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Well, I'll remove the football and see what's what. There's no fore/aft lash. And in any case I'm not taking this box out, or apart. If it's sloppy and removing shims doesn't make it better, he's going to have to live with it. Tie rod ends are OK. Idler box has some slop, but that will have to be fixed another day. This is a beater Berlina, on a budget.

Andrew
 

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I spent quite a bit of time experimenting with different shims - taking my box out as many as 7 times to change the shims and then test drive.

One observation that I can share is that adding a paper gasket in addition to the metal shims increases the play, while using metal shim only produces less play. I attributed this to the effects of compression of the paper gasket-which surprised me.

Another thing to try is lowering the inflation of the front tires - perhaps down to say 27 psi and keep the rear at about 32.

Good luck. I would be interested to hear back about your experience.
 

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This box has a couple inches of play at the wheel. Ugh. I just got a 74 Berlina of my own, has about 1/4" play. The comparison is instructive, drove them both yesterday.
This box came out of a race car, no telling what its life was like.
Andrew
 

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I'd venture to guess, pretty hard life.
 

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I just finished rebuilding my box for my 72 Giulia super and it was easy by following your instruction plus I was fortunate that this car was never abused and in location that nothing was pitted but it was leaking.
Anyway the only snag I had is when I did the orientation as my common sense was out to lunch. For the orientation it says that if it's a left hand drive to position the slot on the column on the right, some left hand drive cars have the key tumbler on the left side so therefore the slot should be on the same side of the key.
 

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Reading through this great article I was inspired to teardown and inspect the Burman box on my '73 GTV project car. What I found was a bit of a mess. This box is a u-joint type that appears to have been lubricated with a couple of sparingly applied dabs of white lithium paste. There was no sign of oil and also sadly no rubber vent plug present.

As the pictures show the bearings are rusty and the races pitted. Also shown is the main shaft showing the rust and corrosion where it rides on the bronze bushing. Needless to say the alloy housing also has a pair of cracks through the upper plate screw holes.

I was hoping to utilize parts from my parts car. Another '73 GTV a mere 100 chassis numbers younger than my project car, but on inspection I found that it has a non u-joint type Burman box !

My question is did Alfa use one or another type box consistently ? Was there a changeover VIN ? Was the box on my earlier car replaced by a Spider box ?

Looking forward to hearing what people think happened here.
 

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You should be able to use the box from the long shaft with the short, universal shaft.
OK. Cool.

Only problem may be that the short shaft from the original box is pretty bad....

Pitting on the bearing surfaces and also some on the spiral grooves.

I'm going to spend a little time cleaning things up and then inspect again.
 

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Naples where are you in town? I might have some spares of these parts, will have to look. I know I bought 100 ball bearings !!
 

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Naples where are you in town? I might have some spares of these parts, will have to look. I know I bought 100 ball bearings !!
Howdy,

I am in North County. San Marcos to be specific. I also have a bag of .280 bearings but I am thinking of converting the end bearings to the Timken type rollers as all my races are quite heavily pitted. Having the case Tig welded up right now.

Thanks for the offer !
 

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Discussion Starter #292 (Edited)
It's not the ideal situation you can clean them up and re-use the races and worm gear. Just make sure the balls flow through the recirculating knuckle. Sometimes the tube on the backside gets dented and won't allow the balls to rotate.

Remember this isn't a shaft spinning at thousands of RPM. What you want is smooth translation of motion. Worst case would be the steering will feel a little gritty. But I'm betting you'll not feel anything different.

IMHO not much point to switching to roller bearings but if you have the expertise, why not...
 

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I need help uninstalling the burman steering box!

Hello all,

I am not an alfa owner, but since this is great thread about the burman box, i hope i can find some help!
I have a small sailboat which uses the steering box, but it is enclosed in a fiberglass tower which you see at the pictures. I want to rebulid it because bearing balls had fallen out of place.

Problem is that as worm gear passes through the backside and is longer that the fiberglass tower, i will not be able to uninstall the box when i undo the 3 screws.

I assume that i should cut the fiberglass at some area but not sure where. Any suggestions are welcome, thanks!
 

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Hi Rich,
Just rebuilt my Burman box with the help of your write up. Everything went pretty well using your procedure.
Thanks you for the write up.
Adam
 

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You should yake all the inspection hatches off to see how it all work. I very much doubt if you will be able to do the rebuild in situ. Whatever works to get it out of the housing then rebuild the housing. Good luck, you will need loads of it.
Jim
 

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Hey guys,

I am rebuilding my burman box or to be precise, i am done with it. It feels tight and inside the black tube there is a very light scratching. In the box itself everything is very smooth. I can still turn the shaft with two fingers. So I think it is okay for a 50 year old part.

When I opened the box (because it was leaking and I wanted to see why) I found a carefully inspected, marked and assembled box. On the pitarm were permanent marker writings like "should be xx mm, is yy mm , part okay". BUT there where not enough balls in the main nut! The worm gear was missing 3 balls!!!

Is there any way of explaining that other than "I do not care". Taking into account the care, which was taken rebuilding the box, I think the person before me had a reason for the missing balls. Any ideas?

thanks
Christian
 

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The main bushing at the bottom had very little play, but I could still feel it being realy carefull. As a result I have 3/10 of a mm (0,012") movement at the other end of the pitarm. See in the pictures. As this point is 6" away from the bushing I would consider the play as tolerable. What is a professional advice for that bushing?

The car had no freeplay when driven before disassembly. As the top end of the pitarm is also caught in the top cover of the box, I do not think the free movement will still be there with the cover in place?!
 

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I have just finished my Alfa Montreal Burman Box rebuild with help of this great thread.

The Burman box is the same as late Alfa 105 with u-joint and i am going to upgrade to electric power steering from a Toyota Yaris as it is called here in europe.

But i have trouble to find a new U-joint that fit the Burman box 48 spline and what i can measure 21.80mm outside diameter or 0.860 inch i think is correct.

I think this company can help me with a custom made u-joint but they only have U-joint that are 48 spline and 0.750 inch O.D is this the same or do Burman box have one of built splines that no other have ?

http://www.woodwardsteering.com/PDF/7.%20Steering%20Universal%20Joints,%20Splined%20Couplers%20and%20Shafts.pdf

Or is it any other source for u-joints for the Burman box if they fail ?
 
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