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Steering Column and box thingy service?

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Sorry for using technical jargon late at night.... 

I have a 2nd hand series III steering column and associated box on the end. Before fitting it I'd like to service it if such a thing is possible. A quick search has not shown me anything in the tech archive (nor on the wider net). 

Could any one point me in the general direction of a duffers guide to serviceing  such things please? (and tell me what the box on the end of the column is really called?) 

Would it be covered in the workshop manual? In which case could anyone let me have sight of the relevant pages please? 

Many thanks

Richard 

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Take the bottom cover off and inspect the column lower bearing surface, and pop the side cover off and check the worm surface. This will give you a good idea of the condition without removing he column from the box. You may well find they are pitted... I have stripped down a number over the years and every single one has been pitted requiring a new column.

 

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I was lucky, no pitting, so it all went back with new bearings.

Installing the bearings wasn't an easy task, packing the top balls with grease to hold them in place while assembling the lower et. al.... balls everywhere, but finally it all went together.

I only stripped it to replace the steering arm O-ring, excessive oil leakage. Yes, I know, I could have simply used the grease that other folk also put into their swivels, but I decided otherwise. Apart from the bearing replacement, main agro was removal of the steering arm. I bought a new one, using an angle grinder to remove the old one.

lr_steering_box.jpg

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The best thing to do is give it a good washing and brushing, open the side panel and clean out the innards with petrol.  Look at the surfaces of the cone, the inside edges of the fork and the worm gear for scoring, pitting or other damage.  You can also remove the top and bottom end covers to check the ball bearings, but do so over a bucket to catch the balls as they're not retained in a race.

Reassembling those end bearings is easiest with grease to hold the balls in place.  You should use new gaskets, but a smear of RTV sealant is an acceptable substitute.  You can use the original spec EP90 for refill, or 1-shot swivel grease is a good alternative that won't leak if the output (rocker) shaft O-ring is past its best.

The top column bearing is usually worn out or corroded, so is best replaced.  It's easiest to remove the column from the box, insert a broom handle and then thump the column down hard so the broom pops he bearing out the top.

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All,

many thanks for the advice so far. The old box is apart and, after liberal heating and help from a friend, the steering arm eventually came off. 

Although I am not replacing the bush for the steering arm ( Part 18 in the diagram ) I could not readily see it would be removed were I to do so. The lip inside is very fine. How have others removed the bush? ( I did manage to get the washer and O ring out fairly easily. )

At some point this week I will rebuild it, I expect grease and balls every where. During the rebuild have people left the main nut and recirculating channel built up, greased the balls to keep them in and the fed the whole thing onto the end of the worm gear as you fed the inner back into the box.  Or have you built up the end races, got the inner column in place and then built the main nut and recirculating channel up around the worm? ( This you tube video, for a different steering box, shows building up the main nut and channel around the worm drive - I know it's not a Landy and to may not work - just looking for thoughts and past experiences -

. )

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The work shop manual states earlier in this topic (in short), inner shaft into box, then fit nut and recirculating balls. Then top bearing, bottom bearing, and outer shaft. Its more than 10 years since I did mine, but from what I remember, if you use enough grease, the balls stay in ok inside the nut. The real faff was getting the top bearing on and the balls to stay into that, as the race is above the worm, so the balls drop out. If you do it as the WSM states, the weight of the inner shaft and the slack in the main nut, causes the inner shaft to drop within the box and then the balls in the top bearing fall out.

So I did it slightly different to the WSM, in the end I had the steering box in the vice. I think, I then fitted the top race and balls and held that all up tight against the worm with a couple of jubilee clips around the inner shaft. You can then insert the shaft into the box. Fit main nut and balls.

Then fit lower race, balls, shims and bottom plate. With the bottom plate on, the inner shaft won't drop down inside the box. You can now remove the jubilee clips and top race should be flush with top of the steering box casting, keep finger pressure on it - from a friend - so that the balls don't drop out under gravity. You can then fit no 26 from the diagram above, and that will hold the top race firm. Then fit outer tube and all the other bits.

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