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Old 01-15-2020, 11:15 AM   #1
pinball73
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Default steering sector

Well I rebuilt my seven tooth steering sector, all new parts & bearings & i still ended up with about three inches of free play in the center! as best as I can figure there is no way to get rid of it without going back with original Henry gears & maybe that might not fix it. I am in the process of building a two tooth sector & I would like to use my steering wheal! the only problem is my steering wheal is splined & the two tooth steering shaft is keyed. is there a way around this problem other than buying a new steering wheal?
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: steering sector

A good machine shop can make a coupling and then weld the top of of the seven tooth shaft shaft to the lower end of the two tooth shaft. Just be sure to get the correct overall length.
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Old 01-15-2020, 12:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: steering sector

what exactly are you saying? have a new threaded/spline part made or cut the top portion off of the seven tooth & weld it on the two tooth?
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:02 PM   #4
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: steering sector

A key in one of the splines will allow the two tooth steering wheel to be used on a seven tooth splined shaft and I've done it . Its been a while but the best that I recall I had to file and fit the key . Its really no big deal and no welding is needed .
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Old 01-15-2020, 01:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: steering sector

The first thing I would do is make sure the pitman arm bolt is tight, it takes a lot of torqueing to make that clamp close up, if that doesn't fix it then I would recheck all the measurements in the Seven tooth box, although the 2 tooth box would be a better one to use.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:00 PM   #6
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I don't think you replaced the worn worm gear,very difficult and if not done correctly damages the steering shaft,I could be wrong,but 3 inches of free play at center sounds really excessive.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: steering sector

How was the sector fitted to the bushings -- how much clearance--- can you see it wiggling or moving side to side or in- out
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: steering sector

The next problem will be that the light rod will probably not be the right length. I had to get a new rod when I put the 2 tooth in to my 29 with a new wheel. It all worked out though and some late 29s had the 2 tooth as seen in archive photos from Ford.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: steering sector

It is clear that the 7 tooth steering box has less adjustments than a 2 tooth. One that is missing is the depth of engagement of the sector teeth in the worm. A half decent shop would make a set of sector bushes with a few thousandths of an inch eccentricity. By a process of trial and error, the bushes are rotated in the housing to get the best engagement. Once the sweet spot is found, a couple of drops of Loctite #290 will hold them there with no need to disassemble again. 290 wicks into the finest gap like magic.
The fit of the sector shaft in the bushes should be about as close as the wrist pins (the closest tolerance in the whole car). Also, make sure there is NO end play in the shafts, both sector shaft and the one with the worm on it.
Do that and you will have a good steering box. I did mine about 15,000 miles ago and still have only about 1" play which appeared soon after rebuild and hasn't gotten any worse now for a long time.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: steering sector

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Originally Posted by Kurt in NJ View Post
How was the sector fitted to the bushings -- how much clearance--- can you see it wiggling or moving side to side or in- out
I replaced the bushings on the cross shaft that the pitman arm bolts on & they are tight, I mean they fight as they should ! I have had it out of the car three or four times & had it to a machine shop & between the two of us we can not see a way to make it adjust down any tighter to get rid if the slack. we have decided that the new after market worm gear & or the cross shaft gear are slightly under size ! it would not much to create a lot of slack
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: steering sector

I have yet to hear of any poorly made 7 tooth parts, there are only 2 adjustments to make, there are shims in the lower housing to remove the play in the bearings top and bottom of the worm gear, the other is the screw that keeps the sector shaft from moving back and forth.

If you did replace the bearings you would have had to re shim the lower housing, assuming the bearings removed were factory original as the replacements are thinner.

When I rebuilt mine I did not see any reason to replace the worm gear, I assembled the box and tested it on the bench, having the sector shaft clamped to keep it from turning and the steering wheel installed I ended up with 1 inch of play.

To my dismay after reinstalling the box I ended up having 2-3 inches of play, that's when a member here advised me about the clamp bolt, it took a considerable amount of force to clamp down on the sector arm, I regained the 1 inch of play.

Keep looking, Regards Brian.
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Last edited by Brian T; 01-17-2020 at 03:36 PM. Reason: added text
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: steering sector

Keeping the pitman arm tightly clamped is often overlooked. You tighten the clamp bolt and assume it is good but often if you watch while someone turns the wheel you can see play in the clamped area regardless of whether it 2-tooth or 7-tooth. I have seen this many times.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: steering sector

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Keeping the pitman arm tightly clamped is often overlooked. You tighten the clamp bolt and assume it is good but often if you watch while someone turns the wheel you can see play in the clamped area regardless of whether it 2-tooth or 7-tooth. I have seen this many times.
I agree 100% with that. Another place often overlooked is the bolts holding the steering box o the chassis.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: steering sector

I agree with the other about the axial looseness of the worm versus looseness between the worm and sector. On mine I was able to fix the looseness by using RTV versus the paper gasket on the worm bearing cap.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: steering sector

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Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
A key in one of the splines will allow the two tooth steering wheel to be used on a seven tooth splined shaft and I've done it . Its been a while but the best that I recall I had to file and fit the key . Its really no big deal and no welding is needed .
I understand what you are saying, but I am wanting to go the other way! I am wanting to use a splined steering wheel on a keyed steering shaft.
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: steering sector

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Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
I have yet to hear of any poorly made 7 tooth parts, there are only 2 adjustments to make, there are shims in the lower housing to remove the play in the bearings top and bottom of the worm gear, the other is the screw that keeps the sector shaft from moving back and forth.

If you did replace the bearings you would have had to re shim the lower housing, assuming the bearings removed were factory original as the replacements are thinner.

When I rebuilt mine I did not see any reason to replace the worm gear, I assembled the box and tested it on the bench, having the sector shaft clamped to keep it from turning and the steering wheel installed I ended up with 1 inch of play.

To my dismay after reinstalling the box I ended up having 2-3 inches of play, that's when a member here advised me about the clamp bolt, it took a considerable amount of force to clamp down on the sector arm, I regained the 1 inch of play.

Keep looking, Regards Brian.
when I rebuilt the sector it did not require shims! with the steering shaft installed in the housing & the lower end plate installed there was no play or slack in the worm gear, up & down or top to bottom. when the cross shaft was installed in the case without the side plate with the adjustment in it was installed you could see the slack between the two gears! not much, but it was there. when you amplify that slack to a 21" steering wheel is when it shows up. I even went so far as to remove the thrust washer from between the cross shaft & the case, for trial purposes & I still had the small amount of slack between the two gears! it really does not seem possible! but if it can happen it will happen to me!
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:03 AM   #17
pinball73
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Default Re: steering sector

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Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
I agree 100% with that. Another place often overlooked is the bolts holding the steering box o the chassis.
been there done that! it is extremely tight to the frame! I even replaced the bolts with grade eight so I could really tighten them up. as for the pitman arm! it is tight on the cross shaft, no movement there at all. I think the gremlins have got me!
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Old 01-18-2020, 10:53 AM   #18
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Default Re: steering sector

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Originally Posted by pinball73 View Post
I understand what you are saying, but I am wanting to go the other way! I am wanting to use a splined steering wheel on a keyed steering shaft.
That's exactly what I'm talking about doing ! The splines or grooves on a seven tooth steering shaft will hold the key with a little filing or grinding on the key. I would much prefer this method and would never consider cutting and welding the steering shaft for several reasons .
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:52 PM   #19
pinball73
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Default Re: steering sector

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Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
That's exactly what I'm talking about doing ! The splines or grooves on a seven tooth steering shaft will hold the key with a little filing or grinding on the key. I would much prefer this method and would never consider cutting and welding the steering shaft for several reasons .
if I understand what you are saying, you would cut a key way in the splined steering wheel? I could see that this would work if the taper of the shaft is the same! I never really thought of doing that. thanks
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:46 AM   #20
pinball73
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Default Re: steering sector

got a question! what is the possibility of having slack between the worm gear & the steering shaft on my seven tooth sector? that may be the one thing I did not check! I really can't remember? I will find out because the sector is coming out again! I am getting pretty good at removing it.
the reason I am wondering is you can't buy just a steering shaft! you can buy just the worm gear but not the shaft
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