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Replacing A-arm Heims joints


Lenny
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After tightening my heims joints a few times, it was time to replace them with better ones. Here is what I did. First off I purchased my new joints from "americanstarauto" on Ebay. I bought 2 sets of 4 for $126.48 including shipping. The stock joints are approximately 5/8", actually 16mm. I went with 3/4" chromoly joints with Kevlar reinforced liner and a 3/4-16 male stim, all right hand. This joint has a static load strength if 27,000 pounds and is somewhat larger as you can see in the pictures. The A-arms must be removed but you don't have to remove the front spindals or axels. First I drilled the ends of the A-arms out to 11/16". There is plenty of meat there to be able to do this. I did it on the lathe, see photo, but it can be done on a drill press. To do it on a drill press, simply move the table so the edge is under drill and fixture up the A-arm up the side of the table. I suspose it could be done with a 1/2"electric drill but keeping good alignment may be diffucult. After drilling, I put a small chamfer on the new hole to provide a nice starting area for the threads. I stayed with all right hand threads because I didn't have a 3/4-16 left hand tap. If you buy a tap to do this, get a good quality spiro point tap. The threads go in quite a ways and a good quality spiro point will do it the best. A cheap tap is going to get too tight in a ways. Carefully watch the alignment of the tap with the A-frame tub.

To be able to greese the joints, I drilled the stock bolts from the head down the center a bit past 1/2 way down the length of the shank with a 1/16"drill. I then drilled

the head with a #3 drill about 3/8" deep and tapped it 1/4-28 only about 1/4" deep to receive the greese fitting. I also ground a flat on the bolts shank where I drilled a side hole fro the greese to exit. See photo.

I had to make adapter sleeves to reduce the 3/4" bore of the joint down to 16mm so I could use the stock bolts. Trying to drill the tabs on the frame that receive the joints wasn't possible due to their location, so sleeving was the best answer. I machined my own sleeves but 16mm is so close to 5/8" that you could use a bronze sleeve bearing to do the same job. Not centered bronze. A flange bushing that is 5/8" ID x 3/4" OD x 5/8" long including a 1/8" x 1" OD flange along with a flat thrust thrust bearing that is 3/4" ID x 1" OD x 1/8" thick should do it. The 1/8" thick flat thrust bearing slips over the flange bushing to provide a 1/4" thick flange leaving 3/8" sleeve to go into the heims joints ball. You will need 16 of these 2 piece sets. Each of these sets needs to have the sleeve bushing filed to create a flat spot on the 3/4" dia. of the sleeve all the way to the flange and the flat thrust bearing needs to have a groove cut or filed into one flat side and that same side to also have its bore chamfered. This provides a place for the greese to make its way to the joint itself. The groove on the flat thrust washer should face the heims joint ball.

I purchased heims joint or rod ends, which ever you want to call them, sealing boots to cover and completely seal the joint from dirt and hold the greese in. I know, they say not to lubercate heims joints but that is because they are not sealed then the greese just attracts dirt and teflon doesn't need lubercation. I'm old school and prefer greese when ever possible, it's just better, even with teflon. Bought the seals from "seals-itstore" on Ebay. Their part #RERS3. Eight pieces for $43.20 including shipping. The bronze sleeves with the extra thrust washer is pressed into each side of the joint ball. The 1/4" wide flange provides a place for the seal to seal against on each side if the joint.The seals have to be put on the joints before screwing them into the A-arms. You need to put the seal on the joint by putting it's shaft through a side hole then sliding the stim portion of the seal on the 3/4" threaded shaft. They are tight but they do go and then stretch the seal over the joint using a 1/4" piece of round bar ground to a ball end on one end. It's about the only way to stretch the seal over without punchuring it. They stretch a lot and are nice and tight when on.

The final job is to widen the mounting tabs on the frame. I used a large crecent wrench to reach all the way to the base of each flange to bend them out to the side about 30-40 degrees. Then take a 3/8" piece of flat bar a couple of inches long and 1-1/2" wide. Grind the 3/8" sides to create a trapizoid that fits in between the bent out tabs with the 1-1/2" side going across from one tab to the other. Now clamp it inplace and use it as a block to bend the tabs back to straight out but this time they will be 1-1/2" in between them. Now the joints will fit in.

All that is left is assembly and resetting the caster, camber and toe and your done after greesing. I now no longer have any clunking noise coming from the front.

Click through 9 pictures.

2461626720104928832pvGeKh_th.jpg

Lenny

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After tightening my heims joints a few times, it was time to replace them with better ones. Here is what I did. First off I purchased my new joints from "americanstarauto" on Ebay. I bought 2 sets of 4 for $126.48 including shipping. The stock joints are approximately 5/8", actually 16mm. I went with 3/4" chromoly joints with Kevlar reinforced liner and a 3/4-16 male stim, all right hand. This joint has a static load strength if 27,000 pounds and is somewhat larger as you can see in the pictures. The A-arms must be removed but you don't have to remove the front spindals or axels. First I drilled the ends of the A-arms out to 11/16". There is plenty of meat there to be able to do this. I did it on the lathe, see photo, but it can be done on a drill press. To do it on a drill press, simply move the table so the edge is under drill and fixture up the A-arm up the side of the table. I suspose it could be done with a 1/2"electric drill but keeping good alignment may be diffucult. After drilling, I put a small chamfer on the new hole to provide a nice starting area for the threads. I stayed with all right hand threads because I didn't have a 3/4-16 left hand tap. If you buy a tap to do this, get a good quality spiro point tap. The threads go in quite a ways and a good quality spiro point will do it the best. A cheap tap is going to get too tight in a ways. Carefully watch the alignment of the tap with the A-frame tub.

To be able to greese the joints, I drilled the stock bolts from the head down the center a bit past 1/2 way down the length of the shank with a 1/16"drill. I then drilled

the head with a #3 drill about 3/8" deep and tapped it 1/4-28 only about 1/4" deep to receive the greese fitting. I also ground a flat on the bolts shank where I drilled a side hole fro the greese to exit. See photo.

I had to make adapter sleeves to reduce the 3/4" bore of the joint down to 16mm so I could use the stock bolts. Trying to drill the tabs on the frame that receive the joints wasn't possible due to their location, so sleeving was the best answer. I machined my own sleeves but 16mm is so close to 5/8" that you could use a bronze sleeve bearing to do the same job. Not centered bronze. A flange bushing that is 5/8" ID x 3/4" OD x 5/8" long including a 1/8" x 1" OD flange along with a flat thrust thrust bearing that is 3/4" ID x 1" OD x 1/8" thick should do it. The 1/8" thick flat thrust bearing slips over the flange bushing to provide a 1/4" thick flange leaving 3/8" sleeve to go into the heims joints ball. You will need 16 of these 2 piece sets. Each of these sets needs to have the sleeve bushing filed to create a flat spot on the 3/4" dia. of the sleeve all the way to the flange and the flat thrust bearing needs to have a groove cut or filed into one flat side and that same side to also have its bore chamfered. This provides a place for the greese to make its way to the joint itself. The groove on the flat thrust washer should face the heims joint ball.

I purchased heims joint or rod ends, which ever you want to call them, sealing boots to cover and completely seal the joint from dirt and hold the greese in. I know, they say not to lubercate heims joints but that is because they are not sealed then the greese just attracts dirt and teflon doesn't need lubercation. I'm old school and prefer greese when ever possible, it's just better, even with teflon. Bought the seals from "seals-itstore" on Ebay. Their part #RERS3. Eight pieces for $43.20 including shipping. The bronze sleeves with the extra thrust washer is pressed into each side of the joint ball. The 1/4" wide flange provides a place for the seal to seal against on each side if the joint.The seals have to be put on the joints before screwing them into the A-arms. You need to put the seal on the joint by putting it's shaft through a side hole then sliding the stim portion of the seal on the 3/4" threaded shaft. They are tight but they do go and then stretch the seal over the joint using a 1/4" piece of round bar ground to a ball end on one end. It's about the only way to stretch the seal over without punchuring it. They stretch a lot and are nice and tight when on.

The final job is to widen the mounting tabs on the frame. I used a large crecent wrench to reach all the way to the base of each flange to bend them out to the side about 30-40 degrees. Then take a 3/8" piece of flat bar a couple of inches long and 1-1/2" wide. Grind the 3/8" sides to create a trapizoid that fits in between the bent out tabs with the 1-1/2" side going across from one tab to the other. Now clamp it inplace and use it as a block to bend the tabs back to straight out but this time they will be 1-1/2" in between them. Now the joints will fit in.

All that is left is assembly and resetting the caster, camber and toe and your done after greesing. I now no longer have any clunking noise coming from the front.

Click through 9 pictures.

2461626720104928832pvGeKh_th.jpg

Lenny

Damn your good,great post and photos.If you werent spoken for i would bring you home with me,(only to work on my trooper of course).Great job Lenny.

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  • 8 months later...

Lenny - would these work as replacements. They are 16mm X 2 with zert fitting installed. I know you have worked with them in the past and ultimately replaced/upgraded but for exact replacements would these do the job? I have one that is squeaking quite a bit. Not sure if you have an old one you can measure or not. I have not removed any of mine at all.

Not a link but just copy and paste in browser. Thanks

http://www.vxb.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?

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Lenny is in and out of internet access for a couple of days. I am sure he will respond. Mine also squeaked. All I did was put some penetrating oil on them when they started to squeak. Of course Lenny's replacement is the BEST solution but you can get by with the oil.

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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This is the actual link. http://www.vxb.com/p...ngs/PROD/Kit217

Just click on this one. Other link I sent had the product hidden on the lower left hand side.

They are all right hand what you are showing are two rights and two lefts so you would have to buy four sets to get eight right hands these are what I put in mine it does give you some measurement http://www.summitracing.com/parts/HAL-MHMR16T/
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They are exactly the same measurements and you get 4 for the same price as 1 from Summit. $29.95 gives you 2 rights and 2 lefts. I am a mile away from their place and will go down and see if I can get 4 rights instead. It wouldn't surprise me if they sold these to Summit. Either way half the price even if you had to buy 4 kits to get 8 right hand joints. $119.80 for all of them and $239.60 through Summit for 8 of them.

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They are exactly the same measurements and you get 4 for the same price as 1 from Summit. $29.95 gives you 2 rights and 2 lefts. I am a mile away from their place and will go down and see if I can get 4 rights instead. It wouldn't surprise me if they sold these to Summit. Either way half the price even if you had to buy 4 kits to get 8 right hand joints. $119.80 for all of them and $239.60 through Summit for 8 of them.

You can buy 8 rights for 10.00 ea
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