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TRW Steering Box
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HopperGrass
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:49 pm    Post subject: TRW Steering Box Reply with quote

This may be a really dumb question, but here goes...

I just bought a new TRW steering box and it is beyond tight. I haven't installed it yet, but I put the pitman arm on it and can't get the thing to turn at all. My worn out steering box turns freely by hand. Am I missing something or is there something wrong with the new box?

Just wanted to make sure before I bolt it up.

Thanks.
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kombi211
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:07 am    Post subject: adjust Reply with quote

well they could have the adjustment to tight on the new box. Try readjusting it and see if that helps. If not i would call the company you got it from and see what they tell you 2 do.
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bill may
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

install it.be sure to use grease and not 90 wt gear oil.gear oil will leak out of it.do not adjust it unless you like the feel of worn out steering box.
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HopperGrass
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bill. I'll put it on there and see how it works out. I have never had my hands on a new steering box before so I wasn't sure how tight it was supposed to be. I didn't want to compromise the part in case I need to return it. What sort of grease? White Lithium?

I already backed the adjustment screw all the way out - just in case. I put it in my vise and still couldn't get the thing to turn. I'll see how it works bolted up. The only problem is that I'm in the middle of a pan off resto, so right now I'm just rebuilding the front end. It will probably be some time before I actually have the steering column and wheel hooked up.
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glutamodo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just put a new TRW box on my 62 bug, replacing the original one, which was still decent but at the end of its adjustment. I thought the new box was going to be tight, and it was tighter than before, but not excessively by any means. But I think I could turn mine by hand (barely) off the car. After I put it on there, I had some other issues at the time with the car when I went to drive it, and so wasn't even thinking about the how the steering felt. After a few miles I suddenly remembered and was thinking like "oh yeah, well I guess the steering works pretty good" Laughing
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L572
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are trying to turn only the pitman arm, remember that it is geared down and a better test is to try turning the shaft that the steering coupler bolts to. And remember, too, that the steering wheel gives you a lot of leverage that you just don't have with your fingers.....

By the way, about 2 years ago I installed a new TRW box. After about a month it was leaking like crazy....I found that it had been filled with oil, not grease. Confused I ended up removing it, draining it, and filling it with CV joint grease. No more leaks. Now why would someone have filled it with oil? Was this just for shipping purposes??
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just replaced my T3 box (same box as T1), and I was really skeptical, since it was tight. My source, a very trusted parts shop, told me that it will be fine, that he has never had a single return on a TRW box. I was doubtful, but I put it on. After about 100 miles it has loosened up and I think it will be fine. I am guessing that they adjust it a little tight to allow the parts to settle in, but not TOO tight that it pinched a bearing ball or race. So far, so good. You might make the same inquiry I did, so that if it DOESN'T loosen up, you can remind the shop you specifically asked about tightness. There is usually yellow paint over the adjustments, so don't disturb it or they might claim you adjusted it and caused the problem.

Last edited by KTPhil on Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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kombi211
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: oil Reply with quote

well factory spec on the steering gear is a hypoid oil sae 90 the oil capacity is 0.32 pts or at the a level with the lower edge of the oil filler plug hole. Alot of people do use grease in them not sure what the down side is other than the grease will not move to or refill a void in the gear box. unlike oil.

to each there own on that one. I would check with trw on the warranty of the gear box before i fill it with grease. Grease could void the warranty all together.
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HopperGrass
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help guys. Looks like I'm going to go ahead and keep it for now.

I emailed CB Performance (where I got it) and they looked into and said that my situation is fairly typical and it should be fine and work itself out. They also said if I end up having trouble with it to let them know. So I guess that's a go ahead from them to mount it and see what happens. At least I have a paper trail now (just in case).

I think I'll be going with the grease. From what I've read I think you can pretty much take what Bill May says to the bank.
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Older boxes with the single metal threaded fill plug use oil. Later boxes with the two plastic plugs use grease.
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L572
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KTPhil wrote:
...There is usually yellow paint over the adjustments, so don't disturb it or they might claim yo adjsuted it and caused the problem.


It may be too late on the yellow paint.....

HopperGrass wrote:
.....
I already backed the adjustment screw all the way out - just in case. I put it in my vise and still couldn't get the thing to turn....

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HopperGrass
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

L572 wrote:
It may be too late on the yellow paint.....


I told the guy's at CB Performance that I tried the adjuster screw but they still told me it should be fine and to let them know if I have any more trouble once I get it installed.

CB Performance wrote:
They are tight, I spoke to my purchaser and he told me to recommend getting the steering wheel hooked up to it, they are tight when new. They are greased ready to go, I have never had a problem with the steering boxes so I am sure it is fine. Let me know if you have any other trouble
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glutamodo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KTPhil wrote:
Older boxes with the single metal threaded fill plug use oil. Later boxes with the two plastic plugs use grease.


Yes, and the new TRW definately qualifies as the latter, it comes filled with that special "liquid grease" and plastic plugs on top. Here's the factory specs on that grease

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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L572
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow KTPhil Shocked You never cease to amaze!
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glutamodo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean Phil or me? Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OOPs! Embarassed Sorry, Andy.....I glanced at the quote and praised KTPhil...I need to read more closely........

...sorry, again.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No you don't.

Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, Phil.....you get props, too! Wink Wink
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juicedog070
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I just cought the end of this discussion, I have a 67 bug with quite a bit of play in the steering, can you adjust the old box to fix this, or is that why you all are getting new ones?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, VW "worm and roller" steering boxes are in fact adjustable. One adjustment is on top of the box, that's the "roller" adjustment, and is accessed under the driver's side inspection plate under the spare tire in the trunk. The other adjustment (the "worm" adjusment) is at a 90 angle to the bottom/front of the top one and you can only get at that one from below the car. The top one is usually the only adjustment most people mess with. (jack the car up so the weight is off the front wheels, then loosen the locknut and tighten the adjuster down til the play in the steering wheel decreases, but not so far down that the steering wants to bind anywhere along it's range of motion.) Now, the worm adjuster underneath, that one is a bit hard to get to and requires a special tool, a specially shaped wrench with like a 24mm Allen head on it (or, you can use an old engine oil pressure switch, cut down so you can fit it into the adjuster and turn it with a crescent wrench.)

Sometimes having a not-tight-enough clamp bolt on Pitman arm where it bolts to the steering box, that can cause play. (I've seen it before) And any tie rod ends that are worn will cause play. On later cars, worn ball joints may do so as well, but not always. (On older models, loose Link pin adjustment, worn out link pin bushings and king pins+bushings can also add play to the steering.) You should check for stuff like that before you assume its a steering box adjustment that is needed.

Now for me, I replaced mine for two reasons - 1. I had it off the car anyway because I was changing front beams, and 2. It was at the end of its adjustment on the top adjuster. It still worked OK without excessive play, but since I had it off, and had a new one available anyway, decided to put it on there.

When I had my box off of the car, I took a few pics of it next to the new one just for comparison. Here's one of them, you can see the "top" adjuster at the top of the pic, the new box is on the left and there are a lot of threads showing above the lock nut. My old box on the right, the adjusting screw is about flush with the lock nut. And the "lower" adjustment happens to be staring right at you from the angle this picture was taken, that a giant Allen wrench is needed to turn the adjuster is pretty obvious! You can also see the plastic plug on the new style that is filled with grease, and the square-head metal filler plug on the original 1962 box that requires 90W hypoid oil.

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