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Username Post: Complete rebuild of steering box/column
52chevybob 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5628

Reg: 05-27-08
09-08-09 01:19 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.
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