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Steering high spot - midway

warwick-steve

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Hi guys
I took my BT7 for its annual UK safety check "MOT" today. Everything was fine and the car passed but the tester mentioned that when he jacked the car up and moved the front wheels from side to side he noticed a slight high spot about midway/centre which he didn't remember from last year (only 700 miles). When driving the car I have not noticed any high spot or tightness anywhere.

From reading other threads on this subject I understand that a high spot midway is normal. Is this so?
But, should there be any high spot anywhere or is this a feature of the design?
Should I be trying to ease this tightness by adjusting the peg on the steering box or if it is only slight should I leave alone?

(The total rotational free movement of the steering wheel outer periphery is about 1 inch.)

Your comments would be appreciated
Thanks
Steve
 

Patrick67BJ8

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Hi guys
I took my BT7 for its annual UK safety check "MOT" today. Everything was fine and the car passed but the tester mentioned that when he jacked the car up and moved the front wheels from side to side he noticed a slight high spot about midway/centre which he didn't remember from last year (only 700 miles). When driving the car I have not noticed any high spot or tightness anywhere.

From reading other threads on this subject I understand that a high spot midway is normal. Is this so?
But, should there be any high spot anywhere or is this a feature of the design?
Should I be trying to ease this tightness by adjusting the peg on the steering box or if it is only slight should I leave alone?

(The total rotational free movement of the steering wheel outer periphery is about 1 inch.)

Your comments would be appreciated
Thanks
Steve
The Steering Wheel is adjusted too tight in the center. Jack up your car so the front wheels are off the ground and place the Steering Wheel in position so that the wheels are pointed straight ahead and then adjust the Steering Wheel. Adjust it so that you can not feel any Steering Wheel drag with the Steering Wheel "centered".
 

John Turney

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The Steering Wheel is adjusted too tight in the center. Jack up your car so the front wheels are off the ground and place the Steering Wheel in position so that the wheels are pointed straight ahead and then adjust the Steering Wheel. Adjust it so that you can not feel any Steering Wheel drag with the Steering Wheel "centered".

Make sure you put a 2" block under the upper A-arms before you lift the front end so the suspension height is the same as on the road.
 

vette

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John's point is a good one, but I question whether you need to adjust it at all. I do believe that most other Healeys will feel a tight spot in the steering with the wheels hanging down. Just look at the angles on the tie rods. With the car on its wheels these angles are greatly reduced.
 

Keoke

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From reading other threads on this subject I understand that a high spot midway is normal,

YES: This is a feature of the design,
 
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From DWR's catalog:

"The original steering worm design was meant to have a tight spot in the straight ahead position with increased clearance (play) towards lock. Unfortunately the original design very rarely worked out this way. Usually the tight spot is just off to one side."
 

tr3a356

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From DWR's catalog:

"The original steering worm design was meant to have a tight spot in the straight ahead position with increased clearance (play) towards lock. Unfortunately the original design very rarely worked out this way. Usually the tight spot is just off to one side."

This "off center" can be corrected with a proper adjustment of the steering box and tie rods, provided your steering box isn't just worn out. Find your steering box center (the tight spot), adjust so there is no play at that spot and center your steering wheel. Next, re-adjust the tie rods so the wheels are straight, or take it to the alignment shop and tell them to re-adjust the toe with the steering wheel centered.
 

red57

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tra356 Sorry, but that doesn't work with a Healey. The outer tie rods are a fixed length and not adjustable. The cross rod is where you adjust toe and that won't allow any 'off center' corrections.
 

tr3a356

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tra356 Sorry, but that doesn't work with a Healey. The outer tie rods are a fixed length and not adjustable. The cross rod is where you adjust toe and that won't allow any 'off center' corrections.

Thanks, admittedly I was going by experience with most worm and peg steering systems, not realizing the Healey tie rods were not adjustable (if they were, steering precision would be increased as you could always center the steering box!). Anyway, thanks for the clarification.
 
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Since we're on (off?) the topic, it seems to me if you adjusted the steering to center on a 'high spot' that wasn't in the center of the worm groove, wouldn't you decrease turning radius in one direction and increase it the other?

I just spent a lot of time messing with my BN2's steering box (I didn't set out to do that, but ...). Anyway, the only adjustments that I'm aware of are 1) setting the peg depth to tighten or loosen the play at center and elsewhere* and, 2) adjusting the shim pack at the end of the worm to remove most (or all) end play. I believe some very early cars did come with adjustable side tie rods and, supposedly, some adjustable tie rods for a Datsun 510 will work on a Big Healey.

*Set the peg too low/tight and the wheel won't return-to-center after a turn (at least, it wouldn't for me).
 

vette

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Since we are on the subject of steering boxes, I must admit that I am not an expert but here are some characteristics that I have found. Bob Spidell's last paragraph makes sense to me but I have found that if I set the peg to deeply then surely as I turn the wheel the box is too tight and it will not return on its own. Also if the peg is too deep and all play is out of the wheel at center then you are constantly fighting it while driving down the road. Since no car ever drives down the road with wheels perfectly straight you are really always minutely correcting right to left and left to right constantly. With the box tight in the center this becomes tedious and in reality you would find that the car will always go off one direction or the other because it wants to "stick" there instead of crossing center again with your muscles constantly pulling it back in the other direction. I have my box adjusted so that the looseness is felt in the center, just a wee bit. As I turn off center the box gets tighter, almost not noticeable but this creates good cornering control because there is no play when the wheel is turned. Don't really know if this is right but I don't see how it is changed and it seems to work quite well.
 

Keoke

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Since we're on (off?) the topic, it seems to me if you adjusted the steering to center on a 'high spot' that wasn't in the center of the worm groove, wouldn't you decrease turning radius in one direction and increase it the other?

--YEP, But no additional comment:glee:
 

tr3a356

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A couple of comments. The tight spot is supposed to be at the center of the steering box by design. Evidently that's not always the case but it shouldn't be off center by much. The difference in turning at the locks would be negligible, and besides, who steers at the lock limit. . Also, "no play" does not mean tight. It means going through the center with no drag and no play. You get more steering "hunting" when there is play in the system, hence a properly centered and adjusted box gives less hunting. What I described, which evidently doesn't work for Healeys unless you source adjustable tie rods, is common practice for other steering systems with a high center steering box.
 

Hangtown Healey

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Well, I have a new worm gear without the high spot and I love it. My high spot on the old gear was off center and I made one adjustable side rod to compensate, but it was tough to make it move to the center. Now no worries, it goes as I want it.
 
OP
warwick-steve

warwick-steve

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Hi
I'm learning a lot from your replies-thanks.
Although the tester mentioned a slightly tight spot midway, I don't notice any tight spot when driving. As mentioned I do have about 1 inch total of free play on the steering wheel. Is this typical/acceptable?
thanks
Steve
 
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