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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Lower steering column - pinion shaft
|Quick question. Is the pinion shaft (lower steering column) a tube with plugged ends or a solid bar? I am intending to fit a lower UJ and want to know what I'm doing before I take a saw to the shaft.|
Are you using a second lower UJ so that you can use a chrome bumper front cross member?
|Yes David, and thanks Jim for the info. My car is a 1969, and I really want to retain the original tin dashboard and 100 mm instruments, and that means the original steering column. I also want to keep the C/B cross member so that I don't have to compromise on suspension travel by using short front springs. I've solved all the problems of the engine being mounted a little higher than you would with a R/B cross member, and there's really only the steering shaft to sort out.|
I've ummed and erred about the steering for a long time, but after speaking to Liam from Tyneside at the Pateley Bridge event in August, I decided to fit another UJ right down by the rack and have now got one from Flaming River in the USA via Andy Robinson Racecars here in the UK. I haven't yet had the nerve to actually take a saw to the pinion shaft, but I will.
Today I wasn't at work, and I've been cutting out the bulkhead cone and lowering it by 1.25 inches so that the upper R/B UJ will clear the exhaust. I think I will have to trim the RH engine mounting bracket a little, as the lower UJ will sit half inside it and needs clearance to turn.
Are you considering, or have you done, a similar conversion, David?
I did the same project as you with a left hand drive Chrome bumper and was able to get it all in by just lowering the cone (like you have just done) and chamfering the feet of the rack to "tilt" it down to line up again with the steering column. I did not need a lower joint and the flaming river joint with 3/4" x 48 splines was a perfect fit for the top joint.
|Tony, I must admit that it looks as though I could possibly get away with following the same plan as you. I'm not going to get another chance to look at it until the middle of next week now, but I'll assess it then. How did you make sure the alignment was correct? In the official mgb manual it shows a special tool that was used to ensure the joint was not under any strain. Obviously, I don't have this tool, and I don't suppose you did either.|
I have toyed with the idea of doing a V8 convertion and I still hope to do one one day on a GT. However, I have done a LHD to RHD convertion on a '74 chrome bumper B roadster. I borrowed a pair of alignment cones from someone who used to post on this site. His email address is "rich dot email at ntlworld dot com"
|The alignment can be done without the points if you are moving the firewall cone. Just locate the steering rack where you want it and attach the column with the cone bolted to it and after making sure it all moves freely just tack the cone to the firewall. I'd alternate between tacking and checking for easy movement until you have it all welded up.|
I aligned the shafts the same way as Jim.
Just cut it and be done! It solves a ton of problesms.
You can pick up another shaft easily enough if you mess it up - you just need to have the sides machined off again. Sticking the 2nd UJ in means you do away with any alignment/stress issues.
Cut it over long, and go shorter bit by bit. I got a length of dowel from B+Q and used that as a mock up. You can also slide the column backwards into the car a touch tot ake up extra length.
You won't get through it with a saw - it's rock hard, I used an angle grinder with a cutting disk.
To make holes for the grub screws - go in from the direction with the longest length of metal (the curved side, not the machined flat side, if u see what I mean, use a new spot weld drill bit, goes through it like butter, dont go in too deep but the screw neeeds to be flush or it will hit the engine mount, you might want to cut the screw down a bit ? - they are very long to start off with.
Make sure when you cut the shaft next to the rack, that you leave enough of a tiny gap so the joint does not rub on the rack.
Remember as well, with the 2nd UJ u have more leeway to shim the rack and you only need to worry about engine mount clearance.
With my poor English vocabulary I don't explain to you very well my modification, I use two TR8 UJ shorten, centred,welded, professionally welded, no problem with that.
|Nice job Michel. That's what I hope to do to my car, except I won't be welding the joints.|
| .....for the record, Moss Motors now offers the steering shaft alignment tool but I rather think it could be made in the garage using a hardwood dowel and a 3/4" bit.|
This thread was discussed between 02/10/2007 and 08/10/2007
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