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Hot Rods Corvair steering boxes old aluminum vs.New cast iron

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by olds vroom, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 924

    olds vroom
    Member

    I hav an olds aluminum corvair steering box I reversed on my 31 roadster . But it has a lot of play in the wheel . I’ve been considering replacing it with a new box but they are all cast iron . Any thoughts or experiences would be helpful.


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  2. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,473

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    My t bucket had an aluminum corvair when i bought it. shaft was broken, case wasnt. I went with a new cast reproduction as a replacement. Figure it has to be stronger.
     
  3. 58 Yeoman
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 462

    58 Yeoman
    Member
    from Lacon, IL

    Can it be adjusted to remove the play?
     
  4. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 924

    olds vroom
    Member

    I’ve adjusted it all I can I’m thinking it’s just worn out.


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  5. there are two brass bushings in the box that are easily replaced. they are a common size and are available at any bearing supply place. there really isnt much to them. get a new seal while your at it.
     
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  7. I have nothing against a new cast iron box, but if I had an old aluminum box in a light car i would rebuild the aluminum box before i would replace it with a new repop box.
     
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  8. Isn't anything in there that should wear out except those two bushings. Everything else is ball bearings so they are either good or catastrophically failed which is unlikely.

    Steering_box_parts.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
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  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,944

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Weight on the front wheels has always been an issue with those when they were put on hot rods.
    Checking the GM archives shows that the heaviest front end weight of a 64 Corvair was 890 lbs and that is about all they were designed for.
     
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  10. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 924

    olds vroom
    Member

    My issue is the slop in the wheel having to turn at least a 1/4 wheel before the pitman arm moves.that makes me think the gears are worn am I wrong?


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  11. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 375

    Ericnova72
    Member

    Bushing slop will do that same feeling too....it's a result of too much clearance between worm shaft and sector gear because the worn bushings allow the shafts to move away from each other, feels like worn out gear but gears virtually never wear.
    The mechanism puts a lot of side thrust into those bushings.
     
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  12. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,092

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^ This. And the previous post regarding the balls.
     
  13. the large nut that sets the preload on the bearings needs to be set correctly. if incorrect this can also cause slop. try the bushings they only cost a few dollars.
     
  14. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 924

    olds vroom
    Member

    Adjustments.JPG the bushings i have circled are the ones you are talking about correct?


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  15. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 375

    Ericnova72
    Member

    Yes, those are the ones.
     
  16. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,243

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    What you need to do is check that the box is positioned properly in its rotation.
    All boxes are machined to have a tight spot dead center in rotation. It's the only point where the box is actually meshed with no noticeable movement. Its there to give precise control in the straight ahead position and also to allow for adjustment of the box as this center point wears.
    You do all your adjustment at this center point.
    If you adjust off center you run a risk of damaging the box as you turn past the on center point as the clearances there will now be too tight.

    All that said...it's a common problem for people to NOT consider this tight point in the layout of their steering and the end result is play in the wheel as you drive.

    My suggestion....before worrying about box adjustment...put the wheels in a straight ahead position.
    Do it exactly and verify with measurement to the frame.

    Unbolt the draglink from the pitman arm and let it hang loose.

    Rotate the steering wheel to determine the number of turns lock to lock and then turn the wheel exactly half that to center the box on the tighter center point. There should be no slop in the pitman arm at that point. If you turn the steering wheel off that center point you will find slop...but thats normal. At center point...none.

    If there is any slop on center you adjust the box as required.

    Now...see if the draglink bolts right up to the pitman arm. Most likely it won't.
    DON'T turn the steering wheel or the road wheels to get it to fit. That completely defeats the purpose.
    Adjust the draglink to fit properly.

    Once thats done and the draglink is reconnected, the steering should be tight and on center as you go straight ahead.

    One more thing.

    If by chance your steering wheel now sits out of position in straight ahead driving...DO NOT adjust it at the draglink.
    If you do...all your resetting to "on center" the steering box is out the window!
    You adjust the steering wheel at the wheel itself or by clocking the U joints in the steering wheel shaft or whatever.
    You can't do it at the draglink. PERIOD.

    Do this procedure any time you are assembling a steering system.
     
  17. olds vroom
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 924

    olds vroom
    Member

    Thank you this is great advise I’ll try this first and go from there.


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