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1930 Model A steering problem


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I have a terrible shimmy when driving, it starts and gets worse and feels like the car will break in half until I get stopped. I got the car up on jack stands and when grabbing the the front tires, I can move them quite a bit back and forth without the steering wheel moving. I can see the shaft that comes out the side to attach to the rods underneath the car is moving around when I do this, so I think the steering box is the trouble.

It seems to be a 2 tooth sector, but not sure how to adjust it at this point, and not even sure if an adjustment is what it needs.

My father in law restored this and I think it is a new sector, so not sure what to do. Any ideas? THX

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Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. Do you have any Model A Books? The Model A Ford Mechanics Handbook by Les Andrews has easy to follow instructions on dealing with this and most Model A maintenance and repair topics. The book is available from any of the Model A Vendors.

It is very difficult to diagnose it wtihout looking at it, but I will take a shot at it. From you description, there are several things that come to mind. I would check for loose play in everything connected to the front end, and steering components. One common problem is a loose bolt on the pittman arm where it connects to the steering sector. Another could be loose bolts not holding the steering gear tightly to the frame rails. If you look at the pittman arm and steering sector while someone else turns the steering wheel, you may find th source of a lot of the loose play.

Also, where are you located? Perhaps someone on the forum may be close by, or there may be a local Model A club, or AACA Chapter or Region nearby with a member who can help you.

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Thx for the reply. I am located in NE Alabama near Scottsboro.

My sector shaft seems to be loose. When I grab the wheels and move them, the sector shaft moves loosely, as in the steering wheel is never engaged. The sector shaft also seems to move up and down also, so I am thinking maybe the sector gear teeth in the worm gear is not adjusted correctly.

My father in law sent the book down with the car, but my wife has misplaced it and I have been looking for it for weeks now.

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Looks like you need the book to adjust the gears, also your description suggests a need for the sector bushings to be replaced. the book will give you the exact procedure to do this work if it is a repair manual and not just the owners manual that came with the car when it was new. one adjustment you can do without fear is loosen the locknut in the center of the gear body and gently turn in the screw just till it stops, hold that position with the screwdriver and retighten the locknut. There are other adjustments and some are very important to do properly so find that book.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Moverdear, dont blame the wife for misplacing the book. If you spent too much time with the book, she probably threw it out. Stop looking.

How about swapping the wheel/tires from back to front to see if that changes anything. Could it be the wheels are way out of balance? That may be a contributing factor.

I'm just guessing. My wife threw out my books. Now she is my ex-wife, having been replaced by two pit bulls. They have yet to bite any one or misplace/eat any of my books.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

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  • 1 month later...

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