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P10 steering box rebuild - questions remain


Go to solution Solved by James_Douglas,

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while working on the front of the car i decided to fully rebuild the steering box.


here are some pics of what i have done to the box so far.


Taking It Apart Again


Clean But Not Fully Recovered Yet


new seals:


New Sector Shaft Seal


Ask Your Local Plumber...


Producing Felt Seals


new sector shaft bushings:


Fabricating The New Sector Shaft Bushings




Steering Box Ready To Reassemble


Sector Shaft With Fresh Bushings

Edited by Cpt.Fred
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when i completed the box i tried to follow the manual and had a lot of back and forth with the shims

adjusting the sector shaft end play (#30 in the picture below)




i ended up taking two of them out and thought all the play was gone.


now everything is back in the car and feels pretty nice, maybe even a little stiff, i'm not sure.


if i turn the steering wheel all the way to the left i have a lot of play when i take the drum in both hands and move it around.

only there, if i steer hard to the left. i noticed the sector shaft move up and down a little, but i tightend down the set screw #25

and it stopped moving.

i'm pretty confused, since in the center the wheel is almost a little too hard to move, how can there be play outside when the steering is turned?


so, i need advice once again. who has done this before and can give me info on what i did wrong? :confused:




oh, and i made sure to have the steering in center when i put it together, so it couldn't be just wear, i guess.

plus the worm and sector looked pretty healthy to me.

a little bit of pitting here and there, ok, but i don't think it's that bad?




Edited by Cpt.Fred
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If you have the play only when turning to the left and not the right, you may have the sector off a bit as far as up and down in the box.  The amount of play you end up with should be equal both directions.  My best guess.

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I agree with the comments above and both operations can be done with the box in the car.  More play at extreme left and right is normal  but it should be equal.  

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Thanks for the input!

I did not change the #37 shims, just put them back in the same way they were before...

there weren't new ones in the "kit" i ordered (not to mention most other parts didn't fit so we had to machine them ourselves).

i'll drain the oil and take it apart again,

and then follow the steps from the imperial site manual.

great link, James!

Thank you, everyone.



Edited by Cpt.Fred
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  • 3 weeks later...

I got to work on the steering since the last post and i thought i'd post a little update.


First i went to the imperial owners club website and printed the manual.


Second i checked the orientation of the steering column in it's mounting boss unter the dash,

and found that i had not put a rubber cushion in there yet. i made one from an old tire tube

and put it in between the column and the mount.

since that changed the angle of the column a little bit

i loosened the steering box on the frame to release the tension,

tightened the column mount and then tightened the realigned box back to the frame.


Then i drained the oil out of the steering and started with checking the end play and bearing preload of the worm and steering tube assembly.

i found the new bearing race to be 1/10th of a mm taller than the old one, so i inspected the old bearing and race, diagnosed "mint condition" and put it back in.

Afterwards the steering already turned a little easier, and i think it doesn't have any end play in the stering tube, so i guess this is done now.


@jdluxuryliner:  apparently that's what the #37 shims are all about, to set the correct bearing preload.

                         they do not seem to change the position of the worm in the housing,

                         so the "middle" is strictly defined by the position of the cross shaft head, it seems.



Next was to pull the cross (or sector) shaft and roller assembly out of the housing to check the gear mesh again,

since the steering was still "binding" a little in the middle. I pulled off the pitman arm and pushed the shaft out to the top.

Last time i had taken 2 shims out, so i put one back in and reassembled.


From what i can see in the manual, it should be correct now. It's not 100% the exact same steering box in there like i have here,

but the functioning principals should be identical.


Here's what the manual says about it:




this is my steering gears, turned hard to the left. that's where the play is:



this is center position. no play and not binding, now that i adjusted the depth of gear mesh correctly:



and, finally, hard to the right. there's the play again.



from what i see in the manual, it's actually seems to be a good sign that the difference is so noticable,

it seems to mean my roller and worm gear are in pretty decent shape.


i will fiddle and double check some more, then fill it up again and close it.

as soon as the car is back together (hopefully in 2-3 weeks) i can take it for a test spin and see how it works.


hope i finally got it to work right now ;)

Edited by Cpt.Fred
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with the manual from the imperial website it's actually pretty straight forward,

wish i had known about it BEFORE i started the whole operation... :rolleyes:


the most annoying part is changing the sector shaft bushing and, most of all, reaming them.

i was lucky to have the possiblity to borrow an adjustable reaming tool of the right size,

plus having a friend machine the new bushing for me. i'd only buy NOS parts the next time,

the aftermarket pieces i've bought and seen were all something i'm not allowed to write here.

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