Steering question

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rdmstewa
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Steering question

#1 Post by rdmstewa » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:22 pm

Hiya all

I did search the boards, honest(!) but couldn't find what I was looking for. I know I have a problem, because I caused it - my steering column is out of alignment (the indicator self cancel lobes are in the wrong place). I'm not sure exactly how I managed this, but I think it may have been a bit of hamfistedness when I replaced the donut about three years ago. I looked at the clamp at the bottom end of that shaft where it joins the spigot coming from the rack and that appears to be loose - I'm not entirely sure that the bolt I have in there is the right size, I have vague recollections of a problem when I did the job initially. So I need to make sure the wheels are pointing dead ahead, separate the rack from the column, centre the steering wheel and then reconnect the rack spigot to the column.
Is there an easy way to be sure the wheels are pointing dead ahead?
When you've stopped laughing....
Many thanks
Malcolm
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Dave B
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Re: Steering question

#2 Post by Dave B » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:52 pm

A quick basic reply to this, Malcolm.........
1. Jack the front wheels off the ground.
2. Remove the grease nipple (or blank) from the big nut on the front of the rack and insert something like a 1/8" or 3/16" drill (cant remember exact size) into the hole while gently moving the steering left & right until the drill goes in a bit further and locks the rack, which is now centered.
3. Separate the steering column from the rack at the top joint, then centre the column, ie, so that the spring clip thingy that cancels the indicators is more or less central to the arms on the indicator switch.
4. Reconnect the steering column joint without turning anything too much and all should be well!
5. Remove the drill & replace the plug/grease nipple.
If the steering wheel is still slightly out after doing all that, take it off & move it round a spline or so.
By the way the correct bolt size is 5/16" UNF for the column /rack clamps. I always use a nyloc nut as well here, originally it was a plain nut with spring washer.
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CAR
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Re: Steering question

#3 Post by CAR » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:39 am

Nice, easy to follow reply Dave.

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Re: Steering question

#4 Post by willjan » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:31 pm

You rascal Dave :wink: . What a good little tip.

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Re: Steering question

#5 Post by rdmstewa » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:11 pm

Fabulous, thanks Dave! See you soon. I may be in the Merc at the Kirklees thrash if I'm not happy with the Triumph's steering...or if I haven't done it!

Cheers
Malcolm
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Why settle for a simple solution when a complicated one will suffice?

Clifford Pope
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Re: Steering question

#6 Post by Clifford Pope » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:39 pm

I'm not sure I agree about moving the the wheel on its splines to centre it. If you have set the upper column and the indicator spring correctly and then fitted the steering wheel straight to accord with that setting, then if that position does not cause the car to go straight then it must be because the wheels are not pointing exactly forwards.
The rack itself is centred, because you set that with the spike in the hole, so that only leaves the two track rods.
Assuming that you set the actual track itself correctly before starting, then I think any correction to the way the steering wheel sits when driving straight ahead should only be corrected by making an equal and opposite adjustment to each track rod.

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Re: Steering question

#7 Post by Dave B » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:00 pm

Clifford Pope wrote:I'm not sure I agree about moving the the wheel on its splines to centre it. If you have set the upper column and the indicator spring correctly and then fitted the steering wheel straight to accord with that setting, then if that position does not cause the car to go straight then it must be because the wheels are not pointing exactly forwards.
The rack itself is centred, because you set that with the spike in the hole, so that only leaves the two track rods.
Assuming that you set the actual track itself correctly before starting, then I think any correction to the way the steering wheel sits when driving straight ahead should only be corrected by making an equal and opposite adjustment to each track rod.
You are correct in what you say, but in this case, by Malcom's own admission, the problem was caused by misalignment of the wheel/column/rack during replacement of the flexible joint on the top of the steering shaft. The track rod ends hadn't been moved, as far as I know, and my advice was to restore matters to how they were prior to replacing the joint, assuming that all was well then.
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Re: Steering question

#8 Post by rdmstewa » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:54 am

Thanks Guys

The steering was OK - straight line, no pulling either way. After mis-aligning the coupling, the steering wheel was off, and what I should have done was sorted it then. But I couldn't separate the rack from the coupling, I'd obviously forced it on somehow. So I couldn't get the right size bolt through the clamp. I think there's a slot somewhere that has to be in the right place for the bolt to fit. So I figured that if I left it long enough it would maybe work loose and I'd be able to redo it. So I fudged the steering wheel! This was about three years ago, I think.
It pains me to admit to doing this, you know :oops: John W will laugh his socks off...
Anyway, I noticed that I was having to correct the steering more than before, it used to be very precise. And when I looked, it appears that the column is moving slightly more than the spigot on the rack, so I hope I might be able to separate the rack from the column now. The bolt I used isn't as tight as it was when I put it in. And in order to get it right I needed to know how to get the rack in the centre position.
I hope that clarifies my problem, even though I've now had to admit to being a prat...and a bit of an amateur...
I'm going to go and hide now.
Malcolm
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'76 2500S Estate

Why settle for a simple solution when a complicated one will suffice?

johnnydog
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Re: Steering question

#9 Post by johnnydog » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:12 pm

No Malcolm, I'm not laughing at all - I think everyone has made mistakes during their spannering days, some have more serious consequences than others.....yours hasn't really caused any problems, so not to worry! Best way to learn is to pull it apart and put it back together - that's what I was told a long time along by a mechanic friend of mine.
Incidentally, the drill bit trick to centralise the rack is outlined in the official Stag manual but strangely not in the 2000 manual.
I'm sure you'll get it right this time round!!
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Re: Steering question

#10 Post by rdmstewa » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:00 am

You're very generous, John! I do recall you warning me about the pitfalls of not getting everything aligned properly...
I've no idea when I'm going to actually do this job, this work thing does get in the way :( but I do like the dosh!

Cheers for now
Malcolm
Membership no 7477
(Wakefield, Yorks)
'76 2500S Estate

Why settle for a simple solution when a complicated one will suffice?

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