chstickl

1937 Series 80 Intermediate Steering Arm Bearing Problem

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Hi there, here in Germany we´re sometimes handicapped with some stupid rules and controls. The authority for technical inspection has faulted the steering of my Roadmaster and don´t want to let me drive the car again until I´ve fixed an issue that I´ve never seen as such.

There is some play in the bearings of the intermediate steering arm. The arm can move a bit up and down in the holding bracket and also tilts a bit with an audible "knack" when I move the wheel.

According to the shop manual, there is nothing to adjust or do, but that doesn´t solve my problem. Either some of the washers between the steering arm and the bracket have been lost, rusted away or whatever, or the ball bearings are in a bad shape.

Does anybody have experience how to overhaul the whole thing?

How can I dismount the intermediate arm from the bracket without damaging the ball bearings?

Anybody out there who could kindly help with advice?

Thanks a lot in advance,

 

Christian

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I don't know much about the subject but you may want to re-read page 165 of your shop manual. The 40-60 series is not adjustable but the 80-90 series does have an adjustment. 

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The '38 Roadmaster has a similar center idler arm I believe. Slop in that idler arm is a steering problem.

 

I rebuilt mine many years ago (30+) and I remember it being a real pain to repair.

If I remember correctly, the pin has to come up and the engine is in the way. At the time, the engine was out of my car so that was no problem. I don't know if you can lift the engine enough to get that pin out.

Once I got it apart, the bearings resembled a bicycle wheel bearing and everything was toast.

I ended up machining the arm to take 2 light series sealed ball bearings that were the same size bore as the pin (which was in OK condition).. If the pin is chewed up too, you might have to machine a new one.

 

Over 25 years later,it is still working well.

 

The best of luck. I wish the US had mechanical inspections like the Europeans do to insure cars are mechanically safe. All they seem to care about here is if the pollution is in spec!  (I did live in Europe once)

 

Don

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My 1936-40 had the same problem and the bearing inside the arm was toast.  Don is correct in that the retainer bolt comes out the top and hits the engine.  What I did was to cut the head of the bolt off and remove from the bottom.  A replacement bolt went up thru the bottom with a castle nut and cotter pin on top.

 

The 36 bearing was a double row very special ball bearing.  I found mine at:

 

Olcar Bearing Co.

135 James Creek Rd.

Southern Pines, North Carolina 28387

phone 910-693-3324

 

Olcar specializes on old stock new bearings.

 

If I remember correctly, I put the bearing in the freezer and heated the idler arm hole and used a large press to insert the bearing.

 

Hope this is of some help.

 

Tom

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Hi Christian,

I would fix it like they said, a good adress here in germany for special bearings is petersbearing.de .

A good old "Schmiede und Treckerwerkstatt" () should have the skill to machining it and could order it at this shop if they dont know from where they can get the material.

I would do it in metric sizes, its easier for us here...

good luck.

(If i could help you more, you can send me a pm in german ;-)

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Thanks guys for the advice and tips. Indeed there is a way to adjust the bearing in the shop manual by tightening the castle nut. It´s about setting the right friction value for the bearings. Done that, no effect. I guess I will dismount the arm with the bracket together and then get the retainer bolt out to look at the brarings.

Thanks again for your valuable advice.

Christian

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HI,

 

I believe this part to be the very hard-to-find New Departure 900916.  Cord 810/812 owners know that is the bearing in the wishbone of the steering set-up.  It was also used in several pre-war GM cars.  You will want to verify that it is the one you need.

 

Apparently someone came across a small supply of NOS bearings.  There happens to be one available on EBay right now:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-Steering-Crank-Bearing-1936-1937-Cord-1936-Cadillac-V8-60-1935-36-Buick-40-/151793501229?hash=item235799042d&vxp=mtr

 

--Tom

Edited by trp3141592 (see edit history)

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