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Old 10-02-2018, 10:07 PM   #1
Mad Mac
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Default Steering slop

I have about 5 inches of "slop" in my steering wheel ('29 OCPU 7-tooth) before it starts to move the front wheels and I lately have been working on eliminating it.

But I made a mistake by assuming the problem was caused by worn parts in the steering box. Instead of first measuring the end-play in the old steering box I decided to buy a spare steering column and a complete set of new parts from Brattons, including new worm, sector, thrust bearings, shims and bronze bushes. My idea was to recondition the replacement steering column outside the car and then quickly swap it with the old "worn" column to reduce the time the car is out of action.

Before installing the reconditioned replacement column, I decided (almost as an afterthought) to check the amount of play in the original column. Mounting it in a vice I checked the movement of the pitman arm with a dial guage and guess what? There is only 1.1 mm of end play at the outer end of the arm! So I have just wasted all that money on new parts! More importantly I have not yet correctly diagnosed the cause of the sloppy steering, which now must lie somewhere "downstream" in the drag-link, king pins, tie rod or front wheel bearings. And maybe also in the wishbone where it is bolted under the bell housing? So back to the drawing board. My purpose in posting this is to prevent others from making the same silly mistake.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:18 AM   #2
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Steering slop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mac View Post
I have about 5 inches of "slop" in my steering wheel ('29 OCPU 7-tooth) before it starts to move the front wheels and I lately have been working on eliminating it.

But I made a mistake by assuming the problem was caused by worn parts in the steering box. Instead of first measuring the end-play in the old steering box I decided to buy a spare steering column and a complete set of new parts from Brattons, including new worm, sector, thrust bearings, shims and bronze bushes. My idea was to recondition the replacement steering column outside the car and then quickly swap it with the old "worn" column to reduce the time the car is out of action.

Before installing the reconditioned replacement column, I decided (almost as an afterthought) to check the amount of play in the original column. Mounting it in a vice I checked the movement of the pitman arm with a dial guage and guess what? There is only 1.1 mm of end play at the outer end of the arm! So I have just wasted all that money on new parts! More importantly I have not yet correctly diagnosed the cause of the sloppy steering, which now must lie somewhere "downstream" in the drag-link, king pins, tie rod or front wheel bearings. And maybe also in the wishbone where it is bolted under the bell housing? So back to the drawing board. My purpose in posting this is to prevent others from making the same silly mistake.
Sounds a lot like a friend of mine the that tried to solve overheating problem by replacing the radiator. He then went on to find out what the real problem was. Must admit his new radiator sure looks nice. Thanks for the reminder. Guess if you hear hoofbeats you can't always assume horses, sometimes they are Zebras.

Charlie Stephens
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:24 AM   #3
WHN
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Old Lyme Connecticut
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Default Re: Steering slop

I would drop the front end and completely disassemble. Not a big job. Check front spring also.

Once your done. One of the most important parts of your car will now be good to go for many years and miles.

Brakes and front end, springs and shocks. Very important. Enjoy.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:22 AM   #4
Robert/Texas
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Default Re: Steering slop

One thing I found out when trying to get the slop out of my '28 roadster front end was that the radius rod/wishbone socket was a poor quality replacement. When I replace it with one from Snyder's it helped a whole lot.
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