When I restored the vehicle, I rebuilt the steering box with new bearings (top and bottom) and in the steering nut. There aren’t many photos of this as its very messy job.

However, what was really needed was a replacement steering rod as the screw was quite pitted. Replacement steering rods are a) rare (for LHD) and b) very expensive.

Series Land Rover steering can best be described a vague but with 300,000 km on clock, new bearings weren’t going to help… much. The steering wasn’t that bad but one did have to work quite hard to keep the thing in a straight line.

Given all the other components in the steering arrangement are new right down to the swivel pins, I’d been looking for a replacement LHD shaft to finish things off.  I’d seen one or two but, again, expensive.

There are some aftermarket manufactures making these but no feedback on quality is available, so when I spotted an entire original LHD steering box for sale on PA Blanchards (PN 551703), at the right price, I jumped at the chance…. ironically it was in the same price range as a new shaft!

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50 something years of sitting around waiting for a purpose.

 

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Looks like it was painted with stick. But first the internals need a quick inspection 

 

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Bolts removed and with some gentle persuasion with a soft faced mallet…

 

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…the inspection cover is removed and the internals are revealed. That’s what 50 something year old grease looks like… Gooey.

 

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A bit of a clean up is required!

 

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The screw is in mint condition… which is the purpose of the exercise. The marks on the outside of the screw are fine. What’s important is the machined surface.

In general the internals look fine but the paint needs to be stripped off as it’s not so nice.

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Stripper and a pair of latex gloves. On on…

 

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Stripper doing its stuff.

 

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It took a few applications but it came up all right. Originally, the steering box would have been bare metal so this one won’t get repainted. The steering column will also get stripped back and painted gloss black to match the rest of the interior. 

 

One of the essential parts of the steering box is the cross shaft (below). The steering drop arm fixes on the threaded end and the nut sits in the fork. As the nut moves up and down the screw, the shaft rotates. Wear in the fork can also induce vagueness in the steering.

The first thing to check is the seal land. It’s been in there dry for a very long time…

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Cross shaft

 

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The seal sits just before the splines and after all this time, there’s some surface pitting. Given the shaft is hardened steel I can only remove surface corrosion.

 

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Some time later after the judicious application of wet and dry the seal land looks like it will actually let the seal retain oil

 

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Next up is to fix this ding in the thread.

 

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Fortunately, I have the correct nut to hand… It’s a very tight fit due the deformed thread,

 

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Yes, Yes I know… It’s not a real spanner but it did the job.

With the nut and thread introduced to each other, it was time to look at the machined housing where the shaft runs.

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It doesn’t show up all that well but the sealant (the red stuff) has found its way down into the oil way (the spirals) of the housing.

 

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The hard sealant was removed with a sharp pointy thing and cleaned up with some acetone (that stuff stinks) chased down with a liberal application of EP90 (whilst also has a unique aroma)

 

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Next the shaft is lubricated and pushed back into the housing

Oddly the rest of the photos didn’t come out. New gaskets and seals have been ordered… so that’ll be the next instalment.