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1926 Chrysler50 steering wheel levers chatter


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Recently got the 1926 Chrysler 50 registered and on the road. The fun starts now finding and fixing the quirks.

One annoying thing is the bakelite throttle and timing levers in cent get very vocal when I run up the revs  a bit.

I did find some greased string wrapped round and round so replaced that which worked about 50%.

So now I'm thinking about a soft rubber washer between the two levers.

Any other suggestions out there?

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There is a bronze tubular type anti rattle bushing between the steering tube and the larger control shaft, maybe this is missing and allowing the rattle. This bushing sits about 2/3 of the way up the column. You will have to disconnect everything at the bottom of the column and pull the control tubes up to look for it, there is a recess in the tube that the split bush fits into. I will have to look for my pictures, may take a few days due to our 18hr power cuts here.

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Viv is right, there is supposed to be an anti-rattle bushing/spacer about 1/3 way down the steering shaft. Here are photos of the type used in 1931 Chrysler CD8's, made of copper, with the springy curled ends tightly gripping the control rod (note the springy area is much wider when on rod than when free of rod. I don't know just how they were assembled initially. I plan to simply slide my bushing onto the control rods at the same spot where this was initially (rod is discolored at that spot)and then carefully insert rods into shaft, using a bit of oil to lubricate. I may need to use a piece of stiff wire into gap between shaft and rods to help slide bushing into place. I expect it would work if even just a few inches down shaft. I haven't examined shaft closely, there may be a dimple or depression on inside of shaft that acts as a "stop" for inserting this spacer.




Edited by Gunsmoke (see edit history)
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This is a set of Chrysler 50/52 control rods that I have sitting at my sisters house in Ontario Canada, however, the bronze bush shown in this picture is not available as I needed it for my car in Zimbabwe. The rods ( without the bush) are free to a good home if you pay the shipping costs or figure out how to get them, as I think they are too long to post and may be too long for fedex.

 As can be seen from the picture , there is a machined area just below the top, another half way down the shaft and I think another near the bottom, so you should have at least 2 if not 3 of these thin bushings supporting the tubes inside the steering column. These bushes act as a bearing, as well as to stop any rattling.

Best regards Viv.





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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had a few goes at improving my steering wheel levers now, and have decided this is what makes these old cars unique.

As it turns out another problem was steering the car while driving would gradually pull the advance lever towards the retard position.

Since installation of a permanent canvas roof I cannot withdraw the two control tubes more than 3/4 out, which is enough to check brass bearings and cleaning.

Viv W's photos of said bushes show the thin brass bearing with laid over flutes whereas mine were fine axial cuts and the centre bulged out, either way same job.

I could clearly see a polished contact area on the top nut of the steering wheel where the lower bakelite lever rests and rattles, being a hollow dome shape it would amplify any sounds.

I unsuccessfully tried thin rubber washers, but eventually found setting up the two lower levers with a bit more up and down play got rid of the noise.

With the front wheels off the ground and going lock to lock with steering wheel I could eventually get both levers to stay still without picking up drag from steering. As the two lower levers have adjustment for friction to stop drag from turning steering.

One quickly learns the art of adjusting lower levers while holding top lever in one hand while laying over a huge mudguard with the canine supervisor sniffing your ear.



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