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Username Post: Complete rebuild of steering box/column
DZAUTO 
Senior Member
Posts: 8537

Loc: Mustang, OK, USA
Reg: 12-25-99
09-07-09 04:44 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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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