[Healeys] 1959 100-6 -play in the steering.

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Wed Mar 28 08:36:53 MDT 2018

Depends on what you mean by 'some play.'  Healey steering boxes are old 
school worm and peg 'technology.'  There is usually a little play in the 
steering wheel; about an inch side-to-side at the outer rim of the 
steering wheel is typical/acceptable, and this is evident at a stop and 
at all speeds.  You can tighten the adjustable 'thrust bolt' only to a 
point, beyond which the worm and peg may bind and the wheel will not 
return to center.  There is also the notorious 'scuttle shake,' which is 
a resonant vibration usually around 55-60MPH, esp. on rough roads (this 
is due to chassis resonance, not steering).  Properly set up, a Big 
Healey should track fairly straight on a straight, flat road, but if 
your car wanders excessively or has any erratic vibrations or jerkiness 
it should be investigated.  Some things to look for:

- side-to-side play on the steering rocker shaft; there is a bronze bush 
at the bottom of the box that can wear.  Same with the idler.
- check steering box and idler mounting bolts
- were the tie rod ends in good nick?  I think the earlier cars had 
grease fittings; if they weren't properly serviced they would have worn.
- the king pins have bushes at the top and bottom trunnions.  Check by 
getting the front end A-arms up on jackstands, grabbing the tire/wheel 
at the top and bottom and trying to move the wheel back-and-forth vertically
- the front shocks are also, of course, the top of the front 
suspension.  The upper A-arms are mounted to a shaft in the shock that 
also has bushes; if they're worn you'd probably get some vibration or 
wobble.  I think you can check that by removing the wheel and trying to 
move the upper suspension side-to-side and front-to-back.  Shocks can be 
- wheel/tire balance and true.  Wire wheels can easily go 'out of 
true.'  This can contribute to scuttle shake and other vibrations. It 
appears you have 48-spoke wheels; though correct for your car, if you 
intend to do much, um, 'spirited' driving you may break some spokes.

Nice car, BTW.


On 3/28/2018 12:57 AM, simon.lachlan at alexarevel.plus.com wrote:
> Car looks great. I like that colour scheme, (having opted for it myself).
> If the thing is up and running, as it appears to be, I’d leave it 
> alone for a while…….run it around/use it and discover what /needs/ to 
> be done rather than what /might/ need to be done. I wouldn’t replace 
> anything “ for the sake of it”. Yes, I’d say that there are some 
> things which would be replaced automatically…..all the rubber in the 
> brake system etc. But otherwise, suck it and see. These days, there’s 
> a chance that the things you replace are better made and would last 
> longer than their modern replacements.
> Good luck with it anyway,
> Simon
> *From:*Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] *On Behalf Of 
> *Chris Scholz
> *Sent:* 28 March 2018 05:15
> *To:* healeys at autox.team.net
> *Subject:* [Healeys] 1959 100-6 -play in the steering.
> I have been restoring my BN4 and most everything has been updated 
> except the shocks, kingpins, and steering components.  There is some 
> play in the steering at highway speeds.  I have tightened the set 
> screw in the gearbox which has helped.  Any suggestions on which 
> components to replace next?  The kingpins seem tight.  Working on the 
> tie rods, etc is new stuff for me.  Thanks.
> Sent from my iPhone
> Chris Scholz OD

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