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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Factory V8 Steering Column Play
|Does the factory V8 have a collapsible steering column? I hav some play in the column which seems to be between the St. wheel and U/J. It is not at the wheel itself and as far as I can tell it is not at the U/J top spline or the U/J itself so, before I dismantle the column itself, I was wondering if anyone out there had experienced this.|
|Yes and yes, approaching 1/4" at the outer rim on my 1975. I have heard that up to 1/4" is acceptable to the MOT testers whereas they will not tolerate any play in the UJ or the rack. I have also heard it is caused by the nylon peg(s) between the two parts of the column and there has been some discussion (possibly here, possibly on a mailing list) on eradicating it.|
|Thanks Paul, I will now search the archives (which I should have done in the first place) and contemplate dismantling it again as I don't like problems I have not actually seen and consider safe if left. I have just replaced the 'orrible bush at the bottom of the column and had a hell of a time getting the top U/J bolt in - an 8 yr. olds hands came in useful there|
|"an 8 yr. olds hands came in useful there"|
Lord Shaftsbury will be after you ...
|Paul, I cannot find anything about correcting this in the archives. Would you, or anyone else, know if it is it possible to replace the nylon pegs or if reconditioned columns come with them renewed?|
I doubt that you're going to get a lot of play simply because the pegs have broken. I have seen lots of play between the two sliding sections of colunm, however, from, I suppose, hard use. When the wear has progressed that far, replacement with a good, used column would seem to be the way to go. Maybe you can get them new, but over here new replacements are hard to find.
|Joe, Can I take it from your reply that broken pegs do not mean loss of control! Are the two tubes splined in some way? I have some movement if I push or pull hard on the column and it bothers me a bit. Some specialists list columns and I was wondering if that would be the best way to go if the pegs cannot be replaced.|
|Ian - not been into mine yet so cannot describe the situation from first hand, what I said came from other peoples postings either here or a mailing-list. The two sliding halves may simply be square-section tubing with holes drilled and nylon or plastic injected. There is absolutely no danger of loss of control even if the pegs have all sheared and the wheel moves in and out. A replacement column seems to me to be a very expensive way of dealing with the situation, but I'm just tight. If and when I get round to dismantling mine I shall look for a way of eliminating the rotational play, and if that reduces the collapsibility I shall not be concerned one jot.|
Are you sure about loosing the collapsability of your collumn??? Could save your bacon one day......
They catually collapse about 8inches into each other if i remember,could be the difference between a busted rib cage etc, or not.
And hears another one..my V8 has a webasto full lenght sunroof,I hit a 3series BMW (hard enough to write both cars off!), the plastic sunroof wind diffuser was in the down possition, & although i was wearing by belt, i jolted forward and upward enough to headbutt said wind diffuser & badly gash my forhead ...6stiches and one rebuilt V8 later the diffuser now lives in the bin...!.
No, the loss of the pegs won't affect control, but could be an indicator of worn parts in the column that need attention. It seems like you could inject epoxy in the holes when you have the sliding tubes properly aligned, if you really wanted too, but I don't see the necessity. I think the pegs were of more use on the assembly line to hold the parts together. I'd be more concerned if there's much rotational slop between the two tubes; that would indicate heavy wear on the column. I could see this leading to eventual steering failure. No, the tubes aren't splined; they're a slip fit, and should be really tight together. If this isn't the case, I know that you can get good used columns pretty reasonably.
|The two sections are triangular in shape with the upper sliding in the lower so there is no risk of the inner turning and the outer not following. You get play from (as I recall from taking one to pieces a while ago) from the fact that there is originally some clearance between the inner and outer metal shafts which is then taken out by nylon bushes. I suspect these have now worn and you now have metal to metal contact and that detectable play. |
I should still have the dismantled shafts in the garage loft and if I get chance I will dig them out to refresh the memory and hopefully be able to be more specific. I do however recall that I didn't pursue rep[air and opted to find a good second-hand unit which was easy to find and not that expensive.
|Thanks for all of your input, it is a great help in putting my mind at rest and deciding which way to go. I will probably try to find another unit now.|
|This is a pretty similar design to the midget of the same period. Like Paul H I am less concerned about collapsibility than directional control, so when one of my columns went sloppy I replaced the cracked plastic pegs with soft steel sized to an interference fit. (For the concerned among you I do have a 3 point harness which I keep very tight .)|
|David, is this easy to do? The column is still in the car so I don't know what it looks like. I have access to machining facilities so I could have new pegs made up if they are easy to remove/refit.|
|John - have you seen how close one's head is to the top edge of the screen on most convertibles these days? Horrifying. Did you read that Safety Fast report on an MGB crash at Silverstone? Car hit a solid concrete wall at at least 120kph. Driver wearing a full harness it is true, and although the steering wheel was described as 'bent' this was more likely from the driver holding on to it than from a chest impact and the driver had no chest injuries.|
|Ian, it was easy enough on a 73 Midget. With column out of the car and in pieces I simply made new pegs from appropriately sized wire nails cut very slightly too long and peened the ends over with hammer and anvil.|
This thread was discussed between 14/11/2001 and 21/11/2001
This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical BBS is active now.