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dodge 1946

1946 WD 20 Steering Adjsutment

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My 1946 WD 20 steering wheel  has lots of play, maybe 2 plus inches  each way. Thought I would try to make an adjustment at the steering box. What I thought would be the adjustment screw and nut, on the inboard side of the steering box, appears to be just a 3/4 in bolt head. Not sure if this is a bolt or just a plug. I loosened it about one turn, but was leery of trying to take it all the way out. The only book I have shows an adjustment screw with a lock nut... any advise would be much appreciated...

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I'll take a look at one of my W series trucks tomorrow see if I can help you out.

 

48D

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I’m interested in this also I’m ready to re-install the steering wheel and steering box soon in a Pilothouse B1D flatbed   I’m betting it would need some play taken out of it. 
 Thanks in advance. 

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It's been a very long time, but I remember it being a bit tricky getting these steering boxes setup correctly. Mine has an early Gemmer 1 which uses a sector shaft and worm gear. There are internal shims and cam adjustment needed to get it just right. I think you can fine tune it from the outside? I also think just a small amount of drag in the centered strait ahead position is preferable, but too much drag will damage the components. Lubrication is important as well. Originally designed for heavy weight oil 90w but the seals almost always leaked so most mechanics would fill with greases. I would refer to a Mopar or Motor manual for your specific year vehicle for the correct procedure. Be careful, I know if improperly adjusted can damage them. On vehicles this age, it's also very possible the sector shaft and worm are just worn out. 

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Here is a photo of my steering gear box , taken from the top . That 3/4 inch bolt on the side is actually a threaded cap , just unscrew it and set it aside .The cap covers the adjusting screw . there is a kind of star washer thing that you remove and then adjust the screw and them replace the star shaped thing  . the star shaped thing keeps the adjusting screw from  from backing off and becoming loose . Be sure to make the adjustment with your wheels pointing straight ahead or things will be too tight . 

IMG_2509.jpg

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Thanks for the quick replies. So, I will need to mount it back on the truck and linkage all hooked up to adjust it. First off, oil/grease was mentioned,  Is there a fill plug and or a way to know if it is full?  (Like the rear axle)   Then to adjust it, just snug it down to have a bit of drag on the turning when the wheels are straight ahead ?

   Thanks again. 

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Thanks for the replies, Jerry, your picture is exactly what mine looks like. I've got all of the wheels off now cleaning up and repainting them. steering box does leak the 90 weight as posted above. I'll just refill and keep an eye on it. Now that you have solved my mystery I will try to make a slight adjustment...  Many Thanks, bruce dodge

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So since your wheels are off , when you try to make your slight adjustment , turn the gears all of the way to one side and then all of the way back to the other side and count the revolutions . That way you will know where the middle is for adjustment . There has been a lot of discussion in the past on using grease that will flow in the steering boxes , such as corn head grease . If the lube doesn't flow , the bearings will suffer . 

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Double 00 EP grease is excellent extreme pressure flow-able grease.

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1 hour ago, Dodgeb4ya said:

Double 00 EP grease is excellent extreme pressure flow-able grease.

That's what I use as well. Works well and no more oil running all over my frame.

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Depending on the steering gear model, you need to change out the dried up cork seal between the housing and the body and mic up a metric seal that is a tight around the steering gear shaft. On my WC-12 steering box I also used some Permatex #2 when putting the housing and body back together. It is going on 4 years now and not a drop of 90Wt is leaking out of the steering gear. I only check it every now and then and have never had to top it off. It’s nice not having 90Wt oil all over the frame rail and on the ground.

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Finally got  the wheels painted and back on the truck. I took the cap off the  steering box and exposed the adjustment screw. I DO NOT see a star shaped washer on the adjustment screw. The 90 weight oil is leaking out around the adjustment screw. I'm going to let it drain and make sure I didn't miss the star washer.  Also thinking I'll get the 00 EP grease. How much grease would I use.?? . Any thoughts would be appreciated.... Thanks bruce dodge

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After draining the box and cleaning the years of grease buildup, I found the star washer. I made an adjustment  and most of the play appears gone, but haven't been on the road yet. Local NAPA store did not know what 00 EP grease was. I see it on line, Guess ill fill it with 90 weight for now and give it a test drive.  bruce dodge

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The local JD dealers all have it around here.

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Slowly turned the adjustment screw and made a few test drives.. Stopped at two full turns of the adjustment screw. Steering is much better, but still a little play in the steering wheel. Thanks for the tips on where to get the 00EP grease. I found it online at Wally Mart, with no shipping cost. Will get it nest week.. Thanks again, bruce dodge

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