I have a 1941 farmall A. Having trouble aligning the front wheels. When I bought the tractor, the left tie rod was bent.

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Customer: I have a 1941 farmall A. Having trouble aligning the front wheels. When I bought the tractor, the left tie rod was bent. I replaced the tie rod, and measured it to match the right side. With the pitman arm in the middle, my left wheel is towed outward quite a bit. My right side is nice and straight. If I was to make adjustments at the tie rod adjusting sleeve, I would run out of threads by the time I may get it fairly straight. This doesnt seem or look right. I saw the set bolt on the steering arm(knuckle) and figured I can adjust it there. I then found out the cone shaped tapered set bolt that inserted into a tapered hole on the spindle shaft. well, that tells me it will only go on one way and there is no adjustments there. So, I'm at a loss. Looks like the only way to make my tow ajustments is at the tie rod ends. But both tie rods on each side will be totally different lengths, and the pitman arm off center, and like I said, the left side sleeve will run out of threads by the time I get it straight. I have a feeling that bent tie rod was done deliberatly to straighten out that wheel. Can that spindle shaft inside that tube twist if this thing was hit hard enough? I would guess that set bolt would get damaged or shear off. The spindle the hub is on looks fine. bearings fine.
Answered by spankyjr1 in 2 hours 10 years ago
30+ years of experience

3,170 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Auto Body Technician, Heavy Equipment Repairs, Heavy Duty Engine Repairs, Brake and Transmission Repairs

spankyjr1 :

Hi I will help with your problem Please do not rate until all your questions are answered that way you wont have to pay twice Use reply to expert link.Thanks Now with your issue yes they do have one tie rod that looks bent,but actually is supposed to be,so first make sure they gave you correct tie rod end, have them look up by serial # XXXXX it is still way off something else is bent,possibly the spindle were the tie rods connect,or the tower,or king pins.what type of steer axle do you have king pins or ball joints?I will tell you how to set toe after you get close, because if you do it wrong steering wheel will be off, and so will the steering box so lets get close first.Then on the sector shaft {the part that sticks out of gear box} were the Pittman arm attaches is a hash mark, very hard to see,clean shaft end, that hash mark has to be lined up with gap at top of Pittman arm they can be off a couple o teeth and still go on so check that first,needs to be centered.Let me know and we will go from there.spanky

No the tie rods are not supposed to be bent. I'm looking at many Farmall A's and super A's. Don't see any bent tie rods. Just two between the center pitman arm. And the tierods are the same length. There is no ball joints or kingpins. The spindle is welded onto a long shaft that inserts into a tube. The steering arm is on top of the tube. The arm has a set screw that is cone shaped and inserts into a tapered hole in the spindle shaft.
I' gonna look for picture and break down,I know what you have now, but need to look up nomenclature so we are talking about the same thing.There are many names of parts people use in place of another. Is this what you have?
Your close! That looks like a Cub which is the smallest Farmall tractor they make. Mine is an A model. There is a super A but the tierods are different. Unfortunatly they change alot per model. Farmall A is what we're working with. Thanks. Tractor is twice my age. lol
Mine to.
Alright it is ok if I work on this tomorrow, my wife just called I live in Chicago area and power is out from storms, and I'm up by Canada trying to fish with my Daughter.
lol. no problem. no rush.
Lets start like this,maybe it was a typo, in your first question you refer to the knuckle and the spindle,are you talking about the same part?
Your wheels are they on outside like the picture?
Or inside together?
I was talking about the Pittman arm that bolts up to the steering box, that has a hash mark, that gets lined up.
And just to make sure you refereed to the wheel as being outwards, do you mean the back of tire is out farther then the right or the top of wheel is leaning out?
Wheels are spread apart like in the picture you have. The front left wheel is outward. Front of tire turned to the left when the steering arm on the gear box is centered. The pitman arm is at the steering box. There is no adjustment there. It is a keyed shaft. The steering arm or knuckle is the top cap of the spindle shaft. That are has a coned shaped set bolt. No adjustment there either. Only adjustments is at the tie rod ends.
Okay I understand now it's a old tractor even before my time which is amazing.
But something is defiantly bent or twisted.
You are correct that the tie rod ends should be out about the same,the reason why they should be the same is, if they are off so will your steering wheel, and so will your gear box,then you will be fighting it to keep it straight.
You have a couple options,are you fixing this to use or restoring it for show?
Do you just want it to work,or fix it correctly?
It is mostly for show with some light work, But I prefer to fix it correctly.
Well I think your right something is probably twisted and you can't see it.
It can be any of the parts even the pitman arm can have a slight bend in it or even the spindle itself,so look for the weakest point and start there.spanky
I may pull the whole left side spindle out of the tube and start there.
That sounds like the weakest point let me know what you find good luck spanky
Thanks for the great feedback,if you ever have any other questions ask for me talk later spanky
Thanks for the great feedback if while doing the work you have any questions come back to this page and I will continue helping.
If you ever have a problem later with something else just ask for me have a great day,and good luck with your project spanky
Actually, I was messing around with my Farmall today. I figured instead of ripping apart what I already had installed and painted nicely, I would just try some adjustments at the tierod ends. I did almost run out of threads on the left tie rod, but I did get my wheels where they are supposed to be. The pitman arm is right at the center, steering wheel straight, and wheels straight with a 1/4 tow in, which is what they require because of the camber setting. I can get a little anal with my work at times. It would take somebody nitpicky like me to notice those details. It is not going to a show for awhile. Just sitting in my yard looking pretty and to say I did that. Thanks for all your help and time.
Not a problem if you ever have more questions you can ask for me,or get whoever answers I will leave that up to you,but be sure to send me some pictures when your done and I will post at least one on my site so whatever info you want included also leave for me Thanks again spanky
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