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Steering binding  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 09-18-2011 11:45 pm
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Mason Jones
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Soooo…the steering has been binding lately. Not sure when it started. It binds at certain points in the turning radius, not consistently. I had the steering shaft out while replacing the exhaust manifold but it was not binding immediately afterward.

I loosened the bottom u-joint and discovered that it only moves in one direction. Is this normal? Seems contrary to the idea of a universal joint. Moves fine one way but won’t budge the other. This would explain the binding but before I try to unstick it I wanted to make sure that it was not the way it was designed.

This video illustrates how it moves (or doesn’t move). Normal or FUBAR?
http://youtu.be/NpranxKa3EY

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 Posted: 09-19-2011 02:45 am
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JodyKerr
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Mason,

 

Have someone sit in the car and turn the steering wheel while you watch the upper knuckle. It's very common for that to hit the exhaust as it rotates. Alternatively, you can get a flashlight to look at the exhaust for scratches.

What often happens is that when the exhaust is changed out the engine drops a little which causes the issue. To fix it you need to raide the engine a hair on it's motor mount until it no longer hits.

I start with that and if that's not the issue look more deeply at the steering.

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 Posted: 09-19-2011 03:44 am
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Mason Jones
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Hey Jody,

Thanks for the quick response! I actually did check the upper and lower joints (had my 6-yr-old turn the wheel) and they were not hitting anything.

That's when I took a closer look at the lower u-joint and discovered it doesn't move both ways, only one. I can't imagine this is normal but wanted to ask as I've been wrong before! Not sure if I'm describing it properly--hence the video.

What would make the u-joint suddenly seize up one way? Is it fixable? Can you take them apart?

Thanks,
Mason

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 Posted: 09-19-2011 06:08 am
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JodyKerr
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ok. I watched the video. That doesn't look right to me. I'm afraid I'm in the middle of my TR8 at the moment (literally) so I don't have easy access to the JH. The TR8 has almost the exact same assembly as the JH though, and mine happens to be loose as I'm doing a remove and replace on the power steering.

I just checked the 8 and it's got a full range of motion. I'd try setting the end in a vice and seeing if you can work it loose a bit. If not you'll likely have to get one of the refurb units from Delta.

Jody

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 Posted: 09-20-2011 06:42 pm
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Mason Jones
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Thanks Jody, seems like most of my questions are of the “Hey, does this look right?” variety. I was half expecting someone to chime in with, “What you’ve got there is a Lucas ‘one-way’ U-joint used only in JH #’s 11666, 12666 and 13666 designed to be driven exclusively in traffic circles.”

I just priced a new one from Delta: $85, ouch!

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 Posted: 09-26-2011 02:54 am
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Arvin Appelman
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Put it in a vice with the steering shaft in place with the lock bolt tight, try to break it loose. If it frees up fine if not order a new one.

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 Posted: 09-26-2011 03:41 pm
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Mason Jones
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I ordered a new u-joint from Delta. I was able to move the old joint with a lot of effort (and a hammer) but it never loosened up.

I ordered the lower steering column bushing as well. The lower column shaft has about 1/2" of play!! That can't be good.

So, this month's JH budget went to the steering, a worthy cause. I'm anxious to see what it feels like back on the road.

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 Posted: 10-01-2011 09:00 am
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Mason Jones
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Slight setback on the steering, the u-joint I got from Delta was flawed. The splines didn’t line up properly with the notch in the shaft for the pinch bolt so the bolt would not go in all the way. Called Delta and as luck would have it that was the last one in stock. New ones are on order.

In the meantime I couldn’t resist taking it around the block. Steering feels great. I’m not going to say it feels like a new car because every time I say that some other major system fails to remind me this is a 38 year-old car.

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 Posted: 10-01-2011 01:10 pm
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JodyKerr
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Bummer on the steering knuckle.

 

Good for the driving though! I love the feeling in the car when something's been improved.

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 Posted: 10-01-2011 02:58 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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Frank Schwartz might have a spare available, I just helped him strip a couple of cars and one of the items I took off was a steering shaft along with good u-joints.
If your intrested he's on this board and you can ask him.

Brett

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 Posted: 10-01-2011 07:14 pm
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Dakota123
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I just did this as well and getting the flat to line up was a pain. I dinged the bolt threads to the point where I needed to replace the bolt first time around -- is it close enough that a little filing of the flat (or maybe file a slight flat in the bolt, chase the threads) would work?

Mike

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 Posted: 10-03-2011 05:03 am
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Mason Jones
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Dakota123 wrote:  -- is it close enough that a little filing of the flat (or maybe file a slight flat in the bolt, chase the threads) would work?

I guess I don't want to grind the shaft because of a faulty u-joint especially since I paid $85 for it! If I ever need to replace the upper with the shaft I'll be grinding the new shaft too.

Since you had the same problem now I'm wondering what my chances are with the next batch they get from their supplier in Britain.

Maybe a used one is not a bad idea. I'll hit up Frank...

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