Widen Front End

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:31 am

So I've been mowing recently with the rears dished out for greater stability but now want to tackle the front. I'm thinking this is going to be near impossible since the tie rods are bent.

Is there any way somebody can give me a step by step on how they would widen a perfectly functional front end? If I can get the bare minimum, I might be able to work with the bent tie rods. I know it's going to take a lot of lubrication and probably some heat but instead of going in blind, I'm hoping for some guidance.

Thanks :D

Re: Widen Front End

Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:33 am

During the restoration of Rex'48 I had to complete both tasks you're wanting to undertake.

Tie rods were removed and I used my press to straighten them so they would come apart. Once apart I straightened them more on the press until they slid in and out easily. I used a bent wire with emery paper and my drill to clean the inside of the tubes. Work great now.

Front Axle - I got mine apart with Kroil over a period of about a week. One side was easy as it had been greased. The other side need lots more kroil, heat and a hardwood block to drive it out against the steering knuckle. I cleaned the inside of the tube with course sand paper in a heavy wire and drill.

This post gives you another solution depending on your shop setup. My signature has a link where you can see the results.

Ken

Re: Widen Front End

Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:39 am

It will depend on your tractors front end as to how easy or rather how difficult it will be. It's pretty straight forward IF everything goes well. The biggest problem you will probably encounter is actually moving the "adjustable" axle tubes once you have them unclamped and unpinned. I had my axle off and used a couple bottle jacks to get it apart. The tie rods are not a big problem as they can be straightened pretty well in a bench vice once you get them apart. Good luck.

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Re: Widen Front End

Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:08 pm

Thanks guys. Is there any special way to pull the tie rods off? I dont have the Cub at home anymore and can't see what's what without it being directly in front of me. I'm going to make an attempt to get over to where I'm temporarily housing it tomorrow and just want to make sure I have all unanswered questions out of the way. I'm in the process of selling my house. I had to clear out the garage and the Cub was one of the big ticket items to go. Feels empty haha

Re: Widen Front End

Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:41 pm

To remove them from the wheel end, you have to pull the cotter pin, then unscrew the block from the end of the tube.

To remove them from the middle, remove the bolt holding the "clamshell" together at the steering arm.

Re: Widen Front End

Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:59 pm

Good deal, thanks! Hopefully I can get them to cooperate.

Re: Widen Front End

Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:50 pm

Couldnt get them removed from the middle to save my life! I thought I was going to break the dang thing. Is there a better way than just trying to yank em out after pulling out the one bolt in the center?

Re: Widen Front End

Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:09 pm

I used 2 muffler clamps to attatch a rock bar to the front of the wheel spndles behind the tire. Spray inside the axle tube with a good penetrating oil. Then just lay on it and move it a little at a time. With each small movement, yure gettibng oil into the tube and should make it easier after a while. AFter I got mine out, I used an engine cylinder hone to clean out the old rust out of the tube. I then cleaned up the axle extensions with sand paper. And before I reinserted them into the axle tube, I greased them liberally.

Re: Widen Front End

Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:30 pm

AgTires4295 wrote:Couldnt get them removed from the middle to save my life! I thought I was going to break the dang thing. Is there a better way than just trying to yank em out after pulling out the one bolt in the center?


By the "one bolt in the center" do you mean the axle pivot pin or the adjustable axle pins? I have a few questions for you below.

1. Is the axle off the tractor?
2. Have you removed the clamps on both sides?
3. Have you used two cold chisels to driven lengthwise into the expansion slots to break the rust near the outside. You have to be careful not to over expand the slots - you can crack the back side. I used 3/16 key stock, sharpened like a cold chisel so I could leave them in for assembly.
4. Have you used KROIL many times per day for a week or more? This works better with the axle off the tractor when you can stand it up and let it run.
5. Have you used heat and lots of it? Heat along with tapping with hammer (not so hard you dent it) to loosen rust.

It took me over a week to get mine freed up.

Ken

Re: Widen Front End

Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:19 am

PVF1799 wrote:
AgTires4295 wrote:Couldnt get them removed from the middle to save my life! I thought I was going to break the dang thing. Is there a better way than just trying to yank em out after pulling out the one bolt in the center?


By the "one bolt in the center" do you mean the axle pivot pin or the adjustable axle pins? I have a few questions for you below.

I'm not sure what it's technically called but it's the bolt that sits between the two tie rods where they connect and pivot in the center.

1. Is the axle off the tractor? No
2. Have you removed the clamps on both sides? Clamps on the axle itself? Not yet. If I cant get the tie rods to adjust because of their bent condition, I'm not even going to try the rest. I used a lot of heat yesterday to try and bend them back but couldnt get it to glow hot enough.
3. Have you used two cold chisels to driven lengthwise into the expansion slots to break the rust near the outside. You have to be careful not to over expand the slots - you can crack the back side. I used 3/16 key stock, sharpened like a cold chisel so I could leave them in for assembly. I'll have to Google what a cold chisel even is haha. I'm just using whatever tools are the most common around a homestead.
4. Have you used KROIL many times per day for a week or more? This works better with the axle off the tractor when you can stand it up and let it run. I've used penetrating oil a couple times (just spraying where I can and letting it sit). This was over the last month.
5. Have you used heat and lots of it? Heat along with tapping with hammer (not so hard you dent it) to loosen rust. I havent made it this far yet.

It took me over a week to get mine freed up.

Ken

Re: Widen Front End

Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:59 pm

I think after spening the better part of today trying to straighten and extend the tie rods, it's time to throw in the towel. I was able to separate the tie rods and attempted to heat, lubricate, cool, heat again, straighten and nothing happened. The Cub isnt at my house to work on at my leisure and it's become too much of a burden right now to attempt to modify. I hate the way it looks with the narrow cront end and dished out rear wheels. I guess I'll switch the wheels back to the stock setting. I feel that I just need to suck it up and buy new tie rods :oops:
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Last edited by AgTires4295 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Widen Front End

Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:06 pm

The tie rods should not require heat to bend. If you remove them from the tractor, so you can get Kroil to run down inside - then you use your vice or shop press to slowly bend the bend out. :D The inner won't come out till the tie rod outer shaft is straight or mostly straight. Remember you can't use heat to get the outer and the inner hot enough at the same time.

I'd recommend taking them off and carefully straighten them - then stand them up and Kroil the heck out of them for days. Then back into the vice and get the inner rod moving slowly - Mine started turning a 1/32" at a time. Then back vertical for more Kroil.

I then straightened them independently until they slid in and out easily.

On your axle - I know mine would not have come apart on the tractor. I had to stand it up and let the Kroil run down on all sides.

If you want to have a chat - send me a PM and I'll give you my phone number.

Ken

Re: Widen Front End

Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:07 pm

AgTires4295 wrote:I feel that I just need to suck it up and buy new tie rods.

Or good used ones.

Re: Widen Front End

Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:15 pm

Thanks Ken. I might take you up on that someday when I can devote more time to it. If it was in the garage, sure. But it's not accessible and I need it in operating condition for Field Days of the Past in 2 weeks.

Re: Widen Front End

Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:44 pm

While you are still driving it around loosen the large clamps on the axle after putting a slightly smaller pin/bolt in the hole. If the axles are frozen this will help to loosen them. Rough ground and changing directions often recomended.
You can easily tell when they are loose or if it will require a bigger hammer, lol! Almost any tie rod can be made useful, question is how nice do you want it to look? Unless the they are like pretzels and rusted solid they can be repaired to function.