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Discussion Starter #1
I had forgotten about this idea and it lay dormant in the back of my mind until today, when the bearings came in the mail. Amazon has these on sale now for about 3.00 + 7.00 shipping.

Total cost: 10.00 (bearings)
Total time: .5 hour

It's worth it. It's not like power steering or anything, but it does help! Found a casting mark on the axle from casting and grinded it down and filed is level and smooth. Installed two bearings, one at the top of the axle and one on the bottom, with the factor washer on top of it.











Just wanted to share with ya'll! Reduction in steering effort varies, at times it does feel like power steering, other times it's just a slight change in force required to turn. The steering is tighter and smoother overall, however.
 

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Won't that thrust bearing eat the end of the axle like a kid going through candy on Halloween??

I think the bearing needs hardened washers on both sides of the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it didn't have any appreciable wear there from the lack of a bearing or washer at all, then a well lubed bearing should provide less friction and wear. The majority of the load is placed on the bottom bearing, which is why the bottom surface was machined and had a hardened washer. I kept hardened washer on the bottom side, just added a bearing to the underside of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
And, to address another area of the steering - those things MTD calls "balljoints"? They're junk. Even brand new ones have play in them, especially if you try to move the ball in the socket up and down. I ordered some heim-style balljoints with nylon inserts. I made the mistake of ordering the balljoint style joint instead of the rod-end style. Difference is that the rod-end style has a stud built into the joint, balljoint style is open on both ends. I think I'll be able to make it work. Headed to the garage now to try em out! Gonna replace all four original balljoints!



 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok guys, I gotta admit defeat temporarily on this one. I bought the hardware to attach the hem joint to the steering arm, including some spacers to allow the joint more misalignment - and unfortunately, I'm going to have to have a rod end style joint in order for it to work. The steering link will put the joint in a bind with the axle at full articulation. So, when I go back to work on Monday, I'll see what I can pull up in the Rotary catalog that I got the heims from.
 
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