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Great War truck

Jeep steering box

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I have a very original 44MB. I got away without having to do too much work on it when we rebuilt it. This is what it looks like:

DSCN0642.jpg

 

At the last MOT the man told me that he would have to fail it next year as the steering is a bit vauge. Now when we rebuilt it we did not do the steering box, which was a mistake because now i have to take it out, when it would have been a lot easier to do it when the body was off. Everything else in the steering has been fixed, replaced or is otherwise ok, the problem is now definitely in the box.

 

I have no problem with taking the box out. My query is that i have been told that it might be better to buy a NOS Hotchkiss box rather than rebuild the box that i have. This would be a shame as i would hate to lose an original piece. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Does the actual steering box casting suffer wear and therfore need replacing? Any thoughts at all before Stoneleigh when i hope to get what i need and save the postage. Logically, it might be better to take the box out and look at it and identify the problem, but i have not got the time to do that at the moment.

 

Thanks

 

Tim (too).

 

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Hi Tim

Have spoken to a jeep expert mate for you ,like most old vehicles there is alot of play at the steering wheel even when the box is OK. It is possible to adjust the steering box,there is screw and lock nut on the left hand side of the box but you have to be very careful when adjusting it or the casing will break in use.The method is to jack up the front of the vehicle ,tighten the adjuster then move the steering GENTLY to full lock ,

if the steering tightens as it gets towards full lock it is over adjusted and must be backed off. When on full lock there still needs to be a small amount of play at the steering wheel rim. As I have said before on the forum the average MOT tester does not understand old vehicles and will fail things which, in effect, they do not know about. Ask around and find a tester who is used to older Land Rovers as they have very similar characteristics. Hope this is some help to you but if you want to speak to

Rob if you let me know I will PM his phone no to you. He will gladly help you in any way he can.

 

 

Cheers

Degsy

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You're welcome Tim. Let me know howyou go on.

 

 

 

Cheers

Degsy

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Hi Tim

I have just rebuilt my steering box and there is nothing to it, you have one screw and the forks that go into it, top and bottom of the column are ball bearings with no cage (be careful they do fall out) these balls should be 0.295" in diameter (thou) or near enough, I put some new ones in from an old bearing and cleaned everything up, new oil (gear), made new seals, and made a new support for the steering column itself like a bearing and put together, yes there is play in it after all this partly dur to the forks worn a bit and that there is a lot of play normally as from new, but this can be adjusted out to a certain extent, as my book says and someone said before, so give it a go could save a lot of money.

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Perhaps a note of caution

 

Not being the best engineer in fact probably one of the worst I also rebuilt my steering box, if the ball bearings are worn then in all probability so are the races they run in. In mine the steering column was also pitted

 

I ended up getting a rebuild kit fitting, new bushes, shaft and steering column, then re shimming the top of the box, it may seem a little excessive but it is the steering we are talking about. And remeber that if the end of the out put shaft is worn this will affect the steering.

 

Not trying to be clever but having had the jeep shimmy on a previous vehicle I wanted to aviod it at all costs, I had my steering box looked at and thats what I was recomended to do.

 

Now for the rest of the rebuild

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Just a note if you don't replace the tie-rod end's and balance the tire's your not going to be happy also pitman arm they wear out to! Nice jeep!

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Well thanks guys. Lots of info there. It would appear that the box has already been adjusted as far is it will go, so it is a rebuild or replacement box time. Time to stop just putting my trust in the Lord to ensure that I do not stray from the path of righteousness and crash into the oncoming HGV of sin. Not to sure how that would look on the insurance form if i did prang it either.

 

I am totally torn between buying a NOS Hotchkis box or rebuilding it. Oh heck, its too cold to go anywhere at the moment, lets have a go at rebuilding it. I just got paid so Stoneleigh here i come!

 

Tim (too)

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Hi Tim

Suggest you ring Tony Sudds at TS Autos 01474 564038, he will tell you the parts you need and sell them to you at the right price. He usually goes to Stoneleigh so if you could ring him in the morning you might catch him before he leaves.

 

 

Cheers

Degsy

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Tim

 

Rebuild your original box! You’ll be better off keeping her as original as possible. The hardest part about rebuilding the steering box is getting it out of (and back in) the vehicle – the rest is easy.

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Well, i went to Stoneleigh and i took advice, everybodys in fact. What i have done is bought the last Hotchkiss box held by Dallas Autoparts. Now don't lose faith here. What i intend to do is take out my original, put the Hotchbox in to keep me on the road, then rebuild the original and then put the Hotchbox up for sale while i put the original back in. This means of course that i have to change the box twice, but it gives me mobility while i rebuild the original.

 

Now, the question is, would i have done the same thing if i had not just been paid and had money burning a hole in my pocket. Or if i had found something else interesting to buy at Stoneleigh (which i did not).

 

I will keep you updated on the box.

 

Tim (too)

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The boxs do wear but it is possable to get all the parts to rebuild the box as new. only problem is that it is that job is best left to a pro as you need a press and a reamer to do a proper job.

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Took the old box out easily enough, then had to get a new drop arm as the old one was beyond salvation (and i couldnt get it off the splines of the old box anyway).

 

Due to various other matters i was not able to get back to the Jeep for a while, but have got stuck into it now. This has presented me with a couple of questions that i am sure someone will be able to offer speedy advice.

 

1). I am having a bit of a struggle getting the drop arm on to the splines of the new box. The manual seems to give the impression that it should be quite easy although i have now bent the tommy bar from my socket set trying to get it on to the same position that the one on the old box is at. Should i use a press to do this, or buy another tommy bar (preferbly not another Chnese one for £2.50). It might be that i have already done it up tight enough, it is just that it is not quite as far up the splines as the one on the original box.

 

2). The second question relates to doing up the safety plug on the steering connecting rod. Is there a specific recommended tool for this as it is an awkward so and so to reach. Also it has become very tight when to my mind there is still several more turns required. I bought a "Kit" for the steering connecting rod and the springs are much longer than the originals which probably has something to do with it. Is there anything else that i might be doing wrong.

 

Thanks all

 

Tim (too).

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