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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

Looks like I am going to have to remove the Burman box from car.

I got it up on jackstands yesterday and it is still very stiff.

Per provided me with a ZF box from aSpider as a replacement.

I would appreciate any BTDTs on the removal process.

It looks to me like I will have to pull the M/C and Booster and perhaps the EM?

Please tell me this is not so!!

The Spider box has an outer tube that appears to be pressed into the box. I have not opened it yet, but is there an easy way to remove this and substitute the GTV "linkage"

Thanks

John Corbs
 

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John:

Since I have no idea what abbreviations like: "BTDTs" and "EM" stand for, nor what the "GTV "linkage" is, it is kind of tough to address your question!

In general, steering boxes can be wiggled out with the master cylinder & booster in place. You may need to remove stuff like the battery and coolant overflow tank.

Is the issue that one steering box has a solid shaft, while the other has a U joint coupling? If so, the components aren't interchangable. Why not just install the ZF box and column as an assembly?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Abbreviations

Sorry Jay:

BTDT = Been there done that
EM = Exhaust Manifold
Linkage = Universal Joint - couldn't think of the right term at that moment

It might be possible in the earlier GTV's, but I don't see how one could even get to the u-joint bolts to undo them without taking the MC and booster out?

As for installing, shaft and all, that would require some serious removal of parts to allow the initial insertion of the rod through the firewall?

Thanks John Corbs
 

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i don't know about the ZF, but i might be of help with the Burman removal.

1. it will be easier to get to, if the front of the car is up high on jack stands.

2. remove driver's side front wheel.

3. degrease everything you expect to touch (on purpose or by accident).

4. remove tie rod ends connecting to steering box arm.

5. the exhaust system was off my car while i did this, and IT WILL probably get in the way, but the exhaust manifold should be okay left on the engine. if you are removing the front exhaust section, you should be prepared for reassembly with two new manifold-to-pipe flange gaskets, and a new round exhaust gasket for the connection in front of the rear axle.

6. while under the car, have someone turn the steering wheel until the u-joint turns to a point that you can get to it's lock bolt. REMOVE the lock bolt from the u-joint. if you don't completely remove it, the u-joint WILL NOT come off. if things look rusty, you might want to soak the splines in WD-40, PB blaster, etc.

7. you should be able to access all 3 steering box mounting bolts from below. this way, the master cylinders and the coolant bottle will not be in the way. remove the bolts.

8. pull the box out from underneath, pulling apart the u-joint connection at the same time. the box is hefty, so be prepared.


i do not know if the spider steering box is a direct bolt-in. >edit : according to my parts book, all 115 cars use the same ZF steering shaft part#, for whatever thats worth.< a lot of things will probably get in the way of installing a solid shaft ZF steering box, like the coolant bottle, the battery, the exhaust manifold, the oil filter, and even the engine ??

it might be easier to have your burman rebuilt. the steering idler on the passenger side of the car might also be whats causing the binding. my car had compound problems : the steering box housing was cracked and the idler box was binding, causing lots of play at the steering wheel. i had a local Los Angeles guy rebuild both for me, but it wasn't exactly cheap.
 

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darthdino had written: "according to my parts book, all 115 cars use the same ZF steering shaft part#, for whatever thats worth."

Gee, I dunno - all of my 105 & 115 spiders have had Burman boxes, with no U joints. I guess the GTV's used the U-jointed boxes. My point being that there seem to be a lot of permutations of box manufacturer and solid shaft vs jointed shaft.

Darth went on to say: "it might be easier to have your burman rebuilt."

Probably good advice. Then you won't need to mess with the steering-related parts on the interior of the car. Make sure that the U joints aren't binding either - that could be your problem, or a contributor to the problem.

See if your old box binds when it is free of the car - it may not be the culprit. Those ball joint Burman boxes tend to last forever, unless they are run dry or the housing fractures.

But if you do have to disassemble the column, it isn't a huge job. Getting the wheel off the shaft can be a bear, however.
 

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There are in deed lots of permutations of jointed and not jointed but more importantly - there are several lenghts of shaft depending on the model and year: GTV, Super, Spider or Berlina are not necessarily interchangeable between models and also not necessarily between years, although I am less sure of that.

Boxes can be wiggled out withou dismantling everything, but it sure helps to not have an engine and ancillaries in the way..... :rolleyes:
 

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I agree with Jay. Disconnect the linkages from the pitman arm and then see how the steering wheel feels. Keep your fingers crossed that the problem is not in the steering box.
Burman boxes are adjusted by adding or removing shims. There is a decent description in the old Brooklands manual. I can copy it for you if you need it. The factory in England reconditions them. I doubt that there is anyone stateside with access to the parts. I got one working fairly well by just replacing some of the ball bearings that were damaged.
U- jointed boxes show up on ebay from time to time. I sold mine for about $100. I have a good spare idler box if that is your problem.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
2 x 88 Verde's
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all, This is very helpful stuff.

I will disconnect the steering this weekend and see if the trouble is in the idler.

BTW, the box had cracked and been rewelded and rebuilt.

Per siad he thought that he may have shimmed it a bit tight?

All the ball joints look new, so it could be the idler?

John Corbs
 

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Jcorbs had written: "BTW, the box had cracked and been rewelded and rebuilt. Per siad he thought that he may have shimmed it a bit tight?"

Oh - that adds a lot of new information. I had written yesterday that Burman boxes last forever - unless they get cracked or run dry. Well, I guess your's isn't one of the immortal ones.

Yea, pull it out, see how it feels. Based on its prior damage, it probably will feel tight. You might disassemble it, see if any balls are galled, broken, or missing, try removing shims, etc. But, if the case dimensions are off as a result of the crack & rewelding, it may be better to find a good used box of the same configuration (make, U joint, etc). You might contact Alfa Parts Exchange to see if they can sell you one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again guys. I found a Burman from a Spider which I hope I can adapt to the u-joint setup.

I'll check the innards before trying to fit it.

Cheers

John Corbs
 
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