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Series 3 sloppy steering ?


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Hi Folks

I'm well into the refurb on my series 3, would appreciate some advice re the steering.

From a fixed point on the outer edge of the steering wheel you can turn the wheel 20 - 25mm before anything starts to move on the other side of the steering box.

Is this normal ? fixable ? acceptable ?




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I'll be interested to hear about this, mine moves atleast twice that!

My guess is that the steering box/gear assembly has slop or wear, or the associated rods and linkages also worn/loose. It all adds up!

A grown up will be along shortly

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Play in the steering can happen in so many places that it can be hard to pinpoint. Worn rod ends are the obvious start point, followed but worn swivel bearings and pins, but very common are worn splines on the arms and shafts from the box and relay, worn swivel bottom studs (allowing the arm/pin unit to swivel relative to the housing), worn relay taper bushes allowing the relay's shaft to move, loose or worn bolts allowing the relay to move in the chassis and slack suspension bushes allowing the entire axle to slide left and right.

The steering box can develop play. The worm gear at the bottom of the column is centred on two open bearing sets - loose bearings roll against radiused curves on the ends of the worm gear and against outer races secured in the box casing by the square bottom plate and the upper column clamp. The preload or end float on the shaft is set by adding or removing shims between the case and lower cover plate, but any of the 8 bolts securing that plate or the clamp loosening off will increase column end float and slop. Then there is the main nut, which is the carrier that slides up and down the worm gear as the column rotates - it has a row of bearings which can wear (or wear the worm gear if not lubricated properly), and its conical stud which engages the rocker shaft (output shaft) for and the rocker fork itself wear - this slack is what is taken up by box adjustment, but if the worm gear or any of the bearings are worn, then the adjuster will be ineffective.

You can see all the innards cleanly laid out on the steering box rebuild post in my blog to help you understand how it all works.

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