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Old 02-19-2020, 06:47 PM   #1
WaltG
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Default '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

I just finished overhauling the steering box on my '32 Ford. When I Bench tested the box I went to install the pitman arm and noticed that it will only fit the shaft either at the 4 or 7 o'clock position. I assumed that if the steering shaft is at "high center" (half way between the 3 1/4 lock to lock travel) that the arm should fit at the 6 o'clock position. When I bought this steering column the pitman arm was missing so I never knew the arms true position. Am I missing something here?


Thank you in advance for the responses
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:59 PM   #2
Andy
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

You may have a later arm. I believe the arm should me marked wit a B-**** part number. It should go down straight at first and then bend inboard. The drag link fits from the inside.
An arm marked 48-, 78-, will not work.
You may also have the wrong gears.
With the box on the high spot, the blocker splines should be at 0* ,90* 180* and 270*. Relative to the steering shaft

Last edited by Andy; 02-19-2020 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:13 PM   #3
DavidG
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

Also could be that when you installed the sector gear it was not centered on the worm gear with the opening in the lock sleeve on the shaft straight up. Another possibility is that you have a '32 pitman arm, but it is the commercial version. Look for either an A or B stamped into the arm just below the opening for the sector shaft. If it is an A, it is a passenger car arm; if it is a B, it is a commercial vehicle arm. The difference reflects the variation in the angle of the steering column in its installed position with the commercial column tilted higher than the passenger car column.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

When I did my brother's '32 steering box, I mounted it in the frame and first turned the wheel all the way to the left until it hit the stop. I then put a piece of tape at the top center of the wheel and marked it "L". Then, counting turns, I turned the wheel all the way to the right. I put another piece of tape at the top center and marked it "R". Finally, I turned the wheel back to the left again but only half the number of turns and put another piece of tape at the top center and marked it "C". This is the point that you want to be at to make all of your adjustments to the box (get all of the slop out) and also where you want to install the pitman arm pointing straight down. At this point, the front wheels should be pointing straight ahead when the drag link is in place.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:31 AM   #5
swanwaco32
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

I understand that the replacement ( aftermarket ) gear that is pressed on the shaft is not clocked in the correct position? my guy cuts a new keyway for the steering wheel.
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:35 AM   #6
Andy
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

You guys know what the round slotted thing at the bottom of flange does? It is used to center the the steering. The factory manual shows how it works. If you actually have the right parts, you need the manual.
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

Specifically, pages 79-82 of the 1932 Service Bulletins which are widely available as inexpensive reprints.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:21 AM   #8
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

http://www.oldcarmanualproject.com/m..._%2079_jpg.htm
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:21 AM   #9
32phil
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

I can't stress enough the need to follow the instructions in the Service Bulletin...
100% to the letter..... in the exact order and method described in the bulletin.
In my experience, if done properly, the result will be a steering box that works remarkably well.
Over the years I have found several pitman arms that have had the blocking grooves filed to eliminate them. A few were done so well it's difficult to see where they were filed unless you compare them to an unmodified one. This allows placement of the arm in any position. I have used them on modified cars and it allows centering of the steering wheel. Usually... no more than a tooth or two off from what would have been the original "mandatory" placement of the arm is all you need to dial in stuff (drag link etc.).
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

Listen to David and Phil. No matter how good you think you are, you will fail if you do not use the service bulletin and do exactly what they say. And then do it again and usually again. The bulletin includes a lot of theory and why stuff in the write up that a lot of people get confused with and don't understand. You don't need to follow or understand that part. You need to do the "do this and then that" part.
My 32 drives, steers and handles perfectly. Thanks to NOS everything and the service bulletins.
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Old 02-20-2020, 05:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

The "do it again" part that Floyd cites is especially important when it comes to getting the proper engagement between the sector gear and the worm gear, including the direction of the movement of the engagement sleeve. I have done a dozen or so and I always find that after the final tightening of the sector housing to the gear box I have to go back and start over with a little additional tweaking to completely eliminate any binding or sector gear end play in the straight ahead position as required.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:09 PM   #12
WaltG
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

Thank you everyone for responding to my question. With your help I was able to solve my problem.
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Old 02-20-2020, 08:10 PM   #13
WaltG
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

I have one other problem concerning the gear box. When setting the pre-load on the worn gear, what would be the average thickness of gaskets/shims needed? (I am using the original upper bearing cup and thrust washer) My number came in at .060" This number is far above the spec given in the Ford Service Bulletins.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:56 PM   #14
Andy
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

The cone bearings were not marked and there are two different styles. They look exactly alike. I still do not kno how to check which are early and which late. It changes the gasket required.
Maybe David can shed somr light.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

You can distinguish between the B-prefix and 68-prefix bearing cones by how they fit in their respective cups (Ford's terminology of period), aka races.
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:14 AM   #16
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

Hi David,


I have a "B" marked Pitman arm on my 32 roadster. Until your post I thought it was the correct one to use. Can you tell me how many teeth or the angle of difference there is between the A and B versions please?


Thanks,
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:37 AM   #17
DavidG
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Default Re: '32 Steering Box/Pitman Arm Clocking

Hi Glenn,


I'm away from my old car stuff at present, but I think the difference is between 10 and 15 degrees.


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