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E Z steer: my bad experience

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by adventurer, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. The Vega replacement is from UNISTEER - NOT EZ Steer
    Nice looking car
  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,648

    Bruce Lancaster

    To satisfy curiosity and perhaps fairness here...note that the initial problem was with a used box from Ebay, quite possibly ruined and stacked with those washers after leaving the supplier. It does seem that the supplier's repair services are a bit shaky (!!)... but has anyone here used a new EZ, preferably for a bit of mileage?? Are they any good new?
    Site seems to indicate they are basically F-100 stuff internally, closely similar in general design to '37-48 Fords and the F-1's except in rotation/over/under layout. This sounds potentially workable, but a flexible or incorrectly machined housing and/or really bad repro gears might be a source of trouble even with the good ancestry. A feww hundred miles on a new one would likely tell the tale.
  3. Kind of thought the same thing as first Bruce - right up to the part where the guy sent the box in an it was "rebuilt" for $400.00 and then we saw the crap that was inside. Even if it had been "destroyed" by the first owner, the rebuild should have cured all that and the crappy gears and washers were still in there.
  4. adventurer
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 385


    Exactly. I took a chance on the ebay box, but the 400$ repair should have taken care of al issues. The box was worse than before. I guess the e bay seller tried the box, and was not satisfied about play, and put it on the bay. Just my guess
  5. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,648

    Bruce Lancaster

    Not 100% the same issue...his so-called rebuild was certainly garbage, and probably based on the obvious fact that an Italian could not possibly do anything about a ripoff far below the level that would pay for legal action (or, a trip over here with a pair of brass knuckles and some stompin' boots)...
    The question is whether the guy's initial buildup of a new unit might be usable, despite the discouraging hints coming from his repair efforts.
    I think it is likely that by now someone here has bought a new one and put some mileage on it to show whether it works and wether gears are well enough made to hold up.
    If you look at his site, the thing seems to be based on repro F-100 bits in his own housing. Immediate questions...are the repro gears properly made and heat treated, or are they Chinese rebar stock with a 50-mile service life and no centering?? Is the special housing cast and machined well enough to work properly if gears are OK? Does it have adjustment provisions like a real box? Is that GREAT weld original, and did the ridiculous stack of Home Depot flatwashers go in at the factory or at the hand of the first owner?? And...will the guy appear here and defend himself??

    Now, my expectations that there is anything useful here would be realdamnlow after reading the discussion, but it would be good to know if the guy will reply and if this might be a viable box when built.

    I would not buy one for anything after reading how he treated a HAMBer, I dislike and fear repro stuff in general, and I have good F-1 and F-100 boxes sitting in the basement...but would like to know if there is anything to say in defense, anything defensible in the product, what the other side of the story is. I do rather expect there isn't any other side, though, just more scrap crap...

    Maybe Adventurer will come over for Hershey next year, and he can set up a display table across from Hotrod John's booth...and Kevin can display his collection of perfect NOS gears...THAT would be sweet.
  6. NealinCA
    Joined: Dec 12, 2001
    Posts: 2,880


    All of the boxes pictured have been sold, but I am always on the lookout for good rebuildable cores.

    In the mean time, here are some notes I wrote up for the Gemmer II boxes, which should be similar to your EZ-Steer box...

    1. Remove pitman arm nut and lock washer from sector shaft
    2. Remove 4 bolts in side cover (cover with brass adjusting screw) and remove cover.
    3. Slide sector shaft out of gear box, being careful not to lose adjusting shims on sector shaft.
    4. Remove 4 bolts on bottom plate and remove plate.
    5. Use rubber mallet or a wood block to bump the upper end of the steering shaft. This will slide the lower bearing race, bearing and worm/shaft assembly and upper bearing out of the box.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    1. Steering box should be washed with parts cleaner and wiped dry before reassembly.
    2. Press in new sector seal.
    3. Pre-lube all parts with assembly lube or gear oil.
    4. Slide steering shaft/worm assembly with bearings back into steering box.
    5. Slide in lower bearing race.
    6. Test fit bottom plate with 1 or 2 gaskets and tighten 4 bolts.
    7. Test bearing drag by turning steering shaft by hand.
    8. Add/subtract gaskets by trial and error until there is some bearing pre-load with a very light drag on the steering shaft.
    9. Insert sector shaft into box, making sure the shims are in place. This is trial and error also. You will have to add and subtract shims until you get slight drag. Too many shims will give too much backlash, not enough shims will be too tight to turn easily. You will need shims measured in the thousanths (like king pin shims)...not flat washers.
    10. Install side cover with gasket. (a light coat of aviation Permatex on the cover side of the gasket is not a bad idea).
    11. Adjust brass screw on side cover until there is no end play in the sector.
    12. Count the number of turns of the steering shaft from lock to lock (for a 18:1 it should be 4-1/2). Count back from one lock 2-1/4 turns to find center.
    13. Fine tune the sector adjustment at the neutral center position. There should be a very slight drag in the position, as that helps the steering stay straight as you drive down the road. It will feel looser as you turn the wheel off of center.
    14. Slide felt washer over steering shaft and down to the top of the gear box.
    15. Install in vehicle.
    16. Fill gear box with heavy gear oil (140W) or semi-fluid grease (NLGI 00).

    Hopefully that will help see if you can adjust this box. PM me if you have questions...

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  7. adventurer
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 385


    Hello again
    things have radicaly changed lately. One night I decided to take the car out for a spin. No traffic, straight roads, good asphalt....I knew about slop in the was ready. Took the car out from the garage and drove abount 5 miles all straight road, then al the way back to my garage. In order to enter my garage, there is a 90 degrees turn...turn all the right, and box makes a clunk and it's all on its own, disconnected from the front end. Try once more, the same. If I turned left, it was better, still connected but with still more slop. One way or the other I can park the car inside the garage, and after a few days it's on a tow truck to my shop. Box is taken out, and here are the results. Gears on the selector are completely destroyed, and case is split.






    Now I mounted a F1 box in place of this piece of crap. Will finish installation tomorrow, so will try the car .
    Here we are not talking slop in the wheel, we are talking failure of critical components. Hope this will prevent anybody from buying this box from Kovar.
  8. OHV DeLuxe
    Joined: May 27, 2005
    Posts: 350

    OHV DeLuxe
    from Norway

    Holy crap!! yeah, crap! Glad you`re ok.
  9. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,618


    wow glad this didnt happen at speed. were lucky to still have you here on earth
  10. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,422


    Why am I not seeing evidence of enough lubricating oil?
    You can't run a gear box dry you know...
    Or did you drain and clean the oil off all the parts for the pics?
  11. V4F
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,829

    from middle ca.

    did you get with the guy you bought it from ? ............
  12. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    from England

    I see oil on the shaft, but the gears look bone dry. And I see metal particles on the gears, so they don't appear to be wiped clean.
  13. The 57-60 F-100 box is also the same as the 53-56 box. The difference is the pitman arm. The 53-56 has the ball end, and the 57-60 has the tapered hole for a tie rod end. The pitman arms interchange, both are the large pinch bolt style.

    The 57-60 is a good source as more likely to find these than the 53-56.
  14. adventurer
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 385


    oil self drained on the garage floor...while box was stil on the car...all of 140 wt oil....
  15. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,724


    Sorry man, if I had one good box I would send it to you. Honest John has been around along time and his motto has always been "Step up or Step Back". I am sure his time will come from some customer who will put him in his place.
  16. swanwaco32
    Joined: Feb 7, 2005
    Posts: 139


    I have bought transmission parts from him and they were crap!
  17. desoto
    Joined: Mar 23, 2001
    Posts: 682

    from Ayer, MA
    2. Early Hemi Tech

    My first encounter with John Kovar was when I was working the parking detail and he showed up late and was trying to park that behemouth trailer of his at the Connecticut Street Rod Assn swap meet at Two Guys in Berlin, CT. How long ago was THAT?

    Having rebuilt a number of stock '34 steering boxes for my sedan, I was interested in his new contraption. I'm not that interested anymore.

    FWIW, I'd NEVER use a Unisteer. Being an NSRA Safety Inspector I see a lot of them and EVERY one causes the left frame rail to flex when you turn the wheels, especially when you're parking. Their mounting system sucks.
  18. mink
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,299

    from CT

    Adventurer, whats the hotrod scene like where your located, is it non existent. Are there not shops around?
  19. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Desoto, I've always had it in the back of my mind that the Unisteer would put a lot of stress on the frame rail, like you describe. The frames aren't all that big where it mounts, even boxed, and I can see the Unisteer acting like a Portapower against the rail. Not sure if a Chevy Vega box mounted as a cross steer would be any different though.

  20. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    saved for future reference...
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  21. fordor41
    Joined: Jul 2, 2008
    Posts: 877


    What the hell does a bad product have to do with E-bay? E-BAY ONLY SELLS WHAT SOME ONE PUT ON IT.
    Nitroholic and 1927graham like this.
  22. Helped a friend of mine install a new EZ steer in his 29 pickup last year. Got it in, turned the steering wheel nothing happened. Took the box out and opened it and the two gears were not even near each other and couldn't be moved closer. He told me he got it fixed by a machinist friend of his but it hasn't been on the road yet for the real test.

    Attached Files:

  23. desoto
    Joined: Mar 23, 2001
    Posts: 682

    from Ayer, MA
    2. Early Hemi Tech

    But, how would I get that into a '34 frame beside a hemi and still use a drag link?

    FWIW, turning a late model steering box on it's side just to get a drag link style system isn't all that great an idea, either. These boxes were designed to operate with the sector shaft vertical. Rotating them to place it horizotal screws up the lubrication big time.
  24. turdytoo
    Joined: May 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,555


    Okies and Arkies aren't above learning by others experiences.
  25. Lauri
    Joined: Nov 16, 2013
    Posts: 8


  26. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,360


  27. GirchyGirchy
    Joined: Mar 17, 2011
    Posts: 205

    from Central IN

    Hopefully you used a credit card through PayPal...file a dispute through your CC company. I've done this before with my Discover card and it went well. Good luck...I hate assholes!
  28. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,345

    from New York

    Just a suggestion, there is a company called Lares Corporation that advertises in the A.A.C.A. magazine they are steering specialists dealing with all types of antique cars and steering set ups. Why not contact them, and see if they can help. John Kovar has only friends named Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant and Franklin, money comes first.
  29. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,623

    from Hampsha

    The last roadster I built, a friend donated a VW rabbit GTI steering assembly. Column and all. Mounted the rack direct to the axle, w/a good quality GM slip joint. Responsive results-good road feel. Fourth system like this, w/carefully built mounts. First time in 1970, used a '64 MGB rack on a '62 Corvair front end.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  30. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,419


    I converted a F-100 box. I have almost nothing in it and it works great. It uses a squared pitman shaft and a Model A arm
    . P1000260.JPG
    bct, kidcampbell71 and pitman like this.

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