Burman Box Rebuild - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #16 of 286 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 05:27 AM
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What i dig about Chris is when i send him an email asking him like 5-6 questions
the guy will answer every single one of them
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post #17 of 286 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
Great job, Magnus! And glad you were able to improvise.

I did just yesterday hit on an idea that I think will work well: Once you assemble the upper bearing and balls onto the worm gear and then into the tube, you can then install the spring, sleeve and woodruff key and that should hold the balls nicely in place. I haven't tried it yet but I'm certain it will work and will make the rest of the assembly much easier. I am going to try this in the next couple of days and modify my procedure accordingly.

Bummer that the steering surround broke. I do have extras in case Chris can't help but I'm sure he'll take care of you.

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post #18 of 286 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 08:54 PM
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Once you assemble the upper bearing and balls onto the worm gear and then into the tube, you can then install the spring, sleeve and woodruff key and that should hold the balls nicely in place.
I was just about to say that this is what I used to do, and I got to your last post. Works a treat.

A couple of other notes:

I used to remove the O-ring and use a conventional oil seal. (you have to pry out the steel washer and bore the recess (or find a seal that fits) to suit an appropriately sized seal.

You must check for wear/play on the main sector shaft (both at the lower and top bearing surfaces). If any significant wear/play is detectable, you must rebush these inner bushes after regrinding the shaft journals (a straightforward job for any competent machine shop). If there is any play here, you are wasting you hard work elsewhere. The clearances here should be around 0.0075". Best acheived by honing!

The adjustment of shims for the steering column shaft should be done by feel of hand before assembly with the sector shaft (a dummy run).

The final adjustment of shims on the top oval cover (before installing the heavy spring) I used to do by installing the pitman arm and then mounting it in a vice (on the pitman arm), installing the steering wheel loosely, and then while the steering wheel is in the STRAIGHT AHEAD position, checking for play. You should aim to adjust the oval plate shims so that you get absolutely minimal play in the wheel but no binding. Then install the heavy spring. This procedure ensures that the box will have no play, but remain as frictionless as they are reknowned to be.

I have done a bucket of these boxes that people have otherwise said are "unrepairable" etc...

I have also replaced the cups and ball races with tapered roller bearings in one case when I could not get a good replacement main steering shaft.

Luke Clayton - Now: 1985 GTV6 3.0, 1986 GTV 3.2 24V (long term project) // Past: 8 x 105, 7 x 116, 4 x 900, 4 x 160
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post #19 of 286 (permalink) Old 07-10-2009, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
Thanks Clayton!

I agree with your comments regarding wear on the main sector ("rocking shaft" in Alfa parlance). I've been lucky so far in that I haven't had to replace any bushings. In fact, I have seen very little wear on the internal components. The biggest issues I've seen are corrosion on the bearing surfaces from moisture (the result of no oil) and cracked cases.

My theory is that, here in the midwest anyway, these cars are rarely used as daily drivers, many live their lives under a car cover and rarely do we think about steering box maintenance. So the car sits there, oil drains out of the case, moisture follows and the mechanism gets real, real stiff. The stresses must be tremendous at that point. If that's not enough we add wide tires to the equation. Remember that these boxes were designed for 165mm wide tires. I'm running 205s and it is a chore to turn around in a tight spots. All that force is directed to that 1/4" thick aluminum case. Yikes!

We carefully warm the motor up making sure we we've got plenty of oil pressure and baby our precious Nords out of the garage. Then we make a sharp right turn at 1 mph and bang, there goes the Burman box! We blame the poor design when in reality if we gave one tenth the attention to the poor little Burman box that we give every other component on these cars they would last forever.

The irony in this is that it's cheaper and easier to find a good used motor than it is a good used steering box...

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Last edited by gprocket; 07-10-2009 at 07:09 AM.
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post #20 of 286 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 02:14 AM
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Thanks indeed for this useful aticle. Very well done.

The problem when looking for a used Burman is that the 1750 had two versions, one being a bit longer 20mm than the other. :-(

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Last edited by Wille R.; 09-26-2009 at 02:19 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #21 of 286 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
Hi Wille:

Quite true although I have yet to find the elusive longer box. My 1750 Spider and the spare box I had from a parted out 1750 Spider are both the same length as the later model units. I have no idea if these were original to the cars so I won't argue to the contrary...

Any idea why the need for the extra length? I thought the entire steering geometry for the Spider, GTV and Berlina were identical.

Thanks for your kind words, too. I got to thinking, when I first got serious about working on these cars it was your website that opened the door to a wealth of information. It is what I like as much as working on and driving these cars - a spirit of cooperation that I've rarely experienced elsewhere. Thanks for blazing that trail!

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Last edited by gprocket; 09-28-2009 at 01:37 PM.
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post #22 of 286 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 08:44 PM
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Steering geometry is the same for all models of the same chassis.
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post #23 of 286 (permalink) Old 11-02-2009, 10:27 AM
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Hi

The lenght are differents, between, deep dished 2000 steering wheels, and less dished other ones.
Thats the diferencies.

Paulo Manso
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post #24 of 286 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 02:30 AM
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bottom seal

I'm going through the process of rebuiding my Burman steering box following the instructions, next step will be assemby.
As suggested I replaced O-ring / retainer with a seal, this for I had the box machined (bore 40 mm).
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post #25 of 286 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 07:26 AM
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Norman Racing made a similar fix when they sorted out my Super's ZF box. The bottom seal on the ZF was a nonstandard size and they just could not find a replacement come heck or high water. So they bored the outside diameter oversize a bit and went with a standard seal that has worked fine for 10+ years.
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post #26 of 286 (permalink) Old 11-06-2009, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
Norman Racing made a similar fix when they sorted out my Super's ZF box. The bottom seal on the ZF was a nonstandard size and they just could not find a replacement come heck or high water. So they bored the outside diameter oversize a bit and went with a standard seal that has worked fine for 10+ years.
Andrew

Yepp, true. The ZF has the dimension in mm 28x42.5x8. It makes me so tired when they use some stupid non standard size just to make money.

Veloce and Wille R.

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Last edited by Wille R.; 11-06-2009 at 07:40 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #27 of 286 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:56 PM
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About my steering box that is leaking. It is leaking from the small front cover.
I noticed that in the pictures there is no gasket, only shims. This is where my leak is, i.e. the top edge of this front cover. I did replace the seal coming out the bottom to the steering rods.
How can I seal the front cover without removing the box from the car and how would I repair the leak since no gasket is used?
Thanks, you guys are great with your input.
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post #28 of 286 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 08:00 PM
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I just want to say nice job to Rich for getting this one going and to everyone for chiming in with the great input. This is the stuff that makes owning one of these cars so much better than other experiences I've had. THANK YOU!!!

Gene
'71 GTV 1750 USA SPICA
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post #29 of 286 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:09 AM
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Burman steering box

I hope I am not redunant, but I would appreciate your input as to the front cover on the box where the horn wire comes out. That is where mine is leaking. Can it be resealed while installed in the car? I have already replaced the lip seal around the output shaft. Looking at the pictures of the box, it appears there is no way of packing grease and getting it to all the bearing surfaces without a total dissassembly. Is that correct?
Thanks for all your help.
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post #30 of 286 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:27 AM
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You may use sealant. Remove the four bolts and gently draw the front cover out as far as you may. Then use a good sealant (I use Lock-tite) and with the pipe place the sealing compound all around. Then re-tighten. This way no need to remove the unit from the car. I have not access to my Duetto at the moment (snowing like mad) but I know it could be done. Not for purists though.

If you remove the front cover, you will still have to remove it all, to add a new gasket. You'll need to disconnect the horn wire to do so. Normally, the box is leaking from the seal/ring at the bottom.

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Last edited by Wille R.; 04-19-2014 at 08:25 AM.
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