Gain extra benefits by becoming a Supporting Member Click here find out how!
Classic Performance Products Classic Parts
Ciadella InteriorsAmerican Auto Wire Classic Industries
Chevs of the 40sDanchuk Catalog
Hellwig Products IncPerformance Rod & CustomEcklers AutoMotive
Nu-Relics Power Windows
Impala Bob's Bob's Chevy Trucks Bob's Chevelle Parts Bob's Classic Chevy

Join the Community today







Username Post: Complete rebuild of steering box/column        (Topic#225413)
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-07-09 03:41 PM - Post#1767847    

REBUILD OF 49-54 PASSENGER CAR AND
53-62 CORVETTE STEERING BOX AND COLUMN

DISASSEMBLY, CLEANING AND INSPECTING

This is a rebuild procedure I learned to do long ago without any particular special tools or a scale (as illustrated in the service manual). The adjustments and preload on the bearings and sector roller are all done by “feel” and I’ll explain how it is done and what to feel for.

For a holding fixture, I use an engine stand with an old rail road tie plate drilled and tapped for attaching the steering box. A good vice would work just fine, but with the column mounted to a stand in this manner, it is mobile around and the box can be rotated to multiple positions during the rebuild.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

After initial cleaning with some industrial strength degreaser and a power washer, the first thing to do is remove the sector shaft/roller by removing the four bolts on the side cover.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

The sector needs to be positioned so that the sector roller is in the straight up position because there is a notch in the steering box which the roller must pass through.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Once the sector and side cover are removed as a unit, loosen and remove the lock nut from the adjusting screw. Then screw the adjuster out of the side cover.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


Loosen the big lock nut on the end of the steering box then unscrew the end cap from the end of the box. This will allow the worm gear and steering shaft to slide out as a unit.
At the upper end of the steering shaft is a bearing and horn contact unit, along with a split retainer which puts preload pressure on the upper bearing when the spring and steering wheel are installed. DON’T LET THE SPLIT RETAINER FALL TO THE FLOOR AND GET LOST!

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


Once the steering shaft is removed from the column, the upper bearing/horn contact can be gently persuaded out using a screwdriver and hammer. The upper bearing is completely covered with a hard rubber like material, so go slow and be very gentle when tapping it out because this rubber material insulates the brass horn contact from the outer column.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

This is the upper bearing/horn contact after removal. The bearing is in pretty good shape, but the terminal has been broken off of the end of the wire, so the bearing will be replaced with a new one, which is still available from some vendors. The old bearing CAN BE saved by soldering on a new terminal.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

After the side cover, sector and steering shaft are removed, thorough cleaning of the interior of the box and parts are done so that they can be closely inspected for wear, damaged bearings, mating surfaces and overall condition (also, it’s no fun working on a nasty, greasy steering box).
After cleaning, the roller bearing (49-52 pass cars will have bushings here) in the steering box is driven out (prior to driving out the bearing, the old seal on the end can be pried out with a big screwdriver).
This is very simple and easy, but again, be gentle. Use a socket that will just barely pass through the bore for the bearing and gently tap it out.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Here’s the bearing partially driven out.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

And the removed bearing along with the socket that was used to drive it out.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Once everything is removed, all parts can be closely inspected.
With this particular steering box, amazingly, all the bearings, races, worm gear, sector roller and sector surfaces were in excellent shape. As a result, everything was thoroughly cleaned (I use a lot of brake cleaner on parts like this then blow dry with compressed air).
Below are the critical areas to inspect.
Naturally, look very closely at the bearing rollers and races for abnormal wear and pitting.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

There is a race for the roller bearing up inside the box, look close at that race. If any of the outer bearing races have to be removed from the box or end cap, a suitable puller will have to be used to remove them. The same goes for the roller bearing inside the side cover.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Each end of the worm gear is an inner bearing race. If these race surfaces are damaged or excessively worn, you get to buy an expensive new rebuild kit (the worm IS NOT available separately).

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...



http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Also, look VERY closely at the contact surfaces of the worm gear and the sector roller for wear, chips or pits. If there is any detectable wear, it’s going to be a personal decision as to whether or not the parts are re-useable.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Check the interior surface where the sector roller bearing is pressed into to assure it is in good condition.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Also, closely inspect the surface of the sector shaft where it rides in the roller bearings (bushings in the case of 49-52 pass cars). This one is in excellent condition.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Once all the parts have been inspected, the box is blasted to remove all residual dirt, grease and rust that was not removed during the cleaning with degreaser and power washing. The openings of the side cover and end cap were masked off to prevent blasting media from damaging the bearings or races.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

After blasting, the box, column, side cover and end cap were thoroughly blown out, flushed several times with brake cleaner and blown dry to assure no debris or blasting media were remaining inside the box, inside the steering column tube or in the bearing areas.
Once everything was clean enough to eat off of, the end cap and side cover were installed and the entire box was painted with a rust preventative satin black enamel paint (your choice of paint).

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...




 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-07-09 03:44 PM - Post#1767849    
    In response to DZAUTO

TIME FOR ASSEMBLY.
Since all the bearings and races of this steering box were in good condition, the only part to install in the box itself is the caged roller bearing.
I positioned the bearing in the bore then started it in the bore with a block of wood and hammer.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

After the bearing is started in the bore, it is finished driven in with a socket that is slightly larger than the bearing. This larger socket will drive the bearing into the bore the correct depth.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...
The new seal is now installed. I like to put a VERY light coat of sealant on the outer edge of the new seal. I use the Permatex in the large can with a brush in the lid.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

I use a block of wood and hammer to install the new seal.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

AFTER the seal is installed, I thoroughly pack the bearing with grease. By doing this after the seal is installed, it permits wiping off the grease and leaving a small amount of grease in the gap between the bearing cage and seal. Also, the bore where the seal fits is not contaminated with grease if the seal is installed first.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

I like to insert the sector shaft backward in the bearing and rotate it several times to assure the bearings are fully coated with grease, plus check to assure the sector shaft rotates freely in the bearings. I do the same with the side cover before it is permanently installed.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

The upper bearing is simple to install by tapping it into the upper end of the column. The Column tube has a ridge down below the end of the tube which helps to position the bearing. Be sure to insert the horn wire through the hole for the wire.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Slip the upper worm gear bearing on the steering shaft and thoroughly grease it then slip the steering shaft into the box.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Grease the lower worm gear bearing, place it into the end cap and screw the end cap into the box.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Don’t forget to place the split retainer on the end of the steering shaft and shove it down into the upper bearing. When the spring and steering wheel are installed later, the spring pressure will push this retainer into the bearing and (supposedly) apply the correct amount of preload to the upper bearing.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Now, this is when and where the FIRST adjustment is done, preloading the worm gear bearings.
I place a small pair of vice grips on the splined end of the steering shaft which allows “feeling” the preload of the worm gear bearings. This is done by “experienced feel”, not by a service manual procedure.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

The end cap is progressively tightened to apply pressure to the worm bearings, while at the same time the steering shaft is rotated with the vice grips until the slack is removed from the bearings, but yet NO BINDING occurs with the bearings. Continue to loosen and tighten the cap while at the same time rotating the steering shaft to assure all bearing slack is removed and just the right amount of preload is applied to the bearings. AGAIN, this is a “feel” thing. You just have to know what a proper bearing preload feels like. Keep in mind, these worm bearings are not under the same kind of load that occurs with front wheel bearings.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Once the worm bearings are adjusted, tighten the lock nut on the end cap. I use a punch and hammer to tighten the lock nut. Once the lock nut is firmly tightened, rotate the steering shaft again a few times to assure it all feels the same.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

The steering worm and shaft and upper bearing are now installed and adjusted. This portion is now complete.
Sector shaft and adjustment is all that remains.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...




THOROUGHLY pack the ball bearings of the sector roller (on BOTH sides) with grease.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Slid the adjuster, WITH THE SHIM, into the end of the sector shaft.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...




 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-07-09 03:47 PM - Post#1767853    
    In response to DZAUTO

Then screw the adjuster into the side cover-----screw it in almost all the way, and partly screw on the lock nut.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

New side cover gasket.
I like to put a light coat of gasket sealer on both sides of the gasket, slip it over the sector and position it on the side cover.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Heavily grease the sector roller. Then slip the assembled sector shaft/side cover into the side of the steering box, with the roller pointing up.
REMEMBER, earlier I said to screw the adjuster almost all the way into the side cover. The purpose of this is so that when the sector is slipped into the steering box, the roller won’t be jammed against the worm gear.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Once the sector is all the way into the steering box, install and tighten the 4 bolts/washers.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Now screw in the adjuster until you can feel the roller just barely touch the worm, and back off a little.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

The vice grips are still clamped onto the upper end of the steering shaft.
Start turning the steering shaft back and forth from lock to lock. A full turning cycle should be ABOUT 4 ¼ turns.
From either lock, turn the shaft back to what should be the center point (about 2 1/8 turns). Screw in the sector adjuster in until you can just barely feel the roller contacting the worm again.

This is where the second adjustment is done-------------------AG AIN, by “feel”.
When the sector and steering worm gear are in the center position (straight ahead when driving), and as you rotate the vice grips back and forth past center, and as the sector roller is EVER SO SLIGHTLY adjusted into the worm, you will begin to feel a resistance as the worm/roller go through the center high point.
Now for the fine adjustment.
Back off of the sector adjuster--------------aga in, as the steering shaft is being rotated back and forth through center.
As the sector roller is screwed into the worm, and then backed away, and as the steering shaft is rotated back and forth, you will alternately feel an increasing and decreasing resistance that occurs between the roller and worm. This resistance can be measured with a pulling scale as described in the service manual. I do the adjustment by “feeling” the resistance as the worm/roller pass through center. As the steering shaft is turned (by gently turning it with the vice grips) in one direction TOWARD center, take notice where the resistance is felt, and continue turning through center until the resistance just goes away. Turn the shaft back the other direction and take notice where the resistance just begins. Keep turning the sector adjusting screw until the resistance through center has just barely gone away (this is why I prefer to clamp a SMALL vice grip on the splines of the shaft, it provides a “precise feel”). Now, turn the sector adjusting screw back in a tiny amount. You will now again be able to just BARELY feel a resistance. STOP. Turn the shaft back about a full turn and then turn it back until you feel it passing through the resistance of high center and continue turning past center for about a full turn. Repeat this about 3-4 times so that you get a GOOD feel of exactly where center is. Once you get a good feel for where high center is, turn the sector adjusting screw so that when you turn the steering shaft, you will feel a SLIGHT resistance between 1 and 2inches of turning of the shaft. If you have a scale to use as instructed in the service manual, then that is fine. But most people don’t have one, nor do they have access to one. So, this is the way I was taught by a factory trained Chevy mechanic to adjust the steering box. And if you do it this way, then use a scale to check your adjustment, you’ll probably discover that you are VERY close to the values called for in the service manual.
Once the final adjustment is completed, tighten the lock nut on the adjusting screw-----------------and re-check the turning resistance to assure it did change when the adjusting lock nut was tightened.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

When all is said and done, there SHOUILD be a line scribed on the very end of the steering shaft which SHOULD be pointing straight up. This scribed line is for indexing the steering wheel for straight ahead driving.
Well, sometimes, the scribed mark is not in the correct indexed position, or, in the case of this column, some previous person had cut off or ground off the very end of the threaded part of the steering shaft. So, I first marked it with a permanent black marker then made 3 punch marks to indicate straight up center.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

After everything was completed finished, I slipped the pitman arm onto the splines of the pitman shaft, loosely installed the lock washer and nut and turned the pitman arm back and forth from lock to lock to verify that the center mark on the end of the steering shaft was at straight up center when the pitman arm was at the center of its travel. It was.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Now it’s finished and ready for the customer to pick up.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...


http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h219/DZAUTO/Fr on...

Pump the box full of chassis grease, NOT 80-90wt gear oil.
Back in the late 50s, there was a GM Service Bulletin which directed the change to chassis grease in these early steering boxes.



 
TPost 
Senior Member
Posts: 1017

Loc: N. Stonington CT.
Reg: 07-26-05
09-07-09 04:23 PM - Post#1767883    
    In response to DZAUTO

Thanks Tom. Great post as usual!!

http://s84.photobucket.com/albums/k17/TPost50Chevy/


 
Mike JW 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1261
Mike JW
Loc: Arroyo Grande, CA
Reg: 01-19-06
09-07-09 05:14 PM - Post#1767906    
    In response to DZAUTO

Thanks Tom, great information. Mike



 
nashvegas99 
Contributor
Posts: 424
nashvegas99
Loc: Pegram, TN
Reg: 08-13-08
09-07-09 05:19 PM - Post#1767908    
    In response to TPost

is there a way to change the sector shaft bushing, packing, and retainer without having to remove the entire box and column? Also, if my passenger wheel has slight "looseness" when grabbing the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock and twisting, what would be the part needed to replace most likely?

http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/225743 4...


 
OldDad 
Senior Member
Posts: 1923
OldDad
Age: 74
Loc: The Great NorthWest
Reg: 06-06-04
09-07-09 08:31 PM - Post#1768013    
    In response to DZAUTO

Tom OUTSTANDING photo's and instructions as usual. This will certainly go into my Tom Parson's tech file. I just bought a 500 gig harddrive hoping you can fill it up with topnotch stuff like this. Question: if the alignment mark on the steering shaft for steering wheel alignment isn't in the correct position do you adjust by tie rod or relay rod to get it centered?


The S.O.B. from the factory...
71 1/2 ton, 64 Chevelle SS, 57 2dr Hardtop, 57 2dr Sedan, 57 Corvette, 52 2dr Hardtop, 52 2dr Sedan, and now a 49 Plymouth Coupe, 1930 Model "A", 1934 Ford Truck, all Chevy powered of course.


 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-08-09 05:07 AM - Post#1768100    
    In response to OldDad

  • OldDad Said:
Tom OUTSTANDING photo's and instructions as usual. This will certainly go into my Tom Parson's tech file. I just bought a 500 gig harddrive hoping you can fill it up with topnotch stuff like this. Question: if the alignment mark on the steering shaft for steering wheel alignment isn't in the correct position do you adjust by tie rod or relay rod to get it centered?




In all of the steering boxes/columns that I've rebuilt, I've only come across ONE steering shaft, which, when finished, the index mark on the end of the steering shaft WAS NOT pointing at top center. I checked, re-checked, adjusted and re-adjusted several times to make sure that I didn't have something installed wrong.
I finally concluded that the factory index mark was incorrect. So, I made a new centering index mark. This just so happened to be on another 57 Corvette column several years ago. To this day, that one still baffels me!
The center high point occurs in the steering box when the sector roller is perfectly straight up and when the worm gear is engaged with the sector roller at the very center position of the worm. That is the point when you "feel" the most resistance during the adjustment of the sector shaft. If properly marked, that is also the position when the factory index mark on the end of the steering shaft SHOULD be in the straight up position. And that's where you index the steering wheel onto the splines of the shaft for straight ahead driving.
After that, then the alignment and straight ahead steering adjustments are made with the drag link and tie rod adjustments.
Did I say that clearly?????



 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-08-09 05:23 AM - Post#1768106    
    In response to nashvegas99

  • nashvegas99 Said:
is there a way to change the sector shaft bushing, packing, and retainer without having to remove the entire box and column? Also, if my passenger wheel has slight "looseness" when grabbing the wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock and twisting, what would be the part needed to replace most likely?



Stoney,
IF, IF, IF you can get the pitman arm off of the sector shaft with it in the car and the engine in place, then yes, you can pull the sector/side cover off of the steering box with it still in the car. I personally haven't done it that way for MANY, MANY years. I've gotten to the point that I do things my way these days----------------or I don't do it!!!!
If a customer wants me to work on his steering column, engine, 4sp, rearend, etc, etc, then he has to take it out and bring it to me. As I mentioned above, I don't like to work on nasty, greasy parts or cars. Also, for example, if a customer needs his 4sp removed and rebuilt, I don't want his car around (immobile) for a few days (or an indefinite time if he doesn't have funds to pay for the repair). If he can't remove the broken item (say for example an engine), then he has to get SOMEONE ELSE to do that, then find a way to bring it to me for rebuilding.
So, my point is, yes, you CAN work on the steering box with it still in the car, but it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much easier with it out. And yes, that's the way I used to do things MANY years ago, but not anymore!
I'm getting too fixed in my ways in my old age. My shop is carpeted, heated, air cond, lots of electricity, lots of lights, cable TV, plumbing, cold drinks in the fridge and 2 phones. And if I get tired, I can crawl up in the boat and take a nap.




 
OldDad 
Senior Member
Posts: 1923
OldDad
Age: 74
Loc: The Great NorthWest
Reg: 06-06-04
09-08-09 07:56 AM - Post#1768167    
    In response to DZAUTO

Clear as a bell, I read somewhere that adjusting the drag link was not the way to get the mark aligned to the top position, only the tie rod was used. That's where the confusion came in. Thanks again.


The S.O.B. from the factory...
71 1/2 ton, 64 Chevelle SS, 57 2dr Hardtop, 57 2dr Sedan, 57 Corvette, 52 2dr Hardtop, 52 2dr Sedan, and now a 49 Plymouth Coupe, 1930 Model "A", 1934 Ford Truck, all Chevy powered of course.


 
nashvegas99 
Contributor
Posts: 424
nashvegas99
Loc: Pegram, TN
Reg: 08-13-08
09-08-09 10:08 AM - Post#1768218    
    In response to DZAUTO

thank you. I am going to attempt it with the pitman arm in removed from the shaft. If I am lucky enough for this to happen, when I remove the flat sector plate, should I be able to remove the roller mech? Which way should I try to push the bearing and retainer out?

http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/225743 4...


 
nashvegas99 
Contributor
Posts: 424
nashvegas99
Loc: Pegram, TN
Reg: 08-13-08
09-08-09 10:10 AM - Post#1768221    
    In response to nashvegas99

Oh yeah...I am terribly jealous of your ride and your knowledge. That is a beautiful post and extremely descriptive. Thanks for the hard work of posting it.

Can I get some information on the second part of my question? The side to side (slight movement) when my hands are at 3 and 9 o'clock. What's the most typical part that needs to be changed?

http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/225743 4...


 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-08-09 11:22 AM - Post#1768264    
    In response to nashvegas99

  • nashvegas99 Said:
thank you. I am going to attempt it with the pitman arm in removed from the shaft. If I am lucky enough for this to happen, when I remove the flat sector plate, should I be able to remove the roller mech? Which way should I try to push the bearing and retainer out?



Stoney,
FIRST, to remove the sector shaft from the side of the box, the steering MUST be in the straight ahead position. Then, the sector roller will be straight up. Look at the pictures above, you will see that there is a notch in the steering box. This notch is to allow the roller to clear when coming out of the box.
Once the pitman arm is removed from the sector shaft, all that is needed for removal is to remove those 4 bolts. The side cover, sector shaft and roller all come out the side of the box as a unit.
Oh ya, and when you pull it out, get ready for a nasty, greasy mess!!!!



 
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8401

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-08-09 11:32 AM - Post#1768268    
    In response to nashvegas99

  • nashvegas99 Said:
Can I get some information on the second part of my question? The side to side (slight movement) when my hands are at 3 and 9 o'clock. What's the most typical part that needs to be changed?



It could be ANYTHING. Without having your car in front of me, it's impossible to tell.
BUUUUUUUUUUUT, on 49-52 cars, the bushings in the steering box are frequently worn quite a bit.
On ALL 49-54 cars, the pin/bushings in the center steering arm are commonly worn and produce a lot of slop at the center steering arm.
Other places for excess slop is at any or all of the joints in the upper or lower A-frames, king pins/bushings and tie rod ends.
This is not easy to detect by having the car jacked up and getting under it and watching to see where slop occurs when someone is turning the steering wheel back and forth because all the load had been removed from the front suspension. You need to be under the car and observing movement of the entire suspension/steering WHEN THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE CAR IS ON THE FRONT TIRES. And this can be kind of hard to do.
BUT, to SPECIFICALLY answer your question, the FIRST two places that I'd look is at the steering box where the sector shaft comes out to see if it moves up/down or side-to-side as well as the center steering arm, for movement when someone is turning the steering wheel back and forth.




 
52chevybob 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5628

Reg: 05-27-08
09-08-09 12:19 PM - Post#1768301    
    In response to DZAUTO

I've found that on the earlier boxes the worm bearings on the column shaft generally dopn't wear much. Pull the sector shaft out with the above procedure and test the column bearings for roughness when turning. If the steeering wheel turns smooth as silk, those bearings are good. Don't forget to adjust them before testing. I just lay my fingertips on the top of the wheel and turn the wheel. If the tips slide ro want to slide, the torque is too high. The torque necessary is about twice what a loose bearing is, no more.
It is very important to not ride over the center peak on the sector gear as this will crack the sector gear quite nicely. Again, the fingertips on the wheel is the best way and the final torque on the wheel should be about twice what the torque is for just the steering shaft in there. Through all the rest of the travel of the steering wheel around, the torque will be a bit less as the gears in intended to just be tight at the one straight ahead spot.
I use the drag link to insure that the center link (the bellcrank looking thing) is pointing straight back for the tierod ends. This puts it at the middle of its travel. I also like to put a left side tierod on the right side so that I can then use the tierods to get the straight ahead position. When you put the pitmann arm on, make sure the steeering wheel is in the straight ahead position and put it on, insure that it will bo fully in both directions and then finally tighten it down.
For slop back and forth in the steering wheel, that would be the upper bearing which is something completely seperate from what happens down in the gearbox.



 
1nice52 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 297
1nice52
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Reg: 11-13-03
09-11-09 08:32 PM - Post#1770421    
    In response to 52chevybob

Bump.
Pat, this needs to be sticky.

RON

"52" Styleline Deluxe (In the family since new)
"53" Bel Air (Bucket list in progress)


 
glembos 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 6

Reg: 11-07-09
11-08-09 10:45 AM - Post#1801773    
    In response to 1nice52

What a great overhaul procedure for the steering column. I reviewed it and can`t figure out how the collumn shaft is held in place. The problem I have is the steering wheel can easily be pulled out of the collumn up to two inches. Would appeciate any help you guys can give to a newby to fix this. Thanks in advance.

Dan



 
glembos 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 6

Reg: 11-07-09
11-11-09 04:30 PM - Post#1804059    
    In response to DZAUTO

i have a 53 chevy an when i pull on the sterring wheel it come up 2 inches i am new i had it for 8 months



 
tdale 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 2

Reg: 10-10-10
10-10-10 06:58 PM - Post#1987557    
    In response to glembos

I have a 54 corvette with alot of play about 4 " in the wheel. Is the worm gear worn or is it an adjustment. the top bearing is good and tight but after rebuilding the front end I still have some play and its in the box. I adjusted it but it never went away.Any help would be great as I don't want to have to remove the whole thing.



 
73super 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 9
73super
Age: 57
Loc: Maple Valley, WA
Reg: 02-09-10
11-17-10 11:12 AM - Post#2005619    
    In response to tdale

OK.. that just does not look like a whole lot of fun.. esshhh....



 
Bel_Air_53 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 53
Bel_Air_53
Loc: West Coast of Sweden
Reg: 04-28-11
04-28-11 05:05 PM - Post#2083390    
    In response to DZAUTO

Thanks...very useful !!!
/ sven

"Four doors, no waitin'"


 
49Stovebolt 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 58

Loc: NE Florida
Reg: 11-27-12
02-23-13 10:57 AM - Post#2319891    
    In response to DZAUTO

My 49 box is very tight. I disconnected all the tie rods an found the king pins free. I filled the box with 90 weight. Now I see it should be grease. The car sat for decades, so maybe the grease is hardened. Im thinking of filling it with ATF and turning it alot to free it up. Then suc it out and fill it with grease. Have you found a good method to fill it with grease?
Any suggestions will be appreciated.



 
49Stovebolt 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 58

Loc: NE Florida
Reg: 11-27-12
02-25-13 05:58 PM - Post#2320550    
    In response to DZAUTO

My 49 box is very tight. I disconnected all the tie rods an found the king pins free. I filled the box with 90 weight. Now I see it should be grease. The car sat for decades, so maybe the grease is hardened. Im thinking of filling it with ATF and turning it alot to free it up. Then suc it out and fill it with grease. Have you found a good method to fill it with grease?
Any suggestions will be appreciated.



 
stilsmokin 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 32

Age: 67
Loc: los angeles ca
Reg: 06-01-15
11-29-17 07:46 PM - Post#2716329    
    In response to DZAUTO

0hello, I have a 1953 Chevy Belair 4 door.I,am looking for steering wheel pully, I,am going to have mymsteering colum rebuilt, I just cant use just any pully. The pictures are not showing on this ;ink, just like the other one of the front suspension, I already rebuit my suspension. nowI,am working on my steering colum, I cant pull of the steering arm either, having problems. (818)492-0780 Frank, Ray cow helped me out a little good help. Thank you




 
stilsmokin 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 32

Age: 67
Loc: los angeles ca
Reg: 06-01-15
11-29-17 07:47 PM - Post#2716330    
    In response to stilsmokin

  • stilsmokin Said:
hello, I have a 1953 Chevy Belair 4 door.I,am looking for steering wheel pully, I,am going to have mymsteering colum rebuilt, I just cant use just any pully. The pictures are not showing on this ;ink, just like the other one of the front suspension, I already rebuit my suspension. nowI,am working on my steering colum, I cant pull of the steering arm either, having problems. (818)492-0780 Frank, Ray cow helped me out a little good help. Thank you







 
Dean50 
"11th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1147
Dean50
Loc: Detroit area
Reg: 01-02-07
12-01-17 04:18 AM - Post#2716505    
    In response to stilsmokin

I suggest you guys post your questions in the regular 49-54 forum to be seen by more folks.

Dean50



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 26948
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
12-01-17 09:51 AM - Post#2716543    
    In response to Dean50

I second that suggestion.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
stilsmokin 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 32

Age: 67
Loc: los angeles ca
Reg: 06-01-15
12-04-17 12:02 PM - Post#2716859    
    In response to DZAUTO

sorry Tom, the link does not come up. I think photo bucket took conetrol again. Can you send me a link of the steering colum?



 
stilsmokin 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 32

Age: 67
Loc: los angeles ca
Reg: 06-01-15
12-05-17 02:39 AM - Post#2716924    
    In response to DZAUTO

The link for your steering wheel will not show, where can I see it?



 
Icon Legend Permissions Topic Options
Report Post

Quote Post

Quick Reply

Print Topic

Email Topic

46338 Views
FusionBB
FusionBB™ Version 2.1
©2003-2006 InteractivePHP, Inc.
Execution time: 0.234 seconds.   Total Queries: 17   Zlib Compression is on.
All times are (GMT -0800) Pacific. Current time is 01:39 PM
Top