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Success: Steering box removal

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:17 pm
by 18Fiatsandcounting
I know this has likely been covered before, but for any interested individuals, here it is again. I have recently replaced pretty much everything in my '71 spider front suspension (ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends, steering linkage rod, refurbished idler, etc.), so I figured, "What the heck? Let's just go ahead and pull the steering box and clean that puppy up!"

Here's the story: Removed the starter motor, and removed (repositioned) the clutch cable from the bellhousing/clutch fork. Loosened the 13mm clamp on the steering column lower u-joint inside the car. Removed the three 17mm bolts/nuts holding the steering box to the "frame", and the steering box just popped out through the bottom.

Now on to disassembly and to see what evil lies within. By the way, this exercise was more to see if it could be done without moving the engine, and how easy it was (or wasn't). Turned out to be fairly straightforward. Of course, this is for a '71 and your mileage may vary depending on model year.

-Bryan

Re: Success: Steering box removal

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:46 am
by bartigue
Great to hear. I think on an fi car, where you can’t see the starter or the steering box from above it would be quite challenging!

Re: Success: Steering box removal

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:46 pm
by lanciahf
I just did this to my 84. I left the starter in place. I removed the drivers side motor mount and motor mount bracket. Held the motor up with a jack and snuck the steering box in there.

Re: Success: Steering box removal

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:25 pm
by 18Fiatsandcounting
In my case, the steering box definitely hit against the starter motor with no way to resolve, but once the starter was removed, the steering box came right out.

However, after 3 hours of pounding on that beast like it owed me some serious coin, it came apart:
IMG_1309.JPG
Sorry for the pink towel..........
IMG_1309.JPG (43.16 KiB) Viewed 1383 times
With some new seals and new oil, should be just fine.

-Bryan

Re: Success: Steering box removal

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:11 am
by miker
I kind of like the pink towel. It represents how most of us get our shop rags :).

Re: Success: Steering box removal

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:43 am
by 18Fiatsandcounting
miker wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:11 am
I kind of like the pink towel. It represents how most of us get our shop rags :).
Yep, and fortunately it won't stay pink for very long as a shop rag! Seriously, though, the only real issue that I encountered was removing the Pitman arm from the shaft. To get the nut off, I had to use a 6 foot long steel pipe on the end of the socket/ratchet. My air impact wrench couldn't do it, even running at 100 psi or so. Removing the Pitman arm required a hefty puller, periodic tapping with a large hammer, two doses of heat from a propane torch, and several doses of penetrating oil (Kroil) over half a day. It finally popped off, but jeez... After that, everything else came apart with ease.

Well, almost. The fill plug was also tighter than &*%$, and there is no way I could have removed the fill plug with the steering box in the car. 5/16" is the wrench size for that square fill plug, but as this wasn't loosening the nut, I used ye olde vise grips to get it off (never my first choice, although it does often work). Although the steering box was not dry, there was only a 1/4" of oil in the bottom.

Stay tuned.

-Bryan