NZStuart

Vague 1927 Dodge Touring Steering

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NZStuart    0

I have recently acquired a 1927 Dodge Touring and the steering is challenging to say the least. Its more like an aim in the general direction you would want to go and eventually car would get there. I'm constantly having to make significant adjustments to try and maintain a straight ahead travel. I just jacked the front up and while theres minimal free play in the straight ahead position as soon as you get off centre the play gets progressively worse until we talking between 6-8 inches at 1/2 to full lock. There is no binding and wheels move smoothly left to right and vice versa. Front wheel bearing feel fine and there doesn't seem to be excessive play on kingpins or steering joints.

I'm thinking I'll need to remove steering box for overhaul but before I do that any ideas?

 

Stuart

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Bloo    83

Most of these old steering boxes have a designed in tight spot at the center. I would make sure it is full of lubricant and then adjust it. You will need the instructions for that particular steering box (and I don't have it). In most cases the adjustments have to be made in a particular order.

 

Generally speaking a steering box should have no slop at the center. None. A little is a lot by the time it gets to the wheels. Bias tires will go every way except straight. The faster you go the worse it gets. The tight spot gives you a chance to hold it straight.

Edited by Bloo
typo (see edit history)

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Ron Lawson    68

Stewart, If you can post a photo of your steering box .Bloo is right in what he says and I think that you have a Gemmer  box in your car There are improvements that can be made to stop oil leaks and modern thrust bearings too I have done a couple now and the setting up can be fiddly From memory mine (on a 2249 Senior) has about 3/8" at straight ahead and about 1 1/4"at each lock If I can help with advice just holler  Ron

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trimacar    535

I just went through this with my '27 Dodge Brother's fast four cabriolet.  About 10 inches of play in the steering, a good friend rebuilt mechanicals on car, but to drive it was a real challenge.  No amount of adjustment would help, totally worn out.  We were lucky enough to locate a very good box from Myers Dodge parts, and it's going in now.

 

On another post on this forum, someone described the method to adjust the box, search "Dodge steering" and you may find it...

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trimacar    535

Here's the other thread, if you read through it, you'll see a link to steering box adjustment instructions....good luck

 

  

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David_Leech    9

I was successful in adjusting mine by following directions found online. I just image searched "Gemmer steer box adjustment" until I found a box that looked like mine with instruction on how to adjust it. For my box, I loosened off the adjusting screw opposite end of the sector shaft from the Pitman arm (sets sector shaft end play). Next I loosened off all the nuts holding the sector shaft output flange (the side with the Pitman arm). Next I adjusted the eccentric nut clockwise at the 12:00 position on the output flange until there was barely any noticeable free play at the steering wheel (clockwise to tighten). I tightened up the nuts on the output flange, verified the position had not changed (same minimal play at the steering wheel) and finally readjusted the sector shaft end play to barely noticeable movement in and out (the first adjusting screw loosened off opposite the sector shaft). It took me a few tries but I am happy with the results. I had almost a quarter turn left and right before the steering wheel made any impact on the direction of the front wheels. Now it is a manageable amount of play. Good luck!

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robert b    25

What is your caster angle ,if the springs have sagged over the years the caster angle will decrease and the will tend to not stay on a straight ahead course , you can correct this by recambering the springs or placing wedges between the springs and axle . The caster angle should be 2 degrees or as close to that and toe in at 1/8 inch. bob

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Spinneyhill    250

It seems very odd to me that you say you have minimal play straight ahead and lots toward full lock each way. Usually they wear in the middle and bind on the ends when one tries to adjust for the wear in the middle. This is the way mine (1930 DC) is. I have about 3/4 to 1" free play in the middle and none at full lock. Mine is a Gemmer and the adjustment is the same as in the document trimacar has pointed to.

 

Reading your post again, I think you mean the opposite. You have lots of free play straight ahead, hence the frequent major adjustments to keep straight ahead. As Bob says, if the castor is right the car will be more or less self-centring and want to go straight ahead (with an adjustment for road camber).

 

So, try the adjustment and if it is still that bad, look for another steering box! It should not be running in chassis grease but should have a semi-fluid grease in it, so that when the sector wipes the grease off the worm in a turn the grease will flow back in a while. Chassis grease won't and you soon have no lubrication.

Edited by Spinneyhill
typo (see edit history)

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