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Veteran steering box.

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  • Steering: Veteran steering box.

    Good evening fellow Studeee owners. I have a 1918 SH 4door Tourer with a bit of a worn steering box problem. Is there anyone out there that maybe able to assist me in diagnosing my problem with tooo much free travel at steering wheel ? I have taken off pitman arm & inspected all 4 sides of steering shaft which have all had the cotter pin groove filed into them ! Am alittle at my wits end whether to just bite the bullet & remove the box & dismantle or can I adjust the slack out somehow ? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Look for a nut and adjuster screw (slotted head, or hex head) on the side of the box opposite the pitman arm. Unless it has a wedge type adjuster, then the adjuster screw would be on the top of the box, probably next to the lubricant fill plug.

    By your description of the symptoms, I should think you have worn gears. You can try to adjust the box, but if by doing so the steering binds up, or becomes extremely hard, then you have a serious internal problem to reckon with. Additionally, before you remove the box, check to see if there is a great deal of lateral movement in the sector shaft. Reinstall the pitman arm and drag link. Move the wheels back and forth and look for movement in the shaft at the box opening. If there is lateral movement, then bearings and bushings are worn.

    You didn't mention whether the box was leaking at the seal?

    If your mechanically inclined, have the tools, have a shop manual and are fairly certain you can do the rebuild, then take it apart and inspect the gears for ware grooves, also inspect the sector shaft (shaft) for ware grooves where bushings seats. Finding ready made OEM parts may prove difficult. You may have to have some machine work done to the stud(s), shaft and bushings made to fit. If the worm gear is badly worn the only repair is to replace the whole thing, find another compatible gear and have it swedged onto the long shaft, or have the gear made.

    Or, you could send it out to a shop that can do the job for you. Couldn't even begin to tell you how much fixing the box is going to cost, even if worst case scenario plays out. Machine work and custom parts making has become extremely expensive, as have finding parts that old.

    If you do decide to open the box, I'd like to see some pictures of the worm and sector, please.........

    Last edited by Bo Markham; 03-28-2020, 05:04 AM.


    • #3
      Most if not all old steering gears have cast iron boxes. If you can not find appropriate size bushings for the sector shaft, often a good machine shop can machine it to the next standard size bearing. I have made bronze oilite bearings on a lathe before. Just go to your local bearing supply house, and order bearing bar stock.
      Bez Auto Alchemy

      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


      • #4
        Thankyou to Bo & Bezhawk for your responses. Sorry for my late reply, have been away(am in transport) Will inspect as suggested. Am not very optimistic as it is old & am finding that its previous owners have had sub standard repairs done by others or by themselves..... more of the later. Have just had new king pins & bushes fabricated by a very dedicated Engineer who showed me that the old pins were fabricated from very poor quality stock & he couldn't understand how they lasted as long as they did. Looks like am am heading down the path of total rebuild & most probably re-manufacture of major hardware. Well he is over 100 years young. Thanks again Studey Comrades.