Steering box bearing- overthinking?

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PareosWC
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Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:59 pm
Location: SC

Steering box bearing- overthinking?

Post by PareosWC »

I can see why a lot of us 'just leave well enough alone'. :lol:

In an interest to do the steering right and tight, I disassembled all components, measured wear, de-greased, scrubbed, and painted all parts except the hardware. Upon assembly, I have the endplay set up with the shims, and the steering rod turns freely...

The part that is troubling me is that the upper bearing turns freely, but the bottom one does not. The shaft spins inside the bearing easily, but the bearings do not rotate. Now, I have not used oil yet, but just assembly lube. Am I overthinking the amount of wear on this part, or does that bottom bearing need to rotate freely? Perhaps the grease is holding it like glue for now?
June J
Technician 3rd Grade
Technician 3rd Grade
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:27 am
My garage: 1942 Dodge WC 53
1941 Willys MB
1960 M38A1 Nekaf
Location: New Zealand

Re: Steering box bearing- overthinking?

Post by June J »

Hiya,
so for clarity there are 2 parts to the bearing, the cup and the cone. The cone is a press fit on the steering shaft/worm. The cup us a sliding fit in the housing. Please clarify what you mean by " the shaft spins inside the bearing easily".

If by this you mean the steering shaft/worm spins inside the cone thats not right and suggests the bearing register on the shaft has worn. You may need to put some loctite retaining compound on the shaft to stop this happening. Once you have done that the bearing cone and shaft should turn as one, and if as you say the shim pack is correct your problem will go away. :thumbup:

I would dismantle and check the "fit" of the cone on the steering shaft and if necessary (ie too much wear for the loctite) get the end of the shaft metal sprayed.

Cheers
Ian
1942 Dodge WC 53
1941 Willys MB
1960 M-38A1 Nekaf
PareosWC
Sergeant
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Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:59 pm
Location: SC

Re: Steering box bearing- overthinking?

Post by PareosWC »

Hello, Ian-
Please clarify what you mean by " the shaft spins inside the bearing easily".
When I remove my worm gear, the both bottom and top cups are attached to the worm gear and rotate with the shaft. I even thought that the cups were 'milled' out of the same shaft :lol: Both bearing cones fall freely from the box upon disassembly.
If by this you mean the steering shaft/worm spins inside the cone
Yes, I'm afraid it does. the shaft/worm gear spins freely on top of the cone, but the cone does not rotate easily...

Loctite is an answer, but perhaps I should remove the cups from the shaft, and then place the good cone/cup at the bottom, and the 'bad' one up top...
June J
Technician 3rd Grade
Technician 3rd Grade
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:27 am
My garage: 1942 Dodge WC 53
1941 Willys MB
1960 M38A1 Nekaf
Location: New Zealand

Re: Steering box bearing- overthinking?

Post by June J »

Hi,
So reading your latest post I begin tu understand the your bearings are 3 piece.
Firstly. do not swap the bearings around, and certainly dont take parts of the bearings and swap them around. Generally speaking the top worm bearing will wear more then the bottom as any leakage of oil out of the steering box means that the top bearing goes dry well before the bottom bearing.

On the understanding that all the parts were clean and in good condition and that the bearings have been lubricated, now that you have set the worm end float with the shims remember that the thrust load on the bearings depends on what direction you are steering. Turning to the right will force the worm toward the upper bearing, and reverse for left turn.

It may just be that the bottom race isnt turning because its just sliding, turn the other way with load on the sector shaft and it will very likely turn just fine. Try it with down force on the steering wheel !

Cheers

Ian
1942 Dodge WC 53
1941 Willys MB
1960 M-38A1 Nekaf