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Discussion Starter #1
In an effort to rectify a broken horn wire I removed the lower end plate from the burman steering box, only to find that the wire goes all the way upto the steering wheel.
However when I replaced the end plate the steering is now incredibly stiff :(. Any experience / knowledge / advice gratefully accepted.
Thank Stuart
 

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Burman steering boxes use ball bearings to carry the load between the worm and sector. They also use loose ball bearings for the front and rear thrust bearings on the steering shaft. In total, there are 30-odd loose ball bearings in the box.

I'd bet that when you loosened the front plate, you dislodged one or more bearings. #1, I wouldn't drive the car that way for fear it might lock up or cause internal damage. #2, I suspect that the only way to fix it is to remove the box, disassemble it, see if a ball has come adrift, and put it back where it belongs.

Note that reassembling these things requires 5 or 6 pairs of hands. The only way that mere mortals can do it is to coat everything with heavy grease to hold the balls in place while you put it together. When you take it apart, don't let the balls fall out and disappear under your workbench.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that Jay
Motor is out at the moment so it's relatively easy to get at the steering box. Only the lower plate was removed and the steering column was not rotated. The 10 ball bearings in this lower section were retrieved and replaced , as you say with a heavy grease holding them in place. Suppose I may have displaced the ball bearings on the upper worm shaft, though its difficult to see why that end should have moved by only slakening the lower plate???
Thanks again from sunny England :)
Stuart
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Burman steering Box

Hi people
does anyone out there have, or know where I can obtain a decent diagram of the Burman steering box assembly.
Thanks Stuart
 

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Suppose I may have displaced the ball bearings on the upper worm shaft, though its difficult to see why that end should have moved by only slakening the lower plate???

Stuart:

Well, SOMETHING must have moved while the lower plate was off, as your box now behaves differently. I can imagine the shaft moving downward/forward enough for one of the balls in the upper bearing to come adrift. Why that would cause the box to become stiff is a little hard to figure, but better you find out that a bearing is out of place than to not know and have one rattling around loose in the steering box, waiting to jamb things up at an unexpected moment!

Remove the steering box, spread out a large sheet of newspaper to catch the balls and oil, and take the thing apart. Use ossodiseppia's diagram + a wad of grease to put it all back together again. Make notes of which shims were where. Replace the seal on the sector shaft while it is apart (it's a generic seal that any industrial supply house should carry).
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Burman Steering Box

Hi & thanks gentlemen
for the link to your website, great photo,s & info.The steering box is still in the car ( I was originally trying to fix a broken wire for the horn ) so the end plate could not be removed fully, therefore any shims that were there, are still there.Will have another inspection at the w/e, but will probably bite the bullet and remove the box from the car to do a full check.
Thanks again for all your time & assistance
Stuart



Have resprung all round now, so she looks like a proper Alfa again .
I will be across in the States in a weeks time, going leaf peeping in Vermont, pity I will not be driving around in the Alfa.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Morning Gents
I managed to get at the steering box without having to remove the steering wheel etc. Just unbolted the column and steering box and had enough space to dismantle and reassemble the burman in situ. Found that the upper worm shaft bearings had become slightly displaced. All back together and working as it should.
Progress indeed, after a full weekend the motor and gearbox back in, cylinder head back on, all hooked up and initial run of the motor "A OK" no time to take it for a spin though, that will have to wait for a couple of weeks now.
Thanks for all your assistance
Stu
 
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