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Making you own ball joint.

creative25

Plastic
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
I have an old Toyota hilux for which some parts are discontinued and nowhere to be found.
On the pitman arms there are ball joints that are pressed in.
Basically they are two Studs with a ball on the end.
The balls go into an arm that links the two pitmans arms together.
Since i am a toolmaker and have some experience on lathes. I am thinking of making my own ball joints.
The cups that hold to ball onto the steering arm are still in good condition.
Question what material should i use for making them?
 

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I have an old Toyota hilux for which some parts are discontinued and nowhere to be found.
On the pitman arms there are ball joints that are pressed in.
Basically they are two Studs with a ball on the end.
The balls go into an arm that links the two pitmans arms together.
Since i am a toolmaker and have some experience on lathes. I am thinking of making my own ball joints.
The cups that hold to ball onto the steering arm are still in good condition.
Question what material should i use for making them?
Have you looked here?

 
I live in Namibia looks like shipping cost is going to make it too expensive. Interesting though that it is still available in other countries.
 
I live in Namibia looks like shipping cost is going to make it too expensive. Interesting though that it is still available in other countries.
I didn't realise there was any tool making in Namibia. Why don't you just find a more modern available part where you can cut repurpose the existing ball joints.
 
I didn't realise there was any tool making in Namibia. Why don't you just find a more modern available part where you can cut repurpose the existing ball joints.
Nor am I aware of any toolmaking in Namibia. I did my aprenticeship before I came to Namibia
 
Make them out of hard steel,harder the better .......however the originals were often some exotic material like sintered iron .........anyhoo,put a grease fitting in the setup,and grease them with moly grease every few months.
There are some engineering shops that make them out of hardened steel however I dont really trust them too much. Just wonder if hardened steel is good. If there is any hair crack they could suddenly brake off.
I was thinking of taking something tough that does not need hardening. How about some chrome nickel steel? Or some pre hardened steel that can still be machined?
 
According to the thread it is quite common for engeneering shops to make those balls.
Maybe I am a bit over cautious.
This thread is from 2009 those years those parts where readily available in Namibia.
Could you ask your customer what material he uses to make those ball joints, or is it a secret?
I live in Okangwati
 
According to the thread it is quite common for engeneering shops to make those balls.
Maybe I am a bit over cautious.
This thread is from 2009 those years those parts where readily available in Namibia.
Could you ask your customer what material he uses to make those ball joints, or is it a secret?
I live in Okangwati
I'll ask when I am back in the office. You live a long way west. My brother was based at Opuwa in 1980. I spent a few years in Namibia in the 80s. Never got further west than Ruacana. It's a stunningly beautiful part of the world. Just wish I had seen it under better circumstances. I would be cautious making them from the correct material. A vehicle suspension can take a hiding in that part of the world.
 
Material is 42CrMo4V (4140) which is 1.7225 On the DIN numbering system which was what was used in Southern Africa when I worked there as a toolmaker. Bohler has V155 which is also a high tensile steel. I've made a replacement pivot pin for a C130 rear drop door using it. I don't know if you can easily source any of these. In a bind you could use a scrap steering rack which is 4140 normally.
 
Thanks when I go to Windhoek I will check what they have. I think they are familiar with the Böhler numbers. And the En numbers EN8 En10 etc.
 
I don't think the steel part itself is the hard part. The hard part is getting it pressed back on place. On most Pittman arms I've seen they are sort of pressed/crimped in place which seems to use a pretty special machine that does a good enough job that it keeps the whole affair from popping out.
 
You need a press and some Spacers with the right size of holes.
For the arm to be supported properly.
My question is how many tons do you need to press it in?
 
Thanks when I go to Windhoek I will check what they have. I think they are familiar with the Böhler numbers. And the En numbers EN8 En10 etc.

IME the ball will be highly polished. I would not be surprised if it was also hard chromed. Toyota part as well, the cup will have a bronze bushing, not nylon. Particularly for that year.

I don't think the steel part itself is the hard part. The hard part is getting it pressed back on place. On most Pittman arms I've seen they are sort of pressed/crimped in place which seems to use a pretty special machine that does a good enough job that it keeps the whole affair from popping out.

I’ve also seen them set up where the ball drops into the socket and is retained by a circlip. Should the ball attempt escape, the circlip just gets tighter in the groove.
 
There are some engineering shops that make them out of hardened steel however I dont really trust them too much. Just wonder if hardened steel is good. If there is any hair crack they could suddenly brake off.
I was thinking of taking something tough that does not need hardening. How about some chrome nickel steel? Or some pre hardened steel that can still be machined?
I'd go with a low to medium carbon steel, that can be case hardened easily with a product called Cherry Red or something similar. It's easy to use without an oven, all you need is a torch.
 








 
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