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Old 08-01-2017, 05:23 PM   #1
big31
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Default Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

Greetings again forbarn.

From my last post I've decided to rebuild/replace my steering gearbox. I have Les Andrews book and a 1931 closed cab pickup.

I have every living screw/bolt/nut removed from the gearbox, but I cannot seem to slide it off the shaft as easily indicated by Mr. Andrews. Do you have to remove the steering wheel to get this apart?

Right now, I have about 3/4" where I can pull the gearbox away from the column. Then it stops cold like it's stuck somewhere. Only thing I can think of is the steering wheel.

Yes, I know I could make my life easier if I removed the starter for some room. Any suggestions on how to remove the steering wheel would also be helpful if that is indeed what I am to do.

(the steering wheel is on their like ... well its on their really really tight.

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:43 PM   #2
Bruce_MO
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

It's been years since I pulled my steering box from my coupe, but it's much easier to pull it out as a complete assembly. Then do all the disassembly. And clearly, the steering wheel will need to be removed. What I would try first is to back off the steering wheel nut until it's flush with the threads, and then whack it solidly with a hammer. Not too hard that you damage threads. Soaking a day with PB Blaster or other penetrating oil will help. Holding the whole assembly vertically will simplify this task. If that fails, you will need to borrow a puller.

I can't recall if I pulled the starter... probably did. I may have also pulled the pins on the clutch and brake pedals to allow them to be moved easily out of the way. And the floor boards were out.

I'm sure there are others who'll share exact steps. Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:46 PM   #3
Gunmetal blue2
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

Yes the steering wheel has to come off. Some times you get lucky and the wheel with a few tapes with rubber hammer it comes off, remove the nut first. Welcome to the Ford Barn. Were you from help people near you give you help if needed.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:05 PM   #4
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

Make life easier on yourself and remove the starter so that you have some room to work. It'll take all of five minutes.
Drive a flat blade screwdriver between the steering box and the sector housing to begin separating the two by prying. You won't be able to pull on the sector to remove its housing from the steering box. Pry, separate and then remove the two pieces. Make sure you have removed the bottom nut, which is not visible by looking at the unit from the top. You must remove four nuts, if they fall into that every "living screw/nut bolt" category.
You better use a dedicated Model A steering wheel puller or you may damage the shaft threads or even the steering wheel. Do not use a "knocker" or you can kiss the shaft threads good-bye. We all thought we knew better at one time or other and used chisels, knockers or modern three jaw pullers - and ruined a steering shaft. $$$$$$$$$$$
If you plan on rebuilding the steering column completely, it almost has to be removed from the chassis to do the job properly. Leverage will work against you with the unit still inside the car. Unless you have a convertible, whose top will drop, you won't be able to slide the light switch rod and steering shaft out. They'll hit a closed car's top liner.
Just plan on removing the whole steering column and you'll be time and frustration ahead of the game. Good experience for you, too.
Marshall
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:20 PM   #5
Synchro909
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

What Marshall said, it's MUCH easier to take the steering column out to work on it. Remove the steering wheel while it is in the car, remove the starter, light switch, pitman arm etc (I have to change everything around when talking about a LHD car), raise the front of the car and take the column out the bottom once you remove the floorboards. That might sound like a lot of work but in the long run, it will be easier.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:36 PM   #6
big31
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

Ok, I'm hearing two things - yes its easier to work with if it's out of the vehicle. The other is that if I can get the sector housing off I can separate the steering column from the gearbox?

(yup, I got all four nuts from around the sector housing. there is literally nothing screw, bolt, nut coming from my gearbox)

The steering wheel is really not budging. I had issues with the pitman arm as well, but a puller solved that problem. I'm a bit apprehensive to use a puller on the steering wheel. Which is why I was asking if its possible to remove the column from the gearbox without removing the steering wheel.

Also yes, the horn / light rod was a pain, I had to remove the rear window, so removing floor boards isn't anything more.

Thanks again all, love the feedback and help for newbies like me.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:43 PM   #7
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

A tip for future work: drive a small chisel into the pitman arm's split (where the bolt goes in). The bolt, of course, must be removed first or else the arm cannot be pulled off. The bolt will hang up in the indent in the sector shaft. Driving in a chisel will spread the arm at the top enough to facilitate sliding the arm off the sector shaft. Piece of cake, no puller required. Do the reverse to easily slide the pitman arm back on once the steering has been rebuilt and installed in the car.
Marshall

Last edited by Marshall V. Daut; 08-01-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:25 PM   #8
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

I would never do major steering box work unless it's removed from the vehicle as Marshall said.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
big31
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Default Re: Steering gearbox from steering column - newbie question

Took near everyone's advice. Hindsight this wouldn't be difficult to do, but I sure did my best to make it tough.

Bottom line, new steering!



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