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Technical 1932 Pickup Rebuild Thread UPDATED 1/11/16

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Dennis Lacy, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    UPDATE


    Front Spring Clamp


    I had been waiting patiently until it was time to make a re-stocking order for the shop so that I could get a few items that I needed, one of those being a pair of reproduction front spring clamp U-bolts. With spring leaves being removed from the front spring the original U-bolts are now too long to work correctly. They are also thinner above the threaded portion so the threads can't just be made longer and the excess length cut off. Shown below is one of the original U-bolts (top) and the reproduction (bottom). The reproduction U-bolts have the threads extended 1 -1/4” over original so that the bolts can be modified to a custom length.


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    The upper and lower spring clamp bars are installed with the new U-bolts. It becomes readily apparent that there needs to be a spacer between the bottom of the spring and the lower plate. As it is now (without a spacer) the clamp plate hits the cross member before it is tight against the spring.


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    I determined that a 1/4” thick spacer was needed so made one from some scrap 1/4” cold roll. The spacer measures 1 -3/4” wide, 3 -1/4” long and has a 7/8” hole in the middle to fit over the square spring center bolt nut.


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    With the spacer in place the 4 nuts are tightened evenly. I then measured to see how far up I needed to drill new cotter pin holes. In this case the measurement was 13/16”.


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    The U-bolts are then punch marked and carefully drilled for the new cotter pin position.


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    After drilling the new cotter pin holes the U-bolts are cut off an 1/8” from the holes and the ends chamfered. I run a 1/2-20 thread die down all 4 lengths of threads just to make sure there are no burrs that would keep the nuts from threading on.


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    After modifying the U-bolts the spring clamp is reassembled to verify that everything fits correctly. After verifying the U-bolts fit they were painted and the spring clamp final assembled.


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    Front Brake Drums


    I also pulled the front brake drums back off, removed the wheel bearings and cleaned the drums and bearings thoroughly. I was very happy to see that all of the bearings still look new despite being 20 years old. I shouldn't be surprised, though, because the truck didn't see a huge amount of miles in that time. I was also thinking about bead blasting and painting the drums but the paint is in such decent condition that I'm not going to bother. The scratched and chipped parts of the drums are covered by the wheel and would just get scratched and chipped in the same spots again anyway.


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    Since I'm installing brand new brakes and shoes the drums needed to have a few thousandths shaved off for a fresh, true friction surface.


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    The drums freshly machined.


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    Next the shoes will need to get arc-ground to precisely fit the sizes of the drums and I can final assemble the front brakes. I'll also be getting back to the steering gear very soon.


    Stay Tuned...
     
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  2. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    UPDATE

    I received the red jewel light that I had ordered in the mail today that will be used as the "low oil pressure" warning light. Fit in the dash panel perfect, I'm very happy with how it looks. In case anyone wants one like it, it came from Socal Speed Shop - Arizona ebay store. $10 for 2 lights.

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  3. Brutis28
    Joined: Oct 26, 2011
    Posts: 9

    Brutis28
    Member
    from Colorado

    I just got a set of blues and reds from so-cal Las Vegas. For my 32 dash
     
  4. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    UPDATE


    Front Brake Assembly


    With the brake drums cleaned up, freshly machined and the shoes arch-ground to fit precisely fit the drums, front brake assembly could commence. I didn't photograph the process but it is critical with new drum brakes to arch-grind the shoes to fit the radius of the drums. This is done by a machine where you set it to the size of the brake drum and it sands the shoe fiction material to exactly match that size. By having this done it ensures that the entire length of the brake shoe friction material contacts the drum providing optimal stopping power from the very first time the brakes are used. Very seldom is it the case where new or re-lined shoes will fit the drum correctly right out of the box, especially when using older brake drums that have been machined and the sizes can vary drum-to-drum. Every set of shoes we sell get arched to fit the customers drums.


    Any time I am assembling brakes on a customers car or our own, I always, always, always disassemble the brand new wheel cylinders for inspection and proper lubrication. It has only happened 2 or 3 times over all these years but there have been instances where brand new wheel cylinders have had machining debris or other foreign matter hiding inside them. the more common issue I come across is that the cylinders are assembled dry as a bone or with very little assembly lube which can lead to piston seal failure right from the start.


    The cylinders are disassembled and the castings thoroughly cleaned with spray brake cleaner and blown dry with compressed air. (Make sure your air/water separater on your compressor is doing its job or you'll see the highly polished bores of the cylinders rust before your eyes.) The internal parts are wiped off with a new, clean shop rag. (In this case, before re-assembling I masked and painted the cylinder housings so I won't have rusty orange circles 6 months from now.)


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    This is the brake cylinder assembly lube that I use, purchased from a local auto parts store.


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    I start the assembly by applying a large drop of lube at each end of the cylinder bore then use my index finger to spread it all over the bore. I use the excess lube on my finger to then apply a film of lube to the seal cups and pistons. I then carefully insert a seal cup into one end with the flat side pointing out.


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    Next, a piston is installed with the flat side down against the seal cup. Push the piston down into the bore which will square-up the seal cup.


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    After the piston is in the rubber boot can be installed.


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    Flip the cylinder over and the piston return spring can be installed.


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    Following the piston return spring, the seal cup, piston and dust boot are installed in the same manner. The bleeder screw can then be installed and snugged. If a rubber plug came with the cylinder for the hose port, install it (or some kind of plug or tape) to keep dirt out of the cylinder.


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    The early brake grease baffles are round for 1932 to 1936 and must be used with early spindles. Lincoln-style Bendix brakes have the wheel cylinders positioned lower on the brake plate than the typical '39-'48 Ford hydraulic brakes that most people use. Because of this the grease baffle will interfere with the wheel cylinder.


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    To remedy the interference I take a large piece of round steel, hold it against the top of the baffle and strike it hard with a hammer a few times to create a dish in the baffle to clear the wheel cylinder.


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    The wheel cylinders are installed so that the hose ports face to the rear of the vehicle. The hoses are installed with a copper gasket to seal them to the cylinders.


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    Next it's time to install the upper shoe anchor studs. I put a little bit of grease on the sliding surfaces. Insert the stud from the inside surface of the plate then install the oval washer, lock washer and nut on the outside.


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    I also apply a little bit of grease to surfaces that the edges of the brake shoes contact.


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  5. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    Front Brake Assembly – Part 2


    The MT Lincoln-style brakes come with brand new brake shoe hardware. This is the complete set of pieces for one brake.


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    It comes in real handy to have the proper tools on-hand. Shown below are brake shoe spring pliers and a hold-down spring compressor tool.


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    To begin assembly, take one pair of brake shoes and install the lower spring and adjuster link. The shoes have 1 short lining and 1 long lining. Bendix brakes always assemble with the longer lining to the rear. The adjuster link can go both ways so make sure the the adjuster wheel lines up with the adjuster slot on the backing plate.


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    To retain the shoes to the brake plates there are two springs and 4 cups. Install the cups into each end of the springs.


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    Install the brake shoe links into the rubber boots on the wheel cylinders.


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    Place the shoe assembly on the brake plates and install the hold-down nails and springs/cups.


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    Place the shoe retaining washer onto the upper show anchor stud.


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    Install the brake shoe return springs.


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    Using a pair of adjustable pliers, squeeze the ends of the brake shoe return springs closed to prevent them from opening wider over time and slipping off of the anchor stud.


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    The completed brake assemblies look like this.


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  6. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    Front Brake Assembly – Part 3


    With the brake shoes fully installed it's time to prepare the brake drums by packing the bearings with grease and installing them along with the inner seals.


    Below is a wheel bearing packing tool made by Lisle Tools and it's one of the best tools we've ever had. Trying to pack bearings with your fingers sucks.


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    Place the bearing down into the tool with the small end facing down.


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    Install the pressing handle and push down firmly and evenly.


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    Seconds later the tool has forced grease full through the bearing.


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    Spread the excess grease all over the bearing, thoroughly coating it. Spread a film of grease on the bearing race in the brake drum and set the bearing in place.


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    Place a new grease seal into position and install it using a seal driver.


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    Apply a film of grease onto the spindle snout and install the brake drum. Install the smaller outer bearing, washer and nut. I run the nut down by hand taking up the in/out play of the drum/bearings but without tightening it and putting a load on the bearings, line up the notches in the nut with the cotter pin hole then install the cotter pin.


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    Install the dust caps and the drum installation is finished.


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    Next I addressed mounting the hoses at the frame end. In this case I decided to mount them through the frame rails rather than devise a mounting bracket that attaches to the frame. For this process a stepped drill bit really comes in handy.


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    After some thought I decided to enlarge one of the original shock mount holes on each side rather than create a new hole. The hole size needs to be 5/8”.


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    On the insides of the frame the hose retaining clips are installed along with the tee fitting on the drivers side.


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    The tee fitting, banjo bolt and copper gaskets are reproductions of the fittings Ford started using in 1939.


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    The finished product!


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    Starting to look like a vehicle again!


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    At this point (with the exception of the upper shock mounts) the front axle and brake assembly is complete. It feels really good to get a major sub-assembly crossed off of the list! I am going to wait until I get the weight of the engine on the front spring before I engineer the upper shock mounts. I'd rather do that than try and guess how much the front end is going to settle with the engine in.


    Next week I want to get back onto the steering gear and hopefully get it finished and installed by Friday. I'm going to be out of the shop all of the following week and it would feel really good to get another major sub-assembly crossed off of the list before that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
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  7. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,463

    Mart
    Member

    Great work, Dennis, thanks for the detailed report.

    Mart.
     
  8. MIKE-3137
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 1,578

    MIKE-3137
    Member

    Great thread, It'll help me a bunch with my 34 Pickup build..
     
  9. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,799

    Pewsplace
    Member

    Do I get College credit if I pass the course from your excellent narrative on assembling my front end? Outstanding thread Dennis. Can't wait to see the truck on the road.
     
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  10. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,753

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Nebraska

    Such nice, detailed, well documented work. Thank you!
     
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  11. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,130

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just waiting for the hard copy to be announced. It would be a sure fire sell out.
     
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  12. slug
    Joined: Sep 1, 2007
    Posts: 223

    slug
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. West Virginia Mountaineers

    Great write up! Nothing but first class ever comes from you and your dad. Looking forward to seeing you in January.
     
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  13. Jeff34
    Joined: Jun 2, 2015
    Posts: 507

    Jeff34
    Member

    Most thorough write up I've seen in a long time. Are you an engineer?
     
    Dennis Lacy likes this.
  14. Bueller,... Bueller,... Bueller,...
     
  15. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    Thank you, Everyone, for all of your kind comments. I really appreciate them!

    Things slowed down over the last couple of weeks. Two weeks back I got close to finishing the steering gear but didn't quite make it and last week I was on a much needed vacation. This week I really hope to get the steering finished up and will finish the detailed write-up on the assembly and setup.

    Stay tuned!
     
  16. Runnin shine
    Joined: Apr 12, 2013
    Posts: 3,313

    Runnin shine
    Member

    Patiently staying. Hah!
     
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  17. jimad
    Joined: Aug 7, 2013
    Posts: 2

    jimad

    bump
     
  18. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    STEERING GEAR ASSEMBLY – PART 1


    After bead blasting the steering gear housing parts and hardware, chasing the upper and lower cap threads in the worm housing and thoroughly washing everything in clean solvent it's time to start assembly.


    The first step is to install the 4 sector housing mounting studs into the worm housing. I do not chase the threads in the housing or the corresponding threads on the lower part of the studs because these are a special interference fit thread designed to help against leaks. I apply a good amount of red Loctite to the stud threads to fully seal the threads on the 2 stud holes that pass through to the inside of the housing and to also keep the studs from backing out during the set-up and adjustment phase where the housings will be assembled and disassembled several times.


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    A new lower worm bearing race is installed into the bottom inner bore of the worm housing.


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    There is an upper and lower tapered roller bearing for the worm gear. Before installing them I put a drop of oil on my finger tip and wipe a light film onto the bearings so that they aren't bone dry. Set one of the bearings down into the lower race in the housing, insert the worm gear / steering shaft and slide the second bearing down the shaft and seat it on the worm.


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    The upper worm race is installed. This race is a slip-fit into the housing. It should fit the bore without being sloppy so that it is free to move while the worm bearing pre load is being set. Before starting assembly always test fit this race to make sure it fits and moves freely to avoid frustration. Sometimes there will be little nicks or burrs in the housing bore that prevent the race from fitting correctly.


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    The spring washer is set into place on top of the bearing race. One side of it says TOPand faces up.


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    This is the contents of what comes in '32-'34 steering box gasket sets. The square shaped gaskets are for the upper worm bearing cap and come in 3 different thickness'. What's frustrating about these kits is that the number of different thickness gaskets that are provided is never the same set-to-set, they're just a random assortment. Additional upper cap gaskets are available in a pack which are also a random assortment. If you are going to build one of these boxes I highly recommend getting 2 additional gasket packs just to make sure you have what you need on-hand. I prefer to use as many of the thicker gaskets as possible to cut down on the number of overall gaskets. That way you don't end up with 3 thick ones and 20 thin ones to get the overall thickness needed.


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    I place a stack of gaskets on top of the steering box (roughly the thickness of the raised step on the spring washer) then install the cap and tighten it. This procedure requires some trial and error until just the right thickness of gaskets is found. The end-goal is to remove all of the up/down play in the worm and bearings yet have the worm/shaft turn easily and freely without bind. When I feel like I have arrived at the correct setting I double check by first removing one of the thinnest gaskets and reassembling. At this point the worm/shaft should still turn but feel too tight like it's binding. Next, I re-install the gasket I removed and ad one more thin gasket. At that point the worm/shaft should still turn loose and free but now have a little bit of up/down and sideways slop. After confirming this I remove the extra gasket and the correct feel should be restored. No sealer is necessary on these gaskets because they are above the oil level.


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    When I'm confident that the worm has been properly setup and will not need to come apart again to add/remove gaskets I install the steering lock striker on the shaft (only goes one way) and I also install a bearing race sleeve near the top of the shaft. The sleeve will correspond with a needle bearing that will later be installed in the top of the column.


    SPECIAL NOTE – UPPER WORM BEARING RACE


    The upper worm bearing race for '32-'34 steering gears are not available new – anywhere – and haven't been for decades. If when you disassemble your steering gear and find that the original is still in decent to excellent shape, cherish it! If the race is thrashed or a steering is being built from pieces and the race doesn't exist, there is an alternative that is readily available and has a 68- prefix making it a '36 Ford part. Shown below is a '32-'34 upper worm race on the left, the 68- worm race on the right and the spring washer below them.


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    With the spring washer placed on top of the '32-'34 upper worm race the stacked height is roughly the same as the height of the 68- upper worm race. By using the later race the spring washer is deleted and the upper cap and gaskets are adjusted as normal. This alternative works excellent despite the removal of the spring washer.


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  19. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    STEERING GEAR ASSEMBLY – PART 2


    The second part of assembling the steering gear deals with the sector gear/housing and gear lash adjustment. Like the setup of the worm gear, this is also critical for a properly functioning early steering gear. I always do a dry-run without the seal or silicone sealer so that if any difficulty happens it can be dealt with easier.


    In a previous installment I showed how the sector bushings were replaced and the housing was sent off to have the bushings honed to fit the new sector gear. After the bushings are honed the next step in preparing the sector housing is to machine a bore in the outer end of it so that a modern lip seal can be installed. The original sealing method was a simple cork ring that fit in the shallow relief in the end of the housing and fit around the gear shaft. This method results in a profuse oil leak no matter what you do.


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    One of the 4 mounting holes in the sector housing flange is larger than the other 3 and this eccentric adjuster fits into it. This eccentric is used to set the lash between the worm and sector gears.


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    The worm housing is clamped in a bench vise using aluminum soft jaws on the upper cap. I learned the hard way years ago that a little bit of lube is needed on the sector housing mounting stud threads and corresponding nuts. They are both soft material and can become galled and seize because during the adjustment procedure it may be necessary to loosen and tighten them many times, especially when the assembler is less experienced. I put just a trickle of WD40 on the stud threads.


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    This is how the sector gear is properly assembled in the the housing. There is a copper thrust washer that goes between the housing and gear.


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    Install the gear and housing onto the worm housing and tighten the 4 mounting nuts snug. During this assembly the steering shaft must be turned so that the steering wheel key way is aligned with the oil filler cap. The sector gear must be installed so that when the teeth are engaged with the worm gear it is exactly perpendicular to the worm gear. This is the center point in the gear travel.


    *Note that in the upper middle of the housings is a slotted eccentric screw. When starting out this eccentric needs to be oriented so that the slot is perpendicular to the sector housing and also so that its head is closest to the outer edge of the gear housings. This eccentric (called the centralization screw) is used to shift the sector housing left or right to center or centralize the sector gear teeth in the worm gear. With new gears it is typically not necessary to use this adjustment but there are occasionally cases where it is.


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    Also make sure that this cone shaped sleeve is installed under the nut on the large eccentric. When starting out, the slots on both the eccentric and sleeve must point to the edge of the housing.


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    On the opposite side of the gear housing there is a stud that sets the thrust on the sector gear. Without the stud installed there should be about a half inch of in/out play in the sector gear shaft. Grab the shaft and pull it outward as far as possible. Install the stud and thread it inward until it stops against the the sector gear head inside. The stud should just contact the gear so that there is no slop, yet no load on the gear. To confirm that the thrust setting is correct I grab the shaft and try to move it in and out. There should be no play. I also turn the steering shaft about one rotation in each direction from center to confirm that the gear box turns smoothly without any roughness or binding. After doing a dry run to confirm there will be no issues with the thrust setting the steering shaft is returned to its centered position (key way in line with oil fill cap) and the stud is removed and Ultra Black silicone applied to the lower half of the threads. The stud is then reinstalled and held in proper adjustment with a large screw driver while the lock washer and jam nut are installed and tightened. Re-confirm that the thrust setting is still correct after tightening the jam nut. If any changes need to be made do it quick before the silicone starts to set up.


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    Now that the sector gear thrust is set the steering gear is rotated in the vise so that the sector is pointing straight up. Again, note the starting position of the eccentric nut slot.


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    A pitman arm is installed and tapped onto the splines with a plastic mallet. I don't drive it on hard, just enough so that there is no slop on the splines. For this it really doesn't matter what year the arm is because it's just for setup. This particular one is a '37-'40 that I keep set aside for this purpose.


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    With the pitman arm installed I grab the small end of it and confirm that it can be wiggled back and forth, which is slop in the gears and normal. If there is no initial slop and the sector feels tight/bound then there is a problem. Confirm that the eccentric nut is in the proper starting position and that the key way on the steering shaft is aligned with the oil fill cap.


    To set the gear lash I start by loosening the 4 sector mounting nuts one quarter turn each. I hold the small end of the pitman arm between the index finger and thumb of my right hand, wiggling it back and forth continuously. Simultaneously, with my left hand I slowly turn the large eccentric nut clockwise with a 7/8” open end wrench. As the eccentric is turned while wiggling the pitman arm I can feel the play in the gears decrease. Once I reach a point where gear play is just a speck and barely perceivable I tighten the 4 sector nuts. Typically, tightening the 4 nuts will take up that last little speck of play in the gears. I then turn the steering shaft left and right all the way lock-to-lock to make sure there is no roughness or binding in the gears. The end-goal of this procedure is to completely remove the play in the gears with the steering gear being able to operate completely smooth through its entire range. It may take multiple attempts to achieve the correct adjustment, especially for a less experienced person. Don't feel bad if it takes a dozen tries to get it just right. That is why it's so important to put a little WD40 on the sector stud threads.

    *Special Note: Ford worm and sector steering gears have a high center built into the gears. This means that when the gears are correctly adjusted there will be no play at the center point of the gear travel but there will be play as soon as the gears are moved off of center in either direction. The reason for the high center is so that as wear develops on the gears the center play can continue to be adjusted away without the gears binding as the steering is turned. The reason the play off of center is not felt in the steering wheel while drive is that during a turn the gears are bearing against each other.


    Once the desired adjustment has been achieved I make a mark lining up with the slot in the eccentric nut so that I know about where I need to end up when doing the final assembly with sealer.


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    After a successful dry run through the gear adjustment I remove the sector housing and gear and prepare for final assembly. I start out by installing the lip seal into the end of the sector housing. Before installing the seal I clean the bore in the housing and the outside of the seal thoroughly with acetone on white paper towels. I wipe both surfaces as many times as it takes until the paper towel stops getting discolored from dirt. I then coat the outside of the seal in red Loctite and drive it into the housing. The Loctite ensures that the seal will stay put and that oil can't leak past the outside of it. I give the Loctite about 30 minutes to set up before going any further.


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    *Note: In the following steps I will show how I use silicone as a stand alone sealer. The key to successfully using silicone is that all of the mating surfaces have to be CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN! I prefer to use acetone or lacquer thinner on white paper towels and will wipe all of the mating surfaces until I can wipe and the towels stay white. After the surfaces are clean do not touch them otherwise dirt and oils from the skin will contaminate the surfaces.


    I clean the mating surface of the worm housing thoroughly with acetone and paper towels then lay an 1/8th bead of Ultra Black silicone down in the gasket groove and just outside of the groove but still inside of the studs. A new cork ring gasket from the gasket set is then set into place.


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    I then clean the mating surface of the sector housing thoroughly (again using the acetone and paper towel method) and revisit my kindergarten days and finger paint a thin layer of silicone onto the surface as extra insurance in case the outer bead of silicone doesn't end up everywhere it needs to. Before applying silicone to my finger tip I swipe the tip of my finger with acetone on a paper towel to make sure my skin is dry and oil free.


    After applying the silicone and wiping my finger clean of it I then put a drop of oil on each sector bushing and spread it with my finger tip. I also swipe a bit around the lip seal. The bushings don't need to be saturated in oil, just a thin film.


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    I then put a couple of drops of oil onto the sector shaft and spread the oil with my finger tip. The bronze thrust washer is slid onto the shaft and also gets a thin film of oil. I put a drop of oil on the tip of the thrust stud (visible with the sector gear removed) where it contacts the gear, as well. The sector is then set down into the gear housing. It just barely fits through cork gasket. It's a bit like playing that game Operation.


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    Slide the sector housing down over the shaft being careful as the spline portion of the shaft passes through the seal. It's also important to set the housing straight down without any side-to-side motion so that the silicone beads aren't shifted. Once the housing is set all the way down install the four mounting nuts and tighten them snug in a cris-cross pattern. After the nuts are tightened loosen each one a quarter turn and go through the gear adjustment just as before.


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    As I mentioned during the steering gear dis assembly, the lower seal plate on '32 steering gears don't have this brass tube. This was introduced in '33. The purpose of the tube is that the horn button rod passes through it and the top of the tube is above the oil level in the gear. In '32 there was simply a cork doughnut inside the seal plate that was supposed to squeeze around the horn button rod. That method was incredibly ineffective at stopping the oil from leaking out around the rod. The brass tube is crimped tight into the lower seal plate and was pretty effective at controlling oil leaks. However, the crimp is not a perfect seal and over the years the crimp can become loose so we always silver solder around the base of the tube to ensure no oil will leak past the crimp.


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    Once the lower plate and tube are soldered they can be installed. As before, the mating surfaces are thoroughly cleaned, a bead of Ultra Black applied to each surface and a new gasket from the the gasket kit.


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    The plate is then pushed into place and bolted down. If an original light switch is going to be used the light switch mounting cup is also installed making sure that the alignment notch in it is facing down. I also apply a bit of silicone to the threads of these bolts because sometimes the holes in the housing are bored deep enough that there is a pin hole access to the inside where the oil is. Don't over tighten these bolts as the seal plate can warp in the center and leaks will occur.


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    At this time the steering gear assembly and adjustment is complete. I always let the finished gear sit in a safe place over night so the silicone can fully cure before masking and painting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
    volvobrynk and kidcampbell71 like this.
  20. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    STEERING GEAR ASSEMBLY – PART 3


    With the steering gear assembly and adjustment completed it's time to turn the attention to the column tube and the steering shaft bushing at the top end of it. The original bushing and replacement bushings are rubber. The problem with that is that a steel shaft turning in a rubber bushing does not run smooth because there is friction and the rubber tries wind up or twist with the shaft. This adds to the physical effort required to turn the steering wheel. Eventually the center hole in the rubber that the shaft rides in becomes worn and no longer positively locates and supports the top of the steering shaft which leads to additional strain on the shaft. The rubber also becomes brittle and starts to fall apart over time. Every single original bushing I've ever removed was petrified with an egg shaped shaft hole.


    To greatly improve this area of the steering we developed a needle bearing to replace the inept rubber bushing. This bearing is installed or supplied with every steering gear that we overhaul and is also available separately and pre-sized to fit the column tube. The comparison is night and day!


    To make the needle bearing I start by mounting a new replacement rubber bushing in a specially made arbor in our lathe and insert a 1 3/16” hole saw into the chuck.


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    With the lathe on high speed I run the hole saw through the bushing cutting away an outer layer and leaving behind in inner layer on the arbor.


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    A Torrington needle bearing is then inserted into the remaining outer layer of bushing. This provides a insulated mounting of the bearing in the shaft to cut down on road noise and vibration picked up in the steering system.


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    After inserting the bearing the outer diameter of the rubber will be swollen and too big to fit into the column tube. I turn down the diameter of the bushing on our 5” drum sander by spinning the bushing in my hand to evenly remove material. I do this until the bushing will go into the column tube dry about half way before getting stuck. I also insert a race sleeve into the bearing to protect while grinding the rubber.


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    With the rubber sized correctly I clean the inside of the tube thoroughly with acetone and wipe the rubber lightly to remove and oils left behind by my fingers. I then coat the outside of the rubber bushing in red Loctite which acts as a lubricant to allow the bushing to be pushed all the way into the tube and holds it firmly in position once cured. After its fit, I remove the race sleeve from the bearing.


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    This photo shows the bearing race that was installed onto the shaft in a previous installment. Before installing the race I mark it's location on the shaft by putting a marker line where the top and bottom of the race will be. Inside those lines I use a center punch and add dimples around the shaft and then coat the area with red Loctite and install the race.


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    This is the original rubber bushing that was removed from the tube.


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    After giving the Loctite on the race and bearing about 30 minutes to cure I use my finger tip to coat the bearing and race with grease then slide the tube into position over the shaft. The race is a little longer than the bearing so if both are correctly positioned the race will stick out of the bearing just a bit.


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    The steering wheel key can now be installed into the end of the shaft and the wheel installed. I use blue Loctite on the wheel nut and tighten it TIGHT.


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    The horn button/rod is greased and inserted through the steering shaft. The spring, light switch fork and retaining clip are installed at the bottom. The steering gear is now complete and ready to be installed!


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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  21. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    STEERING GEAR ASSEMBLY – PART 4


    After completing the steering gear it was installed into the truck and another major section of the project can be crossed off of the list. When installing the steering always leave the lower clamp on the tube loose and put all of the mounting bolts both at the frame and dashboard in finger tight at first and get everything in alignment. The tube will need to be adjusted up and down a touch so that the holes in the column lock housing line up with the dash. There is also a rubber insulator pad that needs to be installed between the lock housing and dash. Once everything is attached and aligned all of the mounting bolts can be tightened.


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    I then fill the gear with Ford replacement 600W gear oil. Despite it's name, the oil is not truly 600 weight. It is actually very close in viscosity to 140 weight gear oil. Once the gear is full I turn the wheel back and forth lock-to-lock several times to make sure the gear operates smoothly after being bolted in.


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    The pitman arm is installed and the end of the drag link is assembled and attached the arm. When the steering gear is centered the pitman arm should always be exactly vertical. The tie rod end on the end of the drag link is assembled identically like the other tie rod ends covered previously during the front axle assembly.


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    *Special Note: Touching on something I covered back during the front axle setup, the following pictures show that with the original spindles and upper steering arm angled forward of the axle that there is a 90 degree relationship between the drag link and steering arm AND the drag link and pitman arm. This results in equal geometry when the steering is turned left AND right.


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    View inside the cab.


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    At this point I couldn't handle it and had to unwrap a couple of wheels and mount them up for a teaser look.


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  22. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    UPDATE


    With the steering system completed last week this week I turned my attention to making the front brake plumbing. I wanted to get this done before fitting the engine while there was still lots of room to work up in the frame. We always use zinc coated steel 1/4” tubing for brake lines because that's what Ford used from '39-'48 and we try to make our brake systems in keeping with how Ford would have done it. Some years ago we mistakenly received a brake tube order all in stainless steel and still have a bunch of it. I've never made brake plumbing in stainless and thought since we have a bunch and seeing as this project isn't intended to be a dead on period accurate hot rod, why not? The front lines are made out of 3 sections and I was able to make one section per a day during my lunch hour. The rear section coming off of the master cylinder is an exact copy of that section that comes in our pre-made brake line set for '32. The stainless turned out to be easy to work with and I'm very pleased with the results. Plus, it will always look pretty! I do still need to add a couple of mounting clips on the front cross member line and one on the back of the K-member. Will get that handled tomorrow.


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    In addition to finishing the forward brake lines today the Fed Ex man also brought me some very important missing puzzle pieces! These are the exact same tires that Danny Burroughs uses on his open wheel '32 Pickup that's my inspiration. The fronts are Lucas 450-18 from Lucas Tire and the rears are 700-18 STA Transport truck tires from Coker. Danny was originally running 450 Excelsior's on the front of his truck and that's what I was going to get. After a phone chat a few months back Danny said that when he had worn out yet another pair of fronts he decided to try the Lucas tires and that they ran noticeably better, especially at highway speeds. They're also $40 each less expensive than the Excelsior's even after our dealer price from Coker. Less money and work better? Can't arque with that!


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    The front's are about 27.5” tall while the rears are 33”. Talk about rubber rake!


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    Next week will be a really big week. Time to get the Chevy 283 sitting between the rails!!!
     
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  23. Kiwi Tinbender
    Joined: Feb 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,155

    Kiwi Tinbender
    Member

    Dennis, I can`t thank you enough for all the effort you are putting in for our `learning curve`. I have never rebuilt an early box, and now understand enough to tackle it for a customer if needed. Of course, I probably should stick to Metal Repair, and send these pieces down to you to do.......:D;)
     
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  24. I've been waiting to ask this question,
    In the steering box gasket set, there is a small round cork type seal, where is that meant to go?
    I thought it may be part of the brass tube situation, but don't see it in your pictures.
     
  25. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    note to self...make offer to buy truck only after he gets the 283 installed
     
  26. Aceman64
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 14

    Aceman64
    Member

    In the second paragraph of part 2 he says he used a modern lip seal rather than the original cork type. I believe this is what you're looking for.

    Ace
     
  27. Another GREAT tutorial on early Ford pieces in early Fords!
    Thanks again for the well written and photographed, step by step directions.
     
  28. hot rod pro
    Joined: Jun 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,708

    hot rod pro
    Member
    from spring tx.

    Larry. We have been trying to get this truck for years. After he drives it with the upgrades, nobody will ever be able to pry it from his hands.
     
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  29. Dennis Lacy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,108

    Dennis Lacy
    Member

    The small, round cork is used on '32 boxes only which did not originally have the brass tube. The cork fits into the round hole in the bottom of the gear box. There was also a steel concave washer that goes between the cork and lower worm race. The idea was that as the lower seal plate was installed and tightened it would push the cork against the washer and make it swell so that it fit tight around the horn button rod and the gear housing and prevent leaking. Totally worthless. So the following year Ford started using the brass tube method and the situation was much improved.

    Unfortunately, the oil would also leak past the cork ring where the housing halves join and past the cork ring around the sector shaft. Most of the time when these boxes are disassembled they will be full of grease. Peoples solution to the leaking over the years has been to pump them full of grease instead of using oil. Many people still do that today. What they fail to understand is that grease does not flow! Instead as the gears move they displace the grease like laying in the snow making a snow angel with your arms and legs.
     
    volvobrynk and Flowmeister like this.
  30. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,086

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Have you ever tried the John Deere corn head grease that they talk about on the Fordbarn?

    I welded the original flange from a '32 box to my F-1 box in my '32. I didn't know the original '32 came with that cork gasket on the sector, and I thought it was supposed to be felt/fiber. I had quite a search for some felt that thick, but finally found some and cut a tight fitting seal. It leaks/seeps anyway with my 140wt oil.

    Some day I'll disassemble the box and replace the sector with a NOS part I found, and machine the housing for a lip seal like you have. Can you give me a part number for that seal?
     

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