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Old 07-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
John Kuhnast
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Default Steering Box ?

Have a two tooth box on my 1931 pickup. All the front end balls are tight and the pitman arm is tight on the shaft. Have some play in the box so that when turning steering wheel the shaft from the box to the pitman moves back and forth{left and right] about a quarter inch. How to fix this? Is the an adjustment, a worn part or leave it alone ? Thanks
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
Ron/IA
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Default Re: Steering Box ?

John - If I understand you correctly; you are stating the sector shaft that the pitman arm is fastened to is moving left and right 1/4". There is an adjustment for this. On the opposite of the box from the shaft end there should be a bolt with locking nut (it will be on the engine side of the steering box) that will take up that play when turned in.

I hope I have explained this for you to understand.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:20 PM   #3
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Steering Box ?

There are 4 adjustments on the 2 tooth box which need to be performed in proper order.. The best I can say without going thru typing the procedure is to obtain a repair manual like Les Andrews or the Ford Service Bulletins..
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steering Box ?

John - Patrick has made a good point about 2-tooth steering box adjustments (I should have mentioned that too). I have a 7-tooth box on my A, but I have overheard those with 2-tooth that one adjustment can affect the others and that they do need to be done in the proper order.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Steering Box ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron/IA View Post
John - If I understand you correctly; you are stating the sector shaft that the pitman arm is fastened to is moving left and right 1/4". There is an adjustment for this. On the opposite of the box from the shaft end there should be a bolt with locking nut (it will be on the engine side of the steering box) that will take up that play when turned in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick L. View Post
There are 4 adjustments on the 2 tooth box which need to be performed in proper order.. The best I can say without going thru typing the procedure is to obtain a repair manual like Les Andrews or the Ford Service Bulletins..
If you are talking about end play in the sector shaft, I would try adjusting the sector shaft end play, just go a little at a time and keep turning the steering wheel from side to side, If the steering starts to bind a little in the straight ahead position, back it off a little. Do this with the front wheels off the ground. I think you will be able to get a much better feel for it.

As previously posted, this is really not the correct way to adjust the steering box but you may be able to help things a little, or a lot, by getting some of the end play out of the sector shaft.

If you still have a lot of play in the straight ahead position, I also would STRONGLY recomend getting some good instructions on the proper way to adjust the steering box and do it right.

My opinion,

Chris
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
steve s
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Default Re: Steering Box ?

In my cocksure youth when I was on the very steepest part of my Model A learning curve, I checked out of the Detroit library a book of service bulletins. THere were several pages of fine print describing how to adjust the steering gear box. I figured, "Heck, it's all spelled out there in black and white--surely, I can do this."

After days and days of messing around, after the pages were barely legible from grease smears, I had the car to where the box was so bound up the car was undrivable and I saw no hope for getting it back to where it was. That original performance baseline I was longing for, by the way, was 1/4 turn of free play--driveable, but one really needed to stay alert.

In the throes of despair and embarrassment, I threw out the whole steering column/wheel, bought a replacement at a junk yard for $15, and vowed never to touch one of those boxes again, convinced that I am only capable of making things worse.

Twenty-some years later, with the car out of storage after a long slumber, I had the box professionally restored by one of the guys who advertises his expertise in the magazines. Again, it was undrivable--arrrgh. I sent it off to another expert, paid more money, and received a very nicely performing product, which I've been using for twenty-some years now, still being careful to look-but-not-touch.

One man's story.

Steve
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steering Box ?

If things are worn out, they can not be adjusted properly. If all the internal parts are good, it is not rocket science, it just takes a little patience and follow the directions.

Taking a little end play out of the sector shaft is no big beal, just go a little at a time and note where you started from. Worst case, you can always put the adjustment back as it was and be no worse off. Chances are, it may be a little better.

My opinion,

Chris

Last edited by CWPASADENA; 07-24-2010 at 10:29 AM. Reason: TYPO
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