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New2me69 Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:23 am

Please, please PLEASE continue to document your rebuild. I'm on the verge of having to do mine as the play is insane now and until a couple of days ago was just going to purchase a TRW unit...........now, after researching..........not so much.

I'm following this thread huge. My skull hurts from all the learning going on here.

Great thread!

ataraxia Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:26 am

OKType3Tim wrote: My tear-down, clean-up, rebuild process continues. Should I make another thread just to cover that? Or morph this thread into the rebuild thread? In either case, I think it would be useful for those with experiences in rebuilding these units to contribute their expertise. (I'm willing to be the guinea pig and you can point out where I could do better.)

I suggest that you keep it in this thread vs. moving it. If anything, the parts thread (the one I started) should be merged with this one.

I'm working on getting the shims but haven't found all sizes yet.

New2me69 Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:01 am

ataraxia wrote: ............If anything, the parts thread (the one I started) should be merged with this one.........

You have a link to that one?

raygreenwood Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:46 am

Yes....this is a really nice thread! Great pictures.

One thing that can be done with just plain bearing grease....but it is not as simple as it sounds.....


I have done this on two steering boxes so I know it works very well....but has its issues.....

You can completely PACK a steering box with regular grease....so there are no air voids. This works very well as what happens is that as the worm and sector move through the grease....the grease has to go somewhere...so it is pumped from one location to the other...through and around the worm/gear mesh.

There is no air to cavitate into this. The first time I did this...many years ago....I could not get seals to fit my steering box. This was pre-internet and it was a bastard seal size.

So I made a packing of urethane....which would be fine for something thick but could not keep oil in. I filled the steering box with Mystic JT-6 high temp grease.

This took two hours. First packing the box as full as I could...then connecting a grease gun to first one top port in the box..cycling the gear...and releasing air out the other. Then you have to plug the port you released air from....while you cycle the box back the other direction so it does not pull in air.....back and forth pumping and cycling.

I eventually got it full and air void free. I introduced a small air void at one end of the box just so it would have some buffer for temperature expansion.

Wonderfully smooth and totally protected. Then three months later....winter came. Winter for Texas....maybe 30 something degrees.

The box felt like it was filled with lead. It was a disaster. Had to pull it out...clean it out.

Next on was using Superlube synthetic which stays like warm vaseline down to about -40F. Much much better....same process....but "servicable" at least in cold weather even though it was still somewhat stiff.

Teflon based, neutral PH pure synthetic grease. I was on the right track.

The last couple I did....i used a 50/50 mix of this grease and Superlube 140 weight synthetic gear oil. They have the same lubricant base and PH. The mixture was sheared together in a mixer...no aeration.

It basically made a soft gel. Pumped the box full void free with a squeeze bottle....very slick.

The Penrite or any dedicated, thick PTO oil should do.
The Corn head grease will have the same work required to fill the box if you take it straight from the tube.... but..since it is thixotropic....you can heat it in boiling water and it will liquefy and you can POUR it in.

This is largely the same as some of the high performance differential oils that Honda and others use.

For instance....the final drive oil for the Honda S-2000 sports car is like this. When you get it from the dealer...its a solid like butter. It has to be warmed up to be pumped into the diff case. Once you start moving/driving....this semi-solid oil liquifies into a thick-ish gel in seconds. Ray

ataraxia Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:14 pm

New2me69 wrote: ataraxia wrote: ............If anything, the parts thread (the one I started) should be merged with this one.........

You have a link to that one?
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=658834

KTPhil Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:55 pm

...and since the same style boxes ares used on Bugs, a link from there would be helpful, too.

Clatter Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:49 am

OKType3Tim wrote:

Clatter: I found one! So they are out there.


Seriously, Here is a nice YouTube on "Corn Head Grease":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEwk_sYP6A8




Thanks again for taking this on!
(Mostly because you validate that I'm not crazy to be rebuilding these :oops: )


Whose adjustment jig is that?
Maybe someone out there is offering the use of it some how?

Time to start hoarding adjustment shims?

Stoked to see that CORN HEAD GREASE has their own video on youtube!
They hit the big time!!!

=D> \:D/ =D> \:D/

t3kg Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:34 am

More threads like this!

OKType3Tim Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:00 pm

So, moving the disassembly/rebuild into this thread:

Earlier I had posted that I had several units to disassemble.


But, for clarity I'll back up and start over with an additional steering box unit that I've aquired.

But first to document what tools are useful/needed to complete the project:


13mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, wrenches, 14mm socket, screwdriver all pretty self explanatory:


The big locknut for the worm adjusting screw is 41mm. A 1-5/8 wrench is 1.625 inches, which is 41.275mm. Just slightly large. I was able to pick up this wrench for $12 at a local flea market.


To turn the worm adjusting screw itself, I made the tool. A nut for a 16mm bolt (which is 14mm across each flat side), tigged to a throw-away 9/16 socket. A few cents for the nuts at "The Rule Company" here in Tulsa, and the socket from one of my garage friends junk-socket-bucket.


Fits just right:


I was able to obtain a VW280 tool and it really helps to have the tube section to hold the unit.


(But... I've also accomplished the task by clamping the steering box into the vise, using two blocks of wood to face between the vise and the sides of the steering box.

The tube is 52mm in diameter.


and has this tab welded on the back side for the steering box to set down against.


prior to taking this set of pictures, I removed the steering damper bushing from the drop arm by tapping the center metal sleeve out with a punch and hammer.


Then pushed out the old rotten rubber bushing.

The replacement bushing has a bonded steel sleeve so it's removal or installation will be different.


I also removed the Steering Worm Flange. Taking the bolt out is the easy part. Kroil, heat, more Kroil, sharp raps with a punch and hammer.... Then to the press! After all the preliminaries, this unit still required some pretty good pressure from the press to get the flange off of the steering worm shaft.


With the unit mounted on the tool, I wanted to check the play before disassembly, as the adjustment seems to be pretty well used up. (Note, there are no threads left exposed on the Roller Shaft Adjustment Screw.)


Setting the drop arm part of the tool up, the unit had a small amount of wiggle all through the range of motion. The good part was that the wiggle was consistent through the range of motion. But, still there was wiggle at center position.


(Note that I don't have the "280-?" pin for the early drop arms which have a smaller tie rod end hole. But the larger pin still provided enough guidance to know where "center" is located.)


Next, I wanted to know if there was any play in the Steering Worm Shaft, so I broke the lock nut loose,


And then checked the tightness of the Steering Worm Adjusting Screw. It was appropriately tight. No play.

Next pull the Drop Arm off.


and slide the "Marking Ring" off. (The split in this ring should indicate the "centered" steering position.)


Then I removed the unit from the fixture so that I could clean up the bottom of the Roller Shaft. This shaft has to slide up through a bronze/brass bushing. Any dirt, paint, or imperfections can block the removal or damage the bushing.


Pay particular attention to the places marked in the picture with the red diamonds. The pressure of the Drop Arm, through time, can create a metal ridge in these areas. If there is a ridge, carefully file it down to avoid damage to the bushing. It takes patience to get the paint off the shaft, up under the seal. I almost have it clean enough in this picture.


With the Steering Worm Adjusting Screw already loose, I removed it for a first look at what I was going to find inside.


And then removed the Roller Shaft Adjustment Screw Locknut.


Removed the cover plate bolts. Then carefully, slowly, start screwing in (clockwise) the Roller Shaft Adjustment Screw. This will start to lift the cover plate from the housing. Be careful to make sure that you get the gasket completely separated from either the housing or the cover plate. This so that you don't tear the gasket.


The gasket stuck to the cover plate. With some careful work, I should be able to get the gasket loose from the cover plate and reuse it.


I don't like what I see here. Two different types of grease, and the bushing is black, black, black. We will see what it looks like when everything is cleaned up.


Centered the Roller Shaft,


Then remounted the unit on the fixture and tapped the Roller Shaft up and out of the housing. It was tight, but ok.


Just a little, little bit more work on getting the gunk off the Roller Shaft would have been better.


Now the Steering Worm Shaft can be removed. Gentle taps, will push the bottom bearing race out,


along with the Steering Worm Shaft and everything except the upper race and the shim.


So now everything needs to be cleaned up.


The next post (stay with me as it will be a few days from now) will have all the parts through the parts washer, and we will get the upper race and shim out.

Chochobeef Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:19 am

I'm in the middle of a steering box rebuild myself. My shim got destroyed and I don't know where to find a new one. I found some online vendors for the seals, but they are expensive once you factor in shipping.

I'm seeing exactly what I have, and will be interested to see the progress. PM me if you already know a place to get the thin shim.

Thank you for your documentation. I was going to do the same write up when I completed mine but appears I no longer need to. I would have the title changed and add rebuilding to it as well.

raygreenwood Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:40 am

Chochobeef wrote: I'm in the middle of a steering box rebuild myself. My shim got destroyed and I don't know where to find a new one. I found some online vendors for the seals, but they are expensive once you factor in shipping.

I'm seeing exactly what I have, and will be interested to see the progress. PM me if you already know a place to get the thin shim.

Thank you for your documentation. I was going to do the same write up when I completed mine but appears I no longer need to. I would have the title changed and add rebuilding to it as well.

If you know the size of the seals.......try Purvis Bearing over on Stemmons in Dallas. Ray

Chochobeef Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:01 pm

I'll look them up and give em a call.

Here are the seal sizes for anyone who is interested in the information:

Big Seal - Mine was made by Goetze and was 24mm x 37mm x 7mm double lipped. However was worn and the rubber had shrunk.

Small Seal - 16mm x 24mm x 7mm also double lipped. Destroyed it trying to get it out, but the rubber had shrunk as well which was the source of leak

My online source is this place.

ataraxia Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:11 pm

This thread started right after I started a thread looking for the parts to a steering box - Tim started this thread to document what he'd found while taking them apart. The two should really be linked because there's good information in both of them.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=658834

In the thread I started, there are dimensions and some sources for the seals - they're easy to cross-reference - but not easy to find in my area so I ordered them online. I got both seals shipped for $15. If you can find them locally, you'll probably get 2 or 3 sets for that same $15.

Chochobeef Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:34 am

Thank you Ataraxia. You are right, all one thread would be good. You have the seal sizes as well which is great when searching. I guess the thin shim that goes under the bearing near the small seal is what is the hardest to source (mine was destroyed in removal)

I to had planned on tapping the fill plug holes. I don't think anyone has mentioned the size needed for this tap.

ataraxia Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:27 pm

Chochobeef wrote: Thank you Ataraxia. You are right, all one thread would be good. You have the seal sizes as well which is great when searching. I guess the thin shim that goes under the bearing near the small seal is what is the hardest to source (mine was destroyed in removal)

I to had planned on tapping the fill plug holes. I don't think anyone has mentioned the size needed for this tap.

After a couple of weeks, I found shims for my boxes...I'm using OE plugs for my boxes - I just have to find the time to take them apart, measure/clean everything and assemble them.

OKType3Tim Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:53 am

I updated the topic title as suggested. And open to suggestions to make it better if it still isn't clear enough.

OKType3Tim Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:58 am

Earlier, there was a question about using a set screw to replace the plastic plug in the cover plate. I haven't done this personally, but can provide the following information:

The holes for the plugs in the cover plate are "cast", and then "machined" on the inside. So the diameter of the hole on the outside of the cover (the cast side) has some variability. I have 3 VW covers and 1 TRW cover that I have removed the plugs from. I have measurements from 8.1mm diameter to 8.4mm diameter for the outside of the hole.
The diameter on the inside is consistent at 9mm. 9mm is the correct tap drill size for a thread size of M10X1.0. That would be in the "Fine Thread" category. Fastenal has "M10-1.0 x 10mm Hex Drive Flat Point Black Oxide Finish Alloy Steel Socket Set Screw":

https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/11506451

If I was going to use this approach, and I may have to, I think I would: Finish drilling out the hole with a 9mm drill (drill from the inside to outside), and tap for M10X1.0. I already have both the drill and the tap in these sizes.

SAE (Non-Metric) Approach:
The 9mm hole is already slightly over-sized for tapping a 3/8-24 thread. (correct hole size would be .332 and 9mm converts to .354) You could go up to a 7/16-20 set screw which uses a 25/64 drill. This would mean drilling the hole all the way through the cover thickness. I have the drill bit and using this would not be removing all that much additional material. But, I don't have the 7/16-20 tap in my set so I'd have to acquire that. Fastenal has the 7/16-20 set screws available in both steel and stainless steel.

A final thought: I looked at the option of using a bolt or socket cap screw, but you can't get these in the short length that is needed. 10mm length is just right and bolts that short will require a different combination of hole size and thread pitch from what I've noted above.

raygreenwood Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:02 am

OKType3Tim wrote: Earlier, there was a question about using a set screw to replace the plastic plug in the cover plate. I haven't done this personally, but can provide the following information:

The holes for the plugs in the cover plate are "cast", and then "machined" on the inside. So the diameter of the hole on the outside of the cover (the cast side) has some variability. I have 3 VW covers and 1 TRW cover that I have removed the plugs from. I have measurements from 8.1mm diameter to 8.4mm diameter for the outside of the hole.
The diameter on the inside is consistent at 9mm. 9mm is the correct tap drill size for a thread size of M10X1.0. That would be in the "Fine Thread" category. Fastenal has "M10-1.0 x 10mm Hex Drive Flat Point Black Oxide Finish Alloy Steel Socket Set Screw":

https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/11506451

If I was going to use this approach, and I may have to, I think I would: Finish drilling out the hole with a 9mm drill (drill from the inside to outside), and tap for M10X1.0. I already have both the drill and the tap in these sizes.

SAE (Non-Metric) Approach:
The 9mm hole is already slightly over-sized for tapping a 3/8-24 thread. (correct hole size would be .332 and 9mm converts to .354) You could go up to a 7/16-20 set screw which uses a 25/64 drill. This would mean drilling the hole all the way through the cover thickness. I have the drill bit and using this would not be removing all that much additional material. But, I don't have the 7/16-20 tap in my set so I'd have to acquire that. Fastenal has the 7/16-20 set screws available in both steel and stainless steel.

A final thought: I looked at the option of using a bolt or socket cap screw, but you can't get these in the short length that is needed. 10mm length is just right and bolts that short will require a different combination of hole size and thread pitch from what I've noted above.


Forgive me for any type 3 ignorance. But...this is a every interesting thread to me because I rebuild type 4 steering boxes...very different in layout but with a lot of similarity (same bearings, same grease plugs, unique seals, unique oiling needs and somewhat similar adjusting issues).....

So....those nylon oil fill plugs are largely the same on my boxes. The first type 4 box I rebuilt I used M10 set screws 10mm long.

The problem(s) with tapping and using set screws are:
1. These are cast iron cases. You will need carbide taps...no big deal...with as short of a thread depth you can get away with a TiN coated HSS tap.

2. The issue is that you will need to carefully tap only deep enough that the final thread on the inside does not get formed.
If you do not only partially tap the holes....the set screw either has a habit of screwing all the way in and dropping into the box or ...and this happened to me....on the first top up a couple years later the set screw cracked off that final thread and the metal from it dropped into the box.

Nothing hurt....but I had to pull it and disassemble and clean it because you cannot risk debris jamming your steering.

So I went to this on the last build:



Button head/low profile stainless steel 10mm X 1.5. You could use 7/16" x 20 as well.

I would not worry about finding the exact bolt length. Just cut or grind it to length.



Here they are installed in the top of the last steering box I rebuilt. There is one on the left and right.

Question:....and this is where I am ignorant. What is the problem with finding shims for this steering box? Is it the thickness or the ID and OD?

The shim is nothing but a hardened ground bearing shim. You can get those in hundreds of variations from most bearing dealers in a HUGE range of sizes and thicknesses including metric.

If you find one in the right thickness and its only an ID or OD issues and its close....just clearance it with a die-grinder or tapered hand reamer and e-burr it.

Ray

ataraxia Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:02 am

raygreenwood wrote: Forgive me for any type 3 ignorance. But...this is a every interesting thread to me because I rebuild type 4 steering boxes...very different in layout but with a lot of similarity (same bearings, same grease plugs, unique seals, unique oiling needs and somewhat similar adjusting issues).....

So....those nylon oil fill plugs are largely the same on my boxes. The first type 4 box I rebuilt I used M10 set screws 10mm long.

The problem(s) with tapping and using set screws are:
1. These are cast iron cases. You will need carbide taps...no big deal...with as short of a thread depth you can get away with a TiN coated HSS tap.
Not a problem because the lid is not cast iron.

raygreenwood wrote: Question:....and this is where I am ignorant. What is the problem with finding shims for this steering box? Is it the thickness or the ID and OD?

I'm receiving NOS shims from Germany in a few weeks - then I'll measure them and source stateside...it's a flat round piece of metal with a hole in it so it shouldn't be hard to find.

raygreenwood Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:35 am

ataraxia wrote: raygreenwood wrote: Forgive me for any type 3 ignorance. But...this is a every interesting thread to me because I rebuild type 4 steering boxes...very different in layout but with a lot of similarity (same bearings, same grease plugs, unique seals, unique oiling needs and somewhat similar adjusting issues).....

So....those nylon oil fill plugs are largely the same on my boxes. The first type 4 box I rebuilt I used M10 set screws 10mm long.

The problem(s) with tapping and using set screws are:
1. These are cast iron cases. You will need carbide taps...no big deal...with as short of a thread depth you can get away with a TiN coated HSS tap.
Not a problem because the lid is not cast iron.

raygreenwood wrote: Question:....and this is where I am ignorant. What is the problem with finding shims for this steering box? Is it the thickness or the ID and OD?

I'm receiving NOS shims from Germany in a few weeks - then I'll measure them and source stateside...it's a flat round piece of metal with a hole in it so it shouldn't be hard to find.


Ah...just realized from the pictures....your steering box tops/lids look to be aluminum?...or are they steel/cast steel?

Yes....I find most of the larger bearing dealers that sell ball and roller/needle thrust bearing sets can provide a a huge range of ground and hardened thrust washers in metric and standard sizes with thickness increments in .001". Ray



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