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Steering Relays


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So I've removed the steering relay (apparently this was supposed to be hard...but it came out by hand :)) and I'm wondering what the educated panel would say as to it's condition. This is what it looks like:


I don't know how they are supposed to feel, but I couldn't detect any play in the shaft and I can reasonably easily turn it by hand on the steering arm.

Next question is of course, if it is knackered, is it worth rebuilding them? I hear there is a big bad spring inside, and with a new one only costing £30 (as here) is it really worth it?

Are after-market replacements up to the job?

Many thanks all, this is a bit of an alien art to me...all this manual steering lark!

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Just a little warning here James! Do NOT install one of them cheap steering relays! I mounted one on my series 2, and after just ONE day offroading the shaft inside the relay had twisted so much that I could barely turn the steering wheel to one side. Then just by the power of my hand I could twist back the shaft just by turning the steering wheel. I then fitted and old genuine shaft and the twisting was over. Later on another member in my club has changed the steering relay on his 109, he has now broken no less than three shafts in the steering relays and is on the hunt for a genuine one. And trust me you do not want to be stranded with a broken steering linkage.

I had a mate of mine look at the old shaft that I had bent, and he told me it had very little hardening and was made of a bad material. On his work they have a device for measuring hardness of steel, and this was just ordinary steel. Not what he would use for a shaft.

I have talked to many people who does not have this problem, but they never or rarely offroad with aired down tyres.

If I were you I would lubricate the one you have and be glad the brake inside it doesn't work, because then you can fit a proper steering damper. I did this to mine and never looked back, works so much better than the friction system.

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While you've got it out its probably worth replacing the top and bottom seals (cost a few pence) and refilling it with EP90 (can take a long time) before re-fitting it.

Clean it up and grease the body and refit it.

When replacing the seals do one end at a time. There is a strong spring inside which can cause damage if liberated but it won't come out that easily and if you keep one cover on - you won't be able to accidentally push the shaft out while working on the other end.

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