1937 Fourteen Steering

TheBigE300
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Location: Essex

1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TheBigE300 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:39 pm

Hi everyone
Took my 1937 Fourteen Saloon out on the road for the first time, after reconditioning the engine (bought stripped, so no chance of a test drive!). But found the steering VERY heavy, I expected it to be heavy but not that heavy.
I’ve stripped all the linkage and king pins (all good) all joints are free moving. Admittedly the box requires reconditioning (nearly 3” free movement at the rim) and the box (bought as a replacement 6th Aug 2014 less than 300 miles ago) by a previous owner was completely void of lubricant when I got it, now filled with Penrite steering box lube.
Could someone with the same model please tell me how many revolutions of the steering wheel it should have, lock to lock. Mine has two full turns and (looking at a clock face) 25 minutes, so under 2.5 revolutions. But, with the drop arm removed I get THREE full revolutions of the wheel.
The Rover numbers on the drop arm and track rod levers do not tally with ’34 - ’40 spares book. The number on my drop arm is. 2R/9M/2. B. what's that from??
I think if the drop arm was shorter that would increase the ‘gearing’ giving more revolution at the steering wheel, or am I looking at things wrong. :roll:
Going by the spares book the whole steering assembly differs between 1937 an 1938, the only two years for this model! So I’m not holding my breath expecting to find all the correct parts!
BTW I can’t find a Rover number on the box, only the Burman-Douglas Pat. No. 3(5 or 8)1204 Would it be behind the box where it bolts to the chassis?

Regards
Eric

TonyG
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:38 pm

Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TonyG » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:31 am

Hi Eric,
I don’t have a Rover 14 but I expect the situation is similar to my ‘37 12 Saloon which, in turn, is the same as my ‘36 Tourer.
The reason you get 3 turns lock to lock with drop arm removed is because that is the maximum travel of the nut within the box. However, the hubs come to rest on small bump stops on the axle where the king pin is. The design is such that the box is never at it’s maximum at this point to avoid any stresses at full lock damaging the box. As such, I would expect the lock to lock movement to be greater with the drop arm disconnected.
Based on what you have already determined, you can never get more than 3 turns lock to lock even with this safety margin removed so a shorter drop arm would give the maximum of just a quarter of a turn from straight ahead to full lock. I doubt that would make the steering much lighter, even if you could source a different arm.
You don’t say how heavy the steering is with the car jacked up? It should require very little effort. Assuming you have correct tyre sizes and properly lubricated king pins and ball joints (an on going debate but I grease mine rather than rely on the autolube) I suspect your problem lays with the steering box. Most likely the bronze nut has been replaced at some point to eradicate excess play but, because the worm is very worn, it has been left tight.
I don’t think these nuts are available anywhere now but they were under-sized and the worm was used to ‘cut’ the thread to the perfect size using Brasso as an abrasive. This is a long and laborious task. Back in the 80s when I did the one on my Tourer I ended up using valve grinding paste. It worked ok on my car but if the worm is badly worn it’s not a satisfactory fix. Hence why it may have been left very tight.
Suggest that you get your steering box reconditioned and take it from there. That will most likely resolve the heavy steering.

Hope that helps.

Tony.
Tony Gilbert

P1 12 Tourer
P2 12 6 Light Saloon
Discovery 3
Discovery Sport

TheBigE300
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Location: Essex

Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TheBigE300 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:18 pm

Tony, thank you for your reply.
This is my first venture into pre war motoring.
I appreciate that three full turns reached the limits, I was thinking a little more might help, but hey-ho.
The steering is very light, one finger spins it freely, with everything detached.
The king pins are free and the autolube oil-ways are all clear with oil flowing, some ball joints are autolube and some are grease nipples but all are totally free.
Correct tyres if a little over inflated.
Before I stripped all the steering parts, the axle stops were not reached, the O/S knuckle on the steering tube hit the road spring A reposition of the drop arm cures this I believe and the same area touched the sump on the other lock, I think I can get over this as well, enabling the stops to be reached.
I know I've got to get the box reconditioned but in the meantime I'll do my utmost to source the correct drop arm.

Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.
Eric

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luli
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Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by luli » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:17 pm

Often the reason for heavy steering is a wrong castor angle. Read more here http://www.rover-forum.thersr.co.uk/vie ... =17&t=5147
Rover 10 1946 RHD
Rover 10 1947 LHD
Rover 12 1947 tourer LHD
http://lulisml.wordpress.com/

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luli
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Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by luli » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:25 pm

Rover 10 1946 RHD
Rover 10 1947 LHD
Rover 12 1947 tourer LHD
http://lulisml.wordpress.com/

TheBigE300
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Location: Essex

Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TheBigE300 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:50 pm

Thanks Luli,
Lots of info there and lots of stuff for me to check.
Cheers
Eric

TheBigE300
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Location: Essex

Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TheBigE300 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:16 pm

Hi Luli
just realised who you are, I've often viewed your site but didn't put 2 & 2 together. I've just saved a translation site so I will now be able to read your site in it's entirety.

Best Regards
Eric

TonyG
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:38 pm

Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TonyG » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:21 pm

Eric,

It sounds as though you have done all the obvious things and, with the technical information from Luli, you have some other areas to pursue also.
From your posts I’m assuming that the steering moves easily from lock to lock with the front wheels off the ground. So the heavy turning only arrives once the weight of the car is on the axle. Are you confident that the king pins have been assembled correctly? They are not complicated but so few cars or light vans are left which have them now and even getting a Reaming tool can be a challenge. Just a thought.
When I assembled the steering on my Tourer I couldn’t achieve a positioning of the drop arm and steering rod that allowed full movement due to the ball joint fouling on the o/s spring. My car has 550 tyres fitted on the slightly wider wire wheels and it was important to get the perfect set up to avoid the tyres catching on the inner wing. In the end I fitted the drop arm upside down and turned the ball joint over. This has worked perfectly since and I assumed was only necessary because of the tyres. However, when I bought my Saloon it had an excellent R/H lock and and an appalling L/H lock because the ball joint hit the spring. Worse still was the potential of the ball joint wedging under the spring if a bump was encountered on a hard lock. When I rebuilt the steering I ended up turning the drop arm over again. It sounds like you are encountering the same problem and I will be interested to learn how you overcome it.
I notice you are in Essex, as I am. If you want to look at another car anytime, give me a call.

Tony.
Tony Gilbert

P1 12 Tourer
P2 12 6 Light Saloon
Discovery 3
Discovery Sport

TheBigE300
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:53 pm
Location: Essex

Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by TheBigE300 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:05 pm

Tony,

My Rover is on my list of ‘things to do’ but not quite at the top, I’m taking my time, I don’t think these old cars should or could be rushed. As you say, Luli has a plethora of info on his site for me do delve through, a very talented guy in my opinion.
Yes, it’s only heavy when the weight is on the axle. One finger light when it’s off the ground.
I’m more than happy with the king pins, all perfect as are all the other joints in my opinion. I do know the box will have to be done soon. Is it the correct one for my car? - can’t find a Rover number on it and as for the drop arm number (2R/9M/2 B). nothing to do with a P2 I’m sure!
My tyres are 5.25/5.50 - 17 on original wire wheels and I too thought of turning the drop arm over!
I appreciate your offer of looking at your car(s) and I will take you up on that very soon, if that’s OK.

Regards
Eric

GOY189
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Re: 1937 Fourteen Steering

Post by GOY189 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:49 pm

The usual RSR disclaimer applies to work on steering etc.
Has the front end been totally dismantled? If so its worth checking that it has been reassembled correctly. In particular, the axle mounting locating bolt on the spring is off centre, with the shorter length to the front, getting this wrong results in very strange steering characteristics.

A simple way to check is that the main leaf roll end on a genuine Rover spring should have two holes just visible where the roll meets the leaf at the front end. This is designed to allow oil to be driven by the slipstream back over the spring from the Luvax lubrication of the front bush. If the holes are not there then the spring may be a pattern unit and you will have to get the measuring tape out.

The thick end of the wedge between axle and spring faces front. getting that wrong may result in unduly heavy steering.

The spring should slide easily into its shackles, If you have to force it, it may be fitted to the wrong side.

Hope this helps
Mike

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