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TR2/3/3A Requesting help on removing TR3A steering column and box

TuffTR250

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I am working to remove the steering column and steering box from my TR3A to rebuild them. It has the split column. I have removed the stator tube, control head, and steering wheel. I have removed the tie rods and tie rod cross link from the steering box drop arm. I was hoping to remove just the lower part of the steering column without removing the top half. However, in trying to raise the steering box up over the front frame cross bar (one that holds the radiator mounts) the lower steering column is blocked from moving high enough by the column bracket that is welded to the fender. I have removed all the bolts and clamp from that fender mounted bracket. Am I going to have to loosen the upper half of the column and slide the whole inner and outer column toward the rear of the car? I guess that might then allow the back end of the front column to drop down enough to get the steering box up over that frame bar...is that correct? Is there any other way to get the steering box out without taking the upper column loose? Thanks!

One other question...are there any parts diagrams of the US left hand drive late model TR3A. The Spare Parts Catalog and the Moss catalog have only the right hand drive version and also detail for only early model solid column TR2/3's? Thanks!!
Bob
 

TR3driver

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Do you have the front apron off? With the apron off, you just pry the steering box up until the bracket clears the frame, then it comes out going forward and down (same as solid column, as outlined in the manual).

It is possible to get it out without removing the apron, but takes a lot of work. It's been awhile (made me decide to always pull the apron), but as I recall, I loosened the pinch bolts that hold the box to the bracket (to the frame), then took the LH engine mount loose and jacked the engine over to to the right until the column would pass up between the bracket and timing cover. IIRC, I also had to remove the front cross member. The upper column was about the only thing that didn't have to come loose! :smile:

Sorry, I don't know of any illustrations that show the later arrangement. If you find one, let me know. I'd like to incorporate it in my copy of the SPC.
 

James A Martin

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Bob,
I just went through this operation. It sounds you have the box unfastened.The coupling bolts need to be removed not just loosened, there is a groove on the shafts that keep them from seperation. Once sepoerated the box can be lifted and removed towards the front of the car.
 
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TuffTR250

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Oh, I forgot to mention that I have the front apron off as well as the radiator removed. I do have the box unfastened. I did not realize that the coupling bolts were in a groove on the shafts. The instructions in the manual only talk about the solid column thus no mention of the coupler, and I don't recall seeing the removal of the coupling bolts in any of the forums I read. I must have missed that. I will try removing them to see if that allows the inner shafts to be separated enough to lift the box up. Thanks for the help!
Bob
 
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TuffTR250

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I was finally able to get the box out by removing the coupler. Had a tough time getting the coupler off the lower shaft. The lower coupler bolt was bent and had put a burr on the shaft. I had to pound the coupler off while down in the engine compartment. I couldn't see anything that would indicate why the lower coupler bolt was bent. The top coupler bolt was fine.

Next is to get the big nut off the box holding the drop arm. Macy's says to not use an impact gun. I tried holding the box in a vise and on floor as Macy's suggested but could not get it loose. Should I just use an impact tool?
Bob
 

CJD

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Th reason not to use an impact is to prevent hammering the internal pin against the worm gear. You should be able to get away with it, though, if you firmly lock the arm in your vise. That way the impact loads will travel through the arm to the vice instead of through the box internals.

I can usually get it with a big A cheater, though...
 

TR3driver

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If you do decide to use the impact, my suggestion is to remove the worm first. That way the peg can't hit it while under impact.

Horrible Freight sells a big breaker bar that works well for me. Only problem is, it won't fit in my tool box. Fortunately, I've got a big drawer under the bench (intended for power tools and such) where it will fit.
https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-drive-25-in-breaker-bar-67933.html

Oh yeah, don't forget to turn the lock tab first. Doesn't make a lot of difference, but should help some.
 

James A Martin

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Bob,
I dont recall which forum I got info about the coupler bolts but it was certainly the only way out of the holdup. I was going to give up on the box leak after three failed reassemblies and go with a rack & pinion unit but I was lucky eneough to find a lower shaft that was oil tight and had no play with the drop arm undisturbed, so Its going in soon. Waiting on tie rod ends and derlin bushings. All removed parts degunked and in primer
Jim
1962 Triumph TR3B
TCF2326L
 

sp53

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Not sure what kind of iron the coupling is made of, but I remember putting the claw of a straight clawed hammer in the slot on the end and twisting and the coupling opened up a little. I actually thought it might break, but it open up nice and I needed that little bit and got it. They come up on evilbay sometimes and maybe Marv or someone on Craigslist might have one if yours is trashed.
 
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TuffTR250

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Was able to get the big nut off the drop arm. As suggested, put the drop arm tight in a big vise and used impact tool to get the nut loose. Came loose very quickly. However the drop arm is so tight on the shaft that even with the heat of a Mapp gas torch and a BIG pittman arm type puller it won't pull it off. I have started soaking the shaft with Liquid Wrench with the puller tightened down. Hopefully that will loosen the drop arm in a couple of days of applying Liquid Wrench 3 to 4 times a day. Any suggested alternate methods would be appreciated. Thanks!
Bob
 

CJD

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The puller is optimum and the LW can only help. Avoid the desire to hammer on the end of the shaft, though, as that will ruin it.

Something that does seem to help on taper joints like this one is to hold a hammer on one side of the arm and smack the other side. If you can manage to do it with tension from the puller it may break it loose.
 

sp53

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Yes they are/can be--- difficult—maybe more heat and a clamp on the pitman arm puller itself to keep it on and a cheater bar on the pitman arm puller bolt---- like a 4 foot pipe.
steve
 

TR3driver

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A modified Pitman arm puller from HF worked great for me. Had to mill a bit away from the jaws to make it fit the TR arm snugly. Worked some good moly lube into the threads, then tightened it up using a big breaker bar (also from HF) until I was pretty sure something was going to break. Whacked the end with a BFH and it popped apart. Unlike previous attempts (on a different box) with a big 2-jaw gear puller, the HF puller showed no signs of wanting to slip off

https://www.harborfreight.com/tie-rod-and-pitman-arm-puller-63684.html?_br_psugg_q=pitman+arm+puller
 

sp53

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Hey Randall I was curious--- did you whack metal on metal or a block of wood or something. I was wondering the pros and cons of striking metal on metal? Plus those things can get so stuck….
 

TR3driver

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For things like this, I go metal-on-metal. My idea is to set up as much vibration as possible (like ringing a bell), and wood or anything soft will only interfere with that. The downside, of course, is that the hammer face is very apt to leave a dent, so I only hit where a dent won't do any harm, like the wrench end of the forcing screw. If I do mushroom the end of the forcing screw, I can dress it back to shape with a few strokes of a file or, worst case, go buy another one.
 
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TuffTR250

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A couple of friends in the local Triumph club helped me. We greased and tightened the BIG pitman arm puller with a long cheater bar and heated with Mapp gas torch... no go. So they took it to their garage and used an acetylene torch to heat the drop arm and were finally able to get it to pop off. The drop arm looks OK but with some dings from hammers. I'm concerned that the rocker shaft got swaged on the end with so much pressure on the puller... the big nut does not want to go back onto the rocker shaft. Would it be a good idea to use a 5/8-18 threading die and re-thread the end of the rocker shaft? Thanks!

Note: The rocker shaft does not have much if any wear. We mic'ed it in the center where it has no surface to surface wear and then compared that to the parts that run at the ends in bushings and they were basically the same size.
Bob
 

sp53

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Glad you got it. I had to have the last one I did heated with an oxy also. In hind sight, I wonder if putting like a 5/8 jamb nut on the treads and then after the arm comes loose turn the nut back off over the damaged end to cut new threads on the last thread would work. I think patients and a file will do it or a re-threading deal. I spun the nut off a shaft too fast and that distorted the threads too. I cannot remember if I used a different nut or had to use the same nut. From what you said, I would use the original bushing.
 

TR3driver

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I'm concerned that the rocker shaft got swaged on the end with so much pressure on the puller... the big nut does not want to go back onto the rocker shaft. Would it be a good idea to use a 5/8-18 threading die and re-thread the end of the rocker shaft? Thanks!
I would certainly give it a try. Inspect the result, though, to see how much of the thread "went away".
 
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