Rick Marsh

1931 Chrysler CM6 steering box

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😊  I find that there is no more adjustment left in my steering box and would like to do a rebuild. Has anyone done this before? Where did you find the technical information? Where did you find the required parts?

 

 

Thanks in advance for the assistance.

 

Rick Marsh

1931 Chrysler CM6 steering box.jpg

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Rick I have a box out of a 1929 65 if the parts will work ,left over from my 65 that is gone ! kings32

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Posted (edited)

Having rebuilt countless pre war steering boxes, and manufacturing parts for particular models, I shallowing make this comment. Unless you have EXTENSIVE experiance with boxes, you will never get the correct adjustment on that box while it's in the car. There is plenty of adjustment in the box, 200 percent more than you can actually use.......you just don't understand how to do it or something may be seized or binding. The zerk fitting and the battery/starter ground on the steering box proves lots of poor workmanship having been done to the car. Most likely a competent shop can service and repair the box without too much difficulty IF it has not been driven while over tightened...........but it probably has..........and the rest of the front end is probably also out of whack..........you just can't adjust a box and think your going to fix a problem.......you need to service the entire system.....king pins, spindles, tie rods, drag link, pitman arm..........and align the car.......all while checking ride height and alignment. You are about to open a HUGE can of worms, take your time and be sure of each decision. Good luck, Ed

 

Photo below is of some parts we manufactured for 205 series Gemmer boxes.

post-31625-143138555314_thumb.jpg

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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My thanks to edinmass for reminding me that I'm not an expert. I've had this 1931 Chrysler CM6 for a few years and have, one by one, been trying to correct activities from previous owners, such as incorrect battery cables, incorrect intake / exhaust / carburation, inoperative gauges, etc.

Yes, I don't know squat about a front end so I've been through two shops that have both told me it isn't ready for king pins and such.  Both of them di suggest a steering box rebuild.

 

This is North Carolina where the standard thought process leads one to take a pre-WWII car and drop in a Chevy 350.

 

That is exactly why I came to this forum with what I assumed was a straight forward request.

 

I guess I'll still keep looking for a technical manual and calls Larescorp about parts availability.

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You will find an "Instruction Book" or "Master Parts Book", but will not find a factory Chrysler tech or shop manual as there were none made for 1931 (that anyone knows of).

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I'm glad to see Edinmass posted to this thread. He stated what I suspected with my '29 Pierce. I am glad I sent it to that brain trust ! Thank you for that.

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Been down this road myself with a '35 Auburn, with a Ross worm-and-nut (I think) unit -- could be worm-and-sector. There was a lot of play in my steering wheel, and the grease had hardened to the point that I could not turn the wheel. I had already rebuilt the suspension, drag link, tie rod ends and other parts of the steering, and replaced the shocks and tires during restoration.  I pulled the box and disassembled it and found a lot of play in the pitman arm shaft, due to wear in the bushings and the shaft itself. I located a local shop that rebuilt steering boxes for trucks. They replaced the bushings (bearings would be even better if they are available in the sizes needed). They also spray-welded the shaft and then turned it down to provide .0005 clearance with the bushings (1/2 of 1/1000th). They cut a groove in the shaft to accommodate an O-ring so I could run oil in the box instead of grease. On the steering shaft, they smoothed up the bearing races and I found new ball bearings. I also made a seal for the bottom end to keep the oil in place. I really don't know how worn my worm gear is, but I cleaned everything up and reassembled the box and adjusted out most of the play. The car has steered easy now for 20 years, and I've never once had to add oil. The wheel has maybe 1 to 1.5 inches of play. I would consider this amount of work the minimum that you'd want to do, But it was the most I could handle locally. None of it was all that expensive, just detailed.

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I have a steering box out of a 1931 Chrysler CM. It is missing the main shaft with the worm gear, but if the rest of it can help you out let me know.

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Often times, if the box has not been run dry, and the box wasn’t over adjusted, you can just disassemble, clean, and reassemble. Often times there are multiple problems with the center shaft binding on the tube, and people that have attempted adjustment and just caused problems. They can be a lot of work, and many have pot metal parts in the wheel, and some even have it inside the box. Depending how handy you are, it can still be difficult to deal with. Also, almost no truck shops in the US rebuild boxes anymore. They just do an exchange, or replace it with a new one. Automotive machine shops are very few now compared to twenty years ago. And the kids working in them don’t have the skills that were common years ago. Access to hard chrome,  grinding,  manufacturing bushings, sourcing bearings, it’s all work.......difficult work, and when was the last time you went to any service business and they were willing and wanted to take on a difficult project? It’s not impossible to fix or service, but be sure you have help lined up ahead of time that is willing to service it. Having a spare box for parts is also a good idea. Good luck.........

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The latest comments from edinmass are a good summary of where my local support is.  We are down to one machine shop who has been more than helpful on my projects. They do, however, need some specs before jumping in.

 

I have obviously not disassembled anything to this point and am reluctant to do so without the fundamentals of a plan.  The good news is that with the current Covid-19 situation I have plenty of "out in the garage" time.

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Rick,

 

Don't be afraid to take it apart and at least have a look see for yourself.  You can always send it off to someone as a last resort.  I recently rebuilt my 36 Buick box, knowing nothing about it but had some very good adjustment information in the service manual.  Probably not a whole lot of difference in yours and mine.  My major problem with the output shaft wobble which was due to worn bushings which were easily located and pressed in and out my a local machine shop, and a seal easily found.    Other than that all other parts just needed cleaning and adjustments gone thru.  I used STP for the replacement lubricant as nothing turns very fast and just need a nice sticky lubricant on the gears and bearings.  Wish I had taken some photos. 

Tom

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