Steering - how good should it be?

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Karmann
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Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Karmann » Mon May 13, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi
I appreciate that this is a bit of a open ended question but can anyone tell me how good (or bad) the steering should be on a splittie if in brand new/fully restored condition.
I built my engine to be able to do 70mph In an attempt to be able to keep up with modern traffic on the motorway/A roads and whilst the engine will happily achieve this I unfortunately run out of bravery due to the steering vagueness!
Every component on the steering except the box itself is new, the tracking has been set and the box adjusted but the 2-3” of free play at the wheel in the straight ahead position makes it so vague and scary to drive at anything much over around 50mph especially when a lorry goes past!
Before splashing out on a steering box rebuild and having never driven another to compare, I just wondered whether this sounds about normal for a splittie or whether there are any restored ones out there driving like modern cars!!
Many thanks

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Dougie
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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Dougie » Mon May 13, 2019 8:09 pm

That sounds like a lot to me. I thought an inch was the mot standard
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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by ted698 » Mon May 13, 2019 8:10 pm

Get an assistant to rock the steering wheel in the freeplay area when straight ahead, look underneath at the pitman arm (arm that comes out of the steering box) it *should* only be turning/rotating.... ANY up/down movement is the pitman arm output bushes worn... it’s very common and relatively easy to fix (club spares sell all the parts & gaskets). Any up/down play here has a massive effect at the wheel.
I rebuilt my box, and reamed the bushes... but still wasn’t fully happy... so did the bushes again and this time reamed them much tighter and the difference was amazing.

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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by vwJim » Mon May 13, 2019 8:51 pm

On a steering box, you're allowed 4" of play. (1" is for steering racks).

As Ted said, the output shaft bushes along with the pivot bushes on the beam make a huge difference.

IMHO, a well setup steering box, drives as well as the expensive rack systems out there.
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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Wigsplitta » Mon May 13, 2019 11:04 pm

I overhauled mine myself as well, its not difficult. The hardest part is probably pulling the pitman arm and actually jacking the bus high enough to withdraw the box and column out from underneith. Once its on the bench its a piece of cake. Dismantle, drift the old bushes out and install the new ones, then ream to size. I picked up a H11 adjustable reamer on ebay and then kept passing it through the new bushes taking minimal material off each time until the shaft was a snug fit. I also inspected the bearings on the worm gear and the the pin for wear and they were fine. Reassemble, new steering box lube and gaskets and finished it off with a lick of paint... Good as new. Theres a few half decent guides on the web if you do a bit of googling :D

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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Dougie » Tue May 14, 2019 4:14 am

Come along to the Tech Weekend at Vicky Farm July 12/14. I understand one of the demonstrations will be a steering box rebuild.
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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Who.Me? » Tue May 14, 2019 12:37 pm

Karmann wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:22 pm
Every component on the steering except the box itself is new
Just to clarify, did that include a new centre (idler) pin and bushings in the beam? That's an easy place for a lot of slop to occur.

And have you checked the king pins for play?

Fixing the idler pin on mine improved the steering a hell of a lot, but I found that I still wasn't happy with the play at the wheel.

There was visible play in the king pin bushings on one side, so I had those done next and the steering is now pretty direct.


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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Karmann » Tue May 14, 2019 7:46 pm

Thanks for all the replies.
To clarify, the beam is brand new so has a new centre pin fitted, king pins, track rod ends etc are also all brand new so free play can only come from the box itself.
I’ll check for up/down movement in the pitman arm at the weekend but reading your replies and having a quick look online, it sounds relatively easy to rebuild the box with new bushes etc so I think that will be my next course of action. With regard to the worm/peg, would it be obvious if either were worn i.e. deep scoring etc or would I need to get them professionally inspected?
Cheers for the heads up about the Tech Weekend Dougie, that would certainly be handy if a box rebuild is one of the demos. Don’t know if I can make it yet but will definitely try.


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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Jimbooo » Wed May 15, 2019 7:23 am

The idler hub is separate to the beam and as others say this is where you get a lot of wear and play in the bushes, making the steering vague and making the bus very susceptible to cross winds etc.
It sounds like you haven't touched the idler hub so that should be the first thing to investigate


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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Jimbooo » Wed May 15, 2019 7:27 am

Idler bub rebuild kit:
https://www.machine7.com/product.php?xProd=859&xSec=473


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Re: Steering - how good should it be?

Post by Karmann » Wed May 15, 2019 8:24 am

Thanks Jimbooo but this is all new so looks like it can only be the box.

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