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EFV-8 Club Forum / General Lincoln Discussion / Steering play

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Posted By Discussion Topic: Steering play

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08-03-2019 @ 2:05 PM
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2019
I have a 1948 Lincoln five window coupe. My steering has more play than I am comfortable with. I have copies of the Ford manual for the steering box and pictures that go with it, but I couldn't figure what to do to remove the play. I see that there are shims. Do you do something with them. Also there is the adjusting screw and locking nut at the bottom of he box. Can that be used to adjust play? Thanks for your advice

08-05-2019 @ 8:50 PM
Posts: 6161
Joined: Oct 2009
In most cases the play is caused by worn parts in the steering liknage (tie rod end, drag link end, king pins). I like to check for wear by jacking up one front wheel and trying to move it by turning it like it is making a turn. There should be no movement when you try this. If there is, check to see where the movement is and replace the worn parts. A looses steering box can also cause play.

If the linkage is not the cause of the play, you will probably have to rebuild the steering box with a ne worm and roller.


08-13-2019 @ 7:52 AM
Posts: 6161
Joined: Oct 2009
You should not start a new topic to reply to a topic, just click on the REPLY box in the heading

The screw on the steering box adjusts the clearance between the roller and the worm gear. It is adjusted when the box is assembled and should not need further adjustment. If someone has adjusted it it could cause play in the steering. Over tightening this adjustment will lead to hard steering an wear on the worm gear.

To adjust: jack up the front end and remove the drag link from the Pittman arm. Turn the steering wheel from lock to lock, counting the turns. Set the steering wheel at the midpoint and remove the steering thrust screw lock nut and washer. Turn the adjusting screw so the roller just touches the worm. Replace the washer with the sharp edges down, replace the lock nut and tighten it. If the adjustments are correct, the pull to turn the wheel will be 2 - 2 1/2 lbs measured on a 9" radius.


This message was edited by TomO on 8-13-19 @ 7:55 AM

08-31-2019 @ 4:00 PM
Posts: 771
Joined: Mar 2013
NO!! That only adjusts the up/down end play of that sector shaft!!

Loosen the lock nut, turn the screw clockwise until you feel it" just touch' the top of the shaft, the holding the screw in that position so it doesn't move any more toward clockwise, tighten the lock nut. If it does move to clockwise, try again!! It should just BARELY touch the top on that sector shaft to remove any up/down play!! (I put a piece of masking tape on the top of the steering box, and put a pen mark on it where the slot in the screw was, and the tightened the lock nut , so I could see if the screw moved.)

It' a difficult thing to do, so remember, "Patience is a Virtue!!"

Regards, Steve Lee

09-02-2019 @ 11:37 AM
Posts: 1452
Joined: Oct 2009
I think a repair manual would be of great help.
I think there are shims on the bottom of steering box, for up and down plan in worn gear.
grab the steering wheel and see if it will go up and down, I do not think there should be any play
if there is,
this would have to be done first before adjusting the play back and forth in the sector shaft [ end play ]
make sure the sector shaft bushing has no wobble , ] play ] and signs of grease leaking ?
refer to Lincoln work shop manual or MOTORS REPAIR MANUAL., that covers this operation,
hope this helps, 37Ragtopman

This message was edited by 37RAGTOPMAN on 9-2-19 @ 11:39 AM

10-26-2019 @ 8:05 AM
Posts: 771
Joined: Mar 2013
Those paper shims for the worm gear are at the top of the box where the steering wheel shaft enters the steering it. They adjust the "pounds of pull" of the steering wheel, by adding or taking away pressure on the (2) tapered bearings on the top and bottom of the worm gear. Adding them increases, and taking them out decreases pressure on those (2) bearings. They come in pack in assorted thicknesses, with a lower sector seal. Mac's has them in their catalog for about $8.00, plus shipping. Pull must be measured as outlined in theFord , or Mercury repair manuual; and it is the 1st. step, of (4) in the adjustment process!

Regards, Steve Lee

This message was edited by sarahcecelia on 5-13-20 @ 4:38 PM

11-19-2019 @ 11:01 AM
Posts: 1452
Joined: Oct 2009
HI Lightning
here is a photo out of my Original 36-48 Lincoln parts manual of the steering gear, it is the same from 1936 to 1948
showing it in exploded view,
hope this helps, 37 RAGTOPMAN
this parts manual is FOR SALE,

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