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Old 10-05-2020, 03:44 AM   #1
Henry Hopper
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Default Different Key ways??

I’ve got a 32 roadster and it has a 40 Ford Standard steering wheel fitted. The spoke in the wheel is about 25 to 1 position when going straight ahead. The drag link is the stock Ford non adjustable type.

Does the 32 and the 40 have different positioned key ways or am I being really stupid and missing something here?

The pitman arm , as far as I know is the 32, and I’m not sure but I think you can’t get them in the wrong positionaA due to wider clocking splines... correct??

T I A

Just a further thought, the car has a dropped axle and the steering arm has been heated and bent to match..... could this cause the problem??
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Old 10-05-2020, 06:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Do you have an adjustable drag link?
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:14 AM   #3
Henry Hopper
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

No.. stock 32 link...
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

First thing that I would do is to establish the position of the steering wheel by rotating lock to lock, count the turns and position it half way (steering wheel should be in normal straight ahead position)
Then check all other steering components to see what is in need of adjustment.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

The keyway in the steering shaft matches the keyway on the worm gear and will be straight up when you are centered with the steering box like 51 Merc says above. Once you find the center position, you will either have to change the length of your drag link by cutting and welding to keep the stock ends or get an adjustable drag link. Speedway will provide a quality one based on dimensions you provide.


Also take a look at this thread, especially for post #20 on down. When you are checking all your steering components, consider how the heating and bending of the spindle arm affects you.


https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...ndle&showall=1




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Old 10-05-2020, 09:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

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The Best way to change the wheel position is to re cut the slots in the shaft to move the keyway. Not easy or cheap to do.
I've done the following on a few cars ( mostly Hot Rods) over the years and it results in an acceptable solution but not 100% purist perfect.
One way of changing the position of the wheel is to remove the notches inside the pitman arm.
You can do this with a hacksaw. Just saw through the flats in the pitman arm, you can use a triangular file to finish them. When you're done ( there's four of them ) you should not be able to see where they were. That allows you to position the arm wherever you want thus moving the steering wheel position.
An adjustable drag link is a great help too.
By using a combination of changing the pitman arm in relation to the sector shaft AND adjusting the drag link you should be able to get the wheel where you want it and still have the worm and sector reasonably close to the correct position when the tires are pointed straight ahead.
In the end if everything is adjusted properly and in good condition you should be able to position the wheel where you want and still have acceptable steering performance.
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Old 10-05-2020, 12:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

The difference is between the side steer of the earlier cars and the cross steer of the 35 & later cars. A lot of folks change out the spindles for hydraulic brakes and change over to a F1/F100 pickup or Hudson Gemmer II style side steer box set up with a modified steering shaft.

The steering shaft mod would likely be the easier route if a person wants to change the type of steering wheel but nothing else.
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Old 10-05-2020, 01:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Thank you....I’ll pull the pitman arm off and check that first I think.
I’d like to keep the stock drag link if at all possible..... Recutting the jetway in the steering wheel was an option I’d toyed with if the keyways are the same on the 32 and the 40 wheels.
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Old 10-05-2020, 02:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Be certain that you have the steering box gears in the middle position. After that do what is required to have the the spindle arm ahead of the axle as it is for the original.
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Old 10-05-2020, 02:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Nige, do you have the original spindles or 37 up spindles and a bolt on arm? (As glennpm is alluding to). The original steering arm sticks forward. If you have a bolt on steering arm the stock drag link is no longer the right length.

You need to attack this from first principles.
Disconnect the drag link.
Check the toe-in and set the wheels straight ahead.
Find dead centre on the steering box by going from one lock to the other and stopping half way. Make sure the adjustment is right and the sweet spot is right there in that position.
Questions: Where is the keyway when in that sweet spot/straight ahead position? Does it make sense? Will the steering wheel be aligned correctly in that position?

Now see if the drag link will just drop into place. In theory it should do. Chances are it won't.

You now face having to get/make an adjustable drag link, or getting lucky if clocking the pitman arm one spline (after filing out the dead splines) puts it right.

If the box is in the straight ahead and the wheels are straight ahead and your steering wheel not aligned, then you have a few options.

Modify the shaft with a second keyway in the right place.
Modify the steering wheel with a second keyway in the right place.
Cut the steering shaft, align it correctly and weld it back together again.

It all depends on how handy you are feeling.

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Old 10-05-2020, 02:55 PM   #11
Henry Hopper
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Mart, it’s the 32 spindles on a Mordrop axle ....Glen , I didn’t know that the steering arm
sat forward of the axle centreline.... I’ll check that . I’ve just got the car and am going through a few little jobs.
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Check at around the 18 min mark.

https://youtu.be/-nhFK4MQ79s
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

More good info from Dennis Lacy, Early V8 Garage http://www.earlyv8garage.net/. Take a good read of "reason #3".

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1932-pickup-rebuild-thread-updated-1-11-16.970252/page-4#post-10989245

Picture of my steering arm/spindle offset which is 3/4"

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File Type: jpg 1932 Steering arm offset.jpg (64.8 KB, 40 views)
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Old 10-05-2020, 04:01 PM   #14
Henry Hopper
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

You sure learn something every day..... I’d never been aware of that 3/4” difference before. You think you know what’s right but when you read up about it , it all makes sense.

Thanks for the heads up.... good ol’ Fordbarn once again...
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Some pictures regarding geometry to augment the text from Dennis Lacy.


"Reason #3

The built in steering arm on 1932 - 1934 spindles, when viewed from directly above with the spindle in the straight ahead position, the upper steering arm angles away from the center of the axle and puts the center line of the drag link attaching hole 3/4" forward of the axle center line. This creates a 90 degree angle between the
drag link and spindle steering arm. Likewise, the lower ends of 1932 and 1933 - 1934 pitman arms are twisted to also create a 90 degree angle between the pitman arm and drag link. This produces equal steering geometry and effort when turning left or right.

All
of the typical bolt-on steering arms needed with later model spindles places the center of the drag link attachment hole directly over the axle center line. This creates unequal steering geometry left vs. right because the starting angles are not the same. In one direction the steering starts over-center while in the other direction the steering starts behind center. Most people would argue that it's not something your likely to notice when steering the vehicle and thousands of hot rods have been done this way over the decades. We figure since Ford thought it was important enough to get the steering geometry correct, so should we."
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Would you check your pitman arm for me? There will be a letter forged on it, an A denotes a Passenger Car pitman and a B would be for a Commercial Car with its shorter length cowl. To correct for the different steering column angle the pitman arms are clocked differently to maintain proper steering geometry.
I have been trying to cypher this out in my head (migraine coming) and if I’m right and you have a B or Commercial Car pitman it will be clocked on the sector shaft forward of where it should be for your roadster. With that said in order to connect your stock length drag link you would need to rotate the steering wheel CCW.
If I am right then your fix is either getting the “A” identified pitman or reworking the dummy splines so you can reposition yours. With your steering wheel turned CCW the steering box is not on the high point and the car may feel like it tends to wander going down the road.
The unknown for me is how much the different pitman arms would affect the steering wheel position.
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Last edited by Fordors; 10-06-2020 at 08:01 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-06-2020, 08:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

If need be, it is relatively easy to modify the pitman arm so it will go on in ANY position.
Just remove the master spline land.
The easiest way is a die grinder and a 1/4 inch carbide burr.
A cheaper way involves only a quarter inch square file and a half hour.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:52 AM   #18
glennpm
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

Here is a picture of both of the 32 Pitman arms with the "B" or truck one on the top. There is a one tooth difference between the two.

The rotation of the B would push a fixed length drag link further to the front of the car and deceases the desired 90 between the steering arm and the drag link.

If you you have a B as mentioned above, you can either remove the indexing teeth at each 90 or file those indexes to make 8 new teeth. Either way would allow you to place the pitman wherever you need to maintain the 90. All else being correct, one tooth CCW.


This morning I had a thought. How much angular movement does 1 tooth give you?
There are 36 teeth (the 90 apart "keys" count for 2 teeth each) so 360/36 gives you 10 degrees at the Pitman arm. For a stock 1932 with 13 to 1 worm/sector shaft ratio, 1 tooth would be 13 X 10 = 130 steering wheel rotation!


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File Type: jpg B Pitman arm on top of an A with Splines Aligned.jpg (33.3 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by glennpm; 10-08-2020 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Impact of a 1 tooth rotation
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Different Key ways??

First you have to find the center point of the steering gear(the point of least play), then see where the wheel fits , there is a adjustable drag link for model A, perhaps a different length rod may be needed, or the pitman arm can be bent, or the different one(BB) from the above post
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