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Steering box removal


gdcont
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Hello everyone, I have a '48 Continental Coupe and I would like to remove the steering box to have it rebuilt. My question is does the shaft separate from the box or does the shaft come out with the column minus the steering wheel? I haven't been able to locate removal instructions. Thanks in advance for any help given George   

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  • 1 year later...

Jeff, I have 1-1/2" of free play in the steering wheel measured where the spoke attaches to the wheel. Makes it wild to drive, especially in strong wind. Is it true I can tighten it up by removing shims (3563 & 3564 in the Chassis Parts Catalog)? Any experience with that?

-Dave

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Dave, have you done this test to see where the play is coming from:

Lock the steering wheel, jack up one front wheel and try to move it left and right, as if the wheel was going to make a turn. There should be NO play. If there is play, check the tie rod and drag link ends. If there is no movement there, check for movement at the pitman arm. If there is movement there, your steering box should be rebuilt.

 

Grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to wiggle the wheel. If there is movement, your kingpin bushings are worn and should be replaced.

 

Repeat the test on the other front wheel.

 

The adjustment of the gear mesh should only be done with new parts. The steering gear does not wear evenly and adjust old gears can lead to tight spots and more wear or even breakage.

 

The amount of play that you are seeing is probably caused by worn tie rod ends and king pins.

 

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Yes, thanks for the suggestions. I've done all those tests. I can't detect any play in the wheels so the king pins seem o.k. The tie rod ends and drag link are tight though I might replace them anyway while I'm at it. When I have someone move the steering wheel the pitman arm doesn't move until the steering wheel is rocked back and forth over the 1-1/2" range I mentioned. So it looks like I will have to replace the steering shaft/worm drive and the shaft & roller assembly if not the entire box. 

 

Do you know of anyone that rebuilds steering gear boxes? In the meantime I'm going to continue to play with shims and see what I get. The Chasis Parts Catalog shows just two in the diagram (for 1946 cars), a 0.010" and a 0.020". Mine has five 0.020" and two 0.010". Tight spots are preferable to a huge amount of slop, but breakage....

 

-Dave

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Inspecting the worm gear and race I saw no evidence of wear. I removed two of the .020" and two of the .010" shims, effectively cutting the overall shim thickness in half from .120" to .060". That, and adjusting the steering gear adjustment screw for minimal drag seems to have solved the problem. 

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Those shims are there to make sure that the sector roller is centered on the worm. The adjustment screw is used to adjust the thrust tension of the sector shaft. I doubt that you will be able to compensate for worn parts by removing or adding shims or adjusting the thrust tension.

 

Here is a link to the Lares site with the adjustments for a worm and roller steering box.

https://www.larescorp.com/toolbox/skinned-knuckles-articles/manual-steering-gear-and-linkage/ 

 

They also rebuild the steering boxes.

 

Your handling problems may be due to worn shock absorbers, tire pressure, worn or old tires, any of the 4 wheel bearings, worn rear axle housings, toe in, bent front axle that changes camber or caster or worn tie rod ends. The car is a big sail in crosswinds and should be driven at moderate speeds during such conditions.

 

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