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Old 05-23-2022, 11:23 PM   #1
aussie merc
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Default engine steady rods ???

ok vehicle is 39 mercury sedan has always had a minor clutch shudder that ive learnt how to drive around but it now has come to light that in the past before i was awarded custody some one has removed the drivers side [left] steady rod. vehicle has been fitted with repro fentons and doesn't look like i can fit a replacement bar in so questions are 1 can i fit a custom bar [bent to clear exhaust ; 2, fit a rearward facing bar so 1 forward [right] asper factory and 1 rearward or 3 fit 2 new rearward facing bars
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

As you have stated, originally your Merc had two, forward facing bars....some models have the bars going back....you'll need to fab up something that will fit. Thing is to prevent all forward/aft movement.
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Old 05-24-2022, 02:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

If you fabricate something, you will need to make it so it cannot flex. A rear facing one should work. I think you have answered your own question, and in the logical order.
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Old 05-24-2022, 01:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

As the car accelerates and stops the forces are transferred from the rear end through the torque tube to the engine. It wants to push and pull the engine forwards and backwards. Models A had solid motor mounts which prevented this but the 1932-1948 sit on those rubber biscuits and the engine can move. That was the reason for the steady rods. If you look at the 1932 rods a lot of them have broken and have been welded, that is how much force is on them. In 1933 they increase the diameter of the rods. Everybody calls them clutch chatter rods but they engine steady rods

If you look at when Ford eliminated the torque tube and switched to the modern slip style driveshaft with parallel rear springs, the castings in the block for the steady rods were eliminated. If you put a '49-53 motor into an earlier car with a torque tube you need to make some kind of bracket to stabilize the engine. Hurst made ones that bolted to the front rubber biscuits.

My dad's 1932 roadster that he bought over 25 years ago and never drove more then a few times, pulls "hard" to the right when you get on it. It has an 8BA and I need to see if anything was done about the steady rods with that 8BA in there. Maybe that is the cause of it making right turns under acceleration? Lots of Mickey Mouse things on the car I need to fix. I'm starting at the rear spreader bar and fixing all of it as I move forward.
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Old 05-24-2022, 03:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

Here is a version of a bracket that someone else came up with to solve the problem.

I haven't tried it but it bolts to the bell housing bolts then runs backwards hooks on to the chassis near the universal, then adjust the tension.

The first and most important thing is to be sure that your engine & transmission mounts are in good/solid shape i.e. not soft. I have found the Bob Drake repro mounts to be the best, definitely steer clear of the Vintique brand IMHO.
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Old 05-24-2022, 05:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

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Quote:
Originally Posted by meric42 View Post
Here is a version of a bracket that someone else came up with to solve the problem.

I haven't tried it but it bolts to the bell housing bolts then runs backwards hooks on to the chassis near the universal, then adjust the tension.
Jim Pullen (19Fordy) has one of these on his black '40 Coupe. Maybe he'll pop-up here with better pics. Coop


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Old 05-24-2022, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

In my opinion, there is something wrong with that pictured stay rod; to truely prevent the forward/aft movement, it needs a lock nut both sides of the 'Y' piece. As pictured, movement is still possible.
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

For what it may be worth. I swapped the 39 motor out of my 36 when it rusted through a hole in the water jacket for a fresh built french flatmotor. I had to drill holes for the steady rods in the french block and the stock rods have shoulders that position the distance just so, but they wouldn't fit the new mill. So, I used some threaded rod with a nut welded on the end to accept the special bolt that goes through the frame. The motor end had nuts and some spacers as needed to get everything snugged up proper. It worked out perfect. AFTER all the head scratching was over!
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Old 05-24-2022, 06:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

Good luck with your project
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

i know i have to replace the rod but still wondering if they both have to face the one direction or if one forward and one rear will work
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Old 05-24-2022, 09:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

As long as they prevent any movement, I can't see what difference it makes as to which way they face.
The original rods, irrespective of the way they face, are shouldered; when done up tight against the shoulders, the engine cannot possibly move.
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Old 05-25-2022, 03:04 AM   #12
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

IMHO Those brackets are too light. You need absolute rigidity fore and aft.
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Old 05-25-2022, 04:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: engine steady rods ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie merc View Post
i know i have to replace the rod but still wondering if they both have to face the one direction or if one forward and one rear will work
One forward and one back should work! I would try to keep them parallel and on the same plane so there is no triangulation happening as the motor needs to freely move up and down and side to side on the rubber mounts. Just suck it and see. I would look at some of that tube with the internal thread, or make some if you have a lathe. Bolt one end to the bell housing and put a spherical rod end on the other. It maybe easier to make two.
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