Hello all, my 1923 touring / pickup conversion has a later, 5:1 steering gearbox cover on it (knurling the full height of the cover). I don't know if the whole column is a 5:1 ratio or not, is there an easy way to tell without taking it apart?
In a thread last year, I mentioned that the previous owner of my car apparently tried to drill out the remains of a broken locking screw and managed to break the drill bit off in the hole, so the cover is really stuck.
In anticipation of someday having to remove the stuck cover, if necessary by cutting a piece out of it to allow me to dig the remains of the drill bit out, I bought an older, 4:1 cover with the knurling only on the top half of the cover.
My question is, are the covers functionally interchangeable, or do they have different numbers of gear teeth inside?
The cover doesn't have any gears and should be interchangeable.
Ahh, the gears are in the lower part of the housing? Great, that's a relief, thanks Roger!
They are interchangeable, and usually the full knurl denotes 5-1, but not always.
Hi: The covers are interchangable. Very early brass ones may be different as Im not sure about them. The only way I know how to tell the 4:1 from the 5:1 is to look at the gears. 5:1 gears should be marked with a number 5 or you can count the teeth on the gears.
You really need to get that cover off so you can check and grease the gears. At this point it could be just grease dust left (LOL) and should be checked. Taking the cover off and making sure there is sufficient grease is part of regular maintenance.
To get the broken screw and bit out, how about using a mini hole saw like is used for a spot weld cutter? They're only about 5/16" diameter.
The 5:1 column will have a square flange where it mounts to the firewall.
Look at the arc shaped groove in the bottom of the gearbox. If it goes about 1/4 of the way around it is for the 4:1 gears. If it goes about 1/3 of the way around it is for the 4:1 gears.
Jerry, I believe the square flange is for '26-'27 only. The round flange with the 5:1 gears was used starting in '25 with the 21" wheels.
Oops, you are correct! I forgot about 1925. Thanks!