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mroman59

Drag link assembly - is there supposed to be play

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mroman59
As I was examining my steering shaft and steering housing I disconnected my drag link to free the steering shaft assembly. At this junction, I noticed that there is play. It seemed to me at first that this was part of the design, but I am not sure. Could anyone shed some light on this for me. Thanks, MR

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Willy
You want it snug but not tight to the point that the ball end dosen't move freely. Just remove the cotter pin and snug it up with a screwdriver. While your at it I would take the ball out and add a little grease to the socket and ball.

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mroman59
Well I was trying to figure out if it were snug how would that affect the ball end movement, but right now I don't see how tightening it up would affect it. There is no cotter pin, it has a bolt and some washers. I will have to go out and check again to see if it can be tighten up to a point where there is no play. That may not be possible due to the design. As of now, the drag link bar has enough play, i.e. before I disconnected it, where it can move sideways and hits against the tractor frame.

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Allis_HB112
It sounds like you are talking about what the parts diagram call the "tie rod". I have been calling that the drag link myself. It doesn't matter what you call it, the answer is the same. NO. I just replaced the ball joints on my tie rod with standard Oregon brand ball joints for about $12 each. Problem with the factory units is they are about $42 each. They are bastards, cuz they have 1/2-20 male threads at both ends, where standard pieces have a 1/2-20 female thread on the end that connects to the tie rod. What I did was to save the $60 and cut 2 1/2" out of one end of the tie rod and made a CRS steel plug to fit tight inside the 2 pieces, and welded them back together, giving me the ability to replace them the next time and save another $60. On the drag link, connecting the spindles together, I bored, drilled, and reamed the ends for Oilite bronze bushings, and used socket head shoulder bolts as pivot bolts. Problem is I'm still a little TOO tight. Works GREAT when the wheels are straight, or close to. But at full turn, the camber designed in binds the ends. On the old Cub Cadets I have had, they had the same ball joints there, as the tie rod ends. An easy fix. I'm probably going to build a new drag link with ball joint ends, but not after I modify what I have to get it to work 1st. And then if the steering box has the eccentric pin in it, as most older ones do, and it is sloppy and/or worn out as mine was, AND because it's an obsolete part, I made a small production run on that part. Dirtmister16 has the 1st rebuild kit I have sold. I have a classified on that kit, or it's on ebay for $5 more. The kit includes the bushing, also. I have posted pics in the steering rebuild thread, and he will be posting some more, also, but he's been sick. Hope this helps.

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mroman59
Wayne yes, i noticed that some call it drag link or tie rod end. My parts manual calls it drag link so I thought it would be a more familiar terminology for everyone. I saw your photos of your tie rod modification. I was wondering what you were doing in those photos, thanks for explaining. It seems you are suggesting that play on the tie rod could cause premature wear on the ball joint end and that there should be NO play. I will go back and see if I have the ability to snug it tight. I know those simplicity parts are expensive. I did notice that you put in a grease fitting in your steering box assembly. Mine came with a fitting in it and I have kept it lubed, but I dont know about the previous owner. It seems like everything is working well in that area.

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