Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 02-25-2008
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Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's

I bought some 1.5" OD, 1/4" wall DOM and some weld in inserts that have a 7/8-18 thread. I also got some jam nuts and the 1 ton Chevy TRE's that are used by Chevy for drag links. They are high misalignment to prevent binding -- something a solid axle tie rod doesn't need.

Ultimately, I'll be making a track bar and tie rod also. But I made this first because it allows me to adjust my wheel centering which has been off even though I shortened my factory 1978 F-150 drag link. I just didn't quite do it the right amount.

Here's pictures showing my completed assembly after welding in the inserts and painting it. Also, some close ups of the TRE's and my hand next to one to give you an idea of their size.

These are the Chevy ES2026R and ES2027L TRE's intended for use in drag links. They are right and left hand threaded respectively.

Edit: In the first picture, the one to the left is longer and is the ES2026R with "normal" right-hand threads. On the right is the ES2027L with reverse spiral left-hand threads and it's shorter.
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Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-2-medium-.jpg   Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-4-medium-.jpg   Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-6-medium-.jpg   Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-7-medium-.jpg  

Last edited by n3elz; 02-26-2008 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 02-25-2008
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Here's comparing the new assembly with the stock style 1978 F-150 drag link.
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Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-9-medium-.jpg   Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-11-medium-.jpg   Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-12-medium-.jpg   Fabbed a new draglink using 1 ton Chevy TRE's-02-25-2008-13-medium-.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2008
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And finally one end of the connection to the existing tie rod on my 1979 Dana 44.

Sorry but the pics didn't come out on the other end. I was going to show my dropped pitman arm I just mounted and the drop track bar connection but I'll post on them tomorrow sometime I guess.
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Old 02-25-2008
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much better title! ha

looks soo much better than that stock mockup thing!
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Old 02-25-2008
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Ha ha! Yes it does for sure. It'll be even better when everything is that nice heavy tube.

Good to finally have the steering wheel centered, I must say.

One thing I will add: DON'T BUY THE SNAP ON REAMER FOR THE CHEVY TRE'S. My holes are NOT quite finished. I have read that it is junk and I can confirm it. One of the few things they sell that isn't worth the money.

I guess I'll be looking for a KD or Goodson or something. My holes aren't quite finished and I can't get the cotter pins in so I'm LockTite'd for now. I'll get another reamer and finish it soon. I'm going to need one that lasts to do the knuckles. I was out there WAY too long tonight trying to get those holes done.

Last edited by n3elz; 02-25-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 02-25-2008
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looks great john...and super uber beefy.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2008
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man that looks awesome, great job on the fab work, looks like it came out of a factory
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Old 02-26-2008
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very nice and beefy
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Old 02-26-2008
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Thanks guys. I'm getting better slowly, lol.

In the spring sometime the front end will get torn down some and everything will be sand blasted and painted if it isn't already or if it was just primer. I still have some work to do and it didn't make much sense to finish everything off when I was just going to have to do it again anyway, lol.
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Old 02-26-2008
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looks so much better and stronger goodluck with it griggs.
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Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3elz View Post
One thing I will add: DON'T BUY THE SNAP ON REAMER FOR THE CHEVY TRE'S. My holes are NOT quite finished. I have read that it is junk and I can confirm it. One of the few things they sell that isn't worth the money.

I guess I'll be looking for a KD or Goodson or something. My holes aren't quite finished and I can't get the cotter pins in so I'm LockTite'd for now. I'll get another reamer and finish it soon. I'm going to need one that lasts to do the knuckles. I was out there WAY too long tonight trying to get those holes done.
I read over on fullsizebronco.com that XKUT TRE reamers are pretty good. Think the guy has a store on ebay. Here's the thread where I read about it.

http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/...ad.php?t=53189

Might be worth checking out.
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Old 02-26-2008
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Thanks, Matt. I'd heard about those too somewhere but forgot the name. Appreciate it.
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Old 02-26-2008
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I also believe that the pitman arm is hardened metal so it's going to be harder to drill.. I THINK!!

How much money do you have into the draglink itsself? Did you have to also ream out the whole where it mounts to the steering, or did it just git in nicely?
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Old 02-26-2008
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I used about 3 feet of tube and I bought 15 feet for $35 so figure $7 for the tube -- but that's an unusual price from a local metal liquidator. It's normally 3 to 4 times as much.

Then about $25 for the two inserts and shipping. It was $55 bucks locally for the two chevy tie rod ends, and $11 for the two jam nuts including shipping.

7 + 25 + 55 + 11 = $98

That's really not much more than the cost of a new stock drag link, which is too long and not adjustable. Also, I don't know if the commercially available drag links for the F-150 from that era will shorten enough for my use on the Ranger -- hence I made one.

Both holes have to be reamed, but the pitman arm is already a larger hole and requires less reaming than the tie rod.

Cost was not so much the issue as having something that was what I wanted on there. Beefy enough not to wear out fast or break since it's my daily driver.

I'm buying an xcut reamer. I like it that it's a relatively "local" PA company.
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Old 02-26-2008
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looks good! i like the work!

you might consider making and selling them......
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2008
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I'm gonna' smack you. No more making and selling stuff. I tire of it quickly and let folks down. I'll just be an information guy, thanks.
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Old 02-26-2008
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i hear ya...
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger View Post
looks good! i like the work!

you might consider making and selling them......
Not really enough market for them.
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Old 02-26-2008
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New HEFTY HEFTY HEFTY!!! Old WIMPY WIMPY WIMPY!!!

Looks good John!
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  #20  
Old 02-26-2008
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Ha ha! ^ Agreed!

I just ordered the xcut reamer -- it could even be here by the weekend so I can finish the job.
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Old 02-26-2008
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You'll have to let me know how it works as compared to the Snap-On. Might have to order one myself.
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  #22  
Old 02-26-2008
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i almost odered one as i will need it for my pitman arm...
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  #23  
Old 02-26-2008
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I'm told the SnapOn one is for "maintenance" -- that is, cleaning up existing holes that have been damaged. Probably, it's made out of a milder steel.

Xcut claims theirs is a real "tooling" steel. If so it could explain the difference I've experienced between the reamer I have that was used to cut a taper for the track bar pin/bolt I have that is tapered, vs. the SnapOn one. I've already used the one much harder than the SnapOn and the edges are sharp as could be. The SnapOn one looks "traumatized".

I think the the SnapOn design is for the maintenance mechanic -- not a fabricator.
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  #24  
Old 02-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0 View Post
Not really enough market for them.
you must not pay attention as to how many people are SAS'ing or have SAS'd their trucks and used coils......look on TRS and Explorer Forum for example.....there are tons...
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Old 02-26-2008
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Originally Posted by lifted97ranger View Post
you must not pay attention as to how many people are SAS'ing or have SAS'd their trucks and used coils......look on TRS and Explorer Forum for example.....there are tons...
But the fact of the matter is it isnt a complicated part to make. How many SAS guys who are already fabbing parts up would pay someone else to make something as simple as a draglink? Not to mention the numerous other companies that already offer kits to make your steering. Its just not a market worth trying to get into.
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