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Steering box input shaft play


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So the 110 failed its MOT, the majority of the failure items were comical to say the least...

- passengers seat cannot be secured in the upright position. rear (all seats)

- statutory seat belt missing rear (all seat belts)

I was told it would take 40 minutes to a maximum of 1h to conduct the test so didn't bother returning to work, 2h later eventually told it's been finished / failed. You'd have thought that in the extra 1h20 the tester would have figured out how to move a dog blanket that was causing all the seat belts to be missing.

(I know they're meant to test the vehicle as it's presented - but come on! :glare:)

OK - rant over....

The less comical failure reason was excessive free play in the steering wheel. Now having been driving an FFRR for the last two years I must have assumed it was the normal amount of free play...

Now there is a worn ball joint (should have caught it but with lack of free time / having to do things in the dark / rain I didn't) but there is also significant play at the input to the steering box. I have fiddled with the box adjustments and whilst that improves things slightly it doesn't really remove any free play.

From what I can work out it's likely replacement box time but have I missed something? All other joints are OK, if I rotate the steering wheel / shaft by hand you can definitely see it's at the input to the PAS box, probably about 10-15 degrees, equating to ~1-2" play on the (standard) steering wheel.

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On mine I had play in the joint on the shaft to the box. It was imperceptible until I saw it (if that makes sense) and then when I did see it, it just needed the clamp to be tightened.

Then I had a look at the steering box. As far as I remember there's only a hex adjuster on the top but this has a locknut with a seal. I had a heck of a job to free off the adjuster which was very tight. I couldn't get much angle to turn it.

I applied a bit of heat but was worried about the seal. After a lot if mucking about I did release it and then took up the slack.

I suppose I'm saying the same as Pat above, have you eliminated play on the shaft and have you really adjusted the box?!!

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Steering-box play: I've known several people who've had their vehicles failed for this.

Seems some MoT-places test them without the engine running. *of course* when there's no oil pressure from the pump there'll be apparent 'slack' in the steering-box; it's the nature of the beast.

My local MoT-place invariably remarks "rear seats not available for use - rear seat-belts not inspected" because I fold the rear seats up before presenting for a MoT.

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Thanks for all the comments - basically confirmed what I suspected (evil tester :glare:).

Got a ball-joint on order and I'm going to have a better play in the daylight over the weekend. For once the weather doesn't appear to be too bad, plan is to replace that and then double check the linkages and take a bit more time over adjusting the steering box.

Also why do they measure slack in inches? If I fitted a 2" steering wheel then would be within the limits easily :-)

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