Steering Box Rebuild Question

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avicenna110

avicenna110

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Hi all, I took my steering box apart and went a bit too far… I knew immediately I shouldn’t have attempted to take apart the steering worm gear when the balls came out of the holes. I had read the manual but I had missed the warning. Anyways I counted the balls and I think they were 68. I managed to put it all back together, took a couple of hours to figure out how.

Here is before:

4A6C1C44 04E2 4451 AB6E E88E3F3FF406


And after:

98C9BB37 BF01 4B93 840B EF9059BBC44C


I’ve moved the copper colored piece up and down over 100 times and it works fine but I’m now paranoid that I either lost some balls and therefore they’re not close enough to each other. My question is:

- has anyone been silly enough to take this apart and if yes did you count the balls? Mine is factory box ‘77

- knowing that this recirculating ball system is a closed loop it should mean that if the balls don’t come out during the test then that’s all I need to not worry, is this true.

- lastly is the system designed to have some space between the balls? It rattles a bit so again I’m paranoid about it. From a design perspective it would make sense to have slight gap between them. Maybe even loosing one it not a big deal?

Plus side is now I know how it works. Had no idea before…

Thanks all.
 
snaggletto

snaggletto

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If it moves freely throughout it's travel and there is not excessive slop and backlash then run with it. Congrats on having the guts to tear into it, mess up and get it figured out on reassembly. This is how we learn. Where are you on putting the assembly back together in the housing and installing the new seals? I need to do this to mine, as well as an FJ60 box.
 
avicenna110

avicenna110

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Thanks. I’m here:
ED20E3D9 F9A7 41F6 BEA8 EC345C18CAE6


So far I’ve stripped the body and painted it and cleaned all the other parts. I’m replacing the 2 seals, the gasket and the shims (although they were fine to reuse). I bought them all from Toyota along with the coupler, the breather and the big nut and lock washer with their Thanksgiving discount. I decided not to change the bearings, they looked fine and I thought they don’t get used as much as wheel bearings so I decided to leave them. Additionally I Zinc plated anything I could to prevent rust, including the teeth where the pitman arm and steering shaft coupler go. I’ll put it all together and see how it goes. It is an interesting mechanism and not terribly complicated so I’m glad I opened it up to learn. Hopefully I didn’t do more silly stuff I’m unaware of.
 
avicenna110

avicenna110

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Just realized only one of the breathers (bigger one) in the picture is for the steering box, in case someone else decides to use the part number in the image as reference. The other one is for my axle.
 
Honger

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FYI, I did this on my power steering box... and the balls that went back in didn't have much gap once I put them all back. There would not have been room for another ball to be added.
 
avicenna110

avicenna110

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a bit of an update, I did put it all together (shown below) but realized my mistake with the balls afterwards. Luckily I didn't have oil to put in the steering box, so the disassembly was easy.

IMG 7690
IMG 7691


It's missing the nut of the adjustment screw (plating it now), oil and the pitman arm, plus the coupler that I will put on later.

By chance I watched this video (below) of this tractor guy doing the same thing to a steering box of a Japanese tractor. The steering worm looks awfully similar to ours, but it appears that the two channels are the same length on his. On ours they're different. I know 2F engines were used on tractors but how about steering boxes?




Anyways in the video the guy explains things very nicely. The two channels form two separate closed loops, and the grooves in the middle of the channels should not have any balls in them as they won't end up recirculating and will be in no-man's-land. When I put the balls in I didn't pay attention to this so I wasn't sure if they ended up in the middle or not, which explains why I thought there was a gap between the balls.

You put one ball in one of the holes at a time, and push it down with something, preferably non-metallic. I used a plastic straw from my W2 can:

IMG 7694


you keep doing this until the balls come up the other hole, when this happens stop and go to the next hole/loop. This is what it looks like at the end:

IMG 7695


A magnet tip is handy if you make mistakes. The remaining balls go in the channels. Fill the channels with grease so they don't fall out when you hold them upside down:

IMG 7698


then put one channel in at a time:

IMG 7697


then the second:

IMG 7699


I did not use a hammer to place the channels like in the video and I don't think it's needed, nor is a good idea. They went in with some minor wiggling. And @Honger you are correct, there was no room for another ball.

Don't forget the bracket and the two screws. Putting the worm back together took much shorter to do than last time, less than 10 min for sure. And assembling the steering box took even less than the balls, about ~5 min to put it all back together. Here it is assembled again:

IMG 7700
 
keith88250

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Thanks. I’m here:
View attachment 2858629

So far I’ve stripped the body and painted it and cleaned all the other parts. I’m replacing the 2 seals, the gasket and the shims (although they were fine to reuse). I bought them all from Toyota along with the coupler, the breather and the big nut and lock washer with their Thanksgiving discount. I decided not to change the bearings, they looked fine and I thought they don’t get used as much as wheel bearings so I decided to leave them. Additionally I Zinc plated anything I could to prevent rust, including the teeth where the pitman arm and steering shaft coupler go. I’ll put it all together and see how it goes. It is an interesting mechanism and not terribly complicated so I’m glad I opened it up to learn. Hopefully I didn’t do more silly stuff I’m unaware of.
what do you use to do the zinc plating? great idea and it looks nice too
 
avicenna110

avicenna110

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what do you use to do the zinc plating? great idea and it looks nice too
The electro-plating itself is just with Zinc strips in vinegar+salt solution so it’s very cheap. I bought the yellow chromate solution from Caswell for ~$40 and I’m happy with it. Their plating kit is quite expensive and doesn’t include power supply, and yellow chromate so I decided to go the cheaper route first. I’ll try to do a write up on it.
 
Honger

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The electro-plating itself is just with Zinc strips in vinegar+salt solution so it’s very cheap. I bought the yellow chromate solution from Caswell for ~$40 and I’m happy with it. Their plating kit is quite expensive and doesn’t include power supply, and yellow chromate so I decided to go the cheaper route first. I’ll try to do a write up on it.
I'd love to hear more about your process...
 
avicenna110

avicenna110

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my write-up on my experience with Zinc plating:

 

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