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had my stearing box out to replace it. car was hit in the side.:mad:. could not fine a new seal around here( sacramento) :( so i cleaned the seal and the box really well, re-instaled the seal.....got some stp.. and pourd it in... well not really poured:rolleyes:, sort of pour into a funnel,, to the brim, come back in 1/2 hour, refiled it agian..1/2 hour later filled stearing box... best yet ..no leaks,:) after 1 week not a drop....works well..:)
 

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STP in a steering box

Never have tried STP, but it is a decent lubricant. Might be stiff steering when cold but will warm up. In the long run it might be better than the suggested SHELL SPIRAX which seems so thin that it regularly escapes and allows the crucial pieces to grind each other until the box has "notches" and "catches" that can be felt during the turning process. I have filled boxes with the soft grease used in zerk fittings. That has worked okay -- especially when the problem was a box already nearly dead from lack of lubrication. Main need on these "worm and roller" boxes (pre-Alfetta ala 1975 cars) is just basic lubrication of some kind so those critical steel pieces are not grinding and dragging on the other bare metal to bare metal. That finally chips parts out of one of the critical steel steel parts or the other (or both). The thicker grease also has the advantage of lubricating what are basically barely sufficient bicycle type bearings on the front and rear of the worm. But STP might be a genius inspiration ONCE YOU CAN GET IT IN THERE. It will leak even less and probably lubricate better. As for informing the BB informed how it works, I believe you will never have problems. But be sure to alert the BB if you do.
 

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, RIP 04/21/2019,
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Jay,
Almost 2 years since you used STP in your steering box. What would be your current reccomendation for steering box lubricant. I just checked mine and it is low but the box is not leaking ... a far as I can tell. It steers smoothly so I think the gears are okay.

Thanks, Roger.
 

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No, Roger, I never used STP, someone else did.

It sounded like something to try when I first heard that report. But since that post two years ago I have had another experience that has caused me to rethink STP. I no longer believe it as good as the Spirax (regular rear end EP90 grease) for boxes. However, I still have merely grease gun grease in a steering box on my Montreal which must have been designed a little less critically than the earlier two liter. I've had no problem with it.

HOWEVER, since the post I have had to rebuild a two liter box sent me from Denver. In that box, supposedly carefully rebuilt for the owner by a mechanic ten years before, the mechanic did not use EP 90 but anti-sieze, something not really liquid even though quite slick and lubricating. It and STP might be somewhat similar. But because of the lack of truly liquid fully permeating lubrication the upper roller (i.e. the roller of the two liter box's worm and roller box) had to stand so much pressure without sufficient lubrication to turn that one end came loose and the roller quit turning altogether. The worm caught only one specific spot of the Roller until finally that spot was warn away to the point the worm barely would be touched, and the car turned far better to the right than the left. How the owner got the car to a different repair shop fifteen miles away one there was hardly any contact between worm and roller is still a mystery to a repair man there (Dave at Applemotors) and myself.

Anyway, (1) the roller that rides horizontally has needle bearings on the shaft to make it turn with less friction. (2) The only way to really lubricate those needle bearings is with the very very smelly liquid EP 90 rear end grease. (3) Seals are measured in millimeters -- inside diameter, outside diameter and thickness -- and any manufacturer can make the ones needed for the steering box. It takes only two seals to keep the grease in. The seals for the steering box are sized and described universally as sm (i.e. seal, metric) 25x35x7 for input, and sm30x40x7 for vertical shaft on the bottom. I have had great luck with Japanese manufactured seals. (4) If you have damaged caged bearings try taking the balls to a bicycle shop and seeing if you can get enough of the same size to replace any missing. I suspect the bearing with cages are still available through AFRA in Milan, but waiting is forever. (5) Finally, since the greatest problem seems to be from "notches" cut into the worm or roller from running dry, I disassemble and have a fantastic welder I know use an arch welder to fill the pit and then grind it down. The weld is already case hardened and so the repair is solid and lasts. If done right the box works like new -- not a stagger or hesitation and smooth as a baby's _ _ _ _. If there are only a couple notches that welding solution is a snap. But if the worm or roller is worn throughout it is basically shot then I have to look at my stash of boxes and cannibalize. Really hate to do that, but it is the rare machinist who can set his machinery to grind a full worm with double curvature if one tries welding too much. I tried to fix a worm and roller for PoppaJoe of the BB. I could not pull it off. Thank goodness he had already purchased a new set. They now make a replacement set of worm and roller at OKT (Christian Ondrake) in Munich -- try OKT Germany GmbH:: Home - Aufbewahren, Kunststoffprodukt, Klappbox, Frischhaltedose, Tiefkühldose as well as at AFRA in Milan, but it seems there are complaints about the steel being too soft. I suspect a good metal man could temper those parts for you. I would recommend seeing if you could get that done.

But if your box works basically okay, first check if it is totally full (as full as you can get it) of EP 90 rear end grease. You will be surprised how much that helps keep the box from being damaged and how much easier it feels when you make the wheels turn from side to side. If the oil runs right out, or even leaks enough to notice pools on the floor (your danger is that you might forget to keep putting in grease) then go get new seals. Nothing magic about a steering box. It comes apart easily and the seals replace easily. As the old fellow who gave me confidence to start fixing my own Alfa said, "Jay, remember you are a smart intelligent fellow and the guy who made this couldn't even speak English". Good for a laugh even if politically incorrect and pointless besides. But it got me started, and I'll never forget the fellow. Maybe you can keep that in mind and screw up your courage. Nobody can afford to have expensive mechanics do all their work on an Alfa. Besides, I have seen lots of oil filter assemblies that even self proclaimed genius mechanics never realized had all the internal assembly missing so as to be totally worthless. I finally developed a spin on adapter and use Small block Chevrolet filters. Ruined two motors in the process of learning how to perfect the spin on adapter, but now I run them all the time. Maybe I should put something on the board about that. Good luck. Jay
 
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