Morgan Wright

Fun with steering gears---> 1918 Buick

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Steering wheel play is not 2 inches or 6 inches, but one whole revolution of the wheel. Not good.

 

Too cold to work on the car so I popped the steering column out to bring into my crib . Figured out the problem, and it's not an easy fix:

 

The hardened endpiece broke off the half-nut! The gears are fine and everything looks great, I wonder how I can re-attach the little hardened piece onto the half nut.

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Edited by Morgan Wright
spelling in title (see edit history)

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Where are the screw heads?  There had to be some mechanism for tightening them.

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Actually they are dowels. No threads, no heads. Both dowels sheared. I'll just drill them out and whack in some new ones.

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Are they hardened dowels ??  If so they will be fun to remove if they are blind.  EDM!!

 

Bob Engle

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I have an extra car with a steering column, but I'd rather fix this one. If the dowels are hardened I wonder how much damage I can do with a carbide bit.

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If you can, run a file across part of the pin.  If it slides across the surface without cutting, You will need to use grind stones or find a machine shop with EDM.  You can also test with a carbide scribe, if it won't mark the surface carbide cutters won't do the job.

Bob Engle

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I have vague recollections of going for a first run of a restored 1918 McLaughlin-Buick.The owner turned to go left out of the driveway but the car went right ! We went around the block and had to turn the steering wheel the opposite direction for turns. That was 50 years ago and I can't verify it,but be careful putting it back together !

Jim

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14 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

Look at the pics. The screws broke.

That's obvious.  The point is that screws have heads.  If these were screws you should be able to locate those heads and gain an avenue for extraction.

If they're pins, you may have the opportunity for a similar approach.  Dowel pins are typically pressed in with an interference fit.  The raw casting doesn't have that kind of precision, which means that there would be tooling access to the holes.  Or they used cheap, soft pins that were malleable enough to fit rough holes.  If they are pins and there are holes through the case, put a punch in the holes and knock them out.

 

Or not.  The pictures aren't detailed and comprehensive enough to make a thorough assessment.  Put some JB Weld on it and clamp it together overnight.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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Ha ha JB Weld. Both ends of the dowels are blind, can't punch 'em.

 

Here's the disassembly in case anybody has to go through this.

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If these are the two mating parts, drill them, ream them, press in new pins.  You might even get lucky and find out they're a slip fit and will spin out with a plain extractor and you need to do nothing more than replace the pins.

 

1918-steering-gear.jpg.3e5e70047316df8e3b35d33e8f2a7d50.jpg

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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Today they make spring pins, made of manganese steel, that contract when you tap them in, and extremely strong.  I don't know when they were invented or what steel they used back in 1917. I probably should pop the other hardened end off and put new spring pins in that one too.

Edited by Morgan Wright (see edit history)

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PLEASE, do not use spring pins. They are notorious for breaking. If those are typical hardened dowel pins, they will have relatively soft centers that may allow you to drill them out. (And maybe even allow you to tap them for a slide hammer)

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I haven't encountered much from the era of this cars production that was very hard. Id be surprised if the pin is harder than a Grade 5 bolt.

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The thing that would help the most here would be if Mr. Wright would simply wash up all of the parts in the steering box so that everyone could see what is going on and what it is that he is talking about.  Without that being done, it is very hard to grasp what it is that he is talking about.  I have several of these steering boxes and have seen these things all apart, so, I understand them.  Not everybody on here has that advantage.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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I agree that the first step to any repair is a thorough cleaning. The grease just attracts grit and will need to be removed anyway before reassembly.

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8 hours ago, JerryVan said:

PLEASE, do not use spring pins. They are notorious for breaking. If those are typical hardened dowel pins, they will have relatively soft centers that may allow you to drill them out. (And maybe even allow you to tap them for a slide hammer)

 

I'll do a shear test on the pins I use before deciding which ones to use. Manganese spring steel is virtually impossible to break. They make lawnmower blades with that stuff, my 1980 mower deck on my Satoh still has the original blades on them and I've hit 1000000000 rock with them. I've sharpened the blades 20 times. They dull, but are about as unbreakable as steel can be. The pins I use will be that kind.

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2 hours ago, JFranklin said:

I agree that the first step to any repair is a thorough cleaning. The grease just attracts grit and will need to be removed anyway before reassembly.

 

Concur.  I'm kind of anal that way: I generally clean the outside before I even open it up.  Then I clean up the inside and give the whole thing a once-over before I start putting it back together.  It's just a lot easier working on clean parts.

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3 minutes ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

 

I wonder what special trick you guys use to clean the grease out of a gear housing before disassembling it.

Telekinesis.

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1 hour ago, KongaMan said:

 

Concur.  I'm kind of anal that way: I generally clean the outside before I even open it up.  Then I clean up the inside and give the whole thing a once-over before I start putting it back together.  It's just a lot easier working on clean parts.

 

The sequence of photos I attached is the disassembly. It boggles my mind that you think it would be all clean inside during disassembly.

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4 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

The thing that would help the most here would be if Mr. Wright would simply wash up all of the parts in the steering box so that everyone could see what is going on and what it is that he is talking about.  Without that being done, it is very hard to grasp what it is that he is talking about.  I have several of these steering boxes and have seen these things all apart, so, I understand them.  Not everybody on here has that advantage.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

 

I always take photos during different steps of taking things apart so I have evidence of how they looked when they were together. This is an important trick to remember.

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