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1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
#1413865 Mon Jun 14 2021 06:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 63
R
'Bolter
I just finished installing the drag link rebuild kit for my 1950 chev 3100. In order to get the cotter pin through the end caps I had to use a long extention on the ratchet to get the end cap in. Now the drag link ball seem way to tight as I can not move it in any direction by hand. I have not used any grease yet which may be my problem? Should it be these tight on both the axle end and pitman arm end?

Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1413868 Mon Jun 14 2021 06:36 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,203
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Are you sure you got it assembled correctly? The rebuild kit I used had a couple different spacers. One spacer had a longer stem which might restrict compression of he spring.

You should have pre-greased the parts on assembly, but even grease wouldn't help if it's overtightened (especially if the balls are worn).

The service manual says:

"...tighten plug snugly to remove all end play of ball.

2. Back off screw plug one complete turn plus amount necessary to insert cotter pin and lock adjustment.

Ball joints must be tight enough to prevent end play and yet loose enough to allow free movement.
Be sure sockets have ample lubrication.
"

Granted, "snugly" is a pretty vague value, but they have to be able to move.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1413870 Mon Jun 14 2021 06:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,228
M
'Bolter
I've always run it up tight with a ratchet (compressing the tension spring) and then back it off to the next cotter pin hole. You should never put a breaker bar or impact gun on it as you will damage something.

Mike B smile

Last edited by Mike B; Tue Jun 15 2021 12:01 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1413884 Mon Jun 14 2021 07:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 63
R
'Bolter
Okay back to the drawing board. Kevin there is the longer spacer on the one side so I could switch that to a shorter one. I will also start with liberal use of grease and see what happens. I think I might try taking everything out and just run the cap through to make sure all the threads are good. But clearly I have something wrong

Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1413929 Tue Jun 15 2021 12:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 63
R
'Bolter
Okay got it. Mine only has the one cotter pin hole on each end on both sides. On one side I went with the shorter spacer and on the other end I notif you looked through one end of the cotter pin hole to the other side it was nor perfectly aligned. So I enlarged thenhole slightly on one side and all is good!!!

Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1414060 Wed Jun 16 2021 01:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 63
R
'Bolter
I just read in the tech section of the forum a tip for rebuilding a drag link that the cups are not the same diameter as the ball which created tight steering so the tip is to lap the cups so it loosens a bit. I will probably wait until I resemble my truck (frame still bare) but if I find hard steering that’s what I will do as I find the movement now is far from lose but at least I can move around with some effort

Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1416863 Tue Jul 13 2021 06:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 63
R
'Bolter
Wrong part: Turns out I had the wrong ball joints: Ordered new ones from The Filling Station and all is as it should be

Re: 1950 3100 Drag link Rebuild
Rick Brown #1416946 Wed Jul 14 2021 03:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,008
H
'Bolter
Back when that type of drag link was in general use, it was pretty common practice to drill an extra cotter pin hole in the link so a finer adjustment could be made on the spring preload. 90 degrees of turn instead of 180 gave us a better range of adjustment.
jerry


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