How difficult is it to rerivit the two piece steering quadrant? Any help or tips. Basically how to do it, and tools needed and steps. Thanks, MG
I'll second that. I'll have to tackle mine sometime soon.
I'll third that.
I' ll tell you about the one I have that is apart.It had solder holding it together,perhaps to form a grease seal? The rivets would be easier to install if you don't have to balance all those parts. I also will slip a transmission washer under the center shaft.It will prevent future wearing of the rivet heads.Making a buck to do the actual riveting is the trick.Good luck.
Last winter on my '20s quadrant I ended up using small bolts & nuts. I know it's not kosher, but wow did it solve my sloppy steering problem that I posted and responded to others with like issues in the past. Now that I'm happy with the results, I'll fill in the slots and paint them black so they'll hardly be noticeable. Sometimes function does have to follow form.
With a polished quadrant riveting will be the only option. It's a 1912
Brass threaded rivets from Restoration Supply?
All you need is something to hold the round rivet head from the back, and you can buck it from the inner side. Years ago, I used a piece of steel that was clamped in my vice, narrow enough to reach underneath to the rounded rivet heads, and drilled a hollow to hold the rivet and bucked it from the top using a airgun.
I think you guys are talking about 2 different parts. The original question is a reference to the 2 piece gear cases, mistakenly called the quadrant which is the curved part below the gear case that the gas and spark levers ride against.
I've riveted the two pieces together if what you are asking about is riveting the bowl to the neck. Originally the two pieces were both soldered and riveted, but if you can get solder to flow on those pieces, you are a better man than I. I tried using a welding torch and both times couldn't get the two pieces not enough to flow solder. All I succeeded in doing was discoloring the brass.
Here's how I solved my problem.
I glued the two pieces together using a high strength epoxy.
I made brass rivets from oversize brass rivets supplied by Big Flats Rivet Co. I turned the heads on a lathe to match the original size and turned the shanks down to where they were a press fit inside the cleaned holes.
Then I glued the rivets in place using the same epoxy as before. Its held up well after close to 10 years.
Believe me, if there were any way I could have soldered the two pieces together I would have done it. Also if there were any way to get a bucking bar under the rivet heads on the bottom, I would have heated and mashed the top ends into the chamfered holes in the bowl. But try as I might, I couldn't do those things. So epoxy was the only way I could see to do the job.
One other thing. Jacks suggestion to place a flat thin washer under the triangle on top of the center shaft is the way to go. It prevents the triangle from wearing the top of the rivets. Only use a very thin washer. Otherwise you have problems on the lower end. The pitman arm will rub against the lower bracket.
I believe the solder is in the joint to help resist the shearing forces encountered during turning.
One T-100 column was assembled without solder and the rivets loosened over time. When this happened the steering gained more play because the gear case was counter-rotating back and forth on the loose rivets.
Here is one I replaced the gearbox and quadrant with better parts.
The tools that you need are a rivet gun, rivet sets, and an assistant to hold the steering column.
The tools look like this:
The rivets are shot with a flat set from the inside of the gear box. The shop manufactured head of the rivet ends up being completely flush, the holes are countersunk on the gearbox inside. The inside of the case is the majority of the surface area, there is no possibility of wearing the rivet heads off, so I do not understand why folks are adding a washer unless they are leaving the rivets too long.
Royce, if the shop heads of the rivets were inside the case, which flatten into the countersunk holes, how did you form the heads on the outside? And how did you support or buck the outer ends of the rivets when setting the rivets? Was the neck and quadrant removed from the post?
The thin (0.025") blue tempered steel transmission brake drum spacer for allowing the use of an early brake drum with later bushings is the "washer" that Jack is referring to. Lang's, Snyder's, and I all have them. The spacer is a perfect, drop-in fit.
I also have a few identical brass ones that were made years ago by mistake, if anyone would like one of them. They're cheaper.
The quadrant is one piece, and is held on with two rivets. The current rivets available are usually not the correct size, and have the wrong shaped head too. What I did was to reform the shape of the head that shows to match the original, and then used a riveting tool pictured above on the bottom side to get them tight. Not an easy operation. I had a friend help me hold the steering column while I did the riveting.
Thank you for the insights. I should have stated quadrant and steering gear housing. The column for my '12 torpedo has surface rusty control levers with just a hint of the original brass plating. My thought was take the case apart and either replate them or replace with the brass levers. From what I see you have to take apart the gear housing in order to slide out the levers It sounds like a pain to do that. Any suggestions on making the control levers presentable? Is there a decent brass color paint?
I have short squeeze rivet set that fits in a .187" hole. I drilled a .187" hole in the end of a piece of steel railroad tie. The railroad tie is clamped in the vice. The round head of the rivet rests on the set to maintain the shape. That way I am shooting the flush side of the rivet.
I experimented on a junk steering gear case to determine the proper length of the rivets so they are nearly perfectly flush after shooting them.
If you just need to brass plate the levers a musical instrument repair shop can probably polish and plate the levers without removing them.
Royce, I am sorry but I don't understand what you are saying. Are you saying the quadrant and gear case have been removed from the column and you are wedging a piece of railroad tie underneath the neck to hold the head of the rivet and then, after you have figured the correct shank length, using your riveting tool to smash the exposed end of the rivet flush into the counter sunk hole in the gear case?
Thank you, sir.
Do you mean rail road spike?
No it is a piece of rail road track that I got from a scrap metal dealer. I used an automatic band saw to cut it into pieces that became various bucking bars. The piece started out about 6" long.