[Healeys] Steering column replacement

Steve Gerow steveg at abrazosdata.com
Sun Nov 4 14:39:16 MST 2012

I overhauled my adjustable column on the bench around 5-7 years ago. It
still doesn't leak. Leaking is usually caused by too much play in a worn


Removing steering box from the car involved removing the radiator, grille,
steering wheel & hub. Once you get the grill and radiator out of the way
it's not that difficult to rotate the assembly and pull it out through the
radiator opening. I used pickle forks and Kroil to get the tie rods apart.
One of them I had to heat the outer area of the tie rod joint a little with
a propane torch to get it to expand just a little.


I pulled the pittman arm on the bench with a cheap Harbor Freight pittman


Once you've got it on the bench you can compare the states of the bushings
and lever shafts between your original and the new box.


My shaft was mostly unworn so I got away with installing a new bushing and
two of the new-type thin seals.


I used a brand-new brake hone to hone the bushing to size. It took me about
a half hour of honing to open it up just enough for the shaft to slide


This method won't work with a worn shaft because the the part of the shaft
that's worn to the bushing is smaller in diameter than the outer part - so
the shaft will wobble when inserted in a new bushing sized to the original
diameter of the outer part of the shaft. Whew, hope that was clear.


Hopefully one of your boxes has a good shaft in it. I hear worn shafts can
be built up with plasma and ground back down to spec.


With the overhauled box on the bench, it's easy to set the adjuster screw
tension checking for binding with the pittman arm at the right and left
positions. Don't adjust it with the arm pointed straight ahead as that's the
most-worn position and will cause binding when turning the wheel to either






Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 21:11:24 -0700
From: I Erbs <eyera3 at gmail.com
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To: Ahealey help <healeys at autox.team.net
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Subject: [Healeys] Steering column replacement
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The non adjust steering box has always leaked. New seal and foam bit did
not help . I just got a replacement column and box( thanks Healeyjim).  Any
advice on switching out the box? Should I replace the whole column/ box as
a unit or can I swap out the box alone en situ?
Any advice is appreciated.
I will replace seal and foam bit.




Steve Gerow

Altadena, CA, USA


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