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TR2/3/3A How much oil should the steering box have in it?


Darth Vader
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Is the correct level supposed to be at the fill plug?.....not that the oil will actually stay in or anything.:smile-new:


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P


Jedi Warrior
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Since I had my TR3 I have not removed the rubber seal in the steering column. I did remove the plug on top of the steering box and there was pretty yuking looking oil in it. I know I need to do something with it, but have not gotten around to it. So today, based on this forum thread, I decided I should at least pull the rubber plug. UGH, it looks like someone filled it with thick wheel bearing grease. Questions:
1)Any idea how I can get that grease out?
2) What's a good way to drain the steering gear box without removing it from the car and also without removing the front cowl?
3) And should I buy the special "Penrite" oil that Moss sells for steering boxes, or is there some other oil that is just as good?
Sorry for all the string of questions!


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Grease might be tough. Working some kind of solvent (eg kerosene) into it to liquefy it might work, but that might further damage the seal. However, chances are the seal is already toast (hence the grease).

Usually you can just loosen the compression nut on the face of the steering box and the oil will slowly run out.

The only advantage of the Penrite IMO is that it is very thick (sometimes called semi-liquid grease) and slow to leak out. I use Valvoline full synthetic gear oil, which IMO is a much better lubricant and lowers steering effort. But, your box & seal need to be in top condition, or it will leak out quickly. (Mine still leaks a little, but not much.)

As a side comment, I struggled for many years with a worn-out steering box. I believed others when they told me "They all steer like that", and more or less just lived with adding oil to the steering box every time I added oil to the crankcase. Then I finally bit the bullet and rebuilt the box on my (former) TR3A. My overriding impression was "Why didn't I do this years ago!?". The difference was simply remarkable, and now I know that they don't "all steer like that".

On the 3A with the split steering column, I did manage to get the box out without removing the front apron. Still not sure if that was actually easier or not, but I got it done. (Had to take the engine mounts loose and jack the engine over to one side, plus remove the horn and maybe the upper crossmember, not sure about that offhand.)


Jedi Warrior
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Thanks Randall! I'm thinking that I could use some small engine cleaning brushes I got from Eastwood to get most of the grease out of the steering column. I would then like to flush the column and the steering box with kerosene. Is that a good idea? If I did that, how would I get all the old kerosene and gunk out of the steering box? Seems as though just removing the compression nut would still leave quite a bit of dirty fluid at the bottom of the steering box.


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
I don't have a good answer for that. You could remove the plate on the front and get a little more gunk out, but that it still going to leave some amount inside, and it may be tough to get it all back together properly.

Really the best approach, IMO, is to remove the box for cleaning, and replace the bushing, seal and peg. Since you don't want to do that, perhaps a better approach for now would be to do several changes with gear oil, at least dilute the gunk.
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