Steering problem

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Steering problem
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 06:34 am:

I experienced the problem when turning sharp left. The steering wheel looses all resistance and the car goes straight ahead. I believe my problem is in the steering gear box located directly under the steering wheel. I have not been able to remove the steering wheel as yet. I do not have a wheel puller and it seems that someone has put some liquid weld in there.
This is what the seller told me: I had that problem with the steering which I mentioned to you, ( the radius rod used to go by the stop and hit the oil pan and bend it). I straightened it a couple of times, then one time on the phone with a T parts supplier, I mentioned it to them. They said the radius rod on a 26 27 was very slightly shorter (I think) than the earlier models and that could cause that problem. They said they would tour their junk yard to see if they had a good one off a 26 27. A couple of months later they mailed me one. I put it on and never had the problem again after I changed radius rods. (now the radius rod is bent again, could be that is also contributing to the problem).

Happy motoring,

Dr. Warren


steering problem


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 07:03 am:

Hey Warren can you unscrew the gear case cover and slowly pull the steering wheel back while you do?

The result would be you'd have the steering wheel, center gear, and gear case cover come off as a unit, but it'd let you get to the guts inside the case and then you could see about getting the center gear out of the steering wheel. A lot easier to do when all of that is outside the car instead of still connected to it. I bet you could get it on some wood blocks and judiciously tape at the center gear (with a drift so you don't mess up the threads) and get her loose - without messing up the center post gear or bending the steering wheel arms.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 09:41 am:

Warren

Any typical gear puller will work for removing the steering wheel. A two jaw is ok. Soak first with a good penetrating oil.





If you really don't want to buy a cheap puller, sometimes a block of hardwood under the spider and a mallet will drive off the steering wheel.

Remove the tiny screw on the upper face of the gear housing cap, and turn off the cap counter clockwise, sometimes a leather strap or oil filter wrench is needed.

Clean out the old grease and inspect. Pull the center pinion gear, and then remove the three gears and look at the pinion posts. If the later gear case from 1920 there will be a groove in the lower case at the upper, that groove is the limiting groove to keep from turning over center.

A longer pinion post is placed in that groove. Repair or replace parts that aren't working right.
Refer to Chapter XXV of Ford Service












Remove the pitman arm at the lower end of the shaft after repairs, and then turn the steering wheel from lock to lock to be sure the steering cluster gears are functioning fine, and the long pinion is in place in the groove.




Then go about re-checking the front end, being sure the pitman arm ball is good, ball cap is snug and greased and cotter pinned. Then check the drag link, and its caps. Finally place the front end under jack stands, and retest all, turning the steering wheel from lock to lock and viewing the drag link action and wheels turning correctly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:50 am:

Warren,

What you're calling a "radius rod", is really the drag link.

A bent drag link is dangerous. At some point, a slight, innocent looking bend can allow the drag link to collapse, either when turning quickly to the left, or when road conditions put force on the steering linkage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 01:45 pm:

Warren - Royce Peterson wrote an excellent post some time ago, complete with photos, that I think would go a long way toward solving your steering problem. If Royce sees this thread, perhaps he'll "repost" that excellent piece he did on all of the differences in Model "T" steering components during the "T" era. I've seen Royce "repost" this information several times so I'm sure he'll do it again. What stands out in my feeble mind is the many different lengths of drag links that were used. If Royce doesn't see this, perhaps by using the "keyword" feature of this Forum you'll be able to find it. For what it's worth,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 02:47 pm:

Thank you, to everyone that has responded! I am new to this and each post has been very helpful. I am also very supprised that the drag link would bend so easily. Here is a photo of my drag link, as you can see it is bent. The photo at the top is (not very good, because the Camera would not focus) and dose not show what I believe to be some sort of liquid weld, there is no room around the treads and I can not see the key.

Happy Motoring,

Dr. Warren



1926 Model T Ford Coupe


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 06:16 am:

I would like to hear about straightening the drag link. I have read in other treads, where members have straightened their drag links. what about hardening them, since you would have to heat them up to straighten them?

Happy motoring,

Warren


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 09:12 am:

Warren you can straighten your drag link cold. No need to use heat. Remove it and use a 2-4 lb. hammer and a anvil. Pretty easy to do. Check out your steering gear box as others have said. Sounds like something else is going on besides the drag link.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 09:16 am:

Warren -- If you have access to a press, that part is easily and accurately straightened. As John said, no heat is needed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 01:01 pm:

Thanks to John & Mike, I'm wondering if harding the drag link would help keep it from bending so easily?

Happy motoring,

Warren


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 01:26 pm:

My drag links (20's) has a lengthwise split that makes them weaker than a solid pipe - welding short seems along the split would strengthen it considerable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 02:19 pm:

Warren,

No hardening needed. It just needs to be straight.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 06:14 pm:

I don't think it would bend in normal use. They usually got that way by hanging them on a stump.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 06:03 am:

Mike, that's what my good friend Dick Welch told me. He also said, what Seth had told me "you unscrew the gear case cover and slowly pull the steering wheel back" which I tried, but met with resistance so I stopped before pulling a "Warren",ie braking something and then having to take it to someone who knows what they're doing to fix it. I have not been doing any
off-roading and do not think that I ever hit anything either.

Happy motoring,

Dr. Warren

"I didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn last night, but I do own a 1926 Model T Ford Coupe"

1926 Model T Ford Coupe


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 11:14 am:

Before you unscrew the steering gear cover, you must remove the small set screw that stops it from turning. Once you start to undo, there will be some resistance, just keep turning, occasionally moving the shell side to side. Good luck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Willie K Cordes on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 11:25 am:

Warren, with that gear case cover fully unscrewed, the steering wheel, case cover and center gear should come straight up with no resistance. If it does not, some parts may be broke in the case.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 06:32 am:

Thanks again for all the helpful suggestions. Yesterday I actually had time to work on Seabiscuit and here is what I found. Bent drag link, removed and straightened. Steering wheel removed with case cover and center gear. Steering wheel does go by the stop and needs to be addressed. I also got an email from my friend Ken who told me that Lang's might have a good '26 steering column, which I will look into today.

Happy motoring,

Dr. Warren

"I didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn last night, but I do own a 1926 Model T Ford Coupe"



'26 steering
'26 steering
'26 steering
'26 steering


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 03:44 pm:

Thanks for the update! Sounds like you are on the right track.
That steering "flip-over" is not a problem to be taken lightly.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 04:47 pm:

Warren,

Your camera should have a "macro" setting for taking close-ups. This might prevent the blurry photos. Or, step back and zoom in for close-ups, rather than coming in close with the camera itself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 05:44 pm:

But he gets a "A" for a neat workshop.

Mine should look so good.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Wolf on Monday, August 04, 2014 - 06:29 pm:

Nice hat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 - 05:41 pm:

Tried to take the steering column out today, but could not get the steering pitman arm off the steering column. I tried reversing the castle nut and hitting it with a hammer, but then it hits on where the timer control bolts on to the base of the steering column. I do not have a puller, so is there any other way to remove it from the steering column?

Thanks in advance,

Warren


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 - 05:55 pm:

Big hammer as a backup on one side then a good whack on the opposite side will pop it loose.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Murray - Anacortes, WA on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 - 06:17 pm:

Doc Warren, I have had your condition as originally stated at the top of this thread on my T after restoration. The fix was to re-torque the castle nut on the end of the steering column that holds the pitman arm on. It may be prudent to check and re-check that nut torque during your process and by all means be sure that the cotter pin gets re-installed.
Hope that helps...W


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