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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be replacing my manual steering box (again :banghead:) because the last one I swapped in decided to basically lock up mid-turn. Made for a panicked 25 seconds. :D

For reference, the steering box worked smoothly for about two weeks after I installed it, and then I started getting little pockets of light resistance periodically. Then out of the clear blue sky it nearly froze on me. (It was a used one; I don't have the cash for a new one)

What I did when I swapped the box in was I took the filler plug out, and I used a home-made contraption which was basically a grease fitting with a long length of clear tubing attached to it. I stuck the tubing as far down in the steering box as it would go, and just kept pumping away on the grease gun until the box looked full. I used grease because I have read on other posts how things things basically leaked since they were new and filling them with grease was a common cure.

I am wondering now if perhaps I somehow didn't use enough grease, or used a bad procedure, and that is what caused it to lock up - well not entirely lock up, but become incredibly difficult (and noisy) to turn.

So, since I don't like swapping out steering boxes on cars with headers by myself in a cramped garage, I don't want to do this again anytime soon - I want to make sure I get it right this time! As always, any insight is appreciated.
 

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Was the box set up correctly-- I mean the proper lash and play. These boxes are set up like this. With the steering wheel set for straight ahead driving you adjust the lash screw that is on top for no play. When the wheel is turned left or right there should be slight play in the pitman arm. If someone adjusted the lash with the steering wheel not centered for no play when the wheel comes back to center it could possibly bind. You can install a zerk grease fitting the size of the plug and then just pump the grease in with a grease gun. Also if you look in the shop manual there is all this information plus how to adjust the mainshaft bearings. . Jim
 

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I remember once a friend put STP in his steering box. It was in the summer and he had easy steering, but when it turned cold, you couldn't turn it with help. {:O)
 

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I think your approach was correct to a point. Probably that box already had damage from being run without lube.

When I say correct to a point I think you have to make sure it's packed pretty full, and keep trying to get more grease in and the air out after installation. So here's what I'd do on the next box you install.

Use a thin chassis grease, that will let it work in easier. I'd try to lube it the best you can before you ever put it in the car with the tube you used previously. If you can find a spot to drill and tap another pipe port that would be great. Use it for a vent. Then drill and tap the fill plug for a grease fitting. Work the box through its full travel several times, adding grease if it will take it. After you've installed it, put a few shots of grease it in once a month until it won't take any more without pushing it past the seals or the vent (if you put one in). After that it shouldn't require attention but once every year or two.
 

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Pourable Grease

I have used this in several industrial applications and it works well, works great in Bush Hog Gear Boxes also or any where seal leaks may be a problem.

Jimbo

Pourable Grease
Bation Rouge Industries
225-775-3356
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, got the replacement steering box in. That is NOT a fun job to do by yourself on a car with headers.

Before I put the box in, I stuck it in a vise and pulled the filler plug out. After shining a flashlight down the hole, I saw that it was 3/4 of the way full of gear oil! With no leaks! So I just filled it up to the top and called it a day. Still not leaking.

Every now and then ya get lucky. Of course, to balance this good luck out, I had to replace my voltage regulator today. Again. :rolleyes:
 

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On the road again...

Glad to hear you are on the road.... I like the added comment about the voltage regulator. Always nice to try, and I mean TRY to keep ahead of the breakdowns..... Loosing steering is not a fun thing!
 

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I HAVE ALMOST THE SAME PROBLEM I PUT A MANUAL BOX IN MY 57 AND FILLED IT WITH 90W GEAR OIL AND ALL IT DOES IS LEAK I CANT FIGURE OUT WHY CAN ANYBODY HELP ME
 

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I think your approach was correct to a point. Probably that box already had damage from being run without lube.

When I say correct to a point I think you have to make sure it's packed pretty full, and keep trying to get more grease in and the air out after installation. So here's what I'd do on the next box you install.

Use a thin chassis grease, that will let it work in easier. I'd try to lube it the best you can before you ever put it in the car with the tube you used previously. If you can find a spot to drill and tap another pipe port that would be great. Use it for a vent. Then drill and tap the fill plug for a grease fitting. Work the box through its full travel several times, adding grease if it will take it. After you've installed it, put a few shots of grease it in once a month until it won't take any more without pushing it past the seals or the vent (if you put one in). After that it shouldn't require attention but once every year or two.
I did the same thing years ago, one of the bolts on the top that are tapped all the way through can be removed to serve as a vent while filling, then reinstalled. I made up another filler plug and drilled/tapped a grease fitting into it, afterwards I removed it and reinstall the original plug for the stock look. Dave
 

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The plate (cover) doesn't just lift off, the adjusting stud is screwed through it. The adj stud is what adjusts the contact between the teeth of the sector shaft (pitman shaft) and the teeth of the wormshaft (steering wheel shaft).

If you do remove all three bolts, don't turn the steering gear, the cover will rotate.
 
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