View Full Version : Steering

11-18-2006, 04:15 PM
I have a 59 tr3 and the steering is really bad on it. A while back we took it to this little shop and he was supposed to rebuild the steering box. Well it still turns like a tank. So I have been toying with the idea of a rack and pinion conversion. I found one on ebay for 1300 dollars. I haven't found to many more out their. Also is their any car that i might be able to swap the steering out of. Also any info on how to do it would be cool. I tried searching on the fourms and I couldn't find much. Thanks guys.

11-18-2006, 04:54 PM
did quick search, maybe some contacts to further research.

11-18-2006, 04:58 PM
I got my rack and pinion conversion from British Auto Restorations in Roanoke, Va (540) 989-5121. It is a bolt in system. I don't remember the exact price, but $1100-$1200 rings a bell. It comes with a new rack, brackets, hardware to swap the steering links from left to right (to keep bump steer to a minimum), electric fan assembly and some more hardware, as you have to remove the engine driven fan, and the lower part of the steering column.

If you have a one piece steering column, you will also need the upper part of the later two piece column.

My car ain't on the road yet, but from everything that I've read, it transforms the steering. No more driving like a truck. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

11-18-2006, 09:44 PM
A critical adjustment for the TR3 steering box is the adjusting bolt on top of the steering box that puts an appropriate amount of pressure on the top of the rocker shaft peg to maintain it's position in the worm gear. If the adjustment is too tight the peg binds against the steering worm gear and it will steer hard and feel like you are driving a truck. Too loose and the steering wheel will feel real loose and not turn the wheels properly. Another area of concern would be the ball bearing cage assemblys within the steering box which turn on the worm gear shoulder ends. You may also have a wear area on the worm gear or peg causing it to bind as well. Nothing wrong with rack and pinion upgrade either but I thought I would just throw in why your steering may feel hard to turn. Even though I rebuilt mine and it works smoothly that peg/worm gear steering setup is constantly on my mind especially at 60+ mph.

11-19-2006, 10:02 AM
Harry is right as far as he went, I suggest that if the peg is inspected it will have flat spots, that make good tentioning impossible. It can be pressed out and turned 90 degrees to use the unworn portion, and re-set. Then when you adjust the play the only thing to worry about is worm wear near the centering point.....
Allways use wheel bearing grease to pack the pitman shaft, and your 90 wt wont leak out on a regular basis.
MD(mad dog)

11-19-2006, 10:19 AM
We don't get enough exercise anyway. I consider 'armstrong steering' in the same catagory as push ups/pull ups. There is no 'casual turn' but each one requires a set up, body brace, and appropriate positioning of the hands on the wheel. It is a form of manly British motoring.

Geo Hahn
11-19-2006, 11:16 AM
...If the adjustment is too tight the peg binds against the steering worm gear and it will steer hard and feel like you are driving a truck. Too loose and the steering wheel will feel real loose and not turn the wheels properly...

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There is also a mod that will take up a modest amount of wear here as sometimes the adjustment is too loose in the middle and too tight at the extremes.

Herman van den Akker makes a steering box cover plate with a spring-loaded adjustment screw that compensates for this condition.

11-19-2006, 10:53 PM
Where is the nut located on the box is it next to the fill bolt on top of the box?

Geo Hahn
11-20-2006, 10:21 AM
The adjustment screw is on top of the box... it is a big lock nut with a headless screw thru the middle of it (sort of like a big valve adjustment screw. Loosening the lock nut allows the screw to be adjusted up & down, that screw in turn applies pressure to the rocker shaft & peg assembly.

Steering will always be tightest at the extremes because most driving (and wear) is straight ahead. It's important to not adjust it so tight that it binds at the extremes. If this setting (just short of binding at full lock) leaves a bit too much looseness in the straight-ahead position then the spring-loaded top may help.

BTW -- much easier to fill the box thru the hole in the lower half of the steering column (should have a plastic plug in it) rather than thru that hole in the top plate of the box.

11-20-2006, 11:05 AM
The adjustment and locknut are Whitworth on the stock kind. You will need two wrenches; sorry I can't remember the sizes.

I think the screw-type adjustment is the trick spring-loaded kind. That takes a shorty 7/8" wrench and a stubby straight blade. I got mine from Ken Gillanders.

11-21-2006, 03:58 PM
You all know of anyone who rebuilds the steering boxes on TR3's for a reasonable price?

11-22-2006, 02:16 PM
Something you might want to check is the idler arm. They are often neglected on a tr3 and become almost frozen. When this happens, the steering is extremely stiff. The arm is just opposite the steering box. I bet you have trouble getting it to except grease. Yes and do not run the steering too loose at the box because the peg can jump out of the grove. Make sure you have some drag at the center point. Or do what Geo suggests and get the modification that keeps pressure on the peg. I do not have one on mine; I have stock steering and it works fine. However, at low speed in a tight parking lot; steering is work.