View Full Version : Adjustment of steering box

08-18-2004, 08:17 PM
I've noticed that there seems to be quite a bit of play in the steering of my recently purchased 61 TR-3A. I've not played with cars for about 40 years, so I am almost back to being a complete neophyte. In reading about adjustment to the steering box in the Bentley manual, the statement is made..."While a slight amount of pre-load is permissible, in no circumstances must there be any end float." Can someone explain this to me? Thanks.

08-18-2004, 08:51 PM
I always thought that meant that it is okay to have a little play before the wheels move (in other words, a dead spot in the middle of the steering wheel,) but it is not okay to have the wheels move at all once the steering wheel is turned to a point out of the dead spot on center. (If you begin turning and the wheels start moving, there shouldn't be any looseness of the road wheels.)

I could be wrong though!

Mickey Richaud
08-18-2004, 09:19 PM
Hi, Joe, and welcome to the Forum!

I agree with Sam - when you are sitting still, there will almost inevitably be a bit of play, but once underway, the wheel should tighten up. That quote from Bentley's is Brit-speak for what Sam said! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Geo Hahn
08-18-2004, 10:35 PM
"While a slight amount of pre-load is permissible, in no circumstances must there be any end float." Can someone explain this to me?

[/ QUOTE ]

I believe it is refering to the end float of the steering column which is adjusted by shims. See parts number 24:


If needed, this adjustment is made first... then the depth of the peg can be set using the adjustment screw on the top of the box.

08-19-2004, 01:49 PM
I assume TR3 is recirculating ball, correct? If so the adjustment to the steering box may be the same as many other non R & P steering. My '88 Range Rover has a large nut on top of the box you loosen & then you turn a large screw to move the steering gear down against the other gear & take up slack (wear) You should do this with booth front wheels off the ground & run it lock to lock to make sure it doesn't bind. Did it on my box & it's a world of diff.

Please you 3 guys chime in if I am mistaken about this.

Geo Hahn
08-19-2004, 06:29 PM
There are 2 steering box adjustments. The first one to check/adjust is the end float as noted above. This is done with the peg backed off from the worm gear. The second adjustment is the screw on top of the box that Gary mentions.

Of course, before doing anything with the steering box look for any play inn the steering linkage -- most commonly at the silent-bloc bushings (part 60 in the Moss illus). Get the front end off the ground and have someone wiggle the steering wheel while you look for slop in any of the fittings.

08-20-2004, 10:54 PM
Joe this is a "worm and peg" box, while the worm wear on most boxes is slight, the peg can wear badly. Get a bushing and seal for the sector shaft, then remove it. with the shaft out, look at the peg, its pressed into the sector arm. Press it out, turn it 90 deg to its wear spots and press it back in. Its now as new . Re-assemble the arm&shaft into the newly bushed box, pack the lower shaft area with the heaviest wheel bearing grease you can get around it, this will keep the 90wt in for years to come.
This will get you as good a box as you have ever had in a tr3.For a lot less $$$ than you might have spent!!
MD(mad dog)

08-21-2004, 10:57 AM
Thanks all! This helps me alot. Hope someday I can return the favors.

08-21-2004, 09:09 PM
You all have put me in the right direction and, of course, new questions have been generated during my look-see from underneath. 1. What are the three multi-colored wires coming out of the end plate on my steering box, (something to do with the turn signals?). 2. Once the end plate is off, how do I diagnose end float?

08-22-2004, 11:57 AM
Joe Unless the box has been run dry end play is usually not a problem(dont fix what aint broke).The top plate comes off , the pitman arm comes off and the shaft comes out the top. Admittedly you will play merry H... getting the bushing changed out without pulling the box, but if its not too bad, just rotate the peg, lube it all up and try it out.This will reduce by half your steering play.
MD(mad dog)

08-22-2004, 03:03 PM
Thanks. That's what I'm gonna try first.