Electrolysis is bubblin'...

Thu Aug 12, 2004 6:14 pm

Well, I got the left steering knuckle rod in the tub and put the battery charger on "10 amps", and it's bubbling away.

It's AMAZING how the rust comes off, and the paint and gunk and other stuff comes away from the metal...

I actually set up a second small bucket with a 1 amp trickle charger on it for the small parts because the big tub was working so well at cleaning up the metal. I still can't get the steering rod out of the tube though... I will try the bottle jacks to get the axles apart so I can work on as small a part as possible, but I have no idea how I'm going to get this rod out of here...

Finally! But...

Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:53 am

Well, I *finally* got the steering knuckle rod out of the shaft, but it's not rusted up like I thought it would be, in fact there's only a little bit of rust at the very top, probably about an inch square, so that's not the problem.

What I think IS the problem is that the top is somehow out of round? Basically, I banged away on the wheel hub for a long, long time with a deadblow hammer (probably going to need to replace those bearings?)

Once the top of the shaft finally got below the top bushing, the rod slid right down slick as snot. But then it jammed up on the bottom bushing! So, after a few minutes of *REALLY* smashing on it (yes I was pretty ticked) it came out. So if I put it back in right now it probably would just jam up on the bushing again, because the top of it seems to be somehow seizing up inside the bushings.

Now, the *REALLY* frustrating part of it hit me a few minutes later when I realized that if I had somehow taken the bottom wheel hub/axle off and tried to drive it out in an UP-wards direction, it probably would have come out a few days earlier :oops: :( :shock:

Anyway, both of the shafts, complete with wheel hub assemblies, are happily bubbling away in the electro-tub... We'll see what they look like when they come out.

I need to find a wrench big enough to get that wheel hub nut off in the next day or two! Any idea what size that thing is?

Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:20 am

Congratulations! Now is a good time to check the shaft for straightness as well as out-of-round and get it trued up. The hub nuts should come right off with a pair of channel lock pliers. Or, invest in a large crescent wrench. (makes a handy substitute hammer when you're really frustrated) :D :D :D

Straight and true...

Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:27 am


How do you suggest I check for straight and true? Never done that on a cylinder. I assume I can try to roll it across my workbench and if it wobbles, it's not straight... How do you check for out of round?

I'll have to use a monkey wrench because I don't have any channel locks that big, but I was hoping to use something that wouldn't chew up the metal...

Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:33 am

If you have a machine shop near you, they can quickly check the shaft for you. Or, pick up a cheap pair of vernier or micrometer calipers to check for out of round.

The hub nut should not be too tight. Your monkey wrench should work. Try wrapping a round or two of tape around the nut to help prevent scratching.

Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:32 am

allen, try the shaft from your other axle in the housing to see if the problem is shaft or housing. I bought a repalcement knee (housing) for Missy, and when I went to use it I discovered the spindle shaft to be a very tight fit and bind. I could inser it from either end, but when it starte through the second bushing it would bind. After doing quite a bit of checking I discovered the housing itself was sprung.


Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:13 pm

Ah, now THERE'S a good idea... I wouldn't have thought of that at all.

I got a few parts at lunchtime, but the NAPA stores around here are proving to be *worthless* :? :roll:

It seems in the past few years the Pep Boys and AutoZones have put them out of business or something, they are few and far between, and the ones we have are very small and only carry parts for GM and Ford (and not all of those.)

I have compiled a list of parts that I need and I will be placing an order with a Case dealer (there aren't any of those real close by either.)

I notice the 4 bolts that hold together the axle clamps on my adjustable front axle look "beaver chewed" from rusting where they were exposed in the center of the clamps, should I replace them with Grade 5's or Grade 8's?

Rusty shaft :)

Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:06 am

After stewing in the tank, the steering knuckle rod came out black right where the top bushing rested against it, and slightly oversize.

After a liberal application of emery paper, it was shiny all over, and back to normal size, except for some very minor pitting at the top bushing section.

When I tried to re-insert it, the top bound again on the lower bushing, so I used a steel file to go all the way around the top section - which appears to be *very* soft compared to the section of the rod just below the key slot - which appears to be *very* hard. The file really took off material easily on the top section of the rod (where the steering arm squeezes the top of the rod) and could barely take off any material down in the section where the bushings contact the rod.

Anyway, after more emery paper, I finally got it undersized enough to go into the housing w/no problem.

Interestingly, I took the rod from the *other* side, at !#@$John's@#$ suggestion, (I can't remember how to spell his username, sorry), and tried it, and it went right in the bottom bushing but then bound on the top bushing - or actually I think it hit the bottom of the bushing and wouldn't go any further... Interesting!

But as long as they work on their respective sides, I don't care! Now I hope I didn't undersize the shaft too much - by looking at it, I don't think that's really possible, it's a pretty basic joint at the top there.

Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:30 am

Allen, the fact that the other one also only went part way through points to the tube being sprung a little. That's the problem I had with a replacement I bought for Missy. As long as you got it to where it works, that's what counts.

P.S. I can't remember how to spell it either, I have to copy and paste.