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Old 05-16-2020, 12:23 PM   #1
1crosscut
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Default Steering arm ball replacement

The balls on my steering arms are worn and I'm going to replace them. I've drilled a couple of test holes in some 1/2" steel to test the fit of the replacement ball shafts.
A 1/2" hole allows the shaft on the balls to slide in relatively easy but has some side play.
I'm not comfortable with the amount of side play and would like have more of a press fit into the hole prior to welding it in place.
The next drill bit size smaller in my drill bit index is 31/64" and the hole is too small to allow the shaft of the replacement ball to be pushed in by hand. Perhaps it could be persuaded in with a press but it looks like it might be quite a struggle.
Is there a drill bit size available that is an in between the two?
Suggestions?
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:51 PM   #2
Bob C
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

12.5mm is .4921 or drill with 31/64" and ream to 1/2".


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Old 05-17-2020, 06:18 AM   #3
David R.
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

I drilled mine with 1/2” drill. I ground a slight chamfer in the area where stud enters arm and on back side where it exits. I had a professional (retired boiler maker friend) welder weld it on both sides with a TIG machine. It is not going anywhere. He makes it look easy.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

Using new drills in progressive sizes will drill a closer hole. Most drills will drill over sized holes. JMHO
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

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Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
12.5mm is .4921 or drill with 31/64" and ream to 1/2".


Bob
I drilled them to 31/64" and then reamed them. Should work fine. I'm good enough enough with a Mig welder on most things but on this I plan on finding someone to Tig weld them for me.

Used the drill that I have from my great uncle Walt's blacksmith shop in Roca Nebraska. Frame for it is made up from what I think is a Model T frame. The front cross member with the crank hole is at the bottom by the floor.
Converted it to an electric motor with a flat belt as it was originally run off a line shaft.
Still drills nice holes after all these years.
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File Type: jpg Drilling for Balls 2.jpg (38.3 KB, 142 views)
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:54 AM   #6
dave in australia
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

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I cut a 1/2 UNF thread on the ball shaft, with the die opened a bit so the thread is a few thou oversize, and then tap a 1/2 UNF thread in the arm. I then screw the two together with some 263 Loctite thread locker. After this, I drill a 5/32 hole into the threads between the arm and the shaft and fit a 5/32 roll pin to mechanically prevent the stud undoing. No fear of a failed weld with this install. I have a few arms done this way from wrecks that my dad retrieved. They were used for a long time without failure that the replacement ball had also been worn to an egg shape. I have also replaced my shocker balls and front radius ball this way as well.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

Nice drill press 1crosscut it looks like a really good quality one. Who is it made by?
Tool Inspector

Last edited by Davidid; 07-05-2020 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:56 PM   #8
1crosscut
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

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Nice drill press 1crosscut it looks like a really good quality one. Who is it made by?
Tool Inspector
It was made my Champion Blower and Forge Co.
It has patent dates of 1904 and 1910
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:32 PM   #9
Dave1931Pickup
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1crosscut View Post
I drilled them to 31/64" and then reamed them. Should work fine. I'm good enough enough with a Mig welder on most things but on this I plan on finding someone to Tig weld them for me.

Used the drill that I have from my great uncle Walt's blacksmith shop in Roca Nebraska. Frame for it is made up from what I think is a Model T frame. The front cross member with the crank hole is at the bottom by the floor.
Converted it to an electric motor with a flat belt as it was originally run off a line shaft.
Still drills nice holes after all these years.
OSHA would love to see your drill press. I grew up wit one that was a hand crank including the down feed mechanism.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:42 PM   #10
1crosscut
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

Definitely not OSHA approved. This one has the auto feed option too. Not going to catch me using the auto feed. Nope, no way.
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:14 AM   #11
BrentButterworth
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Default Re: Steering arm ball replacement

I think a drill bit size of 15.5mm might work. You may give it a try.
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