Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

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Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:14 am

Early Bay Bus Worm and Peg Box '68- '72 Disassembly

a) Loosen the clamp bolt that holds the steering coupler flange to the steering shaft. Tap the flange up and it might release. You might need a puller if it is rusted. Under it is the dust cover which you can pull off with your fingers.

b) Clean the outside of the box like you mean it. Especially clean both the splines on the pitman shaft right to the seal and the steering shaft splines. This is to prevent damage to the seals and bushings as you pull the shafts out.

c) Remove the four 13mm side cover bolts that surround the adjustment screw. It will come right off with all of your steering fluid in slippery pursuit.

d) Pull the pitman shaft/peg assembly out where the cover used to be.

e) Remove the four 10mm end cover bolts. You might need to tap the steering shaft down to help it release. There will an assortment of shims stuck to either the cover or the box. You can press or slide the whole shaft out through the end cover hole.

Now your steering box will look just like this:

Image


But wait! There's more . . .

The peg is supposed to rotate inside the pitman shaft's arm. This is critical. When you are hauling on the steering wheel/shaft (worm track), the peg HAS to "walk" up or down the ramp, which it does by rotating along the ramped surface. If the peg is stuck like this one was, it will skid instead, much like a frozen sliding door roller, causing wear on the priceless worm.

I caught this thing right in the nick of time. Here is just the beginning of what might have galled the worm to death at the very center of the track:

Image


f) Tap the lock tab off the edge of the nut and remove the nut, the lock washer, the keyed washer, the thrust washer, the roller end track washer, and lay them out on your nice clean work counter. Rotate the peg and all these little tapered needle bearings are coming out all over the place. There are sixteen tapered rollers per side:

Image


g) Clean everything beyootifull. I used gasoline. It is easy. Razor the shims flat, razor the seal opening chamfers and the flat surfaces for the end cover and the side cover on the box itself and the covers themselves. Check for galling on all friction surfaces.
Check for wear on the pitman shaft where it rides in the box. If it is a mess, I hear that you can have a cooperative machine shop turn the shaft down a little and press in new bushings into the box itself. Why not? The "big box" rebuilders sure seem to miss this opportunity.

h) Reassembly begins with a blob of Valvoline DuraBlend Semi-Synthetic molybdenum disulfide grease blobbed all over the peg roller race with the shoulder. Then slap sixteen needle bearings with the smaller side towards the center of the vee so that they sit on the shoulder. Very subtle taper in these needle bearings! Be sharp:

Image


i) Stick the blobbed bearings and peg into the pitman shaft arm as shown. You will feel it seat on the bearings, keep pressure up, or you will have a fine mess of sticky little rollers every which way all over:

Image


j) Now drop the other sixteen down between the peg and the pitman arm from this side, smaller diameter goes in first. Rotate the peg with upward pressure to make sure the little rollers understand what they have to do:

Image


k) Critical step here. Install the roller end track washer, the thrust washer, the keyed washer, the lock washer, and the nut. Rotate the peg to make sure it is happy. Now you have to tighten the nut only enough to secure the rollers with a bitty bitty bit of preload, UNLIKE THE LAST GUY. 3 inch/lbs means you apply 3 lbs pressure one inch away from the center of the peg, and it is supposed to rotate. To me, it is just a barely sticky feel but no slop. Turn that nut until it feels slightly slightly sticky, then find a flat on the lock washer that you can tap against a flat edge of the nut You have six flats on the nut, so find the tab on the lock washer that is perfectly aligned and use it to secure the nut:

Image


l) It is a kindness to slather pack the steering shaft/worm ball bearings with your grease. Really work it in and do the same with the worm track, both sides. Grease the pitman arm shaft too, and have another blob on the peg-which-rotates-with-barely-any-drag-but-some.

Image


m) Totally easy to tap in new seals now, one for the steering shaft (24X36x7), one for the pitman arm shaft (27x37x7). I got these seals from Bearing Distributors Spartanburg South Carolina for $8.99 and $10.26 will-call pick up (being itinerant) on June 1, 2012 says the invoice. Grease the lips.

Image


n) Here, I have simply stuck in the steering shaft/worm from the end cover hole up through the steering shaft seal. Do a dry run install of the end cover with the four 10mm bolts torqued to 7 ft/lbs.

Does the shaft turn easily?
If easily, remove your thinnest shim. Retorque the end cover and feel for light drag through the exact middle. If it binds, swap shim back in.

Does it turn stiffly?
If it turns stiffly but smoothly, release your 10mm bolts slightly. Does it get easier and smooth still? Either find another shim, or use RTV carefully between each shim and retorque to hand pressure only and let it cure here if it turns smoothly. Then retorque to 7 ft/lbs tomorrow morning and recheck for light drag through the center.

Is it is crusty feeling, regardless of what you do?
You may have an installation error or contamination or terrible bearings/races. Put it all back together nicely anyway and start looking for another box. It might behave well enough once in the car to buy you some time.

o) Put a light coat of Permatex Aviation (case sealant) on the end cover and the box, and torque the four 10mm bolts to 7-9 ft/lbs. Coat the outside perimeter of the shims with a light caramel stripe of sealant:

Image


p) Place the pitman arm shaft in from the gaping side cover opening and get the peg to insert at the middle of the worm. Guide the slines through the seal nicely until the bearing surfaces are supporting the shaft fully:

Image


q) Remove adjustment screw from side cover. Make sure it is smooth and clean at the contact end. All that thing ever does is push the pitman arm sideways so that the peg is making contact with the worm. It is newly obvious to me that this adjustment is critical. It can rip the worm up if too tight, and it cannot take away worn bearing surfaces on the pitman shaft. If your pitman arm is clonking up and down as you wiggle the steering wheel, those bushings are worn, period. I am going to try a Diet Coke can shim on the currently installed grey box pitman arm bearing surface to see if I can cure (hack HACK!) that sucker.

Image


r) Install the side cover without the adjustment screw, using a thin bead of Permatex Aviation as your gasket. Tighten the side cover 13mm bolts to 18 ft/lbs.
Now you can install the adjustment screw until it lightly pushes the pitman shaft home against the side of the steering shaft worm.

s) Install the dust boot and the steering coupler flange. Mine had a 13mm bolt, a rectangular lock plate and a nut that go past a cut-out in the steering shaft just like the relay lever bolt does through the center pin. Tighten the 13mm bolt/nut as you let the coupler flange find its favorite place to be locked down. I had no torque figure for this lock bolt/nut, but let's guess 13 ft/lbs and bend the lock plate ear over both flats on the bolt and the nut

t) You will have this one opportunity to make a center reference mark for the early box. Simply feel for the tight spot as you turn through the center (about 1 and 1/3 turn from lock) Make a chisel mark on the shaft pointing exactly to the notch on the box as seen through the bolt hole. Now you can use any other mark of your choosing that you can see from under the car. I used a dot of white paint on the black dust cap that spins with the steering wheel.

Image


I painted the box on a fir tree branch. Sucker is heavier than my coat hanger likes.

Image

So, the philosophy of this thing is ridiculously simple, but the shape of the worm is ridiculously sophisticated. Our goal is to keep these parts in well-lubricated close proximity so that potholes and boulders do not bang dents into the worm or craters in the bearings.

This steering box was so fine that I never got the opportunity to show you the classic wear points. Do not fret, I have a doozy clonker/skippy in the bus that shall come apart next. I will update this thread.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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Hippie
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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Hippie » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:49 am

Usually motor vehicles get worse on wear and tear the more mileage they accumulate...
You realize you're doing it all backwards, right?
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zabo
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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by zabo » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:33 am

great write up- is it sad that im really looking forward to seeing the innards of the gray box?
60 beetle
78 bus

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Amskeptic
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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:00 pm

zabo wrote:great write up- is it sad that im really looking forward to seeing the innards of the gray box?
It is not sad. It is the curiosity of humans, first experienced when we ran our toy cars into the wall to "see what it looks like" after the crash.

I am sad too. The grey box passed all tests and is working fine. All that clonky skippy was merely a loose coupler flange (another screw-up by Mike's mechanic who stuck it in). My steering all summer was being provided by a bolt slopping in a groove on the steering shaft. :pale:
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by asiab3 » Sat May 03, 2014 10:38 pm

Were pictures ever taken of a worn out box? I'd like to have a frame of reference for what is unacceptable wear on the worm before exploratory surgery...
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Sun May 04, 2014 1:20 pm

asiab3 wrote:Were pictures ever taken of a worn out box? I'd like to have a frame of reference for what is unacceptable wear on the worm before exploratory surgery...
Go ahead and explore. It is fun and informative. It is close to idiot-proof. If yours is a mess, you won't make it worse, you just might not make it better. If your pitman arm shaft is bonking up and down, a gifted and interested machinist can install some nice new (replaceable) bushings to keep that shaft happily secure.
My grey box may get disassembled, but it is actually pretty good after all. It sits and waits for its turn back out in the wilds where I give steering boxes a good work out.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by asiab3 » Mon May 12, 2014 11:51 pm

Well hoooowdy that was interesting.

4 hours trying different pullers to get the d@mn drop arm off. I see why you leave removal and installation out of this article… ;)

2+ hours in the media blaster, because the only media we stock is walnut shell. Want to know what is BARELY strong enough to take paint and dirt off, Walnut shell. That being said, I have HEAVY dealer undercoating that needed a good cleaning.

My adjuster screw's locking nut was as tight as a lug nut, and the adjuster screw wasn't even touching the pitman arm.

Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised how quick the actual box inspecting and rebuilding went. Messing up/dropping one of tapered rollers were scary enough to be fun, like a roller coaster.

Here's my worm:
Image

Didn't look like a lot of wear, other than some odd diagonal crease along the whole shaft, opposite of the worm spiral.

The pitman arm bushings were a firm press in and out of the housing. The adjustment screw being, well, adjusted really helped keep the box act smooth and viscous. I really like being able to feel the peg rolling up and down the worm. It felt frozen when I took it off, and having it lubed, not too tight, and the screw adjusted made the difference.

The outside is pretty and clean now, not painted yet. But the drive is MUCH nicer and speed bumps don't clank anymore.

Thanks for this,
Robbie
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by ruckman101 » Tue May 13, 2014 1:05 am

Must be Chloe's box. God knows I'll be there at some point with Bertha's. Your tenacity knows no bounds. And I have to give asian3 the same assessment. Oi. Youse two makes me feel like such a slacker.


neal
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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Tue May 13, 2014 7:13 am

asiab3 wrote:Well hoooowdy that was interesting.

4 hours trying different pullers to get the d@mn drop arm off. I see why you leave removal and installation out of this article… ;)
It is so simple and obvious that I could not bear to waste my precious time on such piffling trifles . . .
:joker: :joker:
asiab3 wrote: the drive is MUCH nicer and speed bumps don't clank anymore.
I just drove Chloe the day before yesterday, unencumbered with itinerary payload, beautiful light steering from that overhauled box that I paid $50.00 for. Worm and peg loads up quickly as the vehicle gets heavier.
Keep that box adjusted and lubricated, and it will give you long loyal service.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by asiab3 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:09 pm

Keeping it adjusted and, well, the lubrication part is still getting me. I didn't paint it originally, since I was on a deadline for a trip. The sealant I used (some form-a-gasket tube) did not hold well, and I had a few drops of hypoid oil under the box after a week. I removed it, razored the surfaces clean, hit it with Permatex Aviation. This time I primed and painted it, in hopes that the halves would seal. Two weeks later I now have a grogan of oil hanging from the worm-cap screws. Perhaps I'm not following the instructions for the sealant, but could lack of sealant between end shims cause this weeping? Shims to cap and shim to box are sealed, just not between the two shims.

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1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:48 am

asiab3 wrote:could lack of sealant between end shims cause weeping?
Yes. I sanded each shim flat and clean (some had raised edges at the bolt holes) for maximum contact with the others, had a 220 grit "rough" in the surfaces, gave them a very light caramel coat of Permatex, no leako.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by wcfvw69 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:22 pm

Very nice write up. I have a question though. I have my 1970 box all torn down. Everything seems to look ok. The shaft bearings are very smooth and nice with no roughness. What I did notice was the peg on the pitman arm doesn't seem to rotate as easily as I would have thought. It does rotate but takes more force than 3 inch pounds to do so. With the top off, I pressed down on the pitman arm while rotating the shaft. I couldn't see of feel the peg rotating. Maybe it needs more pressure than simply pushing down on it? The bearings and races on the peg assembly look great.

Thoughts?

Thanks
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:18 pm

wcfvw69 wrote:Very nice write up. I have a question though. I have my 1970 box all torn down. Everything seems to look ok. The shaft bearings are very smooth and nice with no roughness. What I did notice was the peg on the pitman arm doesn't seem to rotate as easily as I would have thought. It does rotate but takes more force than 3 inch pounds to do so. With the top off, I pressed down on the pitman arm while rotating the shaft. I couldn't see of feel the peg rotating. Maybe it needs more pressure than simply pushing down on it? The bearings and races on the peg assembly look great.

Thoughts?

Thanks
The more important thing to note is any roughness or "intermittent" change in friction. These boxes have carefully calibrated preload at-center.

Are you in deep enough at this point that you can see the double array of needle bearings?
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by wcfvw69 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:29 pm

Hi Colin,

Yes, I've disassembled the peg from the pitman arm. The needle bearings look fine as do the races inside the pitman arm and peg itself. Before I took it apart, I could spin the peg with my fingers and I didn't feel any roughness or binding. It just felt tighter than I would have thought. I was browsing thru my Bentley and was shocked that it stated to lock down that adjustment nut to 22 inch pounds. If that was the case, this was probably set right. The box didn't appear to have been opened before. The peg doesn't have any flat spots on it nor does the worm.

Maybe I'm just being over cautious? I don't have any means to measure inch pounds nor do I have the torque gauge illustrated in the Bentley manual.

When you assembled your peg in this thread, how much force did it take to turn the peg after your final adjustment with it all freshly greased up? Did it spin easily with your fingers or did it take a bit of effort to spin the peg?

Thanks for your help Colin
Bill
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

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Re: Early Bay Box Dis/ReAssembly

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:15 pm

wcfvw69 wrote: Maybe I'm just being over cautious?
I don't have any means to measure inch pounds nor do I have the torque gauge illustrated in the Bentley manual.

When you assembled your peg in this thread, how much force did it take to turn the peg after your final adjustment with it all freshly greased up?
As per the write-up:
Grease the pitman arm shaft too, and have another blob on the peg-which-rotates-with-barely-any-drag-but-some.

What final adjustment are you referring to?

I do have too many moments of instinctual confidence that I must impart through words, but the needle bearings are dangerous little buggers, you can truly destroy them and the pitman/peg races if you over-tighten . . . they are on tapers! The unit pressure skyrockets between 3 inch/lbs and let's say 6 inch/lbs.
The good news is inch/lb torque values are pretty easy to hit.
Just tighten the nut until you feel all play disappear, keep rotating the peg while you turn the nut, and as soon as you feel drag, you are done. Barely any drag . . . but some. It'll make instinctual sense . . some.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 118,840 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 89,009 miles

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