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Old 07-14-2010, 04:19 PM   #21
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

And the joints on several of the vehicles I've owned look just like your illustration on the right. You know a lot, but you don't know everything
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:35 PM   #22
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Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Well, I learn something every day.

To tell the truth I am very surprised that an automotive designer would use a heim type ball joint on a car anywhere other than as a lightly loaded tie rod or other application where the load was radial (push - pull) only. They just aren't designed to take an a axial load of the kind that a ball joint sees when used on the suspension.* That is why nearly half the ball is unsupported.

Just for my enlightenment, what kind of car and where were they used?

-- Edited by RickB on Wednesday 14th of July 2010 04:36:38 PM
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:27 PM   #23
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Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Steering linkages, Morgan, Jaguar (older), Bristol, MG (older) Land Rover (older) and an old Ferrari to name some makes I've worked on back in the day that I recall had the "open" type of ball joint. I've not seen them on any vehicles I've dealt with more recently, probably because of the disadvantages you state.

Because of this experience I assumed the current automotive ball joints like the ones in your left illustration*were basically made the same way.* I did not know that they are designed to be taken apart, for example.* When they loosen up to the point of needing replacement, everyone I've known as well as myself have*simply replaced them with new ones rather than try to*service the old ones.* So I figured you couldn't take them apart.

So I've learned something, too.

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 14th of July 2010 05:36:41 PM
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:25 PM   #24
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Gents,

Could we call them "Tie Rod Ends".* Ball joints are the joints that are in the upper and lower end of an "A" Frame and supports the Spindle.* They do not come apart.* When they do the car is at the side of the road with the wheel at a funny angle and sometime a bent fender.

"Ball joints are a part of your vehicle's suspension that connects the steering knuckles to the control arms. A ball joint is essentially a flexible ball and socket that allows the suspension to move and at the same time the wheels to steer. Cars and trucks without strut suspensions typically have four of them (one upper and one lower on each side). Cars and minivans with strut suspensions have only two (one lower ball joint on each side). Some front-wheel drive cars also have ball joints on the rear suspension.
*

Like any other suspension component, ball joints eventually wear and become loose. Excessive play in the joint can affect wheel alignment and tire wear. Loose joints can also cause suspension noise (typically a "clunking" sound when hitting a bump).

WARNING: If a ball joint fails, the suspension can collapse causing a loss of control. So don't put off having a bad set of joints replaced. "

To mix it up a little more.* The Britts called them "Trunnion's".

Just saying.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #25
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Mmmmm.... no. I'm looking a the shop manual for my 1973 Land Rover and also the parts catalog from Rovers North, the primary supplier of Land Rover and Range Rover parts in the US. They use the terms rather indiscrimately. They call them "tie rod ends" when they are on the ends of the tie rod. They call them "ball joints" when they are on the ends of the drag link. They also call them "ball joints" when they are on the ends of the torque tube that connects the steering box to the steering relay up front. But the hardware itself is all identical. So the definition seems to be up to the person or company doing the defining.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:09 PM   #26
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Yea but that's Land Rover what do you expect.* They call it a bonnet and wind screen and oh yes they just got away from side curtains 50 years ago.* :>)))
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:47 PM   #27
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

True, but then they invented the language. If the Queen calls it a ball joint, the by God, it's a ball joint.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:57 AM   #28
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

That's why it's called English and not American.
Marin as you would know, if it is Pommie built it is built propper, it might not work but it will be well built.
I'm an old MG freak but have been cured ( after an MGA, TF,Magnet ZA and a Midget) and now drive Jap wagons.

Benn
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:28 AM   #29
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Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Well, we've kind of hijacked Tim's discussion here but since he seems to have decided on a course of action I guess we can get away with it......

I've had a number of British vehicles over the decades and still have two, the Land Rover I bought new in 1973 and the Range Rover. All those years I heard all the stories about the failings of British vehicles, like Lucas "Prince of Darkness" electrical components and whatnot. But my experience, and the experience of the other owners I knew, never matched the stereotype. I've had far more mechanical and electrical issues with our Ford, Toyota, and BMW vehicles than I ever had with the British cars. Almsot everything electrical that's failed on the cars I've owned--- including the Range Rover--- has been German built.

But the thing I like best about British vehicles--- I don't mean today where a BMW looks like a Honda looks like a Ford looks like an Audi looks like a KIA--- is their aesthetics. The most perfect design I have owned is the Austin Healey 3000. Like a dummy, I sold it a long, long time ago when it was just a "used sports car." But Healeys, Morgans, TR-3s, Aston Martins, E-Type coupes, Rileys, MG-TDs, Bristols, fast-back Bentleys, Morris, even the original Mini (the current one is a poor imitation and far too big) and the classic London cab, the list goes on and on, have an aesthetic that appeals to me more than the cars from any other country except a few models of Ferrari and a single model from Studebaker.

So one can deride British cars all they want but in my opinion they knew (and probably still do) how to draw lines with sheet metal better than just about anyone else. I think the best looking new car on the planet right now is the Aston Martin Vantage. I saw a lot of them in Dubai the other month and they are one of the few new cars I've seen that I think looks great from any angle.




-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 15th of July 2010 11:34:58 AM
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:35 AM   #30
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Thanks guys for all your input.

I got home yesterday and had a further look at the tie rod end. The stud does indeed slide up and down within the ball. I had first thought it was pressed into the ball. For that reason the cap does indeed prevent the stud from slipping out of the ball. So the mystery regarding the reason for that cap is solved.

There is no force applied to the cap on that stud. The stud connects the rudder tiller to the tie rod, so only the weight of the tie rod is applied to that cap on the stud. Probably just a couple of ounces, and for that reason the light weight construction of the cap. However, in my view if that cap were to break off completely and the stud slipped out of the ball, Marins' nightmarish scenario could develop.
As Marin states: "And when the ball comes off the top of the stud/bolt you will lose steering control over that rudder, and the tie rod could even drop down into the bilge and jam against something and take away all your steering control."

I also believe the indentation in the cap was put there to break a way the outer portion of the cap if for some reason force was applied to the cap, and thus maintain the integrity of the inner part of the cap which holds the stud in place. I also believe that outer portion of the cap was broken and can be seen raised up in the first photo when an adjustment was made to the tie rod end bolt. I suspect it came that way from the factory, or was adjusted shortly there after.

I can't figure out the thinking involved in the design of that stud and cap. For such an important part, a beefier cap on the stud would seem not only obvious but prudent. Perhaps BP and Toyota are feeling the same way.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:53 AM   #31
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

I just noticed after re-looking at the picture, that cap doesn't even hold the weight of the tie rod. It's there just to prevent the stud from slipping out of the ball. Even a cotter pin through an extend stud would have been better than this design.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #32
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Quote:
timjet wrote:So the mystery regarding the reason for that cap is solved.



I can't figure out the thinking involved in the design of that stud and cap.
There never was any "mystery" about that cap. As far as the design goes, it is exactly what I told you it was, a way to assign a part number for the assembly and make the builder a few dollars more over the life cycle of the boat. It is a bad idea which drove an even worse design.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:46 AM   #33
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Rick,
You're probably right where marketing once again drove the engineers to design a part for their purpose rather than a proper design for it's intended purpose.

At least the replacement tie rod end is designed properly with a substantial end cap, but oddly it has the same part number as the original.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:58 AM   #34
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Oddly? Not really. Hopefully they improved the product but still have captured the market for replacements as the old ones fail.

It is interesting that the service guy you talked to said the he figures most of the fleet has those "caps" lying in the bilge. That means there is probably a small fleet of boats out there with link rods depending on nothing more than gravity to keep the rudders connected.

All I warned about was loss of steering but if Marin's doomsday scenario occurred then the link rod could be bent as well as the steering ram and/or its mounts if they were designed by the same guy who came up with the captured stud idea.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:12 AM   #35
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

Genmar/Carver filled a market niche for years by building a low cost boat. Components were sourced from a variety of low bidders, whether marine grade hardware or otherwise. Genmar's boats are legendary for boat show and dock appeal. They went bankrupt in 2009.

to be fair, rudder connections are routinely replaced on many non-Genmar vessels because age or build/design slop in the system wears out other components as the AP unit tries to compensate. Next time the boat is out of the water, attempt to move the rudders by hand. If there is "too much" movement, check out all your components inlcuding the keyway and key on the shaft.

Me, I'd replace the trunnion, tie rod, connector link and check the entire steering gear out. Genmar built it you know.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:53 PM   #36
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RE: Rudder connector ball and socket damaged

TGWhite,

All the components of the steering are in good shape. I replaced the suspect tie rod end due to it's probable damage during installation. I can't be sure the manufacturer was responsible for the damaged bolt head on the tie rod end, but if so it was a matter of poor quality control rather than poor materials. The replacement is of a slightly different design, the cost to manufacture probably being no more or less than the original.

Not sure I agree with you on the quality of a Carver, but from I've learned since I've bought the boat, it compares in quality pretty much with the Sea Rays, Cruisers and Mainships that were of the same vintage. Carver did not however use balsa or plywood as a core below the waterline like Cruiser did.


If you are implying Carver went out of business because of poor quality, I think I can safely disagree with you on that. The economic climate had everything to do with their undoing. Unlike Sea Ray, Carver did not mass produce trailer boats with much wider appeal that*undoubtedly*had much to do with Sea Rays survival.
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