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MKTR

STEERING COLUMN

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I am just about getting away with the freeplay in my uppeer steering column when it comes to MOT. I tried new rubber bushes and even the nylon type (Revington) but there is still some play. The column is shiny/worn where it meets the bushes and I note that one cannot buy a new column. Has anyone got any tips to cure this - thicken the bushes, coat the column etc or do I have to take a chance with a secondhand column?

 

Perhaps a second set of bushes in addition to those in the correct position will help?

 

When I get around to addressing this should I also replace the steering column flexible couplings - do these become worn or distorted, or possibly flex too much?

 

Grateful for some advice.

 

Mark.

Edited by MKTR

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Mark -

 

There was a vendor in the US who had a reasonable solution for this issue: instead of replacing the bushes he sold machined Delrin bushes that could be added to the steering column in situ - this took out the excessive play. Unfortunately I am not sure if the vendor is still around, but the idea may be worth merit. Here is a very good website that shows the installation of the kit for reference:

Steering column refurbish

 

I certainly recommend inspecting, if not replacing the rubber couplings - if they fail it can lead to an exciting driving moment! Be sure to check the lower-most coupling, on my TR4 it was very difficult to eliminate the play where it attached to the steering rack.

 

Regards,

Randy

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Is the play in the outer column or the inner column? The bushes for the inner column should have a nylon insert, and it's difficult to believe that the nylon could wear the steel of the column. TRF in the US sells a kit for a full rebushing. If the play is in the outer column, check all the felt liners and also that all the clamps and supports are correctly installed. There are two clamps and two support rods. Finally - and this is critical - check the rubber couplings on the lower column for cracks. These are critical safety items. Also, the original bolts for these couplings must be safety wired, although these were superseded by nyloc nuts. When all these items are in good shape, the steering is surprisingly solid. I found this out by trial and error ;) .

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Is the play in the outer column or the inner column? The bushes for the inner column should have a nylon insert, and it's difficult to believe that the nylon could wear the steel of the column. TRF in the US sells a kit for a full rebushing. If the play is in the outer column, check all the felt liners and also that all the clamps and supports are correctly installed. There are two clamps and two support rods. Finally - and this is critical - check the rubber couplings on the lower column for cracks. These are critical safety items. Also, the original bolts for these couplings must be safety wired, although these were superseded by nyloc nuts. When all these items are in good shape, the steering is surprisingly solid. I found this out by trial and error ;) .

 

The inner column is the one with movement. Will check out options for bushes. Excuse my ignorance but who is TRF - there is nothing relevant on google. I thought it might be TR Fund but no joy.

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Excuse my ignorance but who is TRF - there is nothing relevant on google.

I thought it might be TR Fund but no joy.

 

Triumph Roadster Factory, in the US.

They have a well-justified top rating for quality and service,

as well as having some parts not supplied by others.

 

They also have a great on-line catalogue.

 

AlanR

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I am just about getting away with the freeplay in my uppeer steering column when it comes to MOT. I tried new rubber bushes and even the nylon type (Revington) but there is still some play. The column is shiny/worn where it meets the bushes and I note that one cannot buy a new column. Has anyone got any tips to cure this - thicken the bushes, coat the column etc or do I have to take a chance with a secondhand column?

 

Perhaps a second set of bushes in addition to those in the correct position will help?

 

When I get around to addressing this should I also replace the steering column flexible couplings - do these become worn or distorted, or possibly flex too much?

 

Grateful for some advice.

 

Mark.

 

Hello Mark. As I have just completed this exercise on the 250, I would like to help. However, I am somewhat confused as to your dilemma. If you have removed the outer steering column from the car and fitted standard bushes, you should have then fitted the inner shaft to establish that most of the initial slop had been corrected. Is this so? Did the inner shaft rotate freely, but snugly in the new bushes? You would have noticed that the original design of these bushes incorporates an outer rubber body with teats that engage into holes in the column, surrounding a thin steel sleeve. Inside the steel sleeve is a split plastic (not sure of the compound) bearing. This bearing has tabs intended to register with notches in the steel sleeve. Make sure that theses plastic bearings have not moved. One trick (as a last resort) is to add a drop or two of instant set cement (cyanoacrylate) at the tabs. Be careful - just a little. Once you establish that these bushes are all sorted, and you still have relative movement between the shaft and outer column, the only reason left is that the shaft is badly worn. You have a couple of options if this is the case. Find a replacement shaft or have the shaft built up (spray welded) and turned down. BTW, for the sake of smooth operation, I put it in the lathe and gave it a bit of a polish with crocus cloth. I did not paint the inner shaft , but did coat it with white lithium grease. If you provide some input based on my query, we can move on to the next step.

 

cheers

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Are you certain the play is not in any of the splined joints? - they can loosen, even when clamped with new nyloc nuts (I know, I spotted one loose clamp just before this year's MOT). Also, check that the impact clamp is tight.

I would agree with others that it is difficult to imagine the inner steeing column wearing where it is in contact with rubber or nylon bushes - it's the bushes which are supposed to (and do) wear. However, you can stuff further bushes down the outer column (one at each end), remembering that first you'll need to remove their locating pips as there will not be any spare holes into which the pips could sit (unless you cross drill the outer column to permit this).

Nylon is much better than rubber, for obvious reasons.

I suggest you replace BOTH rubber couplings with TR5/6-style steering universal joints Part 145377 (don't forget to use NEW nyloc nuts). With these and solid rack mountings (obtainable from a number of suppliers), you will get rid of all the free play in the system.

Ian Cornish

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If it is up and down play at the steering wheel you could probably poke another bush, or two, with the teats removed, down inside the tube. This would then have the advantage of bearing on unworn parts of the steering shaft ?

 

Rod

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Would agree with Ian, that its a good idea to replace the rubber doughnut couplings with tr6 steel ujs.

Takes away the fear of ripping the coupling apart when mauling the steering wheel into a tight parking space :lol:

Downside is the road surface is transmitted throught to the steering wheel, and any front wheel out of balance can appear more severe

Dale

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When I bought 4VC in 1969, it had the solid rack mountings, two rubber doughnuts in the steering column, and 165 Goodyear radials. I swapped the 4.5J wire wheels for 5.5J (TR6) steel wheels, equipeed with the G800s. It kicked quite hard at the wheel whenever I hit a depressed manhole cover in the road, so I made sure I kept my thumbs hooked over the spokes in the wheel.

Now, the rack remains solid-mounted but I have replaced the doughnuts with TR5/6 universal joints and have fitted 195/65 Pirelli P6000 tyres (still on the TR6 steel wheels). It doesn't kick as hard as once it did and I don't seem to need to hold the wheel as tightly - and our roads are far worse now than 40 years ago!

Make of that what you will! I think the tyres are taking the heavy shocks. It's true that I can feel uneven surfaces through the wheel, but overall, I think it's safer and a worthwhile improvement.

Ian Cornish

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Thank you to all of you who have given advice on this matter. I think that I will replace the bushes again with nylon type and add extras above/below; having cut off the locating ears. In addition I will go for the TR6 type mounts in order to limit movement that may be causing the bushes to wear out. I already have the solid mount kit and have checked all the outer column mounts.

 

If that fails I think the Dalrin bush option seems worth a try.

 

VMT :)

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