[TR] Reconnecting ball joint and vertical link

Jeffrey Gayton jtgayton at icloud.com
Sun Jan 4 21:03:42 MST 2015

Thanks, Randall and Dave for the quick replies. Sorry for the confusion. When I wrote “wheel” I meant the hub and brake assembly. The wheel is definitely off the car!

With everything else still attached, the hole on the top of the vertical link is a good 1-2 inches forward of the pin on the ball joint. Damage is a possibility, as I had to get the car from from the base of the driveway to the garage with everything separated. 

I’m not sure what kind of movement I should and should not be seeing on the VL. With the VL and ball joint disconnected, the hub moves out and slightly forward, in one smooth motion. It doesn’t seem to me that the trunnion is binding up in either direction. My TR is late enough that it has the later vertical link ball joint assembly. The previous owner was pretty savvy, but just in case, how do I tell if I have the right trunnion and if it’s on the right way?

Please note I’ve not tried to improve alignment with the steering wheel. Perhaps that should be my next step.

Thanks again for your help. I’m a bit desperate to get the car safely out of the garage under its own power, as my lease ends in two weeks!

-- Jeff

> On Jan 4, 2015, at 4:13 PM, Randall <TR3driver at ca.rr.com> wrote:
>> I tried using a jack under the spring pan, but the alignment 
>> between the ball joint and vertical link is quite a bit off 
>> and requires a lot of tugging on the wheel
> You lost me here.  Are you trying to do this with the road wheel installed?  Or are you tugging on the steering wheel?  If the
> steering wheel is involved, my suggestion would be to disconnect the tie rod from the steering arm, so you don't have to deal with
> the VL having to turn as it moves into position.
>> to get it to come 
>> even somewhat close fitting. In the end, the upper wishbone 
>> moves up before I'm able to force the link into the ball joint.
> So if I understand this; you have the ball joint assembled to the upper wishbones (aka A-arms), and the pin of the ball joint does
> not line up with the hole in the vertical link.  Correct?  
> At this point, with either a jack or the rebound stop supporting the spring pan, the vertical link should be free to pivot towards
> and away from the shock tower, so you should be able to just hold it lined up in that axis.  If the VL won't pivot on the trunnion,
> then there is something wrong with the trunnion (like perhaps the end plates are too tight or the pin is bent).
> And it should be held in-line in the fore-aft direction, by the lower A-arms and trunnion.  If you have a significant fore-aft
> misalignment, then something is bent or the wrong trunnion is installed.  Early TR4 with the ball joint that has two pins (one into
> the VL, the other into the A-arms) take the zero-degree trunnion; while later cars with the two bolts to hold the ball joint to the
> A-arms take the 3-degree trunnion.  The 3 degree trunnions are also "handed"; so you can have the wrong one of those as well.  
> Randall

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