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Old 01-10-2019, 06:19 PM   #1
DC 69
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Default Radius Rod Question

I've recently read that a rubber radius rod ball is not recommended. In checking mine, I found a rubber cup around the entire metal ball. There's a crack in the rubber cup. Is this what members are talking about? Should I replace the rubber cup with metal radius ball washer from Snyder's? Unable to load pictures (security token?). Also, What size are the springs on the radius rod bolts? Do the springs fit over the spacer or against the spacer edge?

Thanks for any comments.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:12 PM   #2
Bob C
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

This is what you need.


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Old 01-10-2019, 10:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

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This is what you need.


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Yup...what Bob C says. $25.00. Just make sure your wishbone ball is up to snuff. Should be nice and round and I believe 1.5 inches in diameter.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:30 PM   #4
DC 69
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

Thank you gentlemen.

Found the same kit online after I had posted my question. I'll be ordering soon.

My assembly did not have spacers or springs and was bolted tight, which I have been reading can contribute to the "Death Wobble".
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

What you're describing is the correct assembly to go along with the rubber ball.

I know I'm in the minority but I don't see much wrong with using the rubber ball setup. When I had mine apart a couple months ago the rubber ball was still in decent shape and it was at least 20 years old. Upon inspection of the radius ball itself I found it was in almost perfect shape and I'm sure that it's at least partially due to the rubber ball. I've seen a lot of egg shaped ones here on the barn from years of metal on metal contact.

Also, my car doesn't have the tightest front end, needs a new front leaf spring and has the rubber ball. Still no death wobble.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

There are far more reasons for the 'death wobble' than just the wishbone ball.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

https://youtu.be/ry29zQZ3E5Y

This video shows that ball in motion.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:26 AM   #8
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

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Originally Posted by ryanheacox View Post
What you're describing is the correct assembly to go along with the rubber ball.

I know I'm in the minority but I don't see much wrong with using the rubber ball setup. When I had mine apart a couple months ago the rubber ball was still in decent shape and it was at least 20 years old. Upon inspection of the radius ball itself I found it was in almost perfect shape and I'm sure that it's at least partially due to the rubber ball. I've seen a lot of egg shaped ones here on the barn from years of metal on metal contact.

Also, my car doesn't have the tightest front end, needs a new front leaf spring and has the rubber ball. Still no death wobble.


I agree I own and have owned model A's for over 50 years and used the rubber radius ball cover on all of them .The rubber ball has worked for me but it doesn't last forever . The rubber ball cover , like any other rubber -neoprene part can eventually wear and crack .he rubber radius ball doesn't cause the death wobble or shimmy . Improper setting of the toe in is the main cause of shimmy . Other worn front end parts can contribute to front end shimmy but usually doesn't set up or start the shimmy .
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

The rubber ball at best is a temporary fix for a worn radius rod ball.

> The rubber ball is exposed to transmission & motor oils which deteriorate rubber;
> The rubber ball wears rapidly relative to the OEM steel parts;
> As the rubber ball wears, it changes the camber angle of the front axle.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:52 AM   #10
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

If the ball cover is made of neoprene it won't be effected by oil like rubber is . I have used this part for many years and they usually last for several years . Metal to metal contact on the radius ball wasn't one of Fords better ideas . I've bought model A's that had lots of slack at the radius ball that never caused shimmy . Ford most likely saw the error and changed to the rubber ball cover from 32 through 48 on the cars with radius rod front ends ..
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #11
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

My Radius Ball picture.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:32 PM   #12
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanheacox View Post

I know I'm in the minority but I don't see much wrong with using the rubber ball setup. When I had mine apart a couple months ago the rubber ball was still in decent shape and it was at least 20 years old. Upon inspection of the radius ball itself I found it was in almost perfect shape and I'm sure that it's at least partially due to the rubber ball. I've seen a lot of egg shaped ones here on the barn from years of metal on metal contact.

Also, my car doesn't have the tightest front end, needs a new front leaf spring and has the rubber ball. Still no death wobble.

The biggest issue with using the rubber ball is the lack of rigidity which affects other components. When brakes are applied, two differing forces are applied to the front radius rod. When the brake rods pull back on the shaft levers, it will generally pull backward on the front axle allowing the radius rod ball to move. Then as the brakes begin applying, the axle tries to rotate axially which pushes the radius rod ball upward in the housing. As the axle rotates, this increases the brake lever force which tries to increase braking. Also, a worn spring along with a worn ball creates a safety issue in that the drag link is attached to a moving steering arm because the entire axle is allowed to move in both the X and Y direction.

One other thing that many do not realize is the clutch housing itself can be worn which allows the upper cup to move too. Just some additional food for thought...
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radius Rod Question

Also when changing from rubber ball to factory setup...

The steel or cast pieces used with the rubber ball are many times different shape and NOT designed to work with the original hardware.
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