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View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Top of steering tube looking for alternative to felt



Got_All_4
10-31-2015, 09:01 PM
Has anyone done something more lasting then the original felt? I'm thinking of a nylon or brass bushings. Any thoughts?

TR3driver
10-31-2015, 09:33 PM
I got aggravated at the felt, and stuck a custom Delrin bushing in there. Unfortunately, I didn't record the measurements so I can't tell you much else. Seems to work well so far, though.

PatGalvin
11-01-2015, 01:59 PM
I reused the old felt when installing my R&P steering. Seemed OK at first but after only 3,000 miles, I have some steering column play that I would love to be tighter. Can anyone explain the install process for the replacement felt. I bought the replacement from TRF but didn't know how to make it fit (seemed like it was going to be exceedingly tight). I'd also be interested in exploring the Delrin bushing. Randall, want to explain how you would go about obtaining and fabricating that bushing? That would be very helpful.

I need to pull my steering column soon so it would be a good time to make this repair or upgrade.

Thanks

Pat

TR3driver
11-01-2015, 02:53 PM
I'd also be interested in exploring the Delrin bushing. Randall, want to explain how you would go about obtaining and fabricating that bushing? That would be very helpful.

The Delrin originally came from MMC as a 3' length of 1.25" bar (previously bought for some other project). Not necessarily the best choice, just what I had handy.
https://www.mcmaster.com/?m=true#standard-acetal-homopolymer-rods/=zmgcqf

I measured the id of the tube, and the od of the shaft where it passed through the original felt, plus the length of the tube above the constricted portion. Then I machined a piece of Delrin to those dimensions. Delrin machines really easy if your tools are sharp. Have to keep the surface speed down though, or it melts and gets sticky. A coolant system would no doubt help that, but I don't have one. I started the hole with a series of twist drills, then finished with a boring bar held in the tool post.

I wasn't sure how much clearance to leave so I started with none on the theory that the Delrin would compress slightly. That was too tight, so I went back to the lathe and took a couple of thousandths off the inside of the bushing. Since strict concentricity didn't seem critical here, and I only needed a very light cut; I just lightly clamped the bushing in the 3 jaw chuck (so it didn't distort much) and ran the boring bar through it again. (I also don't have a collet chuck, and setting up the 4 jaw to run concentric is too much like work.)

Sorry, I'm afraid that still isn't very helpful if you don't have a lathe available. I don't use mine enough to justify the cost (or the space it takes up), but it's a fun toy and occasionally useful.

Got_All_4
11-02-2015, 08:26 AM
What would you think of brass or bronze? Would need a good sticky lube which I have so it doesn't work it's way out becuse I wouldn't want to wear out the column.

TomMull
11-02-2015, 09:30 AM
What would you think of brass or bronze? Would need a good sticky lube which I have so it doesn't work it's way out becuse I wouldn't want to wear out the column.

I'm not sure you would gain anything over Delrin. Many machine shops carry a bit of it and it is easily gotten on line. You can also get the stuff mixed with Teflon that requires no lubrication.
https://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=203&step=2

TR3driver
11-02-2015, 09:45 AM
To me, sticky means it will attract dirt and dust. Around here, dust is very abrasive (broken sand particles from the desert), so what you wind up with (after some years of service) is almost lapping compound. The Delrin works fine with no lubrication, although using the PTFE filled stuff would lower friction.
Delrin is also a lot cheaper than brass.

PatGalvin
11-02-2015, 01:57 PM
Thanks for all the info Randall. I'm going to look into this and see if one of my friends with a lathe will help make it, or if I might coax my machine shop to help me out.

I appreciate the detail and the quick response!

Pat

Got_All_4
11-04-2015, 11:26 PM
Randall how did you secure it to the tube? I was thinking of glue or 2 small screws.

TR3driver
11-05-2015, 01:08 AM
I just left it a snug fit in the tube (enough so that I had to tap it into place with a length of pipe), and a loose fit on the shaft. No glue or screws.

Got_All_4
11-13-2015, 09:34 AM
Ok got my Delrin and made up a couple of bushings last night. Should press in nicely and a perfect fit on the shaft. I have a adjustable steering column and the depth of the bushing housing (where the felt would go) is about 1 1/8" was wondering if the top of the tube for a non adjustable column was at same depth as a adjustable one? Any one know?