Steering problems on early cars & trucks with straight axles are usually easy to diagnose. Bad king pins, worn or out of adjustment steering box, or worn or out of adjustment tie rod or drag link ends are the three areas of concern. Once the king pins and steering box are confirmed good, the next step is to check and tighten up the tie rod & drag link ends.
Starting in 1927 Chevrolet had a new drag link design. The ends of the drag link had threaded plugs that held cups, pistons & springs in the ends. These pieces mated up with ball studs that were in the end of the pitman arm (on the steering box) and the steering control arm (at the brake backing plate). This design was also used on tie rod ends in 1932-1938 passenger cars & 1932-1959 trucks.
This design is versatile in that pressure can be increased (or decreased) by adjusting the plug at the end of the tie rod or drag link. Adjustment is simple. Remove the large cotter pin that keeps the end plug from turning. Using a very large screwdriver and an adjustable wrench, turn the plug down tighter against the spring, pistons & cups. Reinstall the cotter pin and you are done! If you are unable to get the end to tighten up, there may be a broken spring. This is the most common failure with this type of end. If so, it will be necessary to install a repair kit with new springs, cups, pistons and plug ends.
The beauty of this design is that the internal pieces of the drag link or tie rod end can be completely replaced quickly. Unless the housing is worn or damaged, the internal pieces can make the end like new in minutes. The kit (FS-148) does two tie rod ends for 1932-1959 or two drag link ends for 1927-1959....
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