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Technical Leaking 1932 Steering Box

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by 1962300, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. 1962300
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 83

    1962300
    Member

    Have a stock '32 box....was rebuilt many moons ago.
    It leaks off the very front end (open) cap area.
    I would like to remove it, clean it, reseal it up.
    Looks like the rebuilder used some orange RTV years ago and it failed.

    Any helpful hints on steps to take on doing this would be welcomed.
    I assume I remove the 2 attaching bolts, clean it up, put on a new gasket & sealer?
    Are there gaskets available and from who?
    What flavor steering box lube is preferred for the box?

    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Try Mac Van Pelt for gaskets .
    Lot of guys use corn head grease ( John Dear)” tracker supply “for leaky box’s . I’m told the grease gets hot fast and jells back after cools off .
     
  3. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 356

    Wanderlust

    Probably used the sealant because the proper gasket was unavailable?
     
  4. Back in the '60's I worked in a gas station. In those days you always checked the oil in the steering box because they all leaked. We usually just poked the lube gun in the hole and pulled the trigger. Fixed a lot of leaks.
     

  5. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,143

    BJR
    Member

    Fill it with John Deere Corn Head grease and it will not leek again.
     
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  6. Aaron D.
    Joined: Oct 27, 2015
    Posts: 1,012

    Aaron D.
    Member

    Yes, use the corn head grease.
     
  7. 4ty
    Joined: Dec 11, 2018
    Posts: 205

    4ty

    Penn Rite steering box lube. NO leaks.
    Paul in CT
     
    Kiwi 4d likes this.
  8. 26Troadster
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 645

    26Troadster
    Member
    from Texas

    learn something new, i thought they used grease and not oil.
     
  9. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,239

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    On the later boxes with only the bottom plate access, that gasket is actually the adjusting shim to set proper tension on the worm and shaft. Since 32's have access both above and below the worm, I'm not sure which side has the "shim" gaskets and which has just a regular sealing gasket.

    If you buy a complete gasket set it might be obvious which is meant for which end. And I too would recommend filling the box with John Deere corn head grease when done.
     
    panheadguy likes this.
  10. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 887

    jimvette59
    Member

     
  11. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 439

    hemihotrod66
    Member

    In 1932 they had a tube attached to that plate that went above the level in the box...Make sure that is still there....It is available as a repo part... I used old main bearing packing rope to make the seal around the pitman shaft...Work fine on my restored 34...Had no leaks and used 140 gear oil...
     
  12. I believe the use of the tube started in 1933 and was also in 1934. The later tube will fit into the '32 steering box. Most of the repro's are made for Model A steering boxes and will not fit the later units.
     
  13. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 887

    jimvette59
    Member

    I see the tube leaking in the picture replace it or silver solider it.
     
  14. 1962300
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 83

    1962300
    Member

    When using the John Deer Corn Head Grease....Do I use 100% of that in the steering box OR a percentage of that AND a percentage of some other grease?
    Thanks
     
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,077

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Can use 100% corn head or picker head grease just fine.
     
    BJR likes this.
  16. Belle53
    Joined: Aug 13, 2019
    Posts: 47

    Belle53

    Would a person fill the steering box completely full or leave a little space for expansion? Do you recommend 100% cornhead grease or should you just mix it with the old grease in the box?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,239

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I used 100% John Deere corn head grease, and it works great for me. I have a special grease gun I marked with a stripe of green tape that I use just for corn head grease. I popped the small plug out of the top of the box and shot as much into it as I could. I drove it a few times and added a little more later to top it off to the plug. I'm sure there is some air pockets still in there. It should "breathe" through the top of the box into the column mast cover. But you don't want to overfill it so it starts coming out the top.
     
    BJR likes this.
  18. 1962300
    Joined: May 11, 2009
    Posts: 83

    1962300
    Member

    I hath remove the end cap & tube.
    Is the tube supposed to appear like the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
    Could this be contributing to my leak?
    It slid out of the steering box smoothly.
    It had a gasket and that ugly orange RTV sealer on it.
    Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Only after a head-on crash. Just cut the bad end off, clean up the plate and re-solder square and true at right angle.
     
  20. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,239

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Straighten up the tube and solder it solid to the plate.
     
  21. Belle53
    Joined: Aug 13, 2019
    Posts: 47

    Belle53

  22. dirt car
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 282

    dirt car
    Member
    from nebraska

    Not to be critical of anyone as we see far too much of it in this day & age, however, somewhere in the Hamb postings was a chime in that after his rebuild of a steering box & the addition of corn head grease a seal wasn't needed ???? That might qualify for " Ripley's believe it or not"
     
  23. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,239

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When I rebuilt and installed my F-1 box into my 32, I cut the F-1 mounting flange off and welded the 32 flange to the box. Then I had my machinist buddy counterbore the flange a bit so an F-1 seal fit there instead of the stock 32 felt "seal". Hasn't leaked a drop since.

    For the gasket/shim on the bottom end of the box, after I determined the proper gasket for preload on the worm bearings, I sprayed it with gasket tack before assembling. That should not change the thickness much, and helped glue it tight. I also used a bit of RTV on the threads of the bolts that pass into the center of the box.
     
    BJR likes this.
  24. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,143

    BJR
    Member

    Corn head grease may leak while driving, as it turns to a Simi liquid when in motion, but becomes a solid when it stops moving. Unlike any oil. So it doesn't leak when your car is stored.
     

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