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Front Suspension and Steering Renovation

The front radius arms and sundry other bits had been cleaned and painted, and were refitted to the vehicle (for details see the swivel housing page). But here's what the renovated radius arms look like:

Front Radius Arms

Now it was time to move on to renovating the steering.

I took several photographs before items were removed; despite having a parts manual I find that when it comes to reassembly, a photo is of tremendous help. Here's the old power steering box; the second photo shows it from underneath:

Power Steering Box      Power steering box from underneath

With the steering box removed the chassis was obviously much easier to renovate!

Steering Box Removed

The next photos show the collapsible steering column; upper end, middle section and lower end:

Steering Column upper end      Collapsible Steering Column middle      Steering Column lower end

On the left-hand side of the engine is the power steering pump:

Power Steering Pump

The steering column is attached to the bulkhead by means of a bracket on the inside (this photo was taken prior to the renovation of the bulkhead - note the rust holes in the outer edge) and on the engine bay side by an angled bracket and clamp.

Steering Column support bracket      Steering Column bracket engine side

With everything else renovated, it was time to reconnect the power steering pipes to the new steering box. The large pipe which runs from the pump to the reservoir was installed first, and no problems were encountered. Here's the new power steering box in position:

Adwest Power Steering Box

Then the narrower diameter pipe was attached to the pump. But when I tried connecting the other end of this smaller pipe to the new steering box I encountered a problem. It didn't fit. After several minutes of contemplation and messing about with various bolts to try and determine what the threads were, I calculated that the new steering box seemed to have metric threads, whilst the power steering pipe seemed to be imperial. I phoned Adwest and asked for their technical department.

Sure enough, I was informed that the female sockets on the steering box were M14 x 1.5. The male fitting on the pipe was 1/2" UNF. Great. Now the thing is, looking at the parts manual, I could have ordered a replacement pipe (NTC2597 possibly). BUT surely the new pipe would ALSO have a 1/2" UNF male fitting at one end? The other end was fine (5/8" UNF) - it connects to the power steering pump perfectly.

So, after lots of thought - I cut off the flare and removed the male fitting, and ordered a couple of M14 x 1.5 male fittings from Ebay.

These duly arrived. All well and good - they fitted the hole in the power steering box perfectly - BUT because of the bend in the power steering pipe there was insufficient space to fit the male fitting and then form the flare! I tried straightening the pipe a bit to give it some more room - no chance. The pipe would have had to be straightened almost completely before there was room to flare it. And this would probably have broken the pipe.

It seemed like the only options would be either to take the thing to a local hydraulic engineers' place (a quick look on Google didn't reveal anything local; the closest was about 20 miles away), or re-make the pipe completely.

So I ordered some 5/16" cupro-nickel pipe, again from Ebay. Whilst waiting for it to arrive I turned my attention to the other end - obviously the rubber pipe at the pump end serves the purpose of allowing for any movement from the vibration of the engine, so the rubber pipe would need to be retained. The newly-made cupro-nickel pipe would thus have to fit into this somehow.

The original pipe is secured to the rubber pipe by a huge pressure fitting. Out with the Dremel, and this was soon in two halves. I was then able to remove the rubber pipe from the old 5/16" pipe. It turned out there is a barbed connection in there:

Power Steering Pipe Pressure Fitting

When the 5/16" pipe arrived, I used the old pipe as a guide to make up a new one:

Making a new power-steering-pipe

I formed a female flare on the end, forced it into the rubber pipe, and then secured it with three tight-fitting hose clamps. I'm pleased to report that it doesn't leak!

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