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Old 10-08-2019, 10:52 AM   #1
36tudordeluxe
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Default Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

Steering problem revisited again and again.
I have a '40 box and steering arm in my '36, the car steers very easily and performs just as I hoped but with one exception; when I make a left hand turn the steering wheel no longer remains centered when going straight down the road. When I make a right hand turn and upon completion the steering wheel goes back to center as I go straight down the road. I've been on this site multiple times with this problem and have been unable to resolve the issue but have learned to live with it until now. Am putting the car up for sale and would like to offer the car in perfect operating condition.
Could this be a bad sector shaft and explain the left hand turn problem?
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:15 AM   #2
Mart
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

There is an element in your steering with a large amount of free play. After turning one way, the free play is at one end of the travel, and vice versa the other way.

The best bet would be to get where you can see under the car, on a ramp, perhaps, and get someone to turn the steering one way then the other while you follow the motion through all the steering joints from pitman arm to drag link.

It could be something as simple as a badly worn keyway or missing key or a combination of both where the steering wheel attaches to the shaft. (Very dangerous if missing).

Take the horn button out and have a look at that area, does the nut seem tight? Can you see play if you move the wheel back and forth?

It could also be stiff shackles, settling at one end after a left turn and one end after a right. Does there seem like excessive play? If you give the wheel a quick left and right wobble while driving straight, does it all center up ok?

Just out of interest, how much movement are you describing at the wheel rim. In terms of a clock face, 5 mins worth? 10 mins? 2 mins? give us an idea.

Mart.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:10 PM   #3
Ggmac
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

If you have a go pro or other camera set up , mount it secured under the car pointing at the steering linkage and see if anything is binding or not visible when static testing .
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

How much free play is there in your steering? It is important that this be tested with the wheels straight ahead. So drive straight ahead for a good distance and stop. Then, when parked with the wheels straight ahead, how far do you turn the steering wheel before you feel resistance as it attempts to turn the front wheels? Up to about 2" in either direction should be okay. If more than that and you need to visually check the drag link and tie rods ends for slop as someone moves the steering wheel back and forth. If those look tight (no slop) then you probably have an excessively worn sector. Try tightening the adjustment on the steering box, but not too much; leave a little slop.

If none of that fixes the problem, it is likely that the steering wheel is a little loose on the steering shaft, along with a woodruf key that is not tight in the slot on the shaft or within the wheel; or missing. Get a new one for a few bucks and be sure it is snug on the shaft and within the wheel. Tighten the steering wheel nut right down. Don't know the torque spec.

I had the same problem of shifting wheel centering after removing and replacing the steering wheel on my '41. Pulled the steering wheel and found the woodruf key laying in the top bell of the steering column. The key was too loose a fit to the slot on the shaft, and when I installed the wheel, I knocked the key out and did not notice. A new key was dressed with a file to fit snugly, and the problem was solved. Could have been much worse!
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Old 10-08-2019, 04:41 PM   #5
36tudordeluxe
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

Just got out from under the car while static and had helper jiggle steering wheel left to right and discovered the box and the plate mounted to frame are moving. When I replaced the box with a '40 unit I also replaced the '36 plate to frame with a '40 plate. I used carriage bolts (similar to rivet heads in appearance) of the same approximate diameter as the old rivets. I will drill out holes and install larger grade 8 bolts, 2 at the top and one at the bottom.
I wonder if this in itself would explain the steering problem?
Will get back in a few days and let you know the results.
(UPDAT: Just noticed there's 2 bolts on bottom and making holes bigger might not be a good idea, may not be enough meat in the bracket.)

Last edited by 36tudordeluxe; 10-08-2019 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:29 PM   #6
Mart
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

Yeah, it could do.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

king pins too tight will also cause it to not re-center itself after turning
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

Thanks for the advice guys, problem solved!
The grade 8 hardware cinched up good and tight stopped the box from moving.
Amazing that little movement in the box could give me such a headache.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

Yay, Bob. Glad you got it sorted out. At least now if and when you sell it, you can do so with confidence.

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Old 10-11-2019, 05:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Symptoms of worn out sector shaft?

Glad to hear you sorted this one out. The mounting bracket didn't come to mind, but makes perfect sense now.

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