[TR] Reconnecting ball joint and vertical link

Jeffrey Gayton jtgayton at icloud.com
Mon Jan 5 21:04:46 MST 2015

Hi Randall and everyone else. I think the damage is limited to the upper wishbone arms. They move VERY stiffly and comparing them to the other side, are visibly further aft. Of course, the damage could be where they mount to the frame, but if that’s the case, the work is beyond my abilities. Trying to be optimistic, I’ve ordered new wishbones, as well as an upper fulcrum and ancillary parts from Moss. Fingers crossed!

All I need is the ability to (relatively) safely get the car out of my garage and to a decent repair place in the Ashland/Medford, OR area. There’s other damage to the car, unrelated to the vertical link disconnection, that I’m unable to do myself. I curse the shipping company, which clearly drove the car partway off the ramp when loading or unloading somewhere between here at Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, I never noticed that their contract stipulated that any damage to the undercarriage isn’t covered.

Live and learn, I guess.

-- Jeff

> On Jan 5, 2015, at 5:08 AM, Randall <tr3driver at ca.rr.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> That is huge; it should be much closer than that.  Even 1/4" is cause for concern, as it will cause the trunnion to bind and make
> steering difficult.
>> 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. 
> That sounds normal, if the steering lever is still connected to the tie rod.  The steering forces the VL to turn, which moves the
> hub forward.
>> 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?
> If you look carefully, you should be able to see that the round vertical part of the trunnion assembly (the brass bit where the
> vertical link screws in) is tilted slightly (3 degrees, which isn't much) and not perpendicular to the pin through the lower A-arms.
> Check out Fig 25 on page 4.115 in the workshop manual.
> <https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2H2NJt34OffN2FkZjI2NjktNWJiMy00YWExLWIyNjctOTYzNmI3OTg2ODM0/view?usp=sharing>
> It may help to hold a small ruler up so you can see the axis of the pin better.  If you can't see it with the VL in the way, you may
> have to remove it.  The vertical part should tilt so the top is closer to the rear of the car.
> Another possibility I suppose is that the upper A-arms are installed wrong.  The arm with the larger offset has to go on the front.
> But since it was presumably working before, I think it much more likely that you have accident damage.  Pages 4.114 through 4.116 of
> the workshop manual give some dimensions to check, but you'll probably have to disassemble the suspension to make the measurements.
> Don't forget to inspect the points where the suspension mounts to the frame, especially the lower pivots.  When my TR3A got wrecked
> in 2005, I actually drove it home and only later discovered as I was stripping the carcass that the front pivot on the RH side was
> ripped loose from the frame.  The one I bought in 1975 had the same problem, and it took several months (and multiple visits to
> alignment shops) to figure that one out.  Rather dangerous, as the car would pull violently to the left when you got on the brakes
> hard.  I foolishly tried to drive it that way, until someone pulled out in front of me and I could not keep the car from jumping the
> curb into the oncoming lane.  (Fortunately no one was coming the other way and I was able to drive off the curb.)
> -- Randall  

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