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Old 07-18-2020, 07:46 AM   #1
vernlee
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Default first ride

Well I took my 31 coupe down the road yesterday after getting the brakes pretty darn good ( if I say so myself ) , but I didn't go very far , there is so much play in the steering I was afraid of darting into the other lane for a head on . The guy told me the steering box was rebuilt , and I still think it might have been , but if it was like the brakes ( all rebuilt also ) you can't just bolt on new parts and expect them to preform like new , I have looked at how to adjust the steering box , but I'm not sure where to start , which adjustment should be addressed first , what am I looking for ? , there was also a terrible vibration in the drivetrain , but that is for another post , after the steering fix .

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Old 07-18-2020, 08:33 AM   #2
Patrick L.
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Default Re: first ride

First we need to know what steering box you have. If you think it can be adjusted then I'm assuming its a 2 tooth.

There are 4 adjustments which need to performed in order. Its best to get a copy of the service bulletins and follow its instructions.
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: first ride

The very first thing that I would do is jack up the front end of you car.

See where there is play in the parts. King pins, spring, steering arm, wish bone, the list goes on.

You very well could have a rebuilt steering box, but you also might have another problem in the front end. They all work together.

Enjoy.
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Old 07-18-2020, 09:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: first ride

Ensure the pittman arm is solidly clamped to the sector shaft as a place to start. Minor looseness magnifies to major steering wheel play.
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Old 07-18-2020, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: first ride

In addition to the things WHN mentioned, bake sure the wheel bearings are properly pre-loaded. Make sure the tie rod ends and drag link are snugged up. Make sure the toe-in is set correctly.
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: first ride

Quote:
there is so much play in the steering I was afraid of darting into the other lane for a head on
Back in the '50s a good friend's father had a '36 Chev panel truck that had very loose steering. There was about a 1/2 a turn in the steering wheel. He was a mechanic from the old school and didn't seem to be concerned about the slop in the steering.
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: first ride

While you're under the car, check to ensure the steering box is bolted tight to the frame. I was surprised to find mine loose once.
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: first ride

The steering box is to the best of my knowledge the original 1931 box , car has had only 5 owners sense it was new .
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: first ride

Your OP asked about box adjustment and we now know it should have a 2 tooth box.

But, as the fellas mentioned everything else from the box down thru to the wheel bearings should be considered.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: first ride

I haven't had time today , but I did look at it enough to see the steering wheel has an 1/8 to close to a 1/4 of play before the pitman arm even thinks about moving .
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: first ride

While I'm on here , I guess I need a really good repair manual , what's the best one to get ?
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: first ride

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Originally Posted by vernlee View Post
While I'm on here , I guess I need a really good repair manual , what's the best one to get ?

This one is highly regarded.


https://www.amazon.com/Model-Ford-me...s+andre&sr=8-2


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Old 07-18-2020, 08:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: first ride

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Originally Posted by shew01 View Post
This one is highly regarded.


https://www.amazon.com/Model-Ford-me...s+andre&sr=8-2


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I like Amazon for some things but the book is less expensive through the vendors.

https://www.brattons.com/model-a-mec...ook-vol-1.html


.
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Old 07-18-2020, 09:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: first ride

1955cj5 - it seems to me that the Brattons you posted is a PDF Download for $36 and not the Hard Copy Book.
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Old 07-18-2020, 09:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: first ride

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1955cj5 - it seems to me that the Brattons you posted is a PDF Download for $36 and not the Hard Copy Book.
Well, I clicked on the "download" and it is just the table of contents...no charge!!

Bert's shows the same price...

https://modelastore.com/books/techni...roduct_id=6046
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: first ride

>1/4” play in the steering wheel is within spec. You probably could get it tighter, but not worth the time imo. Sounds like you’ve got problems elsewhere. Next step is play from the Pittman arm to the tie rod and wheels ect.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: first ride

The two tooth Gemmer is not a bad gear box but it shouldn't have any play if properly rebuilt. When properly adjusted, it should have no play in the straight ahead position since that'e the position they are adjusted in. Most of the worm gears wear out in this position. If they just replaced the bearings and didn't replace a worn worm or sector gear then it will still be loose. If it has a big divot missing from the worm then tightening it will not help. It will just have a stiff spot right in the middle and still be difficult to steer.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 07-20-2020 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: first ride

I ordered the Les Andrews Mechanics hand books volume 1,2 & 3 off evil-Bay for $ 118.00 thanks for the info , I'm diving into the steering box today .
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: first ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Sea/Tac View Post
>1/4” play in the steering wheel is within spec. You probably could get it tighter, but not worth the time imo. Sounds like you’ve got problems elsewhere. Next step is play from the Pittman arm to the tie rod and wheels ect.
I think he meant 1/4 turn of the wheel. Way too much.
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: first ride

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Originally Posted by vernlee View Post
I haven't had time today , but I did look at it enough to see the steering wheel has an 1/8 to close to a 1/4 of play before the pitman arm even thinks about moving .
As measured in inches (1/8 to 1/4 inch) or up to 1/4 turn the steering wheel?
1/4 inch movement is good, no movement is not good.
Your hand at 12 o'clock and then down to 9 o'clock or down to 3 o'clock, now that would be scary!
Buy the Ford Service Bullentins from your favorite model A supplier and it will tell you how to adjust your steering gear box.
As a dumb teenage I had problems with my steering ( it wouldn't return to straight head unless you turned it back) I removed the column, disassembled, cleaned inspected, adjusted the box per ford service Bullentins, reinstalled and then had steering that would return to straight head after cornering !
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