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Old 11-08-2018, 04:35 PM   #1
whirnot
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Default Do you polish your balls?

I pulled the steering column out of my 29 roadster and tore it down for overhaul. I am trying to make this thing as driver friendly as possible so my wife can drive it. I decided to look at all the steering joints as well, and was amazed how hard they were to turn. After tearing it all apart and cleaning everything, I ordered all my column parts, new arm rubbers, shortened Pitman Arm and a full set of teflon cups. The balls all looked pretty decent, one had a minor ridge that I was able to sand off pretty easily. But then I got to thinking since the goal is to decrease friction as much a possible, doesn't it make sense to polish the balls?


The steel is really relatively soft, and after a short time on the buffing wheel they look like chrome. Should make a huge difference in steering, and make the cups last longer.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:07 PM   #2
Stew Masche
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

My bad !
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:09 PM   #3
FRANK PKNY
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

Boy that's a loaded question. Perhaps you need to clarify the question!
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:10 PM   #4
Stew Masche
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

Be MECHANICALLY minded
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

I’m waiting at an airport and don’t have access to what I need, but there’s a recommended value for maximum wear/out-of-round. Check with a cheap micrometer or caliper. If you’re beyond that value, polishing won’t likely help much. If you had a ridge, you’re probably beyond that max wear value. I had maybe one ball that was good and I chose to replace the others using A&L. The new ones looked great. I personally think all the binding is in the box design. I have a ‘32 with all the same tie rod end design as an A, but it steers a lot easier. Seems that folks choose to go with replacing the box with a early ‘50s F-1 box and love the results. Good luck
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

Only before I putt
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

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Originally Posted by Bruce_MO View Post
.... I personally think all the binding is in the box design. I have a 32 with all the same tie rod end design as an A, but it steers a lot easier. Seems that folks choose to go with replacing the box with a early 50s F-1 box and love the results. Good luck

I think the ratios are different on a 32 box (15:1?). I have a 29 two tooth RHD box with what seems to be 32 gears. I assume this was done for ratio improvement. Haven't tried it yet. Bought it on ebay.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

Teflon cold flows under sustained / repeated loads, so I would not use Teflon ball socket parts. However, Teflon is an excellent lubricant, and I would seek a chassis grease that has Teflon particles in it.


The ball joint plugs preset a normal force on the ball joints, so it is important that the plugs are not too tight. I set the plugs in my Model "A" cars to compress the springs 0.06" which is one turn of the plugs after contacting the balls.


Front tire pressure also affects the steering effort. Higher pressure equates to easier steering, but a rougher ride. Toe-in also has a minor effect on the steering effort.



The webbing in the bushing at the top of the steering column is also a point of hi-friction, so lubricate the webbing too.


You need to explain to your wife that the steering is much easier when the Model "A" is moving even a little bit.


It would be fantastic if an entrepreneur in out hobby makes available a steering worm & sector ratio gear set which reduces the driver's steering effort.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:28 AM   #9
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I use Kiwi and try to stay away from black.........
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

The shorter arm will help a lot. BTW, it's none of your !@#$%^ business what I do with my balls! -
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

The short aftermarket pitman arm eases steering effort.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

Yes shorter pitman arm helps a lot & we produce a RHD one, As too polishing my balls , never tried that but do lubricate them often,
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

That'll make your little putter stand on end.....(Johnny Carson)
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:10 AM   #14
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That'll make your little putter stand on end.....(Johnny Carson)
Yes, I remember that one. Arnold Palmer sued carson and won for his remark about his wife kissing his putter before Palmer goes out.

A very calm statement in today's times.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Do you polish your balls?

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The shorter arm will help a lot. BTW, it's none of your !@#$%^ business what I do with my balls! -
I don't care what you do with your balls, polish them if you like, but I didn't know that a shorter arm was better. It does make sense though.
My gear is older so it has a lot of slop when I reverse direction.
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