79 Bay, worm and roller steering box repair

Discussion in 'Steering, brakes & Suspension' started by rstucke, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,713
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    I would correctly adjust box first.
    There will always be play on the locks but shouldnt be any on centre but avoid having a tight spot on centre.
    Overtightening adversely affects steering and increases wear.
    Having said that, a reco box ( one from Rick, not the untouched ones sold as reco by some vw suppliers)will likely be better than any non reco box regardless.
    Did the wheel alignment include the rear?
    That is important .
     
    andrew likes this.
  2. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Richmond
    Thanks Chidori and Cbus - I will head straight under and adjust the box tonight when I get home from work. the wheel alignment did include the rear - the front right wheel was out by 10deg but otherwise wheels all good.
     
  3. rstucke

    rstucke Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Wamberal NSW AUS
    Hi Andrew
    Like cbus and chidori said, adjust the box, make sure its in the middle when you do (wheels straight ahead) and wheels off the ground. Check if there's oil in the box (bottom of the steering column, under the cover plate, red plug). If there is evidence of oil leaking out of the pitman shaft (cross shaft, roller shaft, what ever you want to call the shaft coming sideways out of the box) then the main load carrying bush is probably cactus which could be the cause of wander. You can further check this by backing out the adjusting screw (when adjusted in it forces the pitman shaft sideways against the bush to take up slack), grab the pitman arm and see if you can cause sideways movement (not in and out) there should be next to none (0.25mm is good).
    I'm on hols down Mystery Bay atm and the fishing is good. When I get back late next week I'll put up some pics of the last box I did (Chidoris replacement one) and some horror picks of some I've pulled apart. I've got exchange boxes or can do yours up if necessary but it'll take time. Be sure it's your box causing the problems the forum has good info on all the checks you can perform including load ratings of your tires.
    Cheers Rick
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  4. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Richmond
    Thanks Rick,
    I adjusted the steering nearly 1/2 a turn and its hard to discern a significant improvement, it feels like it could be adjusted in further but I'm not sure how much I should adjust it in - everyone at my house was out so my trials will continue when I can get one of the boys with some free time. Enjoy the fishing and I will remove my box on the weekend and send it up to you.
    My phone number is 0412299678. can you send me your address and best number for contact when you get back from the holiday - Mystery Bay sounds a whole lot better than sitting in my office at work! Enjoy.
    Kind Regards
    Andrew
     
  5. Chidori

    Chidori Active Member

    Messages:
    878
    Location:
    Fitzroy, VIC
    Check that the nut connecting the steering column to the steering box is tight, if not that can cause play too.
    In my opinion, steering play is one of the hardest things to pin point on a bus - it has been for me anyway. I'm still tinkering away trying to lock it down.
    Good luck! Keep us posted.
     
    andrew likes this.
  6. 1500king

    1500king Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Great Effort!! I use an "/LB torque wrench with a crank handle on it to set the turning torque, String method is a widely accepted method also. Steer clear of the 'break-away' torque and only measure once the shaft is moving.
     
  7. 1500king

    1500king Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Coupling, Steering box, drag link, centre pin, tie rods, ball joints and the most sneaky one- the inner arm bushes in the beam.
     
    Chidori likes this.
  8. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Richmond
    Well I finally had someone to turn the wheel and watched everything. I'm certain the bushes in the steering box have gone as there is about 1mm of movement when the wheel is turned with the shaft moving sideway as forecast by Rick.

    Center pin looks solid and everything else seems firm and doing what it should.

    I will take the steering box out to send to Rick for exchange. Rick can you SMS me your address and contact details and I will send it off next week.

    Thanks everyone for their great points - all very helpful.
     
    Chidori likes this.
  9. 1500king

    1500king Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Replace the centre pin and bushes anyway, they will be worn and the kit is cheap, just need to fab some drifts to get them out and in/VW tools.
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Richmond
    I was tossing this up so your suggestion is well timed - I will do the centre pin and bushes as well. much appreciated as I was procrastinating back and forth.
     
  11. rstucke

    rstucke Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Wamberal NSW AUS
    Hi Andrew and anyone else reading this.
    I have a private workshop at Berkeley Vale (read man cave on steroids) I'll pm you the address.

    As I've stated earlier in this thread the cost is $400 plus postage and your old box.
    I can repair your box but it's a 2 week turn around.
    You've read the thread so you know how it will be done (except now I also bead blast the housing)
    The way this works:
    you send me your steering box, I open it to make sure it is repairable (some have had damaged worms which makes the box unusable)
    I send you the exchange unit.
    If your box is trash then you find a second hand box that isn't and get it to me and if you want I'll send you your old one back at my expense. I've had to go this way because these boxes are getting harder to come by. I've tried advertising in the wanted section with no luck and when they are advertised here and on evil bay etc they seem to be attached to an unrealistic price (more than I charge for a reconditioned one). I think the scarcity is caused by alot being used as landfill because of the statement in the workshop manual "NOT REPAIRABLE".
    If anyone has a spare and is willing to part with it at a reasonable price please contact me. I'd love to be able to change the last part of this post to a simple core price (based on what 2nd hand units will set me back).
    This is all about keeping Kombis on the road.

    Any way no fish today. I was half asleep at low tide this morning and did a shitty cast which resulted in a huge birdsnest in my overhead. Guess It'll be easier to unravel after a few more glasses of red.

    Cheers
    Rick
     
  12. 1500king

    1500king Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Nice work! another fishin' lad!
     
  13. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Richmond
    thanks Rick - I just sent you back a note and will pull the box out tonight and get it up to you. I'm happy to exchange the boxes with one you have already done as this will enable me to get the bus up and running again. My niece is keen for me to drive her to her school dance on the 17/2 so I better get it all back together again.
    Thanks again.
    Kind Regards
    Andrew
     
  14. rstucke

    rstucke Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Wamberal NSW AUS
    Hi
    Here's some info for anyone who wants to determine if their steering box is repairable.
    The only thing that can actually be repaired are the bushes that support the roller shaft (cross shaft, pitman shaft, everyone has there own way of describing that shaft). Thankfully it is the part that wears out. Other actions that can be done are replacement of the seals, replacement of the balls in the angular bearings of the worm and cleaning of years of gunk.
    The components that are not available anywhere are
    the housing and end plate
    the worm
    the roller shaft
    the roller shaft bearing cups (these were odd sizes that were made by SKF for ZF).
    the plastic ball carriers for the worm bearings
    All of these components need to be in good shape for a successful rebuild.
    Thankfully these components were over engineered and have faired well over time
    The bushes unfortunately do not and this thread has shown how they can be replaced.

    I've found a few boxes with damaged components (the unavailable parts) and this has mainly been due to water in the oil.
    Here are some pics of a box recently sent to me that show the pitting caused by corrosion from water.
    The worm looks fine until you see were the ball bearings run, and the lower bearing cup is just as corroded.
    2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG


    The damage to these parts makes the box unrepairable as no replacements are available.

    If you are going to disassemble your steering box to check the components there is a procedure you should keep in mind.
    Undo the 3 cover bolts
    Turn the worm shaft all the way to one side (left or right) and turn back 1/4 of a turn.
    this is the only position where you can extract the roller shaft (leave the endplate attached)
    If you try to remove the roller shaft in the centre position you will damage the housing.
    here's a pic to show what I mean (endplate removed for clarity)

    1.JPG

    To inspect the worm shaft and bearing cups remove the 4 bolts of its' cover plate. Tap the housing on the edge of your bench (face down) and the worm and upper bearing cup will fall into your hands
    If you intend to re assemble your steering box and re install it you will need a new o ring (difficult to find the correct size). You will also need to reseal the worm end plate (Permatex no.3)

    Other damage I've noticed in these boxes is mainly abuse
    The housings have been hit with hammers and distorted the seal on the roller shaft (obvious oil leaks). This is repairable (I machine this area on all boxes and fit an oversize seal. This keeps the new bush and seal concentric).
    I also see markings inside the box where the rollershaft has been driven into the housing at either end. This is because the steering stops that act on the centre link on the beam have worn and now the housing of the steering box is acting as the steering stop. The steering stops on the centre link are adjustable so this problem can be rectified.

    Anyway I hope this helps people to determine if there worn steering box is repairable
    Cheers
    Rick
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
    David H likes this.
  15. Andy.

    Andy. Active Member

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi Rick, interesting read, and good to see these being repaired. I see you note above the oring is hard to come by. If you have issues with seals/orings I'm happy to help out.

    Richard
     

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