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TR2/3/3A TR3a steering box rebuild

bobhustead

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My steering ('59 TR3A) has a noticeable bind, especially in return, in right turns. I think it is time for a rebuild. Does anyone have a recommendation for a rebuilder if I don't want to DIY?
Thanks,
Bob
 

Frank Canale

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Macey's garage has a good write up for DIY. They have a lot of experience with the steering box. Frank
 

pdplot

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Those steering boxes were never great to begin with - at least mine wasn't back in 1956. Binding and sloppy. I know there are some defenders on here that will take issue with my opinion but that one and the MG TC were the worst available back in the day and were replaced with rack & pinion. Far better for sure.
 

Frank Canale

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I am in the process of rebuilding mine and found little wear for it to be 60 years old.The only upgrade I am considering is an upper bushing for the peg shaft. Standard steering box only had one bushing and I feel that another bushing would be an upgrade. Other than that pretty simple and an easy rebuild. I have nothing to compare it to other that the basic design seems ok. I am restoring a 60 year old car so I can enjoy a step back in time. If I wanted modern rack and pinion steering I would buy, insert any brand of modern car, and save myself a lot of time and effort. Frank
 

Frank Canale

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Sorry if my response seems a little snarky. As I get a little older I find myself a little more outspoken. No offense intended. Frank
 
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bobhustead

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My resistance to the R&P has to do with the look of the horn button and turn signals on the original setup. Quality of steering with the R&P would clearly be better.
Bob
 

Frank Canale

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I am sure that a rack and pinion setup could be better. I feel that a properly adjusted steering box, and front suspension setup can also provide a quality driving experience. I have decided to stay original for the most part but if I don't like it I can always change it later. Frank
 

sp53

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Bob I see your problem this way. I would replace the tie rod ends, silent bushings, and idler arm first and then see what it feels like. The idler arm rarely gets the attention it deserves and takes a lot of strain. This way you can leave the box in place and not take the apron off and all that it entails. Then if you are unhappy, rebuild the box. The reason is because you would need to replace that stuff anyway. The last box I took apart the bushing was not that bad, I wished later I would have left it.

steve

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bobhustead

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The problem is a bind in right turns, especially on return of the wheels to dead ahead. Front end rebuilt less that 3000 miles ago.
Bob
 

sp53

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Did you do the front end rebuild yourself? Check the balance of the tie rod length and the steering peg adjusting bolt that puts pressure on the peg and that the idler arm is lubed. I would do that before I removed the apron.
steve
 

TR-3rg

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Do you have different wheels or a front sway bar? I put TR-6 wheels and a TR-6 sway bar on my TR-3a. The RH side rubbed the sway bar during a tight LH turn. LH side OK. Worth checking if its modified.

Good luck, Roy
 
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bobhustead

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My knowledge of removability w/o removing apron is not experience based, but from reading internet posts. After my last post on the subject, I went out and looked, which caused me to question whether it can be done. I'll probably try.
Bob
 

CJD

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Just jumping in...I don't know of anyone to rebuild a box other than us, so I didn't follow until today. Most know my feelings on binding...that is usually caused by a bent vertical link or a binding trunnion. Since I assume you maintain your car and grease the trunnion, my money is on the vertical link(s). Boxes usually wear out sloppy, not into more of a bind.
 
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bobhustead

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Although few miles have been driven, it had been a number of months since I lubed the front end. I put the front of the car on blocks and did that today, along with backing out the rocker shaft adjustment bolt 1/8 turn. Things seem much improved in the no load situation on the blocks. Waiting for clear skies to road test. Thanks to all for the suggestions that did not (so far) require removal of the steering box.

Bob
 

Jim_Stevens

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My resistance to the R&P has to do with the look of the horn button and turn signals on the original setup. Quality of steering with the R&P would clearly be better.
Bob
Bob- I installed a R&P with a slip ring unit to carry the trafficator wires. Got the slip ring from Bastuck in Germany. You also have to install an electric fan too, btw. Jim
 

Snowkilts

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Mine was leaking severely so I rebuilt it a few years ago. Now it only leaks a little. :smile: The bottom cover was slightly "dished" around the bolt holes from being overtorqued, possibly by me. I worked on it quite a bit with a stone to get it flat, but I wish I had milled it a bit. I'd be interested in what others have done to prevent leaks. I've heard that some put sealer between the shims?

I also noticed that once I was done and set up the adjustment as specified there was more play in the steering than there was before. I have about an inch of play in the steering while driving straight down the road, which I'm told is fairly normal. I may have overtightened the adjustment prior to the rebuild. (All other steering joints and bushings are new.)
 
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