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Adjustment out of the Car

Sorry if it's buried in this excellent thread somewhere but I just can't find it.
I'm trying to check and adjust the free play in my steering Box. This is currently out of the Car, I took out a couple of years back and swapped it from another Car as I felt the steering was imprecise. It did seem much better afterwards with a new box. But I could never find any significant play in the old one when it was out of the car.

I have read in the manual that end float can be checked with a dial gauge and should be between 002" and 010" with a 22lbs weight on the arm. But I'm struggling to see how that is actually done. What would I be checking exactly?. This appears to be related to the cross shaft and is adjusted by removing or adding the shims under the oval cover, but how can put a dial gauge on that with the cover in place?.

I have probably got the wrong end of the stick..... so any help appreciated.
 

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I'm trying to check and adjust the free play in my steering Box. This is currently out of the Car, I took out a couple of years back and swapped it from another Car as I felt the steering was imprecise. It did seem much better afterwards with a new box. But I could never find any significant play in the old one when it was out of the car.

I have read in the manual that end float can be checked with a dial gauge and should be between 002" and 010" with a 22lbs weight on the arm. But I'm struggling to see how that is actually done. What would I be checking exactly?. This appears to be related to the cross shaft and is adjusted by removing or adding the shims under the oval cover, but how can put a dial gauge on that with the cover in place?.
OK: Do not assume imprecise steering is the steering box for starters. It can be anything from tyres, worn suspension components, poor wheel alignment. In fact, everything should be perfect to get a 105 to steer as good as they should.

To check the steering box off the car: Mount the box by the pitman arm in a vice (really solidly) with the key up and steering centred. Place a steering wheel on the column and lightly wiggle the wheel - you should have less the 10 mm movement in the wheel edge before the column moves side to side.

If this is OK: Take the box out of the vice and turn the column by hand: it should be reasonably smooth... some resistance is normal as the spring under the top cover imparts some friction in the system. Then move the pitman arm lock to lock... This should also be reasonably smooth without a deep rumble.

If any of the above tests fails, time to overhaul.

I set up the preload on the column bearings by hand: reducing and adding shims till I get the right feel. The initial shimming is done by measuring the protrusion of the spacer washer at the bottom of the box with the depth function of a vernier.

The shimming at the top of the box is also done initially by measurement with a vernier to .1 - .2 mm (.004 - .008") clearance. Once the top is installed and lubed, the above tests should be repeated. Any binding or stiffness should be adjusted out by adding shims here.
 

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Thanks Luke.
Just to clarify then, when you say bottom of the box you are referring to the lower bearing of the column itself?. I would need to remove the larger rectangular cover and check the clearance/protrusion of the end of the column against the body of the box?.

By the top of the box I expect you mean the smaller oval cover?.

I'm anxious not to dismantle something and have ball bearings rolling all over the place. They won't escape from the bottom cover will they?
 

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oops, this doesn't look good. Any way back from this?
Somebody that can TIG weld and machine the box can fix it. Otherwise you have to find a good second hand casing, or buy a new one from Alfaholics for lots of $ (GBP).

The bottom column bearing has no set protrusion. It should be set to have very little/no end float with no bind. If you find you can't set this as such with no roughness, then the bearings are probably stuffed. Time for further repairs....

If you are careful, you can remove the bottom plate to check preload/setting of these bearings. Remove the top plate and spring first though so you can get the right feel.
 

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Ok I'd hoped that would be the feedback. Given that part of the casing is very well braced with plates on the top and end, it clearly can't go anywhere.

Looks like I would need to strip I though. I'd expect to weld it up properly I would need a vee grinding in to it.

If I was to take the other option of swapping the casing for a different one, could I expect my internals to fit in it without problems, or would I have to change all the seals and bearings anyway?. I'm I expect they won't all come out without damage?.
 

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Do you have a source in Australia for seals, bush,bearings and seals?
Hi Jim

The seals are all replaced with the 40 x 28 x 7 that the later boxes all had. When I machine the lower bush, I machine this seal position if it is an early box with an o-ring. This seal is readily available from bearing stores. Likewise the balls: they are 9/32". A bearing store will get them in in a couple of days. The top bushes I make new out of a high nickel content steel, the lower from a self lubricating synthetic. Once fitted they are bored while fitted in a jig to suit a sector shaft I have remachined true.

When I recondition a steering box, if the cups are in acceptable condition, I reuse and resurface the cone part. I have resurfaced the cups, but they are very, very hard...

The bearings for the worm (column) can be replaced by tapered roller bearings (this has been shown in this thread). It is not completely straight forward as the bearing that sort of is close requires the outer cup machined down to 47 mm.

The top bearing requires a slightly different approach, particularly if the steering lock is to be retained. Some black magic here.

But in actual fact, I have never asked about availability of the cups apart from the other week... But silly me, I took bearings with numbers that were not legible... :oops:
 

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Mmmm not going well this, firstly I cannot get the damned Pitman arm off, going to have to make a special Puller unless anybody has an majic method?.

AND I've found another Crack...:frown2:

Bigger this time too.
 

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With regards to the pitman arm - although I'm not sure what kind of puller you're using (a standard pitman arm puller should do fine) your problem could simply be a lack of leverage - I had to use a 1.5 foot breaker bar to get the leverage I needed to remove it.
 

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1.5 foot.... that's a tiddler, I have a 4 foot piece of Roll Cage on it!.

I've been using a Gear Puller, but googling Pitman Arm Pullers, I'm sure one of those would be better. The gear Puller has 3 hinged 'grapples' on it, but the central threaded bar is quite long (about 3") and it's now bent.
 

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Just to follow up:

I needed some other bits today and asked the "Bearing Whisperer" at the local bearing shop. He is an old geezer that has been in the game since God was a boy.

He tracked the bearing by the part numbers: (RIV 614648 - Top and 614649 Bottom) to the Alfa steering box... no other application shown on his system/s.

Unobtainium via his suppliers.
 

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Hi Clayton105,

Unobtainium via his suppliers.
These can be purchased easily in Australia. I sourced the bearings (7.14mm or 9/32" diameter) in stainless steal from Statewide Bearings in July 2011 (item number# 9/32CH/S/B). It was $20.00 for a quantity of 100.

I then used Penrite Molygrease 3% (molibdenum disulphide) on the working faces of the following internal components: bearings, main nut roller, globular boss and the tapered recess in the rocker shaft crank and then filled the box with Penrite steering box lube. All available in Australia.

4.5 years on and no problems what so ever...and I've driven the car across Australia twice.


.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayton105 View Post
Unobtainium via his suppliers.
These can be purchased easily in Australia. I sourced the bearings (7.14mm or 9/32" diameter) in stainless steal from Statewide Bearings in July 2011 (item number# 9/32CH/S/B). It was $20.00 for a quantity of 100.
So where did I say that the 9/32 balls were not available????

I said the top and bottom cups: RIV 614648 and 614649 are NLA!

BTW: you are getting ripped on the balls... I pay about 10 cents each :smile2:
 

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I purchased the following bearing to replace the steering shaft end bearing due to ball groove pitting: 17mm Internal Dia 47mm OD Tapered Roller Bearing Cone | eBay - it is no FAG or SKF bearing, but for the intended purpose, I am not too worried about tolerances. Using the machining method described in this thread, the inner diameter of the bearing was too large, so I ordered a 1mm spacer as well. To my surprise, when test fitting the bearing without the spacer prior to getting it machined, it was a perfect fit! The bearing race was a tighter squeeze into the burman casing compared to the original race, but when assembling the box using the two burman shims, the shaft rotated both smoothly and firmly. The surface area where the steering shaft and the bearing mate might not be optimal, but the inner bearing race has a rounded edge, so it shouldn't be too bad.

$6 fix.
 
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