Steering assembly

Tonight I put the steering back together but first…

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Wheels!   Got the wheels back from the powder coating shop.  They look pretty darn good.

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Not bad!  These look really nice.  Now back to our regularly scheduled annoying problems.

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OK, so I did a bunch of searching online and I have concluded the service manual is full of crap.  In the picture above I have all the socket parts installed except for the spring.  There is no fricking way the ball is going to fit.

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Here is the proof I was looking for.  This is a picture of a drag link off a Willys MB that I found online.  Notice that the “slot” is much closer to the end leaving more room for the socket and spring.  Screw it, I am putting it together the way I found it.  Also I now have no faith in the rebuild kit I got for this thing.  I am going to not use any of it except for the seals.

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Here is the bellcrank end installed.  As the book says I cranked the end plug down tight then backed off one turn.

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Here is my idea for tightening the seal around the drag link.  The metal retainer is just really soft sheet metal.  I squeezed it on by hand but it seemed really loose.  So I used a hose clamp to squish it on there.  I am not sure this actually helped but it did not hurt.

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Here is the steering box end with the cotter pin installed.  Every time finish tightening a fastener I am sticking the cotter pin in the hole.  I am not spreading them yet just in case I have to take this apart for some reason.

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Tie rod time.  Here is the drivers side of the long tie rod installed.

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And the other end with the link rod attached to it.  I will have to be careful to arrange the clamps so they do not hit each other.

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Then this happened.  I went to install the last zerk and could not get the threads to catch.  Gee, I wonder why?  Great quality control guys.  Really stellar work.  I scavenged a functional zerk off one of the old tie rod ends.  vt_20161102_185636

Time for a redneck front-end alignment.  When I took off the tie rod I measured its length at 42.25 inches from zerk to zerk.  So I spun the rod until I got back to that length.  That should get my toe-in close.  Then I centered the steering box.  According to the manual when the hole on the bellcrank is lined up with the center rivet that holds the bellcrank mount on.  So I lined that up.   Interestingly the steering wheel is about 60 degrees off with the steering gear centered.  No biggie, if I have to I will pull the wheel and put it straight.

With the steering gear straight I tightened the link rod until the front wheels were parallel with the leaf springs.  That should be good enough for now.  I tightened two of the clamps to hold everything in place.

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And here is a problem.  The cotter pin on the front end of the drag link is hitting the front cross member.  I will  have to use other holes to get more clearance.  By the way the drag link barely clears a bunch of stuff by 1/2″ or or so including the fuel pump.  No wonder it is twisted like a pretzel.

Anyway it is getting late and game 7 of the World Series is on tonight so I will finish this up tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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