40 ford drag links (3).jpg (15.2 KB, 22 views)
Terry,OH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2018, 07:05 PM   #7
Marshall V. Daut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Posts: 1,444
Default Re: 1937 Drag Link Confusion

Thank you all for your most helpful input. I had thought that the drag link I removed was original to this car, as its caked-on years of crud matched the thickness and color of the other front end components. It appeared to have come from the factory with the other chassis parts. And once again, as anything Ford post-1931 is unchartered territory for me, I don't have enough knowledge about early V-8's to recognize that the drag link I removed is a Rube Goldberg ad hoc contraption. Now I know better! Because my friend has owned the car for about 60 years and has had no serious mechanical repairs made in the interim (except the brakes that I fixed three years ago), someone must have made the drag link substitution during its first 20 years before he bought the car. With the availability of early V-8 parts from 1937 through the late 1950's, it's hard to believe someone would go to all the trouble of fabricating this drag link, risking his life on the quality of the weld job. Certainly a new replacement drag link could have still been purchased over the counter at any Ford dealership. Oh, well. Now I have yet another interesting story to tell my friend about his car.
So, it would appear that the drag link ordered from Mac's is, in fact, the correct one we need. Based on everyone's input so far, I'll go ahead and match the length of the new drag link to that of the removed one, paint it and then install it. Thanks again to everyone, who responded!
Marshall
Marshall V. Daut is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:35 AM.