View Full Version : TR2/3/3A TR3A tight steering/silent blocks

08-15-2011, 08:17 AM
My TR3 came with newly,ten years ago or so,rebuilt front end.I did have to partially disassemble to relace rottten tie rod boots,and replaced upper A arm bushings with poly.
Steering box appears to have been rebuilt and feels good,turning nicely by hand from the split shaft couling.
However,when I install the center tie rod the steering seems noticably tight,turning with the steering wheel temporarily inserted in coupling.Both wheels off the ground.Silentblocks look new,but are old.
Can the silentblocks be lubed?How tight or resistant to pivoting are they when new?
My next step will probably be to remove tie rods again and try to get the center tie rod moving freely on the steering box arm and idler link.
Any thoughts appreciated,

08-15-2011, 10:38 AM
I went with the Delron (sp?) pivots and that problem went away. When I rebuilt my steering box and started putting things back together I had the exact same issue. That was when I learned about those pivots. Happy I got them.

Geo Hahn
08-15-2011, 12:27 PM
...Can the silentblocks be lubed?How tight or resistant to pivoting are they when new?...

I believe the answer is no as they do not really move inside the fitting, the rubber just flexs.

Randall may come along and tell you about his -- as I recall he used some alternate item from Ken G at British Frame and Engine. Possibly those are bronze?

08-15-2011, 06:00 PM
Thsnks Adrio and Geo.I have read about the Delrin and Brass replacement bushings.
I went to take off the center link today and first disconnected the driver side tie rod.
Everything then worked pretty free,and I realized the driver side upper ball joint is very tight to turn,causing alot of the stiffness.Wheel pivots free as soon as I broke the taper,so I know nothing is bent.It maybe would loosen with use,but spinning with wrench didnt seem to help.Looks like I need a new upper ball joint to replace the old new one.
Thanks again

08-15-2011, 07:27 PM
Aloha Tom,

Looks like you have found a problem.

My experience with silentbloc bushings that they work fine and failure occurs suddenly. They don't seem to bind up, but rather become very loose as the rubber fails. Steering becomes very erratic and it becomes difficult to control the car. Alternates to the rubber silentbloc bushings are the delrin bushings (The Roadster Factory has them) or the bronze and stainless steel bushing (available from British Frame & Engine). Installation of the delrin bushings is quick and easy compared to replacing the orginal type. Although I don't have any experience with the BF&E product, I would assume they also install easily.

A more common source of binding in the steering is the idle arm. The lubrication system for it is prone to getting clogged with hardened grease.

08-17-2011, 07:53 AM
I have the brass/SS ones from BFE and they took some fiddling to get them to fit properly. The brass is deliberately a tight fit into the center link and may crush slightly as it is pressed in. If it crushes enough, you'll have to ream the bores afterwards. I also found that one of the brass bushings was slightly too long (requiring that it be cut down slightly to turn freely), and the other was too short (requiring a thin spacer to eliminate excess end play).

However, the result was well worth the effort. I even moved them to the 'new' TR3, rather than install the new Delrin bushings that I already had. With perhaps 100,000 miles on them, they showed no signs of wear.

One caution though, there is a certain amount of play in the steering box and idler arm mounts. With the original Silentblocs, a small misalignment causes no problems; but the brass/SS ones will bind if you try to force them to work at an angle.

Although probably not essential, I added grease zerks for lubrication.

08-17-2011, 08:36 AM
Thanks Dave and Randall.
Randall,I remember previous post of yours mentioning the more sensitive to proper alighnement issues with the bronze.
Did you drill /cross drill the pin for grease fitting ,or put zerk in the centerlink with hole thru bushing?Does the Delrin get lubed?
I may just order the TRF Delrin with my new upper balljoint.Thier haveing 35% off for big orders,so at about $60 I may just go and do it while the body is still off.
Thanks again

08-17-2011, 09:08 AM
I put the zerks in the center link, with holes through the bushings.

I've heard that lubing the Delrin is a bad idea, but not sure why.

08-17-2011, 09:39 AM
Thanks randall,I kind of figured that was the easier way.
BTW a quick goggle for "Delrin" listed properties which included resistance to repeated imact,and natural lubricity.
Thanks again