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Thanks Stephen! I was wondering if it was factory or not.

Just one problem- how would you steer the tractor if it is being towed? Looks like if it isn't running, you couldn't turn the wheel?

Maybe I'm missing something. It looks like there is no mechanical connection from the steering wheel to the spindles...

Kevin

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Kevin you are right....you can't turn it without the engine turning.

It's the same setup as a forklift.

But it's slick...next time I speak with my OH friend I'll ask what dealer that was.

Stephen in northern IN

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Interesting thoughts on the use of these different rod ends. To quote Greg, "Impact is mass X velocity squared." I think the key word there is velocity. If you are talking a car going 50 or 100 miles per hour, there is definitely velocity to any impact, but a garden tractor at 3 mile per hour kinda reduces the impact force a lot. Doesn't it?

Compared to the standard balls, these things are huge and I'd think a lot stronger. If nothing else, they are in a direct line, as opposed to the offset thrust/twisting motion with the stock items.

They are open though, and the large washer to insure capture if they fail would also protect them somewhat. Wouldn't it?

Dale, just scratching his head a bit......

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Just a thought here....

If you've ever purchased a 25, 50, or 100 pack of blank CD's, they always have those half-dollar sized foam spacers in there. One of those on each side of the heim joint should keep out most of the water, dirt, and dust. The big washer that you need to use as a safety device will be about the same diameter, and it should look neat and tidy!

If all else fails, buy the tie rod assemblies for a 520. They are like an automotive tie rod, complete with rubber boot and grease fitting.

Also, since it's on a tractor, I would think you could use Grade 8 bolts, and not have to worry about the double-shear mounting.

Eldon.

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Thank you, Dale. I was hoping someone would raise that question. It's not the speed over flat ground that's gonna getcha. How fast is that wheel moving, vertically and laterally when you drop it into that drainage ditch or the hole you didn't know your dog dug, last week? Those are the situations that will bite you in the back pockets!

Eldon,

I like the idea for keeping dirt out. I do, however, have to take issue with the Grade 8 bolts. A Grade 8 bolt is very strong, but lacks toughness. This is why most sanctioning bodies outlaw them for use in suspensions. A Grade 5 bolt is sufficiently strong, but under extreme (for the bolt) circumstances, it will deform, or bend, a long way before failing. The Grade 8 has a limited plastic range, before failure. In a word, they are brittle. Kind of like comparing White Oak (Gr5) to Rock Maple (Gr8).

I saw those tie rod ends and I think I have to go with you on that one. Even if it means machining the spindle arms, to make them fit.

Greg B.

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Laterally, I'll still be going 3 miles per hour.

Vertically, I'll accelerate downward at a rate of 32 feet per second squared. So unless that hole is REALLY deep, I'll probably be going all of 3 or 4 miles per hour downward when I strike bottom.

Dale

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Just a thought here....

If you've ever purchased a 25, 50, or 100 pack of blank CD's, they always have those half-dollar sized foam spacers in there. One of those on each side of the heim joint should keep out most of the water, dirt, and dust. The big washer that you need to use as a safety device will be about the same diameter, and it should look neat and tidy!

If all else fails, buy the tie rod assemblies for a 520. They are like an automotive tie rod, complete with rubber boot and grease fitting.

Also, since it's on a tractor, I would think you could use Grade 8 bolts, and not have to worry about the double-shear mounting.

Eldon.

Eldon

Appropriately, I think those packs of CDs are called spindles. You buy a spindle of 25, or 50 etc.

Ted, who tries to connect stuff together. (In more ways than one.) :D

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Dale,

This is getting to be fun. Seriously, I'm enjoying it.

I won't dispute your numbers, at this time. I have to get into my reference sources. Let's just say that 3-4mph is a brisk walk. If I go out back and walk into the Pecan tree, at that speed, I'm going to suffer. The, not insignificant, bleeding would probably be the least of it. Chances are it would be a combination face and chest impact. We're talking possible concussion, probable fractures and bruising that would make strong men weep. Now, even though I struck the tree at low speed, with a human body, there is a lot of surface area involved. Enough, one would think, to dissipate the energy involved. 'tain't so. Because the human body, and that bolt in the Heim joint are roughly cylindrical, the surface area presenting to initial contact, is infinitesimal, and that's where the failure initiates. Once begun, it will propigate through the parent metal.

Like the man said,"It's not the fall that gets ya.... It's that sudden stop at the bottom!

The reason threads are shaped the way they are, is to minimize a condition known as "stress riser". This is the reason for filets, in the corners of castings and machined parts. ANY disruption (nick, gouge, groove or scratch) in a surface is a potential failure point. A thread is such a disruption.

Please, don't take me for a loud mouthed, know it all. We just happened to stumble into an area, and we all have them, that due to my background, I have some knowledge in. My last job, before retiring, was QC Mgr. for a defense contractor. A lot of what we produced was specialty fasteners for everything from submarines to Abrams tanks. I have owned my own prototyping and fabrication business, did 6 years in fire rescue and the above SCCA experience.

Greg B.

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"Knowledge Is Good"

Though it came from the movie "Animal House", they are very true words. Thanks for reminding me about the Grade 8 issue. It's been awhile for me!

"Spindle" !! Geez, that was the word I was looking for when I wrote that. (Mumbles to self, "stupid, stupid, stupid" )

Anyhow, Thanks Greg for shedding some serious light on this subject.

Eldon.

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First off, I didn't do the math on how fast I'd be falling, that was just a number, though the 32 feet per second squared is correct. Assuming I remember correctly! LOL But after a 6" drop, I wouldn't have accelerated to a very high rate of speed. It's not the drop into the pothole with a car tire that bends things, it's the hitting the other side at 60 mph.

I'm not sure, but if I used one my body parts for a tie rod, it wouldn't hold up any better than your analogy of walking into a tree. I think basic steel has a better chance, no matter the design. :D

I won't doubt you've seen these tie rod ends fail, but so far, most of where it seems like you've seen failure is under much higher stressed conditions than a typical garden tractor would see. Even with a loader. Unless you really want to get crazy; and uh, yeah, I've gotten crazy and broken things. My favorite example there is the "indestructible" 8-pinion 8-speed transmission. I know EXACTLY what some of those unbreakable parts cost!

These type of tie rod ends are used a lot in lawn mower racing, under conditions they were NEVER designed to take. There is speed to these too, over 10 times as much. And while I supposed they do fail on occasion, they also hold up for the most part, or they wouldn't keep using them.

That all said, yeah, it's fun, don't take my opposing view too seriously. Somewhere, sometime, someone will break one of these and you'll be proven correct. However, a few hundred others will use them for years and swear by their longevity, thus proving me correct.

Kind of a win win don't you think?

Everything has a failure rate, and with some of the ideas for keeping the grunge out, I still feel these would be an affordable and viable alternative. Maybe not perfect, but then other than me, who is?

Dale

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Dale,

Your memory serves you well on the formula.

I have never said NOT to use these things. My whole focus has been on getting people to use good judgement when wandering away from engineered systems. My training has been to build to the worst case scenario and everything, up to that point, will take care of itself. As long as one stays with SAE or MIL-SPEC products, of appropriate dimension, things will probably be okay. Now the guy with a loader and load combined weight approaching 700lb, swingin' in the wind, in a hard left turn and the tri-rib digging in and plowing it's own furrow, scares me a bit. Of course, none of us on this board have ever seen, or done, anything like that.....

Yes, I have seen them fail. I've seen them fail in throttle, shift and clutch linkages as well as steering and suspension.

The tree analogy was an attempt, perhaps a poor one (it was late), to illustrate relative surface areas at point of contact.

As to using them in lawmower racing, the SMART owner calculates the necessary size and steps up one size. Of course, race car drivers are like refrigeratirs; When the visor comes down, the lights go out!

There's a place in Indiana where we used to send our Hewland parts to get them cryogenically treated. Made them tougher than hell. We did it with all of our gears.

As to whether this is a win-win will be proven over time. Much of it depends on the people spinning the wrenches.

When we cross paths, we must sit down, over some hot or cold beverage, and get to know each other. But, for now, diplomacy dictates that we return this thread to it's rightful owner.

Greg B.

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Well,....

I'm getting a set because they look cool!

How's that?

Kevin

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Well,....

I'm getting a set because they look cool!

How's that?

Kevin

Best reason of all Kevin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dale

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What a great thread! :D I enjoyed the witty repartee (had to use spell check on that one) between Dale and Greg. A great place to meet will be the Wheel Horse Show in June. Dale's coming, do you live close enough for you to make it Greg?

Buzz

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I don't know, Buzz. Where is it? I love to 'partee! I go in for tests, the 11th of Dec. and ieverything is okay, it's a real possibility. Funds and SWMBO permitting.

Greg B.

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Yes, civil and enjoyable all the way around.

I will say that one of the things I like about wheel horses is that in many cases you can use alternative parts if you cannot get (or afford) the real ones.

Though I will say that in most cases the parts are still available new, budget allowing.

Years ago I completely rebuilt a spindle on a mower deck using parts from Small Parts and/or Stock drive components.

Much like my situation now, often you don't know the part number for a mower deck, in many cases the plate is gone or destroyed. I have several similar manuals, but not the right one!

Cheers to all.

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I don't know, Buzz. Where is it? I

Greg B.

It's a few miles from Gettysburg PA the Friday and Saturday after Fathers Day in June

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Didn't it use to be the weekend before Father's Day? Granted, I've missed the last few, so I darn well better get the dates right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dale

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