I've never worked on the 26-27 steering mechanism with the 5:1 gears. But I got to wondering whether the gears and shaft could be installed in the older column that originally held the 4:1 gears.
Is it doable - anyone done it ?
BTW is it only the 5:1 system that had the square mounting plate at the firewall ?
It is do-able, you need a slightly worn gear case, and a 5:1 steering shaft and gear set.
The vendors sell a kit:
I have wondered the same thing. There are some posts on the forum about doing this very thing. Some have mentioned using time-saver compound to "break in the gears and case" if the case is a little tight.
Some have mentioned that the difference is not that much different than the original 4X1.
Others say that it is noticeably better.
To each his own I guess.
Thanks for all the comments.
I realize that Lang's and others sell a conversion kit, but I have been able to find entire steering columns at swap meets at a fraction of the price of the vendor's kits.
I guess the worn gear case is needed because of clearance for the 5:1 planetary gears ?
Sure would like to keep my brass gear case.
Even 5:1 is less than ideal if you do serious driving. '37-48 Ford is 18:1. I made a pitman arm with that box to give 10:1 in the ol' brass picup. I like it a lot, although now even that is a little heavy for my reduced strength.
I did this with the 23 column I rebuilt. Had to search thru several gears to get some that would fit the 26 case and then use timesaver to get the final fit. Also these were all used parts, there seems to be a good deal of difference in machine work. I like the 5to1, can tell a good bit of difference. KGB
My '15 was switched over to 5:1 steering gears. -The gentleman who did the work for me had forty years of experience with Model T's and found that the aftermarket parts wouldn't fit. -The advertising says that the changeover involves little more than switching out the steering shaft, the three little planetary gears and the sun gear, so had the parts fit correctly, it would have been a fairly simple job. -In practice, completing the job involved switching out the 1915 gear case with a 1926 unit. -To make that look right, the nickel plating had to be removed from the '26 gear case and the solid brass beneath, polished. -I'm told the whole conversion process was a bear of a job.
On the other hand, the 5:1 steering handles just great and feels stable, even at 40+ mph.
Now, the Model T parts suppliers with whom I've done business have always stood behind their products, so if it were me, I'd order the parts and if a perfect fit didn't happen right off the bat, I'd either ask for an exchange or a refund. -I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask in advance about the supplier's return policy.
Here are some threads on the subject of converting to 5:1 steering:
I don't think the gear case ever changed, just the shaft and triple gears and the 1 gear up to the steering wheel
It is my understanding that the gear case is the same, and the improved car parts will fit directly into the old case (once the other parts are removed) with absolutely no modification whatsoever. You just cannot mix the sets together.
The case had to change. The pin location is different. Not by much but it is different--About .035-.036" on the radius of the pin placement. This is why the old case must be worn and the new gears "worn-in" to fit.
Ops, I meant the steering shaft. Sorry. You're right, the case should be the same.
Its true, a picture is worth a thousand words!
The diagram explains why it can be done, but not without effort.
I did the speedster and the coupe both with no real problems. The speedster went quickly but the coupe took longer as when replacing the steering column it has to be removed from the car as the roof is in the way!
I changed over both my'23 TT and the '25 coupe to the 5to1 gears and had no problems whatsoever with fit, but I did use old parts. I also have aftermarket 17" steering wheels which also help a bit. I really like them setup that way. JMHO.Dave
The pins are mounted to the shaft, not the case. The original 5:1 1926 - 27 shaft and gears fit and work perfectly in any of the earlier cases. Not sure on the repros, never tried any.
I drove out the rivots and changed case and all when I did my conversions.That way I know it all fits .:<)
worth the time if you have a weak arm or whatever