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Thread: Help, Ross steering gear turns?

  1. #1
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Question Help, Ross steering gear turns?

    OK at the risk of sounding like a Jeep rookie, How many turns should you get on the Ross steering box in the 1950 CJ3A? I just finished up the steering system. The box rebuild went well. I had to replace the tube/worm gear assembly because the threads at the steering wheel were destroyed. The sector shaft and bushings were perfect and not replaced. New snap ring and bearings (the type that are captured in plastic for easy install). It went back together well and turns smoothly. I am at a loss however for how far it turns. I am only getting one and a little over a half turns of the steering wheel lock to lock. It doesn't seem like it turns the wheels much. All the geometry is to the book. The wheel ends do not come anywhere near the stops on the axle tubes. Is this all the turning there is? I hope all is good! Am I learning about the turning radius of a 1950 Jeep?
    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-16-2019 at 07:33 AM.

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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Check through this video to go over the rebuild process. There should be 3 to 4 turns to either side of neutral, or 6 to 8 turns lock to lock.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hBJUpfyW0I

  3. #3
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    I have seen that video. I did not have to install the new bushings. I did like that he showed they must be reamed! I have read a few posts where persons couldn't understand why they wouldn't go back together with the new bushings! Anyway, I don't know what I have here now. The rebuild was fairly straight forward with no surprises. If it wouldn't have been for the threads at the wheel on the tube shaft, I could have left it all stock. It was full of the correct lube and not leaking. The only change I made was to the new easy install bearings from the individual load style. I am going to take it back apart and see if I cant figure this out. I am getting one and one half turns of the wheel complete lock to lock. From what you just wrote... I am not even close! Thanks for the help! I know to keep looking now. I thought it might have been a "Jeep Thing" .

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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Please keep us up to speed on what you find. I'm very curious to learn what is limiting the travel. Like you said, it is a very straight forward build, so there isn't any reason for it to be limited to only a turn and a half. Just out of plain curiosity, have you tried to remove the drag link from the pitman arm, then check travel? I had seen it one time where the bell crank was bent, and would hit the cross member under the radiator. Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    The problem was my adjustment procedure on the sector shaft. The Sector shaft backlash screw was in to far. When I set it up on the bench I was paying attention to the drag through he middle on the adjustment. I forgot to even check full sweep. Set up that way (good feel in the middle), it hits the the end play pads on the ends of the sector shaft under the screw and stops the movement. I had to adjust the screw for a slight drag across the end stops and the middle is what it is. The middle pad is worn down further than the ends. As designed the middle should be the tight spot. Oh well it Doesn't seem to loose in the high point. I hope it will be OK. I guess a new sector shaft would fix all. Its just worn down in the middle. Thanks for the help! I almost thought it was normal and left it!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    That makes sense. I'm glad it was a simple fix. Since your sector shaft may be a bit worn in the center, you could go with a product called tight steer. It is sold by Kaiser's, and it takes the place of the adjuster screw. It is spring loaded to apply constant pressure to the sector shaft. Some folks swear by them to help with their loose steering.
    Thank you for the question and we all look forward to helping out where we can.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    I was looking at the tight steer. I can see how in my application it might be the hot ticket. Everything about this front axle was bad. I was able to reuse all the castings, the housing and the differential cross shaft and side gears. Not much more. It was full of muddy sand. The Drivers side axle shaft just needed a U-Joint. The King Pin bearings were so bad you could hardly turn it. The tie rod connecting links were bent. The tell tale shock absorber steering stabilizer was bolted in to band-aid the "death wobble". The tie rods were falling out from the beating. I can see how the center got worn out of the lever arm. The Tight Steer appears to be a spring loaded device that will hold the load at the worn spot and then hop over the high ends. It is very pricey for what it is however. For the same price I can put in a new sector shaft. I am thinking if you wanted to keep the original sector shaft, it should be a good way to go. The rest of the box was in excellent condition. Tough little steering box!

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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Tight Steer

    Quote Originally Posted by bmorgil View Post
    I was looking at the tight steer.
    I put a Tight Steer in the '48 2WD truck, along with a full rebuild of everything in the steering and front axles. It drives better that it ever has in its life. Even a girl (daughter and granddaughter) can drive it.

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    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    OK I stayed up all night wondering what to do about this! The decision is now made, going to order one. I don't feel like pulling the box apart again. It makes sense in design. As long as the spring tension is high enough to hold it tight to the worm in the middle and still hop over the high spots. I did read a few posts elsewhere last night where persons stated they had an issue with the center position backlash becoming worse. Then I read some responses that put the inference on perhaps the wrong part. I will give it a try. I think KW will stand behind it if it doesn't function properly. You have verified that installed correctly, there wasn't a worse condition. I'll let you know how it goes. It will be a while before it's driven however! Hoping to have it ready for a Parade in August.
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    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-17-2019 at 08:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In my opinion, Tight steer is in the same realm as steering stabilizers. Maybe I'm old fashioned or maybe just set in my ways, but I have no problem with adjusting the steering pin when performing an oil change. LarrBeard says it makes the steering easy, but so also will a well set up steering box. My old and worn out 2A could be driven using one finger, if you dared to stick your finger on the inside of the wheel... ( I don't drive my fairly new pick up with my fingers on the inside of the wheel either, out of habit)

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