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Discussion Starter #1
Dear all,

I have a problem with a ´74 2.0L Bertone, I have change all the tie-rods, all the suspension bits are refurbished and everything is new, the problem is, when you start driving the car, when cold the steeringwheel feels free and light, after 10 min. driving it becomes very tight and hard to steer, with or without load it remains stift to drive, somebody has experience with this?? I´m thinking of rebuilding the Burmann box but dont know if that is going to solve the problem, but the cuestion is, what is happening here?

Thanks in advance

John
 

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Have you looked at the motor mounts? If they are sagged, the oil pan will be rubbing on the center steering link. A longshot, but maybe, if the mounts are firm when cold, sag once warmed up.
Do you know what fluid is in the steering box? Should be 90W oil.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the answer, the engine mounts are also new and teh correct ones for this model, already checked that, the fluid inside the steering box is some lube mixed with 90W,
 

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when you start driving the car, when cold the steeringwheel feels free and light, after 10 min. driving it becomes very tight and hard to steer, with or without load it remains stift to drive...
John:

Those are very odd symptoms. I could explain the box being the cause of "tight when cold / loose when hot", but not the opposite.

Before disassembling your Burman box, I would isolate the problem further. How long does the steering remain stiff once things are warmed up? Could you take the car on a drive longer than 10 min - get the steering fully tight - and then unfasten the steering arm from the bottom of the Burman box, and see if the steering still feels tight. If yes, the it is the box. If no, then it might be the upper or lower ball joints.

Now that I think about it, I had this same symptom last year - it was the upper ball joints. My ball joints also made a squeeking/groaning noise, both when turning the wheels, and when going over bumps.
 

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I'm stumped. I'll be very interested to hear what this is. Maybe heat from the nearby exhaust affecting something during each drive as it warms up?
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #6
John:

Those are very odd symptoms. I could explain the box being the cause of "tight when cold / loose when hot", but not the opposite.

Before disassembling your Burman box, I would isolate the problem further. How long does the steering remain stiff once things are warmed up? Could you take the car on a drive longer than 10 min - get the steering fully tight - and then unfasten the steering arm from the bottom of the Burman box, and see if the steering still feels tight. If yes, the it is the box. If no, then it might be the upper or lower ball joints.

Now that I think about it, I had this same symptom last year - it was the upper ball joints. My ball joints also made a squeeking/groaning noise, both when turning the wheels, and when going over bumps
What is very odd is that everything in the front suspension has been rebuild, all the tie-rods, uper & under, yesterday I have dismanted all the trach-rods and the steeringwheel feelt light and whitout any funny feeling, I´m going to take out the box and rebuild it lets see what we could make out of it, what is funny is that everything is stock on the car
 

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You may be missing an important clue. This seems to have started AFTER the big rebuild. Could easily be a mis-alignment somewhere in the set. If so, loosen all the bolts while the car is on its wheels, then retighten.

Robert
 

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Hey John, greetings!! You know my story. It surely happened to me; don't know why. Perhaps on his longer drive Roland experienced this on Benjamin also? Cheers, B
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I´m taking today the steering box appart to see if the problem is inside the box, the level of the lube was ok, just full and without any leak. Bruce, I didnt do anything to this box yet, so dificult to say if Benajmin has the same problem, I let you know if I discover something

Groeten / Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hi, I have take The steeringbox appart and I have see somethings, I had to cut open the pittman arm, it was imposible to take out, I have heat it with no result, the steeringshaft is worn out and I´m missing 2 balls!!!, anyway the front left wheel has a funnty feeling, I think that the under-rod is worn, i will check that further. A few pictures for the experts, what to do with the steeringshaft?? Polish it??
 

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John/Ben - check this thread out if you haven't seen it already. Also, you might let folks know where you got the correct-sized ball bearings from. That is important info. Could it simply be a case where the box is just a tad too tightly adjusted (good when cold) and you need to re-shim it (add a shim in this case)?? Better a tad sloppy than too tight (believe me!). How dies the idler feel?? B

LINK
 

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What is the correct ball size for a Burman?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The box is rebuilded and re-shimed, tomorrow i will mount it and see if there is any difference. I´m feeling a rod that is not ok, i leave a picture of it.

John
 

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The lower ball joints - at the tip of your arrow - are the highest wear item of the front suspension. Not so likely to cause the stiff steering you described, but they get sloppy fast. You have to remove the springs (do a search here to find the "threaded rod trick") to properly test it, and then replacing is two bolts and the tapered nut.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The lower ball joints - at the tip of your arrow - are the highest wear item of the front suspension. Not so likely to cause the stiff steering you described, but they get sloppy fast
even so, it does have a funny feeling when turned by hand, it goes light until you turned almost completly to the left, than it starts to go stif, this lower ball joint is new and it shouldnt have that stif feeling
 

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2 things here: Out of experience I know that very often the OTHER steering box, the one on the right, often feels fine when separated or fitted, but goes very stiff when in or out. how do I say this? When on the car, it works, when out of the car it simply will not turn.
Or, seen this too: when ON the car it will not turn but if you take it off it will. Probably because it has once been overtightened, and then develops some play. Then when you take it off, it will be stuck in position. So please check out that one too.

as for the Burman steering box: Please let me give you one tip: Don't do this yourself you will not be happy. It needs ball bearings in mm not inches. There is a difference. Setting it up correctly is a huge amount of work, as you are working with worn parts. Just replacing bearings and oil seals does not constitute a rebuilt steering box.

I would suggest, out of experience, to contact Henk Prins in the Netherlands. From ALL the people I've done business with, he sells REALLY reconstituted steering boxes that really work EXCELLENT. Classic Alfa Parts - On-line shop voor onderdelen voor de klassieke Alfa Romeo
check: Bertone, Techniek, Stuurinrichting and you will find a fully reconditioned box for 575,- . These are truly like new. I have no connection, but always order these through him. he ships worldwide.
He's not always the cheapest in parts, but these are really good.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Rik
 
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