Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

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w30bob
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Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby w30bob » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:45 am

Hi Guys,

I don't think I've ever run across a Cub that didn't have bent tie rods on the front. I need to straighten mine out on my '77. It's the adjustable front end and on mine it's adjusted all the way in. Doesn't appear to have ever been in any other position. My tubes are straight, but the threaded part of the bar with the notches that slides in the tubes are bent right in the threaded section. Both are bent backwards a bit, as if something was run into with the tractor. If they were bent up or down I could just use a hydraulic jack and un-bend them without removing them from the tractor. But being bent backward I need to pull them off and then straighten, as they don't rotate enough to get the jack under the bent section of them. So I plan on pulling them and using the hydraulic press at work to straighten them and then chase the threads with a die. I'll use a piece of wood between the press and the threads, but I'm wondering if anyone knows of a better way. These probably can't be bent too many times before they start work hardening, so I'm picking your brains first. Is there a "best" way to straighten a rod with threads? Surely many of you have straightened these in the past..........so please enlighten me.

thanks,
bob

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Re: Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby staninlowerAL » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:18 pm

If the bend not too severe I prefer to not use heat if possible. I believe the heating and cooling of the metal tends to make it harden. I have been able to use a vise to hold the rod and a pipe over the rod and straighten it. Also, A solid heavy metal work table or other some other type surface to provide support for the tie rod and hammer the smaller bends back straight. You will probably have to disassemble the solid rod from the hollow section. That might require some heat and a way to apply pressure to separate the two pieces. There was an old post and pictures showing this. Try the search feature to locate it. It usually presents a challenge. Good Luck

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Re: Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby Don B. » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:23 pm

My tie rods were bent more within the tube than in the threaded part. I used wood to try to protect the threads and was able to straighten that part of the rod adequately as well.
Like staninlowerAL suggested, I put my bent tie rods in a vise, soaked them with Kroil, and used a long pipe to gently straighten them. I kept repositioning them and checking as I got them straighter to see if they would also start to move. Eventually, they started to slide a little each time.
This was just another opportunity that my Cub presented to me to practice patience. :|
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Re: Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby Scrivet » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:50 pm

Remove the tie rods from the Cub and unthread ball seat on the end. Run a stack of nuts as far as you can onto the threads with all the flats lined up. Clamp the nuts in a vise. Use the tube as a lever to straighten the bend. If you need to, use a piece of pipe (like has already been mentioned) as a cheater bar. Change which flats you are clamped on as you loosen the vise and check your progress. Keep running the nuts farther down as you straighten it. It will bend closest to them first.

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Re: Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby w30bob » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:41 am

Thanks guys..........will get right on it.

Scrivet............brilliant! The issue with bending threaded rod is getting the thread spacing back to normal..........your way will do that!!

Thanks guys!

regards,
bob

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Re: Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby Crimson Tim » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:07 am

Also, FYI, heating steel doesn’t harden it. In fact, it will soften it (provided you get it hot enough). However, COOLING steel will determine your end result. Steel has a number of different crystalline structure that it will transition between as its temperature changes, which result in different properties.
If you heat it and let it cool slowly (air cool, no breezes), it will stay soft and ductile. If you heat it and quench it in water, it causes a very fast cooling which results in a very hard but brittle structure.
Cold forming steel also strengthens it, but also makes it more brittle. So if you bend something cold a couple of times, you may notice that it takes more force each time to achieve a permanent deformation. (You could then heat it and slow-cool it to return ductility).
There’s a bazillion other factors involved, too, like carbon content and what other elements are in the alloy. Fascinating subject, but that’s enough stealing the thread for now.

Moral of the story: if you heat something enough to ease bending, don’t quench it!

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Re: Best Way to Straighten Tie Rods

Postby Cubfriend » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:36 pm

I just use a hydraulic press and use something soft to protect the threads. If needed I run a die over the threads when done.
Frank


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