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40 special steering box rebuld


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Check the condition of your pitman arm, that's the most critical.  I found the two lower bushings in a bushing catalog that fit, noted as wrist pin bushings for a 1927 Reo truck engine.  I had to buy a set of six and only used two.  I never found the upper bushing.  The pitman shaft seal is available from Cars/Bobs.

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Manual steering boxes don't really lend themselves to "kitting" like some other components do. The seal and bushing are a big deal. There are a couple of tapered roller bearings in there I think, that probably interchange with a lot of GM cars. You see them on Ebay occasionally. The gears themselves are really expensive and aren't replaced unless bad. You just get the manual, and follow it. Figure out what you need, then check the parts dealers and if they don't have it, get the factory part number and troll Ebay.

 

The sad truth is most manual steering boxes in all makes are shot because they leak and were not kept full of oil or grease. You may have to buy another box or two to get parts. Typically a "good" manual steering box has a tight spot in the center so you can hold the steering straight as the tires try to dive all over the place when they go over little bumps.

 

Do the adjustment by the book and see what you have. Usually adjustments are made with a pull scale (like a fish scale) at the outer edge of the steering wheel. The worm is tightened up to some specified drag (with no engagement), and then the sector engagement is adjusted until it takes a certain amount of pull to go over the tight spot in the center. Do it however the service manual says to.

 

Pull scales were used in school science departments for the last 70 years or more, and surplus ones are all over Ebay for very little money. They come in a bunch of ranges, so make sure you get one that nicely covers the ranges you need to measure up in the top part of the scale. One brand is Ohaus.

 

If the ends get tight and there is no tight spot in the center, either the worm or sector (or both) are shot, and you will have to troll Ebay for NOS/NORS, or buy another box or two for parts.

 

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I rebuilt mine last year.  The gears were in good shape.  As above, the output pitman bushings were shot as well as the seal.  A trip to the local bearing store found the bushings and seal.  Also to repeat above, go read the adjustments part of the shop manual.  Very specific on how to make the adjustments.  I put STP in the gear box.  The gears move at very slow rpms and you want something that will stick and add lubricant to everything. 

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