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Hi, I have been a member of this Forum for several years and read it most days. It has been very valuable in restoring my 74 GTV.
I have owned mine for 12 years and it is a US version. Every year during the winter here in Canada when I cannot drive it, I choose a certain area to rebuild that I had not gotten to during the restoration.
This year it is the steering column. I have been looking for three items which i need some help on. The column has an upper bushing which is mounted in rubber and results in side play in the wheel. I am also looking for the Universal joint which is located at the bottom end of the column near the box. US versions had a UJ instead of the Euro version stiff column.
I have checked most or all of the suppliers for these items but no luck.
The UJ measures 20mm dia on the caps and 45mm across.

I sure someone has had to replace these items in the past and I would appreciate any help.

Thanks
Lawrence
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I am still looking for a source for the Universal joint that is found in the steering shaft on a 74 GTV near the Burman box. I have checked all the suppliers including Alfaholics and
Alfa Parts but this part does not seem to exist. I understand that they were only on the US models. It looks exactly what you would find on the driveshaft but in a smaller version. The dimensions are 20 mm dia on the caps and 45 mm across. I would like to know if anyone has had to replace this part and where they found the part. It seems that this is one of the more rare parts and I have not found it discussed anywhere in this forum.
Thanks for any help.

Lawrence
 

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I believe it was a mandated safety item for the US market; Berlinas got it too. I'd check with APE to see if they have any decent used ones lying around. (209) 833-8330. The ones on my cars have never been worn out.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It sure looks to be the same. On the alfa, there is a female spline into the steering box and a male that fits into the other half of the steering shaft, but the UJ looks to be a close fit. It's a good start. I will try to locate one and measure it. Thanks for the tip. If you read my first post, I had problems with my ignition switch and the upper bearing on the shaft. I managed to disassemble the switch and clean it. It is working well now. The upper bearing was repaired by machining a replacement bushing from polyethylene and fitting it into the original bronze outer sleeve. Also a great fix. When you can't find the parts, you need to restore them.

Lawrence
 

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Let me add onto this topic. I had a little play in my steering wheel and thought it was my allignment, so this morning, I turned the wheel far to the left and I heard a "POP" and now my steering wheel spins freely without having any sort of effect on the actual wheels (luckily, I hadn't left for work yet! :eek:). It is also sticking out further. Is it safe to say this U joint broke?
 

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Andrew had written: "I believe it (i.e., steering column U joint) was a mandated safety item for the US market; Berlinas got it too."

But spiders didn't. At least the '76 spider I used to own, which was definitely a US model, had a solid steering column. Perhaps the US DOT decided that spider owners were expendable.

elite38868: I have no idea what's wrong with your car's steering. I am assuming this problem is on your '71 spider, which I don't think has a steering column U joint. The fact that the steering wheel is sticking out further does suggest something in the column (rather than in the box or tie rods). But, who knows? Perhaps the nut under the wheel came loose, and the wheel came off its key. What happens when you sit in the drivers seat and push out & back on the wheel? Does it come off in your hands, wiggle fore-aft, or remain perhaps the box has come loose from the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I was working on my column I came across this diagram that I had. It is helpful to understand what is going on so you can troubleshoot it.

Lawrence
 

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Andrew had written: "I believe it (i.e., steering column U joint) was a mandated safety item for the US market; Berlinas got it too."

But spiders didn't. At least the '76 spider I used to own, which was definitely a US model, had a solid steering column. Perhaps the US DOT decided that spider owners were expendable.

elite38868: I have no idea what's wrong with your car's steering. I am assuming this problem is on your '71 spider, which I don't think has a steering column U joint. The fact that the steering wheel is sticking out further does suggest something in the column (rather than in the box or tie rods). But, who knows? Perhaps the nut under the wheel came loose, and the wheel came off its key. What happens when you sit in the drivers seat and push out & back on the wheel? Does it come off in your hands, wiggle fore-aft, or remain perhaps the box has come loose from the frame.
Hi Jay, I'll have to figure out how to remove the steering column because I'm not sure if mine is solid or has the u-joint. Any ideas? The nut appears to be solid.

When I was working on my column I came across this diagram that I had. It is helpful to understand what is going on so you can troubleshoot it.

Lawrence
Lawrence, do you have a larger version of that diagram? Is that for a GTV?
 

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I think I found out what is wrong. The steering box (possibly a Burman??) cracked and I can see nasty looking fluid coming out. What is involved in replacing the steering box?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes Sean I do. I will repost it tomorrow when I get into work. I will post it as a PDF.

Lawrence
 

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I think I found out what is wrong. The steering box (possibly a Burman??) cracked and I can see nasty looking fluid coming out. What is involved in replacing the steering box?
I suggest that you search for my recent posts on this subject.

My 74 GTV came with a welded and recracked box....real mess.

It has been very difficult to find a viable replacement Burman.

The first one I bought also has cracks and I have just received a second which I am hopeful will be crack free. Since I will be racing the car, this one is going straight to Jim Steck for reinforcing.

Once you find a good casing, the rebuild is pretty straight forward and well covered in this or the GTA forum.

You might consider trying a ZF box. They are by all accounts sturdier and easier to come by, but apparently have less feel on center??

I have not seen a ZF with the UJ, only the fixed shaft, but this too is early days for me.

Good Luck

John Corbs
 

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I found a pdf version. It should be clearer now.

Lawrence
Wow Lawrence, this is really helpful.

Do you have one for the steering box as well?

I am interested as to whether it shows any washers between the casing and the chassis?

Thanks

John Corbs
 

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i just bought burmen boxes for my gtv...one's from a 72 berlina..solid shaft...another from a 73 berlina with universal joint (i'm gonna keep that one)...it was sooo difficult to find these in good condition and they were not cheap...my box is also exploded so i ws lucky i found these....i will be selling one in a month or so, but must make sure i can fit them to my gtv...good luck!
 

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That's good news Alfaman, but before you sell that fixed shaft box, check to make sure that there are no cracks in the UJ box's casing.

The first one I bought looked fine on the outside, but had hairline cracks in at least four of the bolt holes around the bearings that support the horizontal steering shaft.

John Corbs
 

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Discussion Starter #19
John,

Here are a few views of the Burman box I found. These exploded views were great when I was restoring my 74 GTV. I referred to them many times. I have a table that goes with the view listing the Alfa part numbers and describing each part in general but not specifically. For instance a bolt, a bearing etc.

Again, I hope it helps in your reassembly. I rebuilt my Burman box a few years ago now but it was in excellent shape. All it needed was a good cleaning and a few seals and it was as good as new.

Lawrence
 

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Wow, thanks Lawrence. This is great!!

Do you have spacers between your casing and the chassis?

Thank again.

John Corbs
 
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