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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

Stock "53 Steering Box Questions

 
  #1  
Old 09-23-2016, 07:29 PM
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Stock "53 Steering Box Questions

I attempted to adjust the stock steering box on my "53 F-100. I followed the instructions found in the Shop Service Manual for the truck. Per the manual, I was able to measure (within ounces) the amount of force it took to get the steering wheel to move by adapting my wife's Weight Watchers digital scale. (If anyone is interested in how this was done, just ask.) I added and removed gasket/shims to the bottom plate to achieve the recommended resistance. I tightened up the adjusting screw on the side to take all the play out of the sector shaft. At this point I ran into both a problem and a question. The problem is the first 1/4" (approx) of threads inside the locking nut for the sector shaft adjuster are stripped. The adjuster is screwed so far in that there are not many threads in the nut engaging the screw. I do not see this part available in the typical after parts catalogs. And, like similar problems I've had, I do not even know what this particular kind of nut is called. I suppose it's some sort of acorn nut or cap nut. If anyone can direct me to a source it would be appreciated. And the question I have is: what keeps the gear oil from dripping out of the box around this same sector shaft adjusting screw? I see no seal or washer in the exploded view of the steering box. I filled the box up to the top of the filler opening, but the drip at the adjuster screw slowly drains out over half of it. Is the box supposed to be full? Do they ever not leak?
 
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:51 PM
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Since the screw is next to flush (a sign of how worn your gear is) I wouldn't be too concerned about a slow drip. Sounds as though it's time to begin saving some nickels for a rebuild. Not having crawled under to look I'm going to guess the nut is a common thread. Not sure why there would be an acorn nut on it as you wouldn't be able to hold the screw in place while tightening it. If I were you, what I might try is remove the nut, make your adjustment then stretch a piece of a latex glove over the screw threads and install the nut.

In days gone by many peeps would pack the gear with grease, instead of using oil, in order to 'fix' the seepage. That's a no - no, the gear needs oil to be properly lubricated. Besides being a tad undersized for the job, my thoughts are the lack of, or improper lube used, is the reason for most of the gears being typically worn out. Back then checking the lube in the gear was considered a normal oil change procedure - just as checking the trans and diff. And periodic adjustments reduced the wear rate. Think of driving a nail with the hammer sitting directly on the nail - not much happens. But once some clearance is gained you can begin pounding the heck out of it. Same thing happens when any clearance opens beyond spec.
 
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CBeav View Post
In days gone by many peeps would pack the gear with grease, instead of using oil, in order to 'fix' the seepage. That's a no - no, the gear needs oil to be properly lubricated.
I know the owners manuals of 1957 and later trucks with M/S said to use steering gear grease (not gear oil).

So I have to ask, are you sure that 1953/56 trucks didn't use steering gear grease, too?

Pic from 1948/56 truck catalog: 2nd row, steering gear grease is 3rd from the right.
 
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:55 PM
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There are different kinds of grease, of course. Therein the confusion.

Steering gearboxes get the equivalent of NGLI #00 aka "self leveling" grease. NGLI #2, on the other hand, is what most people are familiar with, a lithium based chassis grease, which should NOT be used in a gearbox.

Another equivalent is "corn head" or "pickerhead" spindle grease available at just about any farm implement store. John Deere makes a good one, I'm sure there are others. 90 wt. will work but it usually leaks on used or old gearboxes.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pro...ndle-grease-00
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CBeav View Post
Since the screw is next to flush (a sign of how worn your gear is) I wouldn't be too concerned about a slow drip. Sounds as though it's time to begin saving some nickels for a rebuild. Not having crawled under to look I'm going to guess the nut is a common thread. Not sure why there would be an acorn nut on it as you wouldn't be able to hold the screw in place while tightening it. If I were you, what I might try is remove the nut, make your adjustment then stretch a piece of a latex glove over the screw threads and install the nut.

In days gone by many peeps would pack the gear with grease, instead of using oil, in order to 'fix' the seepage. That's a no - no, the gear needs oil to be properly lubricated. Besides being a tad undersized for the job, my thoughts are the lack of, or improper lube used, is the reason for most of the gears being typically worn out. Back then checking the lube in the gear was considered a normal oil change procedure - just as checking the trans and diff. And periodic adjustments reduced the wear rate. Think of driving a nail with the hammer sitting directly on the nail - not much happens. But once some clearance is gained you can begin pounding the heck out of it. Same thing happens when any clearance opens beyond spec.
I think you are right about wear at the sector shaft and its gear. The worm on the steering shaft was so incredibly bad that after I replaced it, I thought that I had sufficiently dealt with my loose steering problems. (The worm gear actually only had about half of the threads on it. The rest had been broken away in large chunks. When I saw it during this rebuild, I was amazed that I hadn't killed myself driving it in the past with such a deteriorated part.) It looks like a steering box rebuild is in my future.
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tedster9 View Post
There are different kinds of grease, of course. Therein the confusion.

Another equivalent is "corn head" or "pickerhead" spindle grease available at just about any farm implement store. John Deere makes a good one, I'm sure there are others. 90 wt. will work but it usually leaks on used or old gearboxes.
Super S Cotton Picker Spindle Grease 00 - For Life Out Here
What Tedster said. Corn head grease works great in old Ford tractor steering boxes and will not leak like an oil type lubricant. I am running it in the steering box of Blue.
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:50 AM
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I'll look into the "corn head" grease. I don't have time to rebuild the box until next spring. From now till then, I don't expect to put on more than a few hundred miles. So, a temporary solution sounds good.
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:48 PM
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I know that this is not what the book says, but I have chosen to use a mixture of 3/4-90wt and 1/4 the old STP. I have no leaks and am sure everything gets lubricated.??????? That reminds me it's probably time to change the oil in it. A close check for metal in what I drain should tell me how well my concoction worked.
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:17 PM
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I'm using a manual gearbox full of STP, heard about in a similar discussion to the one here. I've since read though, STP is not an oil and has no lubrication properties.

Best to use the proper lube, it's not hard to find or expensive.
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:17 PM
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The important thing is to keep whatever lubrication you might choose to use, high enough to keep the top worm shaft bearing lubricated. Top it off periodically if it leaks. If you're using something like chassis lub, pack it in tightly once in a while.
 
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:19 PM
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Well, to be totally honest I used Lucas Hub Oil in mine. I know my box also has a short future and this was handy, so...
 
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedster9 View Post
I'm using a manual gearbox full of STP, heard about in a similar discussion to the one here. I've since read though, STP is not an oil and has no lubrication properties.

Best to use the proper lube, it's not hard to find or expensive.
STP worked for me too.
 
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:38 PM
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Well I looked up the MSDS for STP. It *is* oil, or mostly 90% anyway. Nasty stuff, I'd never put it in a crankcase, stuff is like glue. Seems to work fine as a manual gearbox lube though.
 
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:58 PM
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It may be o.k. for the bearings and gears but will make shifting more difficult as it will interfere with the blocking rings being able to slow down the gears.
 
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:37 PM
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Manual steering gearbox, sorry if that wasn't clear. I wouldn't use it in a transmission.
 

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