how do you get a steering box?

General Discussion about the Datsun PL510
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zaquel
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how do you get a steering box?

Postby zaquel » 06 Aug 2008, 19:37

hi guys , im new to these forums as i just got bought a 72 2 door 510 a few months ago to restore . im kind of worried though . ive spent alot of cash fixing it up and i have some play in the steering wheel . so i started looking into getting it fixed but come to find out you can not purchase new steering boxes lol . ive looked all over alot of sites i e ebay , craigslist etc ... with no luck finding one used . so what does one do if your steering box gos out ? would my only option be to hope to find one for sale or to just buy another 510 for parts i guess . ug lol most are expensive even if they are all rusted out so i dont want to buy one just for the steering box lol . but thats all i really need lol . any ideas would be great thanks alot ....

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thisismatt
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby thisismatt » 06 Aug 2008, 19:38

Did you try adjusting the one you have?
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zaquel
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby zaquel » 06 Aug 2008, 19:45

no lol . just read some of the horror stories about the boxes going out and i thought i would be pro active and look into replacing it hehe . i did read about that i was just worried the 1000,s of dollars ive spent would go to waste if it went out and couldnt be replaced :( .

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brknrekord
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby brknrekord » 06 Aug 2008, 19:50

Listen to matt, he gives sound advise.

Just change out the old oil, and adjust it properly. If you still have problems with it after adjusting it properly, then you can look into rebuilding or replacing it. The key word here is properly.

I dont know if rebuilding is an option with these old units, but I wouldn't worry about this until you have completed the above mentioned steps.

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bertvorgon
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby bertvorgon » 06 Aug 2008, 19:52

Try doing a search first, on this site. I posted up about how to test and adjust your steering box. Wish I had written down where it is on the site. You may be lucky that it can just get adjusted up a bit.

There is nothing to rebuild, as the worm and sector are NLA now. A few of us changed up to the HL510 box, but the pitman arm needs some mod, and should be done professionally. Even the HL510 box is NLA now, same with the worm and sector, which is what wears in these boxes...BECAUSE NO ONE EVER ADJUSTED THE DAMN THINGS! The wear would occur in the dead center portion of the gears, as that is where we spend most of the time when driving. Then when we get these old cars, and try to tighten the slop out, the off center becomes way to tight.
Last edited by bertvorgon on 06 Aug 2008, 19:57, edited 2 times in total.
Keith Law



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thisismatt
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby thisismatt » 06 Aug 2008, 19:54

There aren't any new units, nor replacement parts, that I'm aware of. You can get newer boxes from some other models like the B210 and the 2nd gen 510 I believe, but finding them is difficult as well. And what's to say one box is in any better shape than another?
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zaquel
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby zaquel » 06 Aug 2008, 19:58

thanks guy for the great info :) ill look into adjusting it and changing the oil . hopefully i can find a few ones to buy used also to set aside in case of an emergency lol :)

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bertvorgon
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby bertvorgon » 06 Aug 2008, 20:02

Oh yah, get rid of the fish oil that may be in there, and put 80/90 gear oil in! Leave a bit of space at the top, as heat from the header/turbo down pipe, etc, will heat the oil and expand it, to flow out the breather...and get all over the box and frame rail. I was always going to make a bit of a "stand pipe" type of thing, to give some room for expansion, and stop the mess.
Attachments
box top brace.JPG
HL510 box with triangulated brace. Stops twisting of the frame rail when using sticky tires, and also helps with steering pricision.
Keith Law



"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

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bertvorgon
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby bertvorgon » 06 Aug 2008, 20:19

We need to make this a sticky! (ok, done - RF)

Roll the car forward a few feet, to make sure the wheels are pointing forward.
Then, take a wrench and loosen the jam nut on the top of the steering box, AT THE SAME TIME, put a slotted screw driver into the slot in the top of the screw, AND HOLD IT IN THAT POSITION! Now, carefully screw the screw down in the box, till you feel some resistance. ( you may have to back the nut off a hair more, to keep it from tightening up) Then, go grab the steering wheel and wiggle it back and forth, WHILE WATCHING THE WHEELS. You want to see the wheels move, with the steering wheel movement. IF not, tighten a bit more. When it seems ok, hold the screw in that EXACT position, and then you tighten the jam nut!
Now, this is whre you find out if your worm and sector gears are bagged beyond adjustment. You have to drive the car, to see if it wants to return to center, AFTER you try to turn a corner. IF it is sluggish, or just plain TOO TIGHT, you have to back OFF the adjustment, till it turns ok, but, if you loose the on-center tightness...YOUR BOX is dead. You will either have to live with that vague steering, try and find a better box, or, try to find a good HL510 box and put that on.

So try a few points , test drive.....GOOD LUCK!

While you can turn the wheels statically, I do recommend you actually drive the car to really see how it's working, and BECAREFUL when you first turn, as you may be surprised at how tight the box can become, past the on-center feel.

I've recommended too, that the stock oil needs to be cleaned out, and a gear oil put in, with some Moly-G. If the box has survived, you want to keep it in good shape, and give it the better lubrication.


Be very careful, when you test drive...as the steering could be sooooo...tight, that you might have to reef on it to get it to come back. A PERFECT box, is one that has virtually NO on-center slop, turns well, and, depending on castor, should come back to center by itself, if you let go of the wheel.
Keith Law
Keith Law



"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

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brknrekord
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby brknrekord » 06 Aug 2008, 20:37

I like the "stand pipe" idea :)

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zaquel
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby zaquel » 06 Aug 2008, 20:44

what about those braces i see for sale ? good idea? bad idea ... do they help in keeping the steering box lasting longer / working better etc .......

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defdes
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby defdes » 06 Aug 2008, 20:46

I had, at one point, found a company that just builds steering boxes. For $300 and change (and your box) they would send you a complete rebuild. I'll try to track it down again.

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zaquel
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby zaquel » 06 Aug 2008, 20:51

yea theres a company here in seattle redhead steering . i called and he said he could rebuild it so it would fix the problem im having but he said if it was making a pepper grinding noise he called it when you turn he couldnt fix that . im not entirely sure what he meant since im not an expert and my car isnt doing that lol . but if i could send mine and have it rebuilt lol that would be the best if the adjustment and oil change doesnt work out ....

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thisismatt
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby thisismatt » 06 Aug 2008, 21:01

Might want to ask what constitutes a rebuild.
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bertvorgon
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Re: how do you get a steering box?

Postby bertvorgon » 06 Aug 2008, 22:11

Yes, I would be curious what constitutes a rebuild. The only proper way, would be to rebuild up the worn metal in the critical points on both the worm and sector, then recut the gears no small or cheap task. There is also the issue of what shape the recirculating balls are in too.

re the braces: you can build those yourself for 20.00 bucks worth of steel plate and some bolts. I can PM you the pictures of how it is done on my car if you are serious.
Keith Law



"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan


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