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Thread: Steering warning

  1. #21
    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    I just noticed that BN1's are not listed and thought the same steering was common to all Big Healeys. I'm not presently in the market to replace steering (at least as of when I drove the car yesterday!) but will inquire. I'd certainly be interested in the quicker steering if and when I am in need.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

  2. #22
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    The steering changed from 14:1 to 15:1 in July 1958 (Clausager). The box top also went from flat to sort-of domed.
    John, BN4

  3. #23
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    Re: Steering warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    I just noticed that BN1's are not listed and thought the same steering was common to all Big Healeys. I'm not presently in the market to replace steering (at least as of when I drove the car yesterday!) but will inquire. I'd certainly be interested in the quicker steering if and when I am in need.
    There are three different steering box designs used in the Big Healey.
    #1 was used in the early 100 and had a flat top and a triangular 3-bolt front cover.
    #2 was used in the later 100 and early 100/6. It had a flat top and a square, 4-bolt front cover.
    #3 was used in late 100/6 and all 3000. This is the "raised lid" unit.
    All were available as adjustable or fixed.

    While all can be fitted interchangeably through the whole Healey lineup, there is no interchangeability of the major internal components. Only the raised lid box is currently being serviced by the aftermarket. The "worm" used in the raised lid box is longer than the worm in the flat-top, 4-bolt front cover box.
    Therefore, if you wanted to take advantage of the "newer technology" worm design, you would need to swap over to the raised lid box.

  4. #24

    Re: Steering warning

    The raised lid box has a nice needle-bearing setup for the peg to rotate in. From the Bentley book and Moss catalog, it appears the flat-top peg design is simpler.

    I'm guessing the DWR worm and peg will give more of a rack-and-pinion experience.

    Still a couple of days away from being on the road...
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  5. #25
    Yoda
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    Re: Steering warning

    I read in one of the Brit enthusiast rags that the early 100 steering box was superior--whatever that means--to the later 100 ones. I believe they were by two different manufacturers.

  6. #26
    Yoda
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    Re: Steering warning

    It just occurred to me that Steve is installing only the shaft, worm and peg. DWR claims that at least some of the improvements they promise are from a re-engineered box: "The root of most Steering Box issues is the casing which is often a less than perfect piece of engineering."

    This is likely to be a rhetorical musing, but it would be nice to see comparisons of: OEM box and internals, OEM box with DWR worm and peg and complete DWR box. It's not on my list of 'must dos' at this point, but if I ever have to pull my shaft and box I'd probably go for the complete DWR unit.

  7. #27
    Jedi Knight andrea's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    The raised lid boX...........................

    Still a couple of days away from being on the road...
    HI Steve
    I am very interested in to the method that you have used to dismantling the steering box from the car.
    Really you haven't dismantled the ST box without remove the radiator? and grille ??

    I hope that as usual from you , a Photo album gallery follow your works- good luck

  8. #28

    Re: Steering warning

    Sorry Andrea - no photo gallery this time.
    I did have to remove the grille. After removing the upper aluminum clamp and loosening the inner and outer sealing plates, I was able to rotate the box enough to withdraw through the grille opening. It is not necessary to loosen or remove the slanted steering column brace with the oblong hole.

    The critical thing is to insert the mounting bolts from the fender side instead of the radiator side.
    Box reinstalled:
    SteeringRebuiltInstalled.jpg

    Box extraction: After extracting the box, I removed the pittman arm on the bench. I reinstalled the box minus the pittman arm which was easy to install from below.
    SteeringWithdrawOld.jpg
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  9. #29
    Jedi Knight andrea's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    Thanks for the photos Steve
    This work are my nightmare, I am reluctant to begin this upgrade, steering aren't so bad on my car,
    but sure imperfect
    was completed from the young help of my mechanic in my absence, when I go to the tyre shop for the front suspension
    adjustments. we find a few oil level and a poor regulation of the bolt on the upper-side of the rocker shaft
    I was very disliked for the works and uncertain if the shim of the front cover was accurately calibrate,

  10. #30
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    Re: Steering warning

    Hello Steve.

    I can't understand how you managed to remove the column w/o unbolting the radiator. On my BN1 with non adjustable column, it was mandatory to move it sideways in order for the steering box to clear of the front shroud aperture... What did I miss ? I struggled to get the whole thing out, so it could be useful as I'm ready to put it back on the car now that it's overhauled

  11. #31

    Re: Steering warning

    Quote Originally Posted by matt78 View Post
    Hello Steve.

    I can't understand how you managed to remove the column w/o unbolting the radiator. On my BN1 with non adjustable column, it was mandatory to move it sideways in order for the steering box to clear of the front shroud aperture... What did I miss ? I struggled to get the whole thing out, so it could be useful as I'm ready to put it back on the car now that it's overhauled
    6 cyl cars are different in these areas.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  12. #32
    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    I believe Frameman (aka Jule) has a true rack and pinion option for his superstructure. Not sure if its adaptable to an original .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
    Best Healey in show ABCD Ottawa 2013
    Best Healey in Show Boot n Bonnett Kingston 2013

  13. #33
    Yoda
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    Re: Steering warning

    I always replace the split olive after two uses as a ridge is formed at the edge when you clamp them down, and that, I think, is where the actual sealing, if any, takes place. I do believe the split gets closed up, but I don't understand the physics of it.

    Here's a conundrum: There should be a gasket at the forward plate along with the shim pack used to remove end play so, presumably, you have to allow for the compressed thickness of the gasket when calculating the necessary shim pack (IIRC, last time I did this the gasket measured 0.005" thick). But, the gasket only seals the border of the end plate, as oil can (has to) get to the end of the worm to lube the forward bearing, so oil can still seep past the shims. I usually put some sealant on the shims, and most of it gets squeezed out but I think it helps. Also, IIRC the 4 bolts on the end plate go into open holes, and oil can get past a split washer. What I've been doing for situations like this--including the bolts that secure the bellhousing to the gearbox, whose holes are also open--is to put a fresh copper washer under a grade 8 washer, and use blue threadlocker on the bolt, instead of a split washer (and torque appropriately).

    Steve, did you install a new peg on the rocker shaft?

  14. #34
    Obi Wan
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    Re: Steering warning

    How many miles have been put on your cars before you felt a steering service or rebuild/replacement necessary? Thanx
    A wise man knows he knows not. Lao Tsu

  15. #35

    Re: Steering warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Spidell View Post
    I always replace the split olive after two uses as a ridge is formed at the edge when you clamp them down, and that, I think, is where the actual sealing, if any, takes place. I do believe the split gets closed up, but I don't understand the physics of it.

    Here's a conundrum: There should be a gasket at the forward plate along with the shim pack used to remove end play so, presumably, you have to allow for the compressed thickness of the gasket when calculating the necessary shim pack (IIRC, last time I did this the gasket measured 0.005" thick). But, the gasket only seals the border of the end plate, as oil can (has to) get to the end of the worm to lube the forward bearing, so oil can still seep past the shims. I usually put some sealant on the shims, and most of it gets squeezed out but I think it helps. Also, IIRC the 4 bolts on the end plate go into open holes, and oil can get past a split washer. What I've been doing for situations like this--including the bolts that secure the bellhousing to the gearbox, whose holes are also open--is to put a fresh copper washer under a grade 8 washer, and use blue threadlocker on the bolt, instead of a split washer (and torque appropriately).

    Steve, did you install a new peg on the rocker shaft?
    Bob - yes I installed a new DWR peg as well as worm. I'm using a gasket on either side of the shim pack. Hylomar on all surfaces of gaskets and shims.

    Most of the bolts if not all on the box go into dead-end holes with no leakage. Sorry I don't have mine apart any more or I'd verify that.

    Replacing the olive is easy enough, so I'll wait to see if there's any leakage before doing that.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  16. #36
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    Bob - yes I installed a new DWR peg as well as worm. I'm using a gasket on either side of the shim pack. Hylomar on all surfaces of gaskets and shims.

    Most of the bolts if not all on the box go into dead-end holes with no leakage. Sorry I don't have mine apart any more or I'd verify that.

    Replacing the olive is easy enough, so I'll wait to see if there's any leakage before doing that.
    I just replaced the seal on mine. Three of the four bolt holding the end plate dead end, but I have the flat-top box.
    John, BN4

  17. #37
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    Re: Steering warning

    [What I've been doing for situations like this--including the bolts that secure the bellhousing to the gearbox, whose holes are also open--is to put a fresh copper washer under a grade 8 washer, alant on the shims, and most of it gets squeezed out but I think it helps. Also, IIRC the 4 bolts on the end plate go into open holes, and oil can get past a split washer.and use blue threadlocker on the bolt, instead of a split washer (and torque appropriately).

    [/QUOTE]

    I like this idea of a copper sealing washer for pass-through bolts. I'll try this on my steering box which has a habit of occasionally weeping gear oil. IIRC, D. Russell would re-anneal old copper washers for re-use by heating them up with a torch until they glowed, followed by cool down. GONZO

  18. #38

    Re: Steering warning

    I've re-anneled copper washers by holding in a kitchen stove flame until they glowed cherry red.

    IMO you'd have to tighten against the copper washer with the bolt-head directly, as an intermediate grade 8 washer would have a gap which would allow leakage.

    On my diff pumpkin I used a combination of tight-fitting o-rings on the studs with belleville washers as lock washers - this presses the o-ring into the joint between the hole and stud.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  19. #39

    Re: Steering warning

    Followup comment after adjusting the DWR steering parts in the stock box and some test drives:

    If the adjustment is too tight, steering effort is high and there's a disconcerting lack of feedback. To get relatively light steering and good feedback, I had to back off the adjustment about 1/4 turn from fully tight. At rest there's about 1" of play at the wheel rim. Maybe this is an argument for buying the entire DWR box.

    The driving experience is good with it properly adjusted.

    I have two friends with the DWR boxes and after I have a chance to compare one with mine, will report back.
    Last edited by steveg; 02-15-2018 at 09:20 AM.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  20. #40
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Steering warning

    I adjusted my old box on the bench before putting it in. I adjusted it until I could barely feel the tight spot when really concentrating.

    When I first rebuilt mine before DWR boxes and worms were available, the bearings were shot, probably from lack of oil. I had a local machine shop regrind the worm races, and I replaced the box races. Still smooth ~20 years later.
    John, BN4

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