Hey guys, never had to do this before- driving my '27 Touring, I didn't like the looseness of my steering wheel. I pulled the steering cover (behind the steering wheel) and one of my pinion pins is a tad loose or wobbly- not much but enough to make me balk. (top one in pic)
Are those three pins supposed to be free-floating in the triangular bracket, or should they be staked in or something? (pic below)
They were supposed to be a force fit and i believe fitted from the bottom of the shaft so they would not come out the top. Staked would be good.
So, the mere fact that I can finger lift them out is a bad thing? I wonder if the previous owner replaced them or they wore loose?
Maybe a full steering gear overhaul is in order. Next step, knock off Pittman arm and then slide the whole shaft out the top- does this sound about right?
Definitely replace them. You can make new (hardened) pins with larger bottom sections that will press into new drilled holes, or just get a better steering shaft. The steering system, wheels, etc., are not areas to develop one's patch-and-make-do skills.
From the wear marks indicated on the teeth of the gears case, those pinion pins have been moving around awhile !
Was the gear case & gears that dry ????
The gear case had a little more grease than what you see there, I wiped it down for the pic, but it wasn't much more.
Has anyone tried drilling the triangular piece through the side into the pins, tapping and putting allen screws into the pins to hold. Or would that even work?
The pins are simply 3/8 diameter dowel pins which I have purchased from McMaster-Carr but you need to grind down the length a wee bit which is not difficult but needs to be done without letting the pins get hot or they lose their hardness. The problem is likely however that the "spider" on the top end of the steering shaft has the .374 holes wallowed out and then you probably ought to look for a better steering shaft. Notice the number 5 on the one gear which means yours is a 26/27 shaft with 5 to 1 gears and that steering column shaft is different than the earlier years which are 4 to 1 and have a different mechanical dimension on the pin placement holes in the spider.
Not sure how loose the pins are, but how much of a big deal is it? Let them float...they can't go anywhere. Finding a new shaft would be tough and probably expensive. Just clean up the pins (probably new ones) and the bores and Loctite them in.
Okay, I was able to whack off the Pittman arm after a little bit of heat and then it took a bit of wooden block and a bfh to drive the steering column shaft up and out of the cover.
Is it always fairly tight to drive the steering shaft out? Sheesh...I do have a "5" stamped into my column.
My shaft is not badly worn and is crack and damage free, so I am thinking about just buying new pins and sliding it all back together.
Probably buying a new Pittman arm for good measure and to start with the full-size steering ball for safety. Any other suggestions?
Check the bore of each pin hole with the pin out. Green Loctite is a "retaining" product and might give you the best fit assuming the holes are not in fact wallowed out. They need to be dead center at the correct dimension or your steering could bind up. Turning in the spider hole is probably something you can stop via green loctite but if they wobble in the hole you might need to either get a new or different shaft or call upon a machinist to make the new pins fit correctly and at the correct dimensions.Shortening the pins to work right is no big deal and they don't even have to be a perfect length match but too long might hit the top cover. Grind only on one end to set the length and keave the other end with its rounded edges to allow press fitting that end into the spider holes. The end you grind down a bit is the top side and the end only has to be deburred to allow the gears to install.
FWIW I have (or had) a Ford steering gear box in which one of the gears was totally stuck on the pin and also not all the way through it. The other end was spinning in the spider hole only and not in the gear. I pressed the pin out of the gear and measured the gear bore at about .373/.374 while the other 2 were .376 It was Ford script and had been that way when it left the factory - no doubt. They did some hinky things now and then but it drove fine.
The product John is referring to is Loctite 640. http://www.amazon.com/LOCTITE-37424-Strength-Sleeve-Retainer/dp/B0002KKTIG Loctite has another product which is green and is a wicking thread locker That wicking product (for use after tightening) is Loctite 290. http://www.amazon.com/Loctite-37481-Penetrating-Threadlocker-Bottle/dp/B0002KKTR M
James -- If you get a new Pitman arm, be sure to measure the width of its keyway. It should be .250", but some recently were made which were .260". That doesn't sound like much, but it's enough slop to let your steering do some very strange things.
Thanks John, John and Mike- I will look into the Green Loctite for sure. Only one of my three pins wobbles, the top one, and the other two are stationary when the pinion spins- so I have one to deal with for sure.
Hey John- that Loctite 640 is tough to find, nobody around me even carries the stuff- may have to order it.
The top pin is the longer of the three to dictate the travel in the arc slot in the gear case - FYI - check the "travel" slot in the case to verify how much, if any, the slots were elongated by that loose pin.
Steve- that top pin is the one that has a bit of wobble. What exactly do I need to check in that slot? I just cleaned it out and am ready for inspection.
Here are pics..
Looks O.K. - I've seen worse. Notice the "upset" at each end of the slot ? Could be from either the loose pin and/or from trying to over-steer right & left.