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Old 07-11-2019, 10:35 PM   #1
Clem Clement
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Default steering hangs up in a tight turn.

We have a friend with a Model a sedan that the steering sticks in the turn.

seems unsafe to me. Linkage seems Ok. Can worm steering gears allow this to happen. Unsafe to drive??
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Clem this was happening to me once in a while when driving my 29 Fordor Briggs with the 2 tooth steering box. I was on a back road country tour through the hills and turns of Northwest Illinois with my Wife and as we made a left turn onto a major highway the steering locked up putting me right into head on traffic! Had to disconnect steering box to get flatbeded home. Very scary and very lucky we avoided a head on crash. Turns out a ball bearing broke loose and was moving around in the worm gear. That day it got stuck.
Suggest to your friend he pull his steering gear box and give it a rebuild. On the lesser side if he has a steering stabilizer have him check the operation of it. Perhaps disconnect and test drive. My situation could have been a disaster, don't let your friend drive sticky.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

I had a similar problem many years ago. Steering did come back, but there was a moment that I was very concerned. Right hand turn only.

Had steering box rebuilt. While it was out we dropped the front end and completely disassembled and rebuilt. No problems since. Car drives great.

Last edited by WHN; 07-12-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

I had the bottom thrust bearing come apart in a 7 tooth box. I had been doing 60mph through hills and it waited to let go as I slowed for a town.
There was terminal wheel flapping and turning the steering wheel made it rise and fall in and out of the column instead of steering the car. Impossible to go faster than walking pace to get to safety, and then a flatbed to get home 300 miles.
Very dangerous and there were only slight indications of anything wrong before it broke. I did not recognise the slight roughness as a problem about to occur. The car now has z 2 tooth box fitted with new bearings.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Might also confirm wheel alignment is correct - especially the caster.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Might also confirm you have the "turn limiters" which are large sized nuts (uber acorn nuts) on the axle backside and hold the retaining wedges for the king-pins.

In the late 70s I rebuilt a Model A front end with the (then) standard kingpin kit. Included in the kit was the full caboodle: pins, bearings, retaining wedge, and two standard nuts. I did the front end using the parts and threw away the rusted/broken off acorn style nuts from the old axle.

I was pleased to find the car would turn a "tighter" turn radius which made it easy to park the car in the corner of my father's 2-1/2 stall garage. Pleased until it came time to get it out and I found the steering gear locked on itself. A prybar got the rods untangled but I was very wary while driving on the road for a while until I found the REAL issue - the non-standard nuts.

After correction I could no longer turn a full circle in Dad's garage, but I could drive with confidence.

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Old 07-12-2019, 08:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

The first step is to check the level of lubricant in the steering gear and what it is, perhaps it is one that was greased instead of oiled
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Good Q. the car was rebuilt some years back by local. Modern nuts and bolts wee used. We''ll have a look
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Quote:
Might also confirm you have the "turn limiters" which are large sized nuts (uber acorn nuts) on the axle backside and hold the retaining wedges for the king-pins.
Our '31 CCPU had those nuts on the FRONT of the axle when we got it, didn't take long to get them switched around.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Heh. IIRC, lLooking at front spindles they have a "cutout" where the front spindle hit the limiters. The cutout on mine are on both edges - as in the spindle could be used either left or right.

So it may not matter if limiters are placed to the front as the action will be the same.

(i.e thinking more on this it may screw up the orientation of the king-pin - a certain slope exists on the "ramp" of the retaining pin, the pin itself is cylindrical, and this ramp and a corresponding cut in the kingpin orients the top kingpin brake housing relative to the axle. Retaining pin reversed would change the relative orientation of the Kingpin?)

Rear would be factory, of course.


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Old 07-13-2019, 11:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

My 1930 Tudor will make a lot of noise and vibration if I make a tight left turn but I finally found the problem. It was the tire tread rubbing against the brake rod. So I don't make tight left turns anymore. But I will check out the stoppers now!
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

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Originally Posted by Cool Hand Lurker View Post
My 1930 Tudor will make a lot of noise and vibration if I make a tight left turn but I finally found the problem. It was the tire tread rubbing against the brake rod. So I don't make tight left turns anymore. But I will check out the stoppers now!
The usual cause for this is the "fat-man frame syndrome." Larger size drivers have caused a bend in the frame or a weakened front spring which allows that side of the frame to sink lower and catch the wheel tread on a tight turn.

Firestone tires were thought also to contribute to this as the tread aspect of these tires is larger than the standard Goodyears.

Remedies include a frame re-work/check, reversing the front spring, shimming the front spring with a wood block (I did this) and for me ultimately replacement of the front spring with new. I'm am not convinced I am totally beyond the bent frame as a contributor.

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Old 07-13-2019, 07:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Joe, it wasn't the frame that the tire was contacting, it was the brake control rod that is 3-4" from the frame sidewall. I think the problem would be in the mechanism that keeps the wheel from turning too far. I haven't had time to look into it more.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

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Originally Posted by Cool Hand Lurker View Post
Joe, it wasn't the frame that the tire was contacting, it was the brake control rod that is 3-4" from the frame sidewall. I think the problem would be in the mechanism that keeps the wheel from turning too far. I haven't had time to look into it more.
You did say brake rod (I see) In my case it was the fender support bracket.

So yes. More check.

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Old 07-15-2019, 09:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

what a hot day to be flogging an A.

First I must retract the statement that the steering wheel must be removed from the steering shaft first. Not so. We unbolted the steering box, remove a pedal and the floor board, left the pans on and removed the box and wheel in one piece.

First we jacked up the front end and checked the front spindle bolt locking pin stops. one nut was tight and the other about 1/16 turn loose. Swinging the steering coast-to- coast, each way the arm soundly hit each nut stop. THE STEERING DID NOT BIND UP!!

We then checked the tie rod ends and pitman arm and all were tight joints. The 2 tooth sector shaft did move up and down a 1/4".

The assembly is heading for a cleanup and inspection/Off car adjustment.

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Old 07-17-2019, 11:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

Joe K, your mention of "fat-man frame syndrome" reminds me to have my frame checked out at the alignment shop. I did that on another Model A a few years ago and there was a lot of straightening to do. The mechanic was also an old car owner too and he was careful to move slowly and not over-straighten anything.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

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Originally Posted by Clem Clement View Post
We have a friend with a Model a sedan that the steering sticks in the turn.

seems unsafe to me. Linkage seems Ok. Can worm steering gears allow this to happen. Unsafe to drive??
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It sounds to me like your steering box may be out of adjustment. My steering would "bind" when the steering was at full lock, right or left. I followed ALL the steps in "The Red Book" for adjustment (I have a two tooth) and I have not had a problem since. It even suggests in the book to check your steering for binding after adjustment.
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Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 07-18-2019 at 12:13 AM. Reason: Added verbage
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:22 PM   #18
Clem Clement
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

I missed the next day. The guys found out that the gear box was a Ford box and not reparable (what does this mean? They rebuilt a spare 2 tooth box and we will install it next week

What is the story about a Ford gear box?
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

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Originally Posted by Clem Clement View Post
I missed the next day. The guys found out that the gear box was a Ford box and not reparable (what does this mean? They rebuilt a spare 2 tooth box and we will install it next week

What is the story about a Ford gear box?
Clem
Repairable or adjustable? The early 7 tooth boxes (28-29) basically have no way to adjust the box itself, while the later 2 tooth box has several adjustments on the box. If your 7 tooth is worn, it almost has to be rebuilt because it is hard to compensate in the links for the lack of box adjustment. Many swap their 7 for 2 tooths because they are just a better design and fine for a driver. Needless to say, unless somebody really botched the box, it is rebuildable.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: steering hangs up in a tight turn.

I've moved this thread to " Ford Steering gear box "

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