Do I want new steering gears?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Do I want new steering gears?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, August 04, 2013 - 11:59 pm:

It appears that in working on the roadster I've eliminated all free play in the steering except in the gears. Free play at the steering wheel is about an inch. Would new gears reduce that enough to be worth the $65?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 12:01 am:

1" free play at the steering wheel is pretty darn good! I'd say there is no reason to get new gears unless you're trying to make it as perfect as possible!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 01:58 am:

The SCVMTFC tech committee would be pleased if I showed up with only 1 inch of wheel play. It has become a regular thing for them to give me a bad time about it. I always pass, but?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Clipner-Los Angeles on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 02:21 am:

I've got about an inch also. Right now I'm just glad to finally gotten rid of the wheel wobble.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 02:31 am:

Steve,

For what it is worth I have put new gears (and shafts) in 2 cars. Both have next to zero free play in the steering wheel. Your mileage may vary.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 03:21 am:

If you take out all the play does the car steer properly?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 09:43 am:

Steve -- One inch of play isn't much, as others have said. Replacing only the gears may or may not reduce the play significantly. It might require replacing the gears, the steering shaft pins, and the gearbox, all of which probably have some wear. All that will cost considerably more than $65.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 09:44 am:

Kep -- Yes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 10:56 am:

Yep, an inch is pretty good. I think Mike has answered the question for Mister Thrifty. I hadn't thought about those other parts. I may try parts out of some of my spare steering columns. If none of them is any better, that one inch will be good enough.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 09:16 pm:

If you take all the play out of a model A they steer funny i think you need a mere 1mm of play. Maybe not so for a T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 10:01 pm:

Model A's have a worm-and-knuckle steering gear, which is very different from that in a Model T. The Model A's gear might bind up if it doesn't have a smidgen of play in it. There probably are others here who are more familiar with the Model A setup and who can add their experience to the discussion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Hylen- Central Minnesota on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 11:35 pm:

Yes. You want new 5 to 1 gears and a 5 to 1 steering shaft to go with them. I've recently decided that the 5 to 1 steering upgrade to be a must for any driven T. I'm going to update my '14 this winter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 08:03 am:

Steve, I have a column made up for my pickup project that I used all old parts in. I changed over to 5to 1 and even with the used parts I had to use timesaver to make everything work smooth. My experience has been that there is no consistency in steering gear parts, so you should be able to find parts that will work without buying new, KB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 09:39 am:

Still being kind of new here, but with 4 T's all of which have various levels of free play, I can say the one that has zero play requires the most concentration on the wheel so as not to end up in a ditch. An inch or so is actually comfortable for me at least.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 09:59 am:

Just take a look and make sure the gear pins aren't loose and causing the play otherwise it's OK.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 09:37 am:

Eric:

Use the 5 to 1 steering shaft and gears only.

The lower steering bracket will have to be re-bushed to fit the new steering shaft.

There is a difference in the 'offset" of the early and "improved" lower steering bracket so your wouldn't want to cause any steering stability.

Even consider adding a bushing to the steering gear cap to snug up wobble at the steering wheel.

Hope this helps.

Bob Jablonski


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 09:44 am:

excuse the thought drop ....add the last word.

There is a difference in the 'offset" of the early and "improved" lower steering bracket so your wouldn't want to cause any steering stability PROBLEMS.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 12:39 pm:

I'm sure this is just another one of those 'It's your car. do with it what you will." things, but I've never seen the need to change to 5:1 steering gears. I've seen people talk about it off and on here on the forum. I've never driven a car with 5:1 gears, but I've certainly never had a problem with 4:1 gears. I don't feel like I'm on the verge of over-steering. I drive dirt roads quite often and have never had the wheel jerked from my hand. Some would make one think it is an absolute safety hazard to have anything but 5:1, but then again, I saw someone on here recommend removing the hand crank for safety sake several years ago. I guess I just don't get it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 01:16 pm:

Hal: As usual you have missed my point.

Changing only the steering shaft and gears will not upset the steering geometry the car had before.

Has nothing to do with oversteer..... which could happen if the '26-'27 lower steering bracket is used on other than the improved car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 02:04 pm:

Hal, the 5to1 gears make a much bigger change than you would think. I had never driven one till I did some work on a 27 coupe for a guy, decided then my 23 pickup project would be changed as I was goin to rebuild the column anyway. To look at it you wouldn't know the difference. KB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 05:16 pm:

Don't flatter yourself, Bob. I wasn't addressing YOUR point.

I am saying that I don't see the need. If you feel the need, by all means do it. In the past, some have implied 4:1 is unsafe. I just don't see it that way. That is all I was trying to say. You can agree or disagree. I don't much care which. However, I suspect you will disagree, as it seems that if I say something is black, you will say it is white.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 08:04 pm:

My '19 Touring, '20 coupe and '25 Fordor all have (had) 4/1 steering and my '27 Tudor, obviously, has 5/1 steering.
As far as actual steering while driving goes I really don't pay attention to the difference except the Tudor, with balloon tires, is easier TO steer.
Beyond that......makes no never mind to me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 08:13 pm:

Bob and Hal, it's orange.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 08:16 pm:

That is kinda surprising. I would have thought it would feel funny when swapping between cars with 4:1 and one with 5:1. Interesting.

It feels funny going from a T to an A. We've driven the T most of the day on a Saturday, then drove the A on Sunday. The A feels much heavier, but not in a bad way. Just feels more solid. I don't notice that when I just go for a ride in the A, but it is noticeable when swapping from one to the other and you are used to one then drive the other.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 10:04 pm:

Hal, depending on what I feel like driving at any given time, whether it's one of the T's, the Dodge or the A doesn't make any difference to me......familiarity maybe???
And yes I totally know what you mean about the A feeling heavier......because it is......but while zooming down the road that doesn't make any difference either.
It's parking lots where it's most noticed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 10:15 pm:

I switched over to 5to1 gears on my '25 coupe, plus I have a 17inch aftermarket steering wheel on it. I LIKE IT! JMHO. Dave


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