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Been a while. Commenting on repair options.

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Been a while. Am I still welcome?

Sometimes, finding an alternative method works out well. Case in point.

Just finished replacing the steering ball joint on my 97 Sovereign. Living 'north of the border' there are times (even with the internet) that obtaining parts can be a challenge. It would of been possible to order the part, have it shipped but the total price ends up being too much for my budget. What did I do?

Went to the local farm supply, asked to see their selection of generic tie rod ends. They had nothing. Off to the local tractor dealer. (They sell those dark green ones.) Had the ball joint in hand, showed them what I needed. They didn't have an exact replacement, but sold me their best alternative. (Which I could of returned had it not worked.) Now, the thinking started. Original part has male threading on both ends, replacement has female where it attaches to the steering drag link. Had to find a solution to this dilemma. Found some 1/2" 20 tpi rod at the farm supply store. I was on to something.

Back at home, I quickly realized modifications were required. Had to cut back the drag link by about 7/8". Cut a short length off the treaded rod. Cleaned up both threads with my tap and die set. Coated the portion of the rod to be threaded into the drag link with thread locker. Ball joint fastened to the other end, secured with the jam nut. Reassembled it on to the tractor. Made a few alignment adjustments. Steering on tractor hasn't felt this good for years.

In the end, the repair cost me less money than ordering the original part. Was more work, but I learned something in the process. Time will tell how successful it will be.

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A ball joint on my Simplicity 3310 came apart. It is normally held together by a spring clip but 35 years is a lot to expect from a little piece of wire. Nothing was available locally and partstree.com wants $50 for a new one. So I cut a slot in a washer, inserted the ball into the socket, slid the washer over the neck of the ball, and welded the washer onto the knuckle. I'll have to lube it frequently but it looks great. Pretty cool, eh?









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