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Fixing outer tube in steering box


Jedi Hopeful
Hello @ all,

like written in the subject line,does anyone know,how is the outer tube end(around of the steering shaft)fix in the steering box ?
I talk about a steering unit of a 1960/BT7. For me it looks like it was... a tight fit. But now it have play and it is easy to remove. On the outside diameter of the tube it is tin lead solder, i think it is not original. So what is the original best solution to get it fix and sealed ? No manual show this area. I mean the area under the item bubble 5


I think about different solutions : hard soldering , tight fit with expanding and turning the tube end, but what was the original solution ?

Thank you all from good old and cold Germany
Country flag
Are you saying the wheel goes in and out or it has play when stationary? For in and out it has been suggested to use aluminum shims (piece of soda can)between the inner and outer tubes. For left to right wiggle there is a tightening adjustment on the steering box.


Senior Member
Hi Michael, The fixed joint between the outer column tube and the Aluminum steering box is riveted in place. At least thats the case with my 55 BN1 (I also remember reading this somewhere!). The rivets are difficult to see on the outside but stick out proud on the inside (with clearance for the inner column). I found this out when trying to clean up the inside of the outer column. I was pushing a cloth through with a rod and it got jammed on the rivets. It took me a while to work out what the obstruction was as they are difficult to see.


Jedi Hopeful
thank you for your input.
But if I will fix it with a rivet, the outer column tube is not sealed in the housing. I think the connection has to fullfill the requirements of a torque and it has to be sealed.
J-B weld mh... good..I also think about bonding,it has to be absolutely clean (free of grease and oil) but it is solution with no heat influence. I think it can be a solution in combination with the rivet.

Bye Michel


Senior Member
Hello Michael,
Just to make it clear the rivets on my steering tube are original. You are right in that it needs to be sealed in some way as it has to keep the oil in... My guess is that it would have originally been an interference fit (tight fit) then riveted and sealed with solder.

Your problem will be that hand rivets will stick out too far into the tube and touch the inner column. The original rivets only stick into the tube 2-3 millimeters (my guess as its not possible to measure without taking it apart). One way to get around this would be to drill and tap some threaded holes and screw in some short "grub" screws (no idea how that will translate!!). That way you can get the length just right. Once this is done I would either fill the gap with solder to take up any play or use resin.

The joint does not take a lot of load or torque as the box is bolted to the chassis and the tube is bolted to the bulkhead under the steering wheel.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Dougal from new and hot NZ


Senior Member
"Grub screw" my translation: not an insect but a short length of threaded steel without a bolt or screw head. They sometimes just have a slot in one end for a screwdriver.


Darth Vader
Country flag
Yeh, them little itty, bitty grubs sure can get lost easy.

Michael, Just a thought for sealing, a cold weld or epoxy type substance might be just the ticket. Another posibility might be to use one of the "new" BONDING ADHESIVES. Found at most auto body supplies. There are different formulas for different applications, ex: metal to metal, metal to fibre glass, etc. I have used one that is a General Purpose composition. It is 2-part, with two tubes applied with one chaulk gun and both tubes in the gun together. I have used it on applying body panels. It is very strong. When set up it is very hard. This stuff is so strong you literally could glue a car together and never use metal welding.
Dave C.


Jedi Knight
This pic shows the original rivets in my early BN1 box


  • 15265.jpg
    72.2 KB · Views: 118


Jedi Hopeful

thank you all for answering and thank you for posting a picture. I check my BT7 steering housing and did not find rivets. There was no time a rivet there. I think the rivets was a solution for the earlier cars. Also you have a different housing design. For me it should be the best solution, to expand the tube and realise a press fit connection.

Bye-Michel who fight currently with a frame challenge...and I will win... ;-)


I've got a 1960 BT7 unit which you are welcome to have if you want. I replaced it because of wear in the peg and scroll bits, but you could rebuild it with your innards.

Where are you? North or South Germany? I'm in an even colder Switzerland, so it may not be too far.



Jedi Hopeful
Hello Richard,
thank you for your offer. But my steering is principal easy to fix. The reason why I ask here how to proceed was I dont know the original solution.

Bye Michel-who live near Frankfurt( in the heart of germany ;-)
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