What do you guys do to stop rust on the steering shaft? The encyclopedia says that use white shellac??? This is on a car that I am installing a 5 to 1 shaft so I can not paint it after installing. If I paint before, it will all come off. Has anyone blued a shaft? If so how did it last? Any other ideas? Dan.
Why not paint it after installing? Mask the surrounding parts with tape & paper if you don't want any drippings or overspray. I would likely try brushing - guess it'll be good enough for an old Ford if the paint has just the right thickness to smoothen out after brushing
You could leave it unpainted and use paste wax occasionally to prevent rust.
The shaft on my unrestored '17 roadster has remnants of black paint on it.
I'd paint it with Rustoleum with a high quality natural brush. Oil based paint shrinks and smooths out nicely as it dries if it is flowed on quickly with a minimum of brush strokes.
I have found that aluminum foil works very well for masking things when you're trying to paint something in a tight area. You can crinkle it around things to hold it in place, eliminating the need for paper and tape.
I oil it.
I like the AL foil idea. That with some tape would work wonders.
I just did my steering column and painted the new 5:1 gear shaft prior to assembly. Slipping it down the tube carefully left some areas that needed touch up and I decanted the spray into a cup and used a brush to touch up. Not perfect but very nice. The throttle and spark shafts are stainless and were left unpainted.
I don't know if it is original but it looks great gloss black. Mine was painted with gloss black Imron. Jim Patrick
It is supposed to be nickel on 26/7s
When i restored my column i wire wheeled the steering shaft on a bench grinder. and when finished it looked like the new stainless spark and throttle rods, so i used spray can clear to keep it that way
Dan I have used a rust preventive which will blacken the shaft.The one I used was Extend bought it at NAPA.I was just there yesterday to get some more but they no longer carry it.they switch to Permatex brand.I have also used Eastwood products for the same use. Bill
Travis, with all due respect, the steering shaft is not nickel plated. However, the steering gear case (only) just below the steering wheel is nickel plated. This is covered in the MTFCI Judging Guidelines latest edition.
Well dang Keith I read it wrong, I have to paint mine now!
I rebuilt my original 1920 column,new nickel on the cup and cap,nickel on the control rods,installed 5-1 gear kit.I painted the shaft on mine flat black,faked a black phosphate look.Looks nice with the rods nickel plated down there.I painted the shaft before I assembled it,went in without a mark on it.I also used #2 taper pins as the Ford book reccomends,and bought the reamer for them,that I believe to be the best way to assemble the unit.The rivets are not a good secure way in my opinion.Once all parts were lined up I ran the reamer through and got a perfect fit for the taper pins.Have pictures of it done if you like to see.The chassis turns and steers nice and smooth now,cant wait to drive it when I am all done!
I found this in the MTFCA Encyclopedia 1924. I hope this helps.
JUN 27 Acc. 235, Box 21, Ford Archives
"Effective immediately, all branches painting that part of steering post which is exposed under the hood, will discontinue same. Our reason for not desiring to paint this portion of the steering gear post is that when painted the quality of the steel used in these posts is not visible and the outstanding appearance of strength is covered up."
From your profile this appears to be your first posting – so welcome aboard! I was looking for that quote where the factory directed the branches stop paining the steering shafts [ref you posting: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc24.htm scroll down to Jun 27, 1924. From memory (not as good as it once was) I believe there actually was a second letter from one of the Branches or a dealer back to Ford management. It basically said that when the steering shaft was left unpainted the rust soon covered up the “…outstanding appearance and strength of the metal and prevented the customer from seeing it.” Or something similar to that wording. If anyone knows where we can find that – please let us know.
Greg – if you haven’t already, I would recommend you check out the “Arkansas Tin Lizzies” chapter. They are a great group of folks. You can find their contact information under Arkansas at: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm And because you are so close to the border, you may find that some T-folks in Missouri or Oklahoma are also close to you so you may want to check for local chapters there also. Again, thanks for pointing out that reference.
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Hap: If you read the section in the encyclopedia on steering you will see where I read about the white shellac. The way I see it shafts left the factory bare and it was up to the dealer or owner to do something to it. ???? Dan
Thanks so much for the reference. I thought it was out there somewhere – the problem was where? Note also that it does NOT say paint it with shellac or white Pyroxylin but instead the San Francisco Branch is asking the head office if they agree that would be better than leaving it unpainted.
From: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#steer the 1926 section of it reads:
“There is a letter from the San Francisco branch to the home office dated 5/22/26. It says: “In recent assembly change letters we were again advised that the lower part of the steering column, part T-5042 was not to be painted, so as to allow the public to see the quality of the material which was embodied in the steering post.
“In checking over cars in the territory, we find that cars that have been out any length of time become very rusty and very dirty, and the quality of material does not show.
“Due to this, do you not think it is advisable to white shellac or apply the white coat of Pyroxylin on the lower part of the steering column so as to keep this material in A1 condition at all times and also assuring the public just what is assembled in the steering post.” “
+++++++++++ Hap again ++++
Dan, thank you again for helping me find that one.
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Of interest to me -- even though the Highland Park factory specified "do not paint" the steering shaft, clearly some of the branches did paint that part. So some new Fords came off the branch factory line with the shaft painted.
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