Author Topic: J-Arm Ball Flip info  (Read 52735 times)

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Duffil

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J-Arm Ball Flip info
« on: May 01, 2007, 09:48:13 PM »
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OK, after having been asked about this by several board members recently, I thought I'd post up a short walkthrough on this.

To start with you will need the following:
Stock J-Arm
Press
Grinder
misc hand tools (for removal of arm from truck)


This is a stock arm.  Start by removing the drag link, if it is still attached.



A drag link socket will simplify this:


The ball is held in place like a rivet; the backside is mushroomed over.  This must be ground off completely to facilitate its' removal.


Try to keep the surface relatively flat, when you flip the ball, it will seat on this spot.


« Last Edit: Nov 11, 2008, 07:59:01 PM by Duffil »

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 09:52:33 PM »
Now that you have the backside ground down, put it in the press and give it some pressure.  It might not come out the first time.  If not, grind some more off and then back to the press.  Try not to let the arm get too hot, you wouldn't want to remove its' temper.


Here you can see the ball has just begun to pop through.



Continue to press the ball all the way out.


Notice the stem of the ball may need to be cleaned up with the wire wheel.


Flip the ball into the top of the arm and press it all the way in.


Now go ahead and throw a bead around the bottom of the arm to retain the ball.

 :biggthumpup:

Siringo

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2007, 10:18:52 PM »
I just recently did this on my rig. But, I cut the arm and flipped the ball over, didn't pop the ball out. I also reinforced the underside with some 5mm mild steel plate. I haven't given it a big test yet, but it's working as is at the moment.

I've noticed that the J arm now comes REALLY close to my front shock which it didn't before.

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2007, 10:22:21 PM »
yeah, I've seen guys do that before.  I just feel I'm messing with it as little as possible (to retain factory strength), and it gets the job done pretty well, I think.

Siringo

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2007, 10:28:12 PM »
Yep, no sounds and looks like a good way of doing it. I think both of our ways are good ways to do it, I guess we wont know until one of them breaks.

If mine busts I'm going to try your way and if that busts, I'll have to go down the Hi Steer path I guess.

But if neither of 'em break we're both sitting pretty ;-)


Duffil [OP]

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2007, 10:31:31 PM »
Sounds good. :greengrin:


I've had mine on for the better part of a year, and I DD...I just did this to a spare arm tonight.

Siringo

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2007, 10:32:47 PM »
From what I've read, these J arms bust at the thin point near where the ball sits, so it may pay to weld some plate under the bottom of the ball and onto the arm itself.

Here's a really bad photo of my arm ...



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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2007, 10:49:39 AM »
I've seen them break right underneath the ball.   ( I think this is what is meant by "thin" part near the ball)

Mine started cracking between the four stud holes.

My flipped j-arm hit and broke my es3000 shock.

Only $300 to get High Steer.   :wave:

Always carry spare J-arms, and check for damage before/after each run. 



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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2007, 01:16:45 PM »
Very nice work duffil!  :clap: awesome write up/ instructions!! 


:dunno: should this be made a sticky?  :dunno:

I too have noticed A LOT of people asking about this
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Duffil [OP]

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2007, 01:40:04 PM »
Thanks BD!


My flipped j-arm hit and broke my es3000 shock.   
I've noticed that the J arm now comes REALLY close to my front shock which it didn't before.

I am not quite sure how this is, unless you are not mounting the bottom of the shock in the stock location.  Here are some clearance pics(albeit, on flat ground)

Wheels straight:



Full Drivers turn:



Full passenger side:



EDIT: I can see where under full driver's compression while turning it might get close.  I have no marks on my shock from the arm, just where the dust shield rubs. :dunno:

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2007, 04:48:56 PM »
Um sorry, I should have said that it comes very close when the front wheel is drooped and the front wheels turned slightly. Otherwie it's ok, just like yours actually.

How do you get on with yor torgue rod removed? I had mine off for a very short time. I thought I could live without it, then one day I was looking for a friends house, slammed on the brakes as I went past it and the truck just dove to the side. Very scarey.

Now I have a sliding torque rod. It just slips in and out as it pleases but when when I brake it just slides in and stops when the two ends hit each other. This got rid of the diving problem.

Duffil [OP]

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2007, 05:32:20 PM »
I have just adjusted my driving style to compensate.  That and these springs are stiff as hell, so it doesn't move too far.

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2007, 12:29:11 PM »

I am not quite sure how this is, unless you are not mounting the bottom of the shock in the stock location.  Here are some clearance pics(albeit, on flat ground)


EDIT: I can see where under full driver's compression while turning it might get close.  I have no marks on my shock from the arm, just where the dust shield rubs. :dunno:

Ah the memories.

I never hit the shock while on flat ground either.  It was when it got pretty flexed up that it would contact the shock.  At 1st it self clearanced, and ran fine until the one time I flexed it up too much.(I am not sure if it was drop or compressed, I was trail running when it happened and didn't noticed it immediately. )

I would guess   ??? your stiffer springs, and shorter shock don't allow for enough travel for it to be an issue for you. 





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Duffil [OP]

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2007, 01:34:27 PM »
Ah the memories.

I never hit the shock while on flat ground either.  It was when it got pretty flexed up that it would contact the shock.  At 1st it self clearanced, and ran fine until the one time I flexed it up too much.(I am not sure if it was drop or compressed, I was trail running when it happened and didn't noticed it immediately. )

I would guess   ??? your stiffer springs, and shorter shock don't allow for enough travel for it to be an issue for you. 





 :yesnod:

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2007, 02:38:52 PM »
I'd better keep an eye on that shock under flex then. Unfortunately Hi Steer costs a bucket load more than $300 down here (Australia). I'm looking more at $1500 I think.

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2007, 09:49:06 PM »
nice work Duffil  :yesnod: you should do more  :thumbs:






no realy  :bowdown: I have no use for this but found it very well written and great pics.



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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2007, 10:25:27 PM »
 i wish i would of seen this weds night before i started hacking up my ubolt flip kit to make way for my adjustable drag link. nice write up tho

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2007, 06:04:55 PM »
Good job on that ball inversion Duffil  :thumbs:
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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2007, 11:03:46 PM »
Props on the write up man!
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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2007, 07:10:45 AM »
thanks guys.

MarkyB

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #20 on: Jun 18, 2007, 06:52:16 PM »
 :bowdown:

Just in time!  Getting ready to do this very thing.



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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #21 on: Jun 18, 2007, 10:58:30 PM »
:bowdown:

Just in time!  Getting ready to do this very thing.


glad I could help.  Are those RUF?  You'll have to shorten your drag link to make 'em work with the push pull steering.

Siringo

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #22 on: Jun 19, 2007, 12:59:33 AM »
They'll work with the standard drag link, it just wont allow you to turn on full lock on one side LOL. Grab yourself an adjustable drag link and you'll be OK.

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #23 on: Jun 19, 2007, 07:31:27 AM »
No, that's an extra set of fronts. I'm going to add an extra leaf or 2 to them to get a little lift.

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #24 on: Jul 04, 2007, 05:49:03 PM »
if your going to go through all the trouble of welding your j arm
Why not get a second passenger side arm then cut the front of it off
then weld and gusset it in place up side down on the passenger side for crossover steering
kind of making a y off the original arm
leaving the tie rod where it is
get a power steering box and pump from a donor truck
then make a new drag link for the crossover set up out tubing
or use the one from the donor truck and modify it to length.
 it was a cheap way to get crossover steering
not hysteer but crossover and lets you do away with the torque rod all together

I mean if your not scared to weld on your steering rods why would you be scared to weld on the arms
and the extra cost would just be the box from an ifs rig and a second arm and some tubing

I've seen this mod done and it works great
you just have to lean the upper arm inwards for clearance of the rim and tire but not too far to clear the springs
too much spent to go slow
too much spent to stay low
too much spent on the go
but it's fun you know

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #25 on: Jul 04, 2007, 06:14:19 PM »
if your going to go through all the trouble of welding your j arm
Why not get a second passenger side arm then cut the front of it off
then weld and gusset it in place up side down on the passenger side for crossover steering
kind of making a y off the original arm
leaving the tie rod where it is
get a power steering box and pump from a donor truck
then make a new drag link for the crossover set up out tubing
or use the one from the donor truck and modify it to length.
 it was a cheap way to get crossover steering
not hysteer but crossover and lets you do away with the torque rod all together

I mean if your not scared to weld on your steering rods why would you be scared to weld on the arms
and the extra cost would just be the box from an ifs rig and a second arm and some tubing

I've seen this mod done and it works great
you just have to lean the upper arm inwards for clearance of the rim and tire but not too far to clear the springs

I have seen it done, and IMO there is a greater chance of failure due to the intense heating(and thus weakening)of the arm by cutting and then welding.  I feel that by modding the stock system the way I have, very little has changed from stock, and is therefore, still as reliable.

OOPS

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #26 on: Jul 15, 2007, 07:38:13 AM »
I have done quite a few “flipped J-arm balls” in the last eleven. One of the things I have found is after you grind the weld off is to take a cone shaped burr and go around where the shaft comes. When they make the arm, the hole is concaved and when they press the ball, it fills it up. Just grinding it flat does not get all the material unless you take part of the arm with it. The ball will press out very easy if you do that grinding. Before you press the ball in from the other side take the time to concave the hole and also take your time in welding it preheating the arm with a torch and letting it cool by it self for at least an hour. I used to have a bucket of sand that I would put it in for a few hours to let it cool very slowly.

As far as the stock arms breaking, most of the time they break when the suspension is fully flexed out on the drivers side. All of the weight of the front end is on the J-arm and drag link, which is bottomed out on the J-arm. Our fix for that was the “ball flip” or a limiting strap on that side. Most of the J-arms that I looked at after they broke already had part of the break rusted, meaning they had been cracked for a while. Here are some funky drawings.





One of the reasons we made the passenger side “Y” arms out of stock arms back in the day was there was no X-over steering being made or we could not afford the expense of what was out there. When I did the SAS on my rig about ten years ago I paid over seven hundred dollars for it. It was the second one Marlin ever sold. If you take your time, you can make a very solid “Y” arm. There are still two or three of the arms I built that are still being run today. However, with the cost of steering components today, I would just buy them; after all, it is your steering.

Picture of the original arm I ran for about seven years. Note, it is pieces of steel billet all welded. They were made for All-pro and Marlin got the from A-P and supplied the rest. I would still be running them today if I had not hit a rock wall at 30 mph at Johnson Valley and broke the trunion pin off. After seven years, Marlin warranted them and gave me a new set of his six-hole arms.

These arms were stated by quite a few pro fabbers to be "some of the strongest that Marlin and All-Pro ever sold.

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Duffil [OP]

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #27 on: Jul 15, 2007, 10:03:29 PM »
you know, on the ones ive done, after grinding the mushroom off, the little "cone" left breaks and will pop out when you press the ball out.

BTW...you're on the wrong side of the tracks, aren't ya? :gap:

OOPS

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #28 on: Jul 20, 2007, 11:20:27 AM »
you know, on the ones ive done, after grinding the mushroom off, the little "cone" left breaks and will pop out when you press the ball out.

BTW...you're on the wrong side of the tracks, aren't ya? :gap:

You may grind them down futher then I do. One of the first ones I did I bent the steering arm with my 20-ton press and it never did come out.

I have been lurking on this BB since it started.
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MarkyB

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Re: J-Arm Ball Flip info
« Reply #29 on: Aug 07, 2007, 08:18:51 PM »
Newb question:
I'm going to swap my J-arm tomorrow with the one I inverted.
When removing and re-installing it on the knuckle, are there any tricks I need to know, or thing to watch out for?
Like bearings that might try to escape or that secret sweet spot to whack with the hammer to make it pop out?

 
 
 
 
 

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