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Tips
Tips

TR2/3/3A TR3 turn signal return mechanism?

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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Hey guys,

Hope you're all doing well. I just got back from a 2 week family trip to Sicily. Got to see some relatives I hadn't seen in 18 years, eat some amazing food, and drive a 6-speed turbo-diesel Alfa Romeo 159 around the island. Pretty amazing.

I bought a new control head from TRF and have it installed. Horn and turn signals work fine, but the turn signals do not turn off automatically after I turn. Is this the way these came, or is there a mechanism that is not disengaging properly. One thing I've noticed is that there is a fair amount of space between the control head unit and the wheel itself, maybe 1/8" or more. I made sure that I completely slackened all 3 set screws so I could seat it as deep as possible.

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Gavin
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
Should definitely cancel, with only a relatively small turn of the wheel from center (1/4 turn or so). Mine would get dirty inside and quit cancelling, but that shouldn't be your problem with a new head.

Does it cancel if you turn the wheel through a full revolution (in the direction the turn signals are indicating) and then back to center ? If so, you didn't have the plate aligned properly when you tightened the grub screws. There's a lever that sticks up from the plate to engage with the mechanism, which should be at the lowest point (with the wheel centered) as you install it.

If it doesn't cancel at all, then either the plate isn't engaged under the screw tips, or it's not gripped tightly, or there's a problem inside the head.

1/8" sounds reasonably normal to me, it's not a close fit.
 

PeterK

Yoda
Offline
Does the control head turn as you turn the wheel? Sounds like maybe the stator tube is severed and not holding the center tube from the control head.

The short tube that protrudes from the control head fits into the stator tube. The stator tube is the tube that the wires for the horn and directionals route through.

If this tube breaks (very common,) there is nothing to hold the control head so the self-cancel feature will work.

Replacement stator tube is available here (and only here AFAIK:smile:

https://macysgarage.com/myweb6/Parts/other_tr2_3_parts.htm#TR2/3 Stator Tube
 

Banjo

Yoda
Country flag
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As said above.. also, if the stator tube is ok, it sounds like it needs to be adjusted a bit. the horn/control head should only have a small gap between it and the wheel. There is a nut way down on the steering box, where the wires come out the front of it (behind the front apron), that can be loosened and it allows the stator tube to be slid in or out.
Loosen the grub screws in the wheel, align the plate that they engage like Randall said, and push the control head down onto the stator tube. if it still sticks out (like it is now), then loosen the nut on the steering box, and push the whole assembly down till it engages that ridge in the wheel where the grub screws are. then tighten both the nut on the steering box, and the grub screws, all should be well.
Good luck Guv'na
Banjo
 
OP
newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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These are great tips thanks very much. Last night I played with it a bit and was able to get the control head to seat properly with minimal gap (the gap pictured below is what it used to be, aka too much). However, the turn signal does still not disengage. With the control head out, I can see how the mechanism works, and it does function properly.

When I put it back in and tighten the set screws,, it doesn't work. Question- should the face of the control head rotate as you turn the steering wheel or should it be static?

I uploaded a short movie of how it functions now (ps- I don't want to hear any funny talk from you on how hard it is to turn the steering wheel! :shocked: It's a great workout driving the thing!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO8m521kNj8

ref pics:
IMG_4745.jpg

IMG_4746.jpg

IMG_4748.jpg

IMG_4752.jpg
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
Nope, the entire control head should NOT turn as you turn the wheel. Your stator tube is not doing it's job.

Uhm, you DO have a stator tube, don't you ? The end of mine would have been visible in your last shot, peeking out from the center of the steering column or just flush with it. If yours is in there, it may be broken off short, or pushed down too far through the compression nut on the front of the steering box.

The short tube projecting from the back of the control head is supposed to slide over the end of the stator tube; and has dimples that engage with the slot in the stator tube to keep the control head from turning with the wheel.
 
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newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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a ha! I guess that's it then. I'll have to get a new tube. I wonder if mine is broken off or just mia. I'm kind of scared of the former- if it's broken off it seems like it could be bound in there pretty well and hard to remove.

Thanks Randall.
 

PeterK

Yoda
Offline
The tube is removed from the cockpit. It runs the length of the steering column and exits at the front of the steering box. As I said before, the wires run through it.

Find and mark the 4 wires at the front of the car, then unplug them. Remove the brass compression nut and olive that is around the forward end of the stator tube. Then withdraw the tube from the steering wheel end. Replacement is reverse. Mark (macysgarage.com) supplies plastic anti-rattle pieces to replace the originals. Otherwise the same, except his is stainless steel.


I see black tape around the wires in your last picture. It might also be a cause of binding. Seems like they all break at least once.
 

sp53

Yoda
Country flag
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You can make a stator tube out of large truck brake line. Just get a six foot piece and take a die grinder with a disc and cut a slot in it about three inches or hacksaw. Your stator tube might be sitting in the column shaft it is hard to tell, but I bet it is broken at the top where it meets the head and is setting in there waiting for you. It will probably slide up and out easily. Anyways look under the car at the steering box and see if you can push it up. Label wires and pull it out from the top. The hardest part of fixing a broken stator tube is getting the wires back in the new stator tube without killing your cat. I just finish one the other day and purchased the wiring harness on ebay from that Jag guy and either it was too tight or I was too stupid to get it through to the other side; it is hard telling sometimes. Anyways I have an old stock wiring harness and it is a little smaller in diameter. So what I am trying to tell is research the diameter of the wiring harness before you try stuffing it down the rabbit hole.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
The tube is a loose fit inside the steering column (hence the springs that PeterK mentions, to keep it from rattling); so I doubt that will be an issue. Normally they break because the control head mechanism binds and the tube is the weakest link (right at the bottom of the slot).

Generally the only hard part is getting the compression ferrule off of the bottom end. Sometimes I've had to break or cut the ferrule to get it off. But it's not big deal, since an ordinary plumbing ferrule (aka sleeve, aka gland) from Home Depot will do as a replacement. Or, since you are replacing the tube anyway, you can pull the wires out, pull the tube down a bit and cut it with a hacksaw or cutoff tool. (Those cheap angle grinders from HF work great for this sort of thing, with a cutoff blade mounted.)

Of course some oil should run out of the steering box when you take the compression nut loose ... don't forget to refill it when you are done.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
sp53 said:
The hardest part of fixing a broken stator tube is getting the wires back in the new stator tube without killing your cat.
Might have something to do with the proper stator tube having thinner walls than truck brake line ...
 
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newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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TR3driver said:
Of course some oil should run out of the steering box when you take the compression nut loose ... don't forget to refill it when you are done.

Hi guys. Hope you all had a great 4th. I managed to get aboutt 12 hours of work in on the car. Slowly but surely I'm getting her dialed in.

Randall's reminder about the steering box fluid got me to thinking, so I took a pic of my steering box where the stator tube exits . Does it look strange to you? As in there is nothing to hold said fluid in. And that is maybe the reason why my steering is so incredibly stiff?

Or is that actually the bottom of the stator tube I'm looking at?? Any one have a reference pic I can look at. (I have the split column type)
trsteering.jpg
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
Well, you're doing better than I am! Finally got a few hours on the Stag diff last night, but not making much progress.

Anyway, yeah, you're missing lots of stuff in that photo. Looks like the wrong wiring harness to begin with, should be smaller diameter and the outer braid should be tight against the wires. You may have to replace it when you get a stator tube. And of course the end of the stator tube should be visible, sticking out of the threaded fitting on the steering box. Plus should be a compression ferrule/gland that fits over the end of the tube, and a brass nut that clamps the ferrule to the box and tube.

Sorry I don't have a photo, but maybe Don will be along and supply one. Here's a (poor) scan from the Bentley, where hopefully you can just make out the tube protruding, and the nut.

Not sure it's just lack of oil; there may be other sins hiding inside the box to explain the stiff steering.
 
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newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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TR3driver said:
Looks like the wrong wiring harness to begin with, should be smaller diameter and the outer braid should be tight against the wires.

This is the wiring harness that came with the new control head from TRF. I would think it should be the correct one unless earlier models had a fatter harness... Or the TRF repro is not accurate.

TR3driver said:
Not sure it's just lack of oil; there may be other sins hiding inside the box to explain the stiff steering.

Just to clarify then- without the missing parts you mention, would fluid just leak out of the end of the box? I suppose I can test it it by trying to fill it up but I'm just wondering if it's worth it if it just dribbles out. Then again my undercarriage could use another coat of some sort of oil ! :wink:
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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That's right. Without the stator tube and it's compression ferrule and nut; if the box is filled to it's normal level, the oil will drip out through the opening. The worm and peg are supposed to run immersed in oil, so the normal level is far above the fitting for the stator tube.

The other problem of course is that without the stator tube to protect the wires and hold the control head stationary, your new harness will abrade as you turn the wheel and eventually cause a short (or a long
grin.gif
).
 

NickMorgan

Jedi Knight
Offline
Here's a picture of my nice oily steering box. I hope it helps. Your wiring harness looks similar to mine, but certainly there seem to be some missing parts.
IMG_0038.jpg
 
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newmexTR3

newmexTR3

Jedi Trainee
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Thanks very much guys! These help tremendously. I ordered up all the parts today. Hopefully I'll have this sorted out this weekend.
 

sp53

Yoda
Country flag
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No I do not think so Randall. I compared the old stator tube with the brake line and they are the same. The problem is the aftermarket wiring harness cloth is thicker and the ends are a little bigger. What you might try is (and perhaps it is not available anymore) an Austin Healey stator tube. I was taking to guy the other day that said Moss sells them and the only difference between the two is that the Healey is a little longer. And there is that guy that sells them on line, but I got a feeling that they are probably brake line also. The Moss one might work better if it is thinner to accommodate the thinker harness, but I doubt it. Usually people cut off one or two of the soldered ends then fish and fight the wires through and re-solder the ends.
 
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