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Featured Technical Options for an F1 steering box

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by magnus13, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. magnus13
    Joined: Jun 1, 2013
    Posts: 51

    magnus13
    Member

    Hey guys, I'm looking for some suggestions here. I picked up a 48-52 F1 steering box. Opening it up everything looks to be in really good condition so it doesn't need a total rebuild. Only thing, is the shaft was cut right past the end of the worm gear. I can find a lot of rebuild kits that include a new shaft and gear already pressed on, but can't find any replacement shafts only or any columns.

    So my question is, what kind of options do I have here?
    -Should I replace the whole shaft/worm gear assembly and look around for a column mast?
    -Is it possible to adapt an F1 boxes (that's been cut) to an aftermarket column, like Limeworks?

    Thanks!
     
  2. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,316

    revkev6
    Member
    from ma

    how close is the shaft to the gear?? my F100 box was cut an inch or so beyond the housing. the truck wheel wasn't compatible with my wheel anyway so I just welded on the correct shaft and away we went....

    what steering wheel and column are you running?? I used a piece of exhaust tubing for a column and mounted up a boat wheel to the shaft.
     
  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,439

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The actual shaft diameter is the same on 30's and 40's Fords up through the F-1. You can use a donor shaft out of another assembly if have one laying around. If you want to use a tapered hole steering wheel, now is a great time to switch to the appropriate shaft (30-48 passenger car), and maybe even cut it to the correct length for a custom application.

    Note the worm will be VERY hard to press on, so use something to cushion the threaded end of the shaft during that operation.
     
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  4. magnus13
    Joined: Jun 1, 2013
    Posts: 51

    magnus13
    Member

    I have about an inch of shaft left on the worm gear, so it'd be possible to weld to it.

    I'm planning on running a 40 steering wheel so it sounds like I have options with the earlier models.

    Besides a press, how is the worm held on? Is it keyed or pinned somehow?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  5. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 2,731

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Worm gear is keyed and held on by a very tight interference fit. I usually cut them lengthways to get them off. If you want to save it, heat it up and hammer might work. Likely it needs to be replaced even if it looks good.
     
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  6. magnus13
    Joined: Jun 1, 2013
    Posts: 51

    magnus13
    Member

  7. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,728

    bct
    Member

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  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,439

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't think the keys are true keys. They seem to me to be a sort of interference key. Something that cuts into the shaft when the worm is pressed on. Anybody know different?
     
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  9. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,728

    bct
    Member

    Never done it but neal said he could press a tapered shaft into an f100 box so I think there are many possibilities for the more popular f1 .
     
  10. 31 Coupe
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 165

    31 Coupe
    Member

    Aussie rods need a collapsible column to get registration so I modified an old DD solid shaft piece to press into the F1 worm and then used a standard Ford splined top DD shaft on the steering wheel end. I used a Borgeson DD tube to join the two together and made the outer tubes telescopic too. I used a 1950 shoebox wheel that has a standard Ford splined hub, you will lose the original horn wire function unfortunately.
     
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  11. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 2,731

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Never thought of that. it's possible. I've replaced a few worm gears, but have never seen a new, bare worm shaft. Always re-used that part.
     
  12. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 205

    Bill Nabors
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I cut my F1 or 100 shaft about 8 inches up and use a piece of early shaft to the wheel. Once I get the length right i use a piece of .750 ID 1/8 wall tube about 8 inches long to join them. I drill holes in tube and weld holes and ends. That keeps the shaft hollow for wires.
     
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  13. x77matt
    Joined: Mar 2, 2004
    Posts: 467

    x77matt
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I vote to have someone do a quick tech thread on how to press the worm gear on and off.... I'm sure it's harder than it looks and it would be a good skill to learn!
     
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  14. Ed Angel
    Joined: Nov 17, 2015
    Posts: 114

    Ed Angel

    You are correct , I just pressed a new one on a shaft yesterday. There is a keyed spline and the rest of the splines are more of a cut as you press them onto the shaft making it a very tight fit .


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  15. duncan
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 857

    duncan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The37Kid and deathrowdave like this.
  16. magnus13
    Joined: Jun 1, 2013
    Posts: 51

    magnus13
    Member

    Is the end of the shaft on the original F1 tapered to fit a 40 wheel or is it splined? I've seen some replacement shafts that show both, but they're both spec'd for a 48-52 F1 box.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,439

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm pretty sure all the F-1's are splined.
     
  18. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,728

    bct
    Member

    I'll do it. someone send me an early ford tapered shaft. I'll pay shipping.
     
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  19. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,728

    bct
    Member

  20. rustythumb
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 73

    rustythumb
    Member

    also, check with jim at antique auto in rosemead. a few years ago,i bought a repro '40 steering shaft from him. [shaft only] i think he had more. '40 shaft is same as f-1, except it has a keyway instead of splines.
     
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  21. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 1,034

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    Please have qualified weld complete any welding to steering parts . The photos in a previous post of steering shaft welding are so scary its not a joke !


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  22. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 359

    goldmountain

    Since this is about options on f-1 steering, my option is use something else. I'm using a steering box from a mid 60's Dodge pickup. They used these up to 1971 and they fit on about the same - three bolts through the frame. The advantage is that they have a splined shaft going to the steering column. Use an aftermarket street rod u-joint and hook up to any column you want. IMG_1077.JPG
     
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  23. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,031

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Great info
    Subscribed
     
  24. bryanyeskie
    Joined: Jun 13, 2016
    Posts: 131

    bryanyeskie
    Member
    from Hixton

     
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  25. magnus13
    Joined: Jun 1, 2013
    Posts: 51

    magnus13
    Member

    That's insane. Even if your welder settings we're halfway close, and you were blind, you could still do better welds than that.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  26. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 772

    fortynut
    Member

    If you want horn and turn signals with a small tube for the column use an early Nova that came from the factory with a floor shift. I prefer 14/15" & 17" flat sprint car steering wheels with vulcanized rubber grips, so there is no problem because you can use an adapter and the marriage of the steering shaft can be interdominational. For automatic transmission, use '54 Ford column. It is small and is on column. (In case you mate Flathead to Fordamatic, as it is possible with an adapter (so the Missus, or older rodders can hotwire your flapdoodle and take it for a spin.) Or, there are other options if you want cross-steering. I recently saw a very nice short door '41 business coupe with Saginaw power steering that ran a Flathead, because the owner wanted it that way. Recirculating ball boxes on vehicles that run on today's road surfaces, that in some places have craters like on the moon, is just a matter of notching up the engineering to keep yourself safe; always part of a tradition that goes back to our cavemen days. Or, you are making a traditional rod, try to use traditional gasoline, you'll find it has become extinct, like Dino, the dinosaur. If you know the reference. My motto: If it breaks fix it (to go) faster. All who have the hot rod madness, rave on! The Big Kahuna in the heavens has not dropped the checkered flag, yet! And, good luck with your endeavors, sir. Other Hamboholics, have posted some tasty ideas I am going to remember for future reference. Also, there are probably more F-100 boxes left, than F-1's. Vern Tardel had some things to say about them both. You can use either one. Same result and less hassle in rebuilding and repair. Golden West Suspension has oversize bearings for some applications. Doug Nordin is the man. See him. He can make your suspension and steering box issues disappear --- for a little of the green stuff. Not the kind goes up in smoke and is used in peace pipes!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  27. rodderbilly
    Joined: Nov 19, 2005
    Posts: 432

    rodderbilly
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from italy
    1. Rockabillies of the HAMB

    Hi ,i just read this post …..i adapted my F1steering box to a Limeworks banjo style steering column, i cut the F1 shaft and connect all with a steering joint…...3/4'' round X 3/4-36 spline….the Limeworks has a 3/4-36 spline shaft….i need to do this to get space ….
     
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  28. trey32
    Joined: Jul 27, 2014
    Posts: 244

    trey32

    Remember, if you can't weld good weld alot...
     

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