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steering issue need help


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had my steering box rebuilt about a year ago, since getting the vehicle back together, the steering starts out smooth then as the vehicle is driven longer distances, the steering gets harder to steer. 

 

I popped open the steering box cap where you would put fluid/grease and found the gear box filled with grease. 

 

I am not sure if the steering gear box is supposed to have grease or gear oil. also, there is about 1/2" of play in the steering that is driving me crazy. 

 

how can I make the steering box more smooth and ensure I have the correct fluid/grease in the box? 

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Grease should probably be NGLI "OO" grease . Called double ott or corn-head . Is more fluid then number two or one chassis grease . After changing or verifying grease , then do adjusting based on type of box . BOI should guide you . Lots of good help doing a search on here . Start in Dodge threads , then Tech threads . Most cars used same  in 20, 30's .

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1 hour ago, Pete K. said:

One option is straight STP. Been using it in all my old cars for years with perfect results. I use it with a combination of 140 Wt. gear lube in the transmissions and differentials. 2 thirds STP, 1 third gear oil.

is that gear grease & fluid ? 

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What does your owner's manual say?  If the OM says gear oil, I'd use SAE 140 gear oil, especially because you say the steering box is newly rebuilt.  In the 1920s, when the OM said "grease," they often meant "liquid grease" which in turn was 600-W gear oil, which was also used for some fittings via a pistol-grip, spring-loaded dispenser rather than a lever-operated grease gun.  By the time of your 1933, those days of confusing terms were gone, and *probably* Dodge specified gear oil--but you need to confirm that.

 

Today we use 00 grease (corn head grease) for severely leaky steering boxes.  Chassis grease is unsuitable because it channels and is actually pushed away from the gears.  00 is "semi-fluid" grease which will *not* channel, but I wouldn't use it in a newly rebuilt box, assuming that the box was resealed during the rebuild process.  Suggest you confirm with the rebuilder of the steering box what they put in it.  If it is NOT 00 semi-fluid grease, definitely remove it and run SAE 140.

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My issue is the steering starts out fairly ok, but as I drive the car more, the steering gets more stiff and sticks from left to right. 

 

not sure if that is due to grease warming up or maybe gears in steering warm up and expand. 

 

maybe I will ad some Lucas gear oil to the box and see if it smooths it out. 

 

 

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To answer your question, the STP "Oil treatment" comes in little blue 15 ounce plastic bottles.It is honey colored, very thick like cool molasses, sold about everywhere. The 140 -to- 190 gear lube is thick, dark smelly oil. Usually comes in a tall,32 Oz. white plastic bottle with a pointed spout at top. Sold at every auto store and some department stores. Some owners of early cars use straight STP, no mixing with anything else. PS- I really don't think the lube in your steering box is the culprit. check the steering sector shaft/gear. sounds like that may be dried with old grease and steering box lube is not reaching those bushings. All the above options of lube are good ones in this thread.

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On 11/20/2020 at 12:10 PM, Sactownog said:

My issue is the steering starts out fairly ok, but as I drive the car more, the steering gets more stiff and sticks from left to right. 

I can understand your concerns. That would be really annoying. Especially after having paid someone to rebuild it. 

Half an inch doesn't seem excessive to me. Does the amount of play change as the steering warms up? Is it sticky in the center or just towards then ends? 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Fossil said:

I can understand your concerns. That would be really annoying. Especially after having paid someone to rebuild it. 

Half an inch doesn't seem excessive to me. Does the amount of play change as the steering warms up? Is it sticky in the center or just towards then ends? 

 

 

The 1/2" -1" of left/right play stays the same. as the engine warms up, the steering gets more sticky and harder to steer. it allows me to steer but still becomes worrisome at points. 

 

still debating if I should put gear oil i n the box, or maybe it needs more grease. not sure what measures to take yet. 

 

I have played with the gear box and got it to a point where, when I turn the wheel left to right, it is a lot more responsive. but I think it can be better. 

 

p.s. shop that rebuilt the box only rebuilds them, they do not adjust while in the vehicle. 

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2 hours ago, Sactownog said:

The 1/2" -1" of left/right play stays the same. as the engine warms up, the steering gets more sticky and harder to steer. it allows me to steer but still becomes worrisome at points. 

 

still debating if I should put gear oil i n the box, or maybe it needs more grease. not sure what measures to take yet. 

 

I have played with the gear box and got it to a point where, when I turn the wheel left to right, it is a lot more responsive. but I think it can be better. 

 

p.s. shop that rebuilt the box only rebuilds them, they do not adjust while in the vehicle. 

They are supposed to be adjusted on the bench NOT in the vehicle

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I have noticed that the play in my '36 Dodge box lessens as it turns full right or full left. The most play seems to be in the center. I don't think that 1/2 is bad at all. Might want to check the stops on the spindle. If the steering gears go too far left or right, you might experience a binding.

 

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On 11/22/2020 at 1:18 PM, Sactownog said:

They are able to be adjusted in the vehicle with the front end and tires lifted off the ground. per the manual.

Sorry there mate The 2249 Senior is adjusted off the car So I assumed that the box off yours would be the same

 

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18 hours ago, Ron Lawson said:

Sorry there mate The 2249 Senior is adjusted off the car So I assumed that the box off yours would be the same

 

I do wish that the box was able to be adjusted off the car, but ya, the car has to be lifted, the bottom 4 bolts have to be loosened, then the top and side bolts adjusted. 

 

but no matter what I do, it seems to be a lot more shitty than it was before I had it rebuilt. (I regret rebuilding the box) 

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On 11/21/2020 at 12:01 AM, Pete K. said:

I wanted to mention, a half-inch of steering wheel play in your car doesn't sound bad at all in my book.  Am I mistaken here? What say you all?


 

That is too much play.........

 

If the box turns better to one side than the other, the end play on the worm is off. 
 

Steering boxes are much more complicated and difficult to adjust than most people think. 
 

Boxes should only be adjusted on the bench, and empty of lubricant.

 

Its lots of work to get a screwed up box back to being right. And it’s all a waste of time unless you do the entire system correctly, and about 99 percent of the people never do.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Chances are it is worn out. I would make sure it is full of lubricant, whether that is JD Corn Head Grease, or Penrite (my favorite) or gear oil (that might just run out on the ground), just make sure it has enough. I would start from scratch one more time and adjust it exactly how the manual says. If it is still hosed, well... it is probably hosed.

 

A steering box, generally speaking, should be tightest at center. Many old steering boxes originally called for 600W oil, and it ran out on the ground, and never got replaced, leaving the box without lubricant and rusting. The fact that it gets worse hot suggests to me that possibly it is adjusted a little too tight and when it gets warm from engine heat it starts to bind. It is pretty easy to get the ends of travel adjusted too tight if the high spot at the middle is worn off.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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