Hi, grease is coming out of my steering gear case. Given my car, is it likely to be worn out?
No.Just too full.
Might have just loosened up some. Can't see from the pic, but does it have a set screw in the top of cover? If you haven't added grease lately and it started leaking, maybe its time to remove the cover and check the components?
You need that set screw, otherwise the case can spin when you turn the steering wheel and negate your steering input. At the very least, the case turning will be a source of steering slop.
(Message edited by cudaman on May 06, 2017)
And,Ignacio,if it does not have a set screw,it only goes in the spot where the setscrew threads are cut into the cap threads.Unscrewing the cap and seeing what we mean will save a bunch of typing on this damn little keyboard.
Mark, I think you are mistaken when you say the case can spin if the cap is loose. The case is held stationary in the column and riveted in place. The cap might spin with steering effort, but this is of no consequence to the steering effort. By all means, the cap should be constrained by the set screw to avoid grease leaks and the eventuality that it might screw right off. Then there would be problems!!!
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I mis-spoke, I meant the cap, thanks for the correction Allan.
Sometimes due to wear, the set screw will not line up with the original threads when the cap is properly tightened for the correct amount of end play. I have had to re-locate the threads for the set screw on a few different steering columns to get a good adjustment.
Thanks, is there a take apart guide for this?
I found this drawing: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Ford_model_t_1919_d003_steer ing_wheel_assembly.png
Ignacio. Remove the steering wheel nut, pull the steering wheel, remove the small set screw in the cover of the steering gear case, unscrew the steering gear case cover, pull out the center pinion shaft/"sun"gear, remove the three small "planet gears", inspect for wear or loose pins that the "three "planet" gears run on, grease with a good grease, re-install in reverse order. Pretty simple to do. All of the above is covered in the Service Manual. As I mentioned above, sometimes due to wear, there is too much end play to the center pinion/"sun" gear, if you line up the little set screw to its original position. I usually just screw the cover on till I have a good end play to the center pinion/"sun" gear shaft and then re-tap a new thread for the little set screw. A good rule of thumb is to try and have a total of 1 inch or less play at the steering wheel when rebuilding the front end and steering column. That is the total play of all front end componets together. It really boils down to how much play you are comfortable with when driving. Less than one inch at the steering wheel is not bad. More than that and the driving is not as enjoyable. have fun and be safe ... Donnie Brown ...
I have about 5 inches of play in the steering wheel before the wheels begin to move. The whole front end has been gone through and I just pennied the steering gear ball arm so that it doesn't shift back and forth. I hope it is down to the gear case.
5 inches is way too much, you should be able to get it under an inch. Have a helper move the steering wheel back and forth while you look over everything to see where the slop or movement is.
The wheel and shaft visibly moves up and down if you pull the wheel towards and away from the driver. Is that a steering bracket bushing replacement? https://www.modeltford.com/item/3545.aspx
I agree with Mark, 5 inches is way too much play. The steering bracket bushing has nothing to do with end play. It would only give side to side play if it was worn out. The end play you speak of is between the pinion/"sun" gear shaft and the inside of the case and cover. End play is controlled by screwing on the cover. If you have a large amount of end play and parts are worn more than screwing the cover on a little further will take care of then you will need to replace some parts. You will only know that after a good inspection. When you remove the cover and see how the parts work, it will become more apparent to you what we are talking about. One thing I think you are not grasping is that the steering wheel is not attached to the main shaft that goes down to the pitman arm. It is only attached to the short pinion/"sun" gear shaft. But again, after you open it up and see the parts, it will become apparent how it works...
5 INCHES!?! Holy cow, keep that car off the road until you fix it!
I had to rotate my cover about 40 degrees to get it tight.
Since you have done the front, spindles and tie rod, and likely the pitman arm ball joint is secure, then you must have steering gear cluster problems.
Tour requirements are for a T to have 2" or no play in the steering. So your 5" is extreme.
Time to replace the satellite gears in the cluster housing, or maybe even the cluster ring gear is worn for that much play. The cap on the housing is adjusted by the spacer washer or 'steering gear pinion shaft bushing', you may have to substitute a bushing washer, or best, get a whole new set of gears and pinion if your cluster housing is OK.
Note bushing on the pinion gear on the right, the pinion gear in the background (left) has its bushing removed, and note the extreme wear of the teeth, this one is junk and contributed to gear slop. The bushing can wear and give slop between the pinion gear and the housing cap.
This photo shows a new repro set of gears and pinion gear going in the housing, this is the best way to restore function and safety to the T's steering.
I realize you have done MOST of the stuff at the bottom, but no one has mentioned the bushing at the bottom of the steering column in the frame bracket. These are ALWAYS worn and usually the steering shaft is worn where it fits there. This would easily account for the 5" of free play you have
Another sneaky source of slop is if the pitman arm is slipping on the end of the steering shaft because the key is worn or missing, and the nut is not tightened enough. There was no torque spec from the factory, but perhaps others more experienced than me can give guidance on the proper torque.
Sorry for the absence, girlfriend and end of school prevented me from having fun.
Looks like worn out everything.
Key is chewed up, visible movement around the pins in the planetary gears, brass steering wheel nut threads are coming out. Replace. The steering gear cover is beat up. It only comes in brass from Lang's, is that the only option? The steering wheel has channels inside, is that normal?
I don't think it is as bad as you think. Clean everything up and then see. Bob Bergstadt has an excellent late style cover on ebay right now, with decent plating on it too. When tightening the cover, use a strap wrench cause you don't want to mess up the knurl. What I use is the large size channel lock pliers, and I wrap a thick piece of leather around the knurl so as not to mess it up. When you are ready to reinstall the cover, pack the entire gear case with a good quality grease.
The cap has a small dent in it on the threads. I think this makes it hard to put on and take off even with a strap wrench. I wonder how to make the dent go away without damaging the threads? Maybe hit a thread file placed at the right location?
At least 2 planetary gears are loose. How can I tell if it is the gears of the pins that are loose?
I got the steering wheel play to near zero on the TT in my profile picture, just ask Dallas. It's not hard if you take one thing at a time. The gears and pins had a bit of wear, and the pins were just a bit loose in the shaft. I replaced the pins with new ones made from drill rod that was a few thousands larger, that took care of all three issues. Everything else is pretty much self explanatory with most parts available new. JMHO. Dave
Ignacio, I assume that your girlfriend doesn't read this Model T Forum, because if she does, you are now in trouble,"prevented me from having fun", isn't going to go over so well.
Have you tried checking the fit of your pitman arm to the drag link? Have you ever tried reading the Ford Service Book? I've always filed the caps at the pitman arm and tie rod to get them up to spec. Fill the caps and tie rod with wheel bearing grease, and your 5" should pretty much go away.
Be certain that your pitman arm is tight on the steering column shaft.
I changed out the gears and pinion in the steering gear case and it is better. However now the bushing is worn out as clearly the shaft moves side to side. This thread from the past on how to change the http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/133679.html?1270268589 ominously warns that if the bushing is worn out it probably needs a total column rebuild. Uh oh what does that mean?
Back on May 7 I suggested you check the bottom of the steering shaft bearing. Try a new bushing. It will make it a lot better. Yes the shaft will be worn too, but maybe you will find it "liveable", (or perhaps not)
Thank you Les, I did order a new bushing and have it. Sounds like I have to pull the whole column out to take out the bushing and install a new one, right?
I suppose it's the bushing in the lower frame bracket you're replacing?
In that case the warning might be about the shaft being worn too - and needing to be ground smooth all the way out, hopefully not taking too much of the taper for the pitman arm. If the new bushing is too large for the ground shaft, it'll have to be made from scratch.
An alternative would be a new shaft if the old one is too worn.
Pulling the whole column is usually the easiest way. Certainly it is possible to remove the timer lever and the steering crank and the 3 bolts and slide the bearing holder off. As suggested test fit the bushing on the shaft and consider.
Best of luck