this_is_greg

WTB steering gear box for 1938 Dodge Series RC pickup

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I cannot see casting or PN's on the gearbox. Attached are two pictures I was able to take. Tough to get good pictures.dodge-gearbox1.thumb.png.89e747eb13ce37debf6e91438a108566.png

According to the parts book I have the gearbox assembly should be part number 582839 and the housing should be part number 567172.

 

I have the 1938 Dodge Truck shop manual which has step-by-step instructions for the removal of the gearbox. Has anyone removed and rebuilt this in a 1938 pickup?

What should I watch out for, what may break easily?

 

Thanks in advance!

dodge-gearbox2.png

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2 hours ago, this_is_greg said:

What should I watch out for, what may break easily?

Shouldn't need to be concerned about this if you take it one step at a time, use appropriate tools (no hammers!) and patience. Take photo's as you go to help you put it back together,  too.

 

Getting the steering wheel off might be the hardest part!

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This is actually fairly easy to rebuild, provided the gears are not worn out. You'll want to install a new seal and some shims where the top attaches. The only error I made was not to use enough silicon sealer when I put the body back together, and it leaked. (I had to mand make that gasket...the one that goes between the two sections of the body) Had to take it out of the truck and fix. So, once done, fill it with steering fluid and stand it up to see if it leaks. Lot easier to fix if you don't have to take it out again.

 

Let me know if you have any questions. My truck is a '37 MC and I am sure the gear boxes are the same. 

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steer-18.jpg

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Vic, thanks for this information. As stated above, Spinneyhill said the toughest part will probably be removing the steering wheel. Any advise on that? This truck is all original except the plywood floorboard, and I'm sure some parts are not as tough as they were 75-80 years ago.

Last year I made adjustments to get the play out. It helped somewhat, but the truck is still a handful. I did put in new tie rod ends, etc and had the front end aligned, so I think the play is from the gear box. If the gears are worn, are they available anywhere?

Best Regards,

   Greg

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With the vehicle on the ground, get your assistant to sit in it and move the steering wheel back and forth a bit. Get underneath with a good light and look at all steering parts. Look at the end of the sector shaft where the steering arm = Pitman arm = drop arm attaches: there should be no visible lateral movement. Look at the drag link, both ends. What about the king pins? Jack the front up and wiggle the wheels top-bottom: movement is either wheel bearings or king pins.

 

That is, before taking anything to pieces, do a full diagnosis of where the movement is.

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In addition to the above info, please keep in mind that this is very old technology. Even though my steering components are mostly new and tight, this  system has some play in it. I bought a steering wheel puller off eBay yeras ago that did the trick. Have now used it for several projects. If you need one, I could lend it to you. Just pay postage costs in both directions. Or, check with your local auto parts stores as they may have one to lend you. 

 

I have used some bolt loosner on mine and a few turns on the pulled and it poped right off. That's after several weeks of manually puling, etc.:)

 

LMK

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Vic, Spinneyhill, Thanks for this information.

The main reason for pulling the gearbox is it does not hold oil for more than several days. I figured since I had it out to replace seals and gaskets I would rebuild it.

 

When setting on the ground the wheel has more than a quarter turn of play after the adjustments I made earlier. Before the adjustments it was 1/2+ turn play. Is that much free play normal? I was not able to inspect under the car when doing this, but previous inspections I think all the other parts are pretty tight. Dodge-gearbox-removal-instructions.thumb.png.610cb72558d16d3dc0068f321ffef245.png

 

Attached are the removal and installation instructions from the 1938 service manual. Vic, does your puller look/work t]like this? Did you have trouble removing the steering gear arm?? Reference fig. 1105 in picture.

 

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I have this steering wheel puller. Used a standard gear puller for the pitman arm. It was harder to get off then the steering wheel. I think I would start by rebuilding the great box with new seal and gaskets. I also rebuild my drag link, and installed new tir rod ends. Maybe I'll have to fly othere then and get my hands dirty.

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Posted (edited)

What sort of oil are you putting in? and how much? Where is it leaking? This will help work out what work is required. Leaking oil probably points to lateral movement damaging the seals. Is there a seal on the outer end of the sector shaft bush? Maybe not, mine doesn't have one there. If leaking there, clearly that bush needs replacing. If at the bottom, the vertical movement adjustment on the box might not have been done for a while allowing the bottom bearing cone to move up and around in the cup -> lateral movement.

 

You can make your own steering wheel puller for very little money. See Taylormade's one for Daphne on p.25 of his topic in the Dodge and Dodge Brothers forum.

 

A quarter turn of play is highly abnormal for a system in good condition, but quite normal for one need rebuilding. Not necessarily just the steering box, either. Do the diagnosis before you do anything else!

 

 

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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