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Ross Steering Box "Tight Steer"

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bo Markham View Post

    Well John, let's see. A basic seal, bushings and gasket rebuild runs about $150.00, so a 500% increase would be right at $750.00. Which is just about what it costs for certain boxes. Not all, but some. Certain parts are in short supply and are expensive when you can find them. Then don't forget to add shipping/insurance two ways.

    Evidence? I've built some where around 200 boxes over the last 30 years. Most all of these come from cars and trucks with between 100k and 300k miles on them. Of that number only a dozen have been a "total loss", internally. 5 suffered from water and rust issues. 1 the customer cut the long shaft off and the end of the sector with a "Blue Tool" to get it off the truck? The other 6 had the tight steer gadget installed. Off all these, only these 6 had pins that were bottomed out, with both pins and worm gear damaged beyond repair.

    Hmmmm? Now, how could that have ever happened? Continual pressure exerted against the cam lever shaft to the point it bottoms out on the worm gear and ruins both. Duhhhhh! Doesn't take a professor to figure this one out......

    Receipts, what receipts might you be talking about???

    Bo
    Bo, you talk about facts. Facts are supported by evidence. In this case evidence would be the receipts for the 500% increased cost.

    As I said, you are making what may seem like a logical conclusion but it is only a correlation with ASSUMED causation. Just because the boxes that have the worst wear also have Tight Steer does not mean that the Tight Steer CAUSED the wear. It could mean that folks get a lot more life out of their boxes BECAUSE they used the Tight Steer. The only real way to know is the history of these boxes.

    Do you have the history?

    History, as in, the miles before installing the Tight Steer and the miles after installing the Tight Steer. Comparing that mileage with boxes that never had the Tight Steer installed. Of course to make this comparison valid one would also need to make precise measurements of the wear since you CLAIM that the Tight Steer causes more wear.

    Personally, I don't see the pressure caused by the Tight Steer to be great enough to cause any additional wear. The spring is just not that strong.

    But that is just my OPINION. It is an OPINION because I have no evidence, no FACTS.

    I do find that what you say is compelling but without documentation (mileage, wear measurements, etc) I cannot come to that conclusion. Are there any other groups or organizations that have come to the same conclusion?
    1948 M15A-20 Flatbed Truck Rescue
    See rescue progress here on this blog:
    http://studem15a-20.blogspot.com/

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    • #17
      John,

      I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. But, I will tell you that recently I bought a post and cam, cam lever shaft, seal, gasket, shims and a tube of that fancy lubricate from SI. With the shipping, the bill came to just under $500.00. Additionally, I sought a stud/roller kit for another unit. The kit, which used to cost $75.00 is now over $300.00.

      Would you say 4 hours is enough time to take one apart, clean and inspect the individual components (finding them to be beyond repair), add another hour, or two (if not days) trying to find the parts needed, sand blast box and covers, install new bushings, ream them (close to size), hone to correct fit, install new seal, thinly lubricate and install new components (a week, or so later, after UPS put them at somebody else's gate), reassemble the box, fit and shim to initial specs, prime and paint the finished unit? Oh, before I forget, secure wire it against tampering (been down that road). Those little secure wire kits cost about $4.00 ea. Just say 4 hours to completely build a box. Shop rate here is $50.00 per hour. So, say another $200.00. Then another $75.00 to $100.00, or so on packaging, packing, box, tape, shipping/insurance.

      Get the picture?

      I suppose that you could call SI and buy the same parts yourself and get a receipt from them, if you like? Of course, one of them they no longer have any of, because I bought the last one........ NLA, that just about triples the price, from here on out, doesn't it????

      History? As a matter of fact, John, I do ask about the mileage on all the units I service, and that information is entered onto the WO. Most were in the middle around 120k to 175k. One was lower, One (blue tool) had about 200k.

      John, this gadget applies continual spring loaded pressure against the cam lever shaft forcing it to remain in constant contact with the post and cam gear groove (surface area). Are you trying to tell me that that forced continuous contact isn't causing friction and with that ware? Really, I just can't see this thing allowing the pin to retract itself from the forced position against the groove surface. Seems to me that if it had that weak of a spring, every bump in the road you hit, or turn you made would cause the shaft to move in the housing, much the same way a worn box would act?

      Ok, so if that isn't happening, then what am I missing here? The gadget is designed to keep the two surfaces (tightly) together to produce a "Tight Steer" condition. It does a wonderful job of that, of that, there is no doubt. What you are suggesting is that there is no evidence, no side effects to the use of the gadget? What I'm telling you is that given several of the same boxes with closely related mileage on them the empirical evidence is there. If that isn't clear enough, how do you explain the fact that one box (with 125k mileage) can be repaired (using the original components with a few trade tricks) and another (same type) with 135k having one ("Tight Steer") installed is a total loss, internally? I wouldn't think that 10k miles, or as you suggest, a light spring on the gadget could possibly cause the difference. So, what did? Given the two boxes were full of lubricant and reported to be well maintained over the years. What could have caused the two totally different conditions? Oh, I know! The fella with the 125k box ran his without any lubricant....

      John, 30 + years of messing with these sorts of Studebaker problems just can't be set aside, or can they? If what I have observed and learned during this time doesn't meet your standard of scientific research, well, so be it. We've been around since the 30's and we're still servicing and repairing these old beasts. We may rely on outdated, obsolete methods, but people still seek us out when it comes to having work done on these outdated, obsolete vehicles....................... Most be doing something right, even if it ain't spelling.....

      Bo

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      • #18
        Bo, thanks, that was some of the data I was looking for. Based on your data it does sound like the Tight Steer is not good for our steering boxes.

        Have you heard similar experiences from other vintage car (non-Studebaker) folks?
        1948 M15A-20 Flatbed Truck Rescue
        See rescue progress here on this blog:
        http://studem15a-20.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by JohnM15 View Post
          Bo, thanks, that was some of the data I was looking for. Based on your data it does sound like the Tight Steer is not good for our steering boxes.

          Have you heard similar experiences from other vintage car (non-Studebaker) folks?
          John,

          Don't know to many people in any of the other clubs, but the ones I do know don't use the gadget. Don't work on their cars for them, either. Some of them would make a Studebaker CASO look like a "Princess".

          Seriously, until I read to this fellas post, I really hadn't thought much about this. Long term solutions to problems like this don't seem to interest people anymore. So long as there is a cheap short term solution available, no body is looking for a long term solution, that is until they find out the short term solution ends up costing them more $$$$ then it would have in the first place. I suppose that makes us the bad guys in all this, because that's usually where I come in and give them the bad news, err the bill to fix their cheap fix........................

          You know, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have said anything at all, had the fella not opined his Ross steering box was of poor design. Just the thought that Studebaker would use something of a poor design was just to much to bear........................

          Bo

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          • #20
            I was first shown the Tight Steer modification by a local Stude & Jeep owner who was impressed with the improvement it offered. Those early Ross TA/TL boxes are a bit of a weak design when used on V8 cars so its probably something worth adding to future steering box rebuilds.

            Chris.

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