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Question AEC Militant MKI

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On return from my MOT, I put a full right hand lock on, as I was going to be close to the kerb I tried to put more of a lock on that was possible maybe pushing it beyond its limit. I noticed the steering to be heavier on left hand locks on the journey home. Finally the steering refused to allow a left hand lock to be applied on an exit off a roundabout. I tried a right hand lock which was possible. I did notice after a few struggles that on turning the steering wheel it was actually screwing itself closer to the steering column shaft cover (Like a nut going on to a bolt). Any ideas? I think I may have upset the steering box. What think ye?

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Sounds like a thrust bearing failure in the steering box. I do not think Mk1s have power steering.

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Looking in the parts book, there is not a lot in the steering box to get upset, just a worm on the end of the column, and a follower.  I think your problem is most likely at the top of the column.

1. Take steering wheel off.  Centre nut is captive, as you undo it, it jacks the wheel off.

2. The cap on the top of the column itself unscrews, the little nut on the side that looks a bit like a grease nipple is a locking bolt which needs removing first.

3. Under here is various seals and bearings, and a locking nut that holds the whole thing together.  I reckon this nut has come undone, allowing the centre to wind itself out as you turn the wheel.  Parts book shows a locking pin holding this nut in place, so would guess that this has been sheared off.

Do you have a parts list? Mine has a good exploded view of  the whole thing.  I could copy it for you if you need it

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Update on the steering problem now that I am safely back at work.

OK Gents, after returning back home choosing roads which felicitated a right turn only I managed to get parked up  back on the drive safely. I went straight to the User handbook (EMER) and started to look for remedies, also posting my problem on HMVF and by experience I knew if I couldn't get an answer here I was in deep pooh.

I took this mad notion that the problem was in the steering box so I went through the various stages of preparation to remove the steering box, I removed the steering wheel and stowed it away on the passenger side of cab. Next step according to the user hand book was remove the brake pipes from the brake pedal (Mind your knuckles) Accelerator pedal and clutch pedal, then on to the cab floor bolts and the trailer brake on the side of the steering column. I also had to remove the seat and frame and the rear floor plate so I could release the front floor plate as they overlap each other. Then on to the ball joint on the drag link, split pin out and that is as far as I got even after a local trucking company gave me a plastic case with various types of ball joint splitters it wasn't for moving anytime fast.

Then I received the messages above from HMVF and after reading them several times I returned to the cab when I spotted the bolt and tab washer on the steering column, I removed and unscrewed the cup on the top only to discover a lot of iron fillings on top of several damaged seals. The nut that should have been secured by the grub screw (Alan screw type) had been loosened off or lost its grip on the shaft, which I believe allowed the steering wheel to be screwed down on to the top on the column and stopping when it reached its lowest point. I was now blocking a minor roundabout and it wasn't long before I realized I could apply a right hand lock and loosen the steering a bit and thankfully I was OK to limp home.

I tried in vain to reassert the nut but the threads were to far gone it was impossible, so I took it to the local garage equipped with a lathe and he re cut the threads for me, I was hoping that I could now refit the nut, but the shaft wasn't having it either. I was told if it wouldn't take to the shaft then bring the shaft here and they would be able to re cut the threads. I again tried to split the ball joint but to no avail.

Completely disappointed after coming to a standstill and my time was running short. I will now have a local mechanic to do the splitting for me in my absence, that should leave me three big bolts to remove on my return home. I hope to then strip the steering box down and remove the shaft for re threading to be completed, then the reassembly after checking everything else in the box.

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All that carnage just from a loose grub screw. I feel for you, mate. It might be easier to remove the ball end of that joint from the drag link, and leave the other end stuck in the drop arm. They are spring loaded and adjustable, slacken the adjustment right off and the ball slides out of the end. Alternatively, remove the drop arm from the steering box. It fits on a tapered spline, bit of gentle heat and four penny one with a big hammer should crack it off. That would give you less weight to lift getting the actual box off.

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From experience, ball joints go with an alarming bang! I worked on a lot of AEC busses and we had a big wind-on ball joint splitter for those.

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