Jump to content

Steering Box leaking

Recommended Posts


Is the box standard manual GM/Saginaw? If so, Chev's of the 40's and the Filling Station both have rebuild kits for these.

Have a look at the Old Chevy manual website for a comparison.

1941 Chevrolet Shop Manual

I recall my Grampa telling me how he saved a lot of money repairing his Buick with Chevrolet parts. Buick was the same part in a different box at a premium price! Or maybe that was just a good story!


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good suggestion Brad.

I had an MG Midget MkIII that I restored a few years ago and when ever possible I'd by the parts from a Leyland-Mini supplier. They were the same parts but half the price.

I replaced the leaky leather seal on my '39 steering box with a modern t-type seal. Just take the old one to a bearing dealer. I got mine over the counter as it was a pretty std size seal. I had a few steering boxes at the time and made one good one out of them. One had a piece out of the worm shaft in one and the other had a chunk out of the sector shaft wheel. From memory, the oil was something as thick as cold molasses that went back into it. You maybe lucky and just need a good clean up, new modern seal and oil.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brad's suggestion is a really good one.... I am very lucky to have Chev's of the 40s only a half mile from me here in Vancouver WA.

I drove my 38 Buick over and they allowed me to compare several headlight kits to the originals before we determined that those particular Buick parts were not interchangeable. Although the bodies were different, many of the standard mechanical parts will interchange.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I only drive my 40 in the warm monthes so to stop mine from leaking, I just fill it with graphite chassis lube. It mixes with the steering gear lube and after a couple of applications becomes thick enough to stop the leak. The cars steers just fine and has been leak free for 100,000 miles and 38 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried Chevy thrust bearings for the 39 coupe steering box, but the Buick ones are bigger. Same for bushings as well from memory. It would have been a lot easier to use Chevy ones! The bearings are an odd size, and I couldn't see any listed at Bob's, but I emailed Bob to ask on the off chance, and he had some! As I mentioned in a previous thread, BP Semi fluid grease works good, but now we use Penrite Steering Box Lube.

But as Mark says, there are quite a few parts from Chevies that you can use. We used a 39 Chevy headlight inner bucket, and it's identical. Which meant we could use the lenses as well.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Regarding the chassis lube in your steering box... I did the same thing on my steering box - no issues.

But, you are really not supposed to do this. One reason is cold temp operation already mentioned (usually not a problem for most of us), but the other reason is that over time, the volatile ingredients in the grease will evaporate, leaving the solids. This may interfere with the operation - the recirculating ball track would be the first issue, I guess.

I am not losing any sleep over it.

If, in the future, you have any increased resistance to your steering input, you should be able to flush with kerosene, let it run out / evaporate thoroughly, and start over.

Just something to keep in mind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...