Steering box drop arm angle

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Moseley

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Countless hours have been wasted on google trying to find an answer or a picture, but to no avail!

So I seem to be bucking the trend by having a rebuilt steering box fitted to the van that has no mark on the output shaft to line up with the one on the drop arm. Logically, I have tried installing the drop arm at 90 degrees to the chassis rail, but this means the drag link is a fraction too long on its shortest setting to centre the idler arm (steering box and subsequently the steering wheel have been correctly centred before doing anything else).

So, I assume the drop arm must point slightly towards the front of the van in the central position, but it'd be good to find out if I can do this a little more accurately than guesswork so that I can reinstate the markings. I've already seen it mentioned in Bentley that there is a tell tale on the seal, but again, this seal is missing.

Any pointers would be appreciated.


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Happystamps

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Don't overthink it. Turn the wheel all the way one way, then count the turns while turning the other way until it stops. Halve that number and turn the wheel back that amount so the steering box is central. Make sure your steering tie rods are roughly central and equal in adjustment and point the wheels forward. Then connect the two with the link arm and set the tracking with the steering centred and you're sorted.
 

Moseley

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I think you skim-read my problem a little! Every steering component was removed and upon rebuilding I have centred the steering box (and consequently put the steering wheel back on straight). Then with the track arms disconnected, I'm moving the idler arm into a roughly central position. So if I then put the steering box drop arm on pointing directly downwards (as there's no mark on the steering box output shaft to line up with) and subsequently the drag link, I find the drag link is slightly too long, even on the shortest setting.

So I'm assuming that the drop arm should be mounted slightly towards the front of the van, but I'm not sure how much by.


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yachty

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I think you skim-read my problem a little! Every steering component was removed and upon rebuilding I have centred the steering box (and consequently put the steering wheel back on straight). Then with the track arms disconnected, I'm moving the idler arm into a roughly central position. So if I then put the steering box drop arm on pointing directly downwards (as there's no mark on the steering box output shaft to line up with) and subsequently the drag link, I find the drag link is slightly too long, even on the shortest setting.

So I'm assuming that the drop arm should be mounted slightly towards the front of the van, but I'm not sure how much by.


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Hi Moseley, with your steering centered, the drop arm should be facing up (not down) and rotated roughly 2-3 splines towards the front of the bus. I just fitted a litesteer earlier this week that had the correct marks and this was the position of the arm ‘more or less’ in the straight ahead position.
 

Graham L

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Hi James
Again you are overthinking it, make sure the steering box is centred (there was never any marks on the output shaft) centre the idler on the beam (line up the bottom of the steering damper bolt) and then loosely fit the drop arm, it faces slightly forward from vertical, offer up the drag link and adjust it to suit, as long as the box and idler arm are centred it works, then check you get full left and right without fouling (we fit the tie rods because that holds the idler in position)
 

Moseley

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That’s a blast from the past! But my fault for not updating this post nearly 5 years ago!!

From memory, after a bit of trial and error, I think I found that there was only one position that the drop link would fit in. Rotated too far forwards and it hits the chassis on full lock. Too far backwards and the drag link is too long on the shortest setting and pushes the idler arm off centre. There was literally just one spline position that avoided both of these happening… jobs a good’un.

Hi James
Again you are overthinking it, make sure the steering box is centred (there was never any marks on the output shaft) centre the idler on the beam (line up the bottom of the steering damper bolt) and then loosely fit the drop arm, it faces slightly forward from vertical, offer up the drag link and adjust it to suit, as long as the box and idler arm are centred it works, then check you get full left and right without fouling (we fit the tie rods because that holds the idler in position)

Me… overthinking?! 😂

On another note Graham, are you still selling steering box rebuild kits? Every year I say I need to do mine and yet every year goes by with terrifying journeys on windy motorways 🤣
 

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