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Thread: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

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    Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    I have a question: Has anyone ever heard of a worn steering peg in the gearbox actually failing? In other words, if the peg is worn, what is the chance of driving down the road and losing your steering?
    Stever

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    I would say, very slim chance of sudden, catastrophic steering failure.

    Early 'flat lid' boxes the peg is solid, pressed in a hole and peened over so it is fixed and does not move, later 'raised lid' boxes the peg is in a needle bearing so it turns. In both cases the peg is quite substantial and doesn't seem to me very likely to break off.

    In an earlier thread (thread "steering not right" post #62, 4-10-20) I posted pictures of a cracked worm from a 'raised lid' box after and accident where the peg had hit the worm hard enough to crack the worm but, in that case the peg itself appeared undamaged.

    Dave
    04-10-2020, 09:51 PM


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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Thank you, Dave, I appreciate that information. Regards, Steve
    Stever

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    I had a 62 BT7 Tri-Carb a few years back which had a worn steering box, displaying quite a lot of slack at the steering wheel. I adjusted the steering play and the adjustment nut was on the limit. On the way to a Bill Rawles gathering here in the UK the steering failed! I had been doing 60 mph and stopped for a right turn and had zero steering. Car was recovered by Bill who replaced the box and said he'd never seen anything like this happen before and the box was a write-off. This is a major safety point. If you know that the peg is badly worn, replace the box or get it rebuilt ASAP.
    Last edited by Editor_Reid; 06-02-2020 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Simon, can you explain in a bit more detail exactly why the steering went. Was it because the peg snapped or did the whole system seize up in some way? Be interesting to know as I can’t recall hearing of anybody’s steering completely failing.

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Are new steering gearboxes available? Who is a good rebuilder for them? Also, can the steering gearbox be removed / reinstalled from the car without having to take out the entire steering column? Thanks!
    Stever

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Quote Originally Posted by stever View Post
    Are new steering gearboxes available? Who is a good rebuilder for them? Also, can the steering gearbox be removed / reinstalled from the car without having to take out the entire steering column? Thanks!

    NO!
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Quote Originally Posted by stever View Post
    Are new steering gearboxes available? Who is a good rebuilder for them? Also, can the steering gearbox be removed / reinstalled from the car without having to take out the entire steering column? Thanks!
    Stever,
    There have been many threads here on steering: adjustment, overhaul, rebuilding vs new, types of lube, suppliers.

    Suggest you search the archives and read everything on steering boxes before you decide how you want to proceed.

    Boxes are available from all the US and UK suppliers, as are replacement parts.

    PS - I've been talking to a local BN7 owner who is mechanically knowledgeable. He had to return 2 DW boxes; one would bind when steering to the right; the other developed extreme stiffness after a few miles. Both had machining errors.

    I'd be tempted to pay more to buy from one of the US suppliers (Healey Surgeons, BCS, Tom's Imports) because of the ease/lesser shipping cost of replacement in the event of trouble.

    Healey Surgeons gets a shipment from AHSpares every month or so and I believe their markup would be less than, say, Moss. I would definitely talk to them. You could get them to verify the box was good before transshipping it to you.

    If buying direct from the UK, I would want some kind of extra assurances to cover shipping etc completely in case of trouble.

    PPS - don't forget to check all your linkage ball joints, your steering adjustment screw and your idler for excess up-and-down play before writing off the steering box.
    Last edited by steveg; 06-03-2020 at 06:34 PM.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    1959 BN6 / 1974 TR6
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow


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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Thank you very much for all your replies. Good information, appreciated.
    Stever

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Derek, I didn't see the box after it was taken out of the car. It was scrapped. If I remember correctly Bill said that the pin had broken? I asked if the box could be rebuilt but it was too far gone. When it failed I had zero steering. It was as if there was no steering box in place!

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    I believe DW made at least two production runs of their 'uprated' steering box, as they were available, then not available for a long time, then available again. Anybody know if the defective boxes--with machining mistakes, for example--were from the first, second or (?) batches? The fact they were unavailable for so long--IIRC I was on a wait list for about a year--makes me wonder if the pause in availability was due to DW trying to fix a problem(s) with early (first?) production run. There appears to be significant demand for them, so taking them out of production for anything other than problems doesn't make financial sense.

    I have my DW box sitting on the bench, and I'm getting leery about installing it; swapping out a steering box is a formidable task (I've done it on a BN2, but the grill is much easier to remove). I've only turned the splined, steering wheel end and it's very smooth and tight; however it does bind a little at near full lock in one direction (I think to the right, but I'm not sure). I've been in communication with a guy on the email list, and he had issues with two DW boxes and I think he eventually threw in the towel on them. Also, my DW box has fairly deep scrape/scratch marks running the length of the outer column; we speculated that DW might be 'recycling' used steering columns.

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    After consideration on the above comments and other information I have gleaned on this I have decided to have my BJ8 steering and overall front end inspected by a local Tucson British auto repair shop. Thanks again for all and I will report back on what I find out if it is significant. Regards, Steve
    Stever

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    Thanks for replying Simon, you were very lucky! I might give Bill a call and ask him what he found, it’s very unusual, or maybe we are all driving around with steering boxes on the brink of failure!

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    Re: Steering Peg in Steering Gearbox

    I've had an AHSpares box in my BJ8 for 2 years now. I took it on the Gordon Bennet Rally in Ireland last year and then off to Belgium for a couple of weeks. No problems at all. I'm afraid it's been sitting in the garage awaiting "Her Majesty's pleasure", since March although I do sneak it out a couple of times a month to make sure the wheels don't go square.

    AJ

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