> I'll try loosening the steering box per the suggestions and also look
> into removing it entirely to rebuild, although at this point I hadn't
> planned on it, not really knowing what's involved in rebuilding it. What
> parts are likely to need replacing, and how involved is the rebuilding
I replaced :
rocker shaft bush 501562
rocker shaft seal, 501563
rocker shaft peg 501568
paper gasket, 501571
washer on fill plug, SP.54
rubber plug 501565
upper column bush 209423
Although the worm and it's bearings showed signs of pitting and wear, I didn't
replace them due to cost and availability.
I also replaced the felt bush & rubber/nylon/steel bush in the upper column, and
the rubber seal where it goes through the firewall.
Rebuilding the box wasn't too hard ... hardest part was getting the drop arm off
the rocker shaft. A proper Pitman arm puller would probably be the right tool
here, but I wound up using my 2-arm gear puller, with added side braces to keep
the arms from slipping off the ears on the arm. Torqued it down until I thought
something would break, then hit the forcing screw a great whack with a BFH. The
arm & puller jumped in the air about a foot, but it came apart.
After that, I just stacked up nuts, washers & various hardware, with a length of
threaded rod, to force the old bushing out along with the seal. Reversed the
process to install the new bush. Book says it needs to be reamed, but mine fit
just perfect without reaming. Tapped the seal in with a brass hammer. To
remove the upper bush, I ran a length of pipe in from the bottom and used it as
a hammer to bang the bush out.
Everything else is pretty straight-forward, except that I now believe a dial
indicator is essential for accurately setting the end-float (which must be
completed with the rocker arm adjustment backed fully off). A cheap but
adequate dial indicator and magnetic mount can be had from Enco for under $25,
less on sale. A set with the indicator, base and some points (which aren't all
that useful) is currently $18.95, P/N DW625-1340
The goal is exactly zero clearance, but .001" either way probably won't hurt.
The shims come in various thicknesses (ISTR it's .004" and .010") so you can
mix-n-match to get just the right shim pack. When I tried doing it "by feel", I
was off by a good .004".
Oh yeah, I also switched to Valvoline full synthetic gear oil. That may have
made a difference too, I don't know. Don't forget to load the felt with dry
graphite or MoS2. I also used MoS2 spray on the shafts where they went through
the rubber/nylon bushes.
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