What might cause about 1/2 inch rotational play in the steering wheel?
It appears to be only in the steering wheel gears because at the end play is when the Pittman arm begins to move.
Gear lash. If 1/2 inch is all you got,you're luckey.
Thanks Jack, It's kinda like , if the model T only leaks oil a little , you're lucky. Or if the rear wheel only wobbles a little , you're lucky.......
I thought this was a joke when I first read the title!
That makes driving a model T a little like skeet shooting.
You have to lead the car a little bit!
I'm in the process of repairing the one in my 27 Tudor right now. The pins are wobbling in the spider. I have removed and replacing with a shaft from another column. The donor shaft had one pin, that was slightly loose. I pressed it out and pressed in a new pin. It was the long one. The other two are good and tight. We tour on a lot of back roads and I don't need that extra play.
Robert, I agree you are in good shape. Like you, my car has about the same amount of play in the steering gears and nowhere else. I often check the play in Model Ts I encounter just to figure out what is normal and so far, all have more play than mine, often much more. Yes, no play would be desirable on modern roads but, just picture your car on the lonely and muddy roads of the day. Your steering would have been more than perfect.
I was able to eliminate most all of the slop in the wheel by cutting shims using a pop can and inserting them between the shafts inside the sun gears....Worked for me.
Robert, the best way to make sure there is so little play is easy. Just don't wobble the steering wheel. With everything in ship shape condition, you are lucky to have that little movement.
Allan from down under.
Only a half inch? I agree, that's pretty good. The way you describe it, there are two possible sources. One, of course, in in the gear box. But also check to be sure the arm isn't a little bit loose. That could be part of it too.
The SCVMTFC is much more strict than I am when it comes to steering wheel play for speedsters on their Endurance Run. For good reasons. I usually just barely pass on that one, and they know me well enough to kid me about it. Even they would love yours!
Model Ts are a bit prone to wear and flexing, both contribute to wheel play. Steering wheel play is also cumulative. A slightly loose cover is fine, but adds a bit. Wear in the gear pins adds a bit more. Flexing of the firewall is one thing, twisting in the steel column is another. They all add up. Perfect is about a half inch of play.
I have always been fairly strict about steering being in good, reasonably safe, working condition. A little wear and minor looseness doesn't bother me. I do NOT tolerate loose rivets or cracks in the column tube. Another thing that needs to be looked out for, is any looseness between the main shaft and the pitman arm. Whether it is due to wear? Or miss-matched parts? (I have found ones that required a thinner or thicker key?) Or worse yet, a cracked either part? It must be fixed! It takes two people to really check for that. One to twist the steering wheel hard, while one closely watches the pitman arm on the end of the shaft.
For key-ways that are worn? A better part is best. But I have had good success by custom making and fitting a special key.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy the holidays and every day! W2
I had very good luck on my TT. I replaced the 4to1 gearset and shaft with a 5to1 setup. The gears were just a bit loose on the pins and the pins were just a bit loose in the shaft. I replaced the pins with drill rod that was just a few thousands bigger than the originals. That tightened everything up beautifully. Everything else was repaired on down the line as needed and it has almost NO play. Just check everything out and repair as needed. Dave
What year is your steering column? The early ones had a round gear box where the throttle and spark arms go through. This is held in place by rivets. If the rivets are loose the whole steering box will be loose and turn the opposite direction as the steering wheel. This can be dangerous because when the rivets break you will lose control.
The later steering gear boxes are diamond shaped where they fit into the column. These will not spin but can become loose and move in the opposite direction than the steering wheel. This can be shimmed by using something such as part of an old hacksaw blade jammed between the steering gear box and the column. Also check these for loose rivets. Other causes of play are noted in above posts.
Also watch the gear box cover when you turn the wheel. If the lock screw isn't a tight fit, the cover can turn slightly in the opposite direction of the steering wheel, introducing some slop.
A Model T steering column assembly even if its in good shape is still pretty flimsy by todays standards.
I would bet when a T came from the factory it wasn't much less than a 1/2".
It sounds to me like you need to find a set of gears that are a little more worn, that little play in not normal and could lead to over steering problems