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Dodge De Soto Steering query (steering free play)

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2 months 3 weeks ago #249364 by Jacob
Members,
I am new to this forum and i hope that you could help or lead us to solve a problem, when driving this truck ( owned by my brother) it is notable that there is free play on the steering wheel of half a turn in the straight ahead position, we are wondering if there is any knowledge within this forum on how to adress this problem, this truck came from a Danish army surplus and used to be a fire truck, my brother updated it to a cargo truck and is a regular visitor  of events with old trucks in the Netherland. I am enclosing some photo's and info on what we have , hope that someone could give some advice.Thanks in advance from us.     

Kind regards to all from
Jacob Kreling
Spijkenisse
the Netherlands
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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 3 weeks ago #249366 by Lang
Jacob

If the steering box is like American Dodge boxes of the era (and it looks like it is from the drawing) the slack in the wheel can be corrected by turning an eccentric bolt on the side of the box. First check the steering box chassis mounting bolts are tight.

There is a lock nut on the eccentric bolt to be loosened then turn the bolt slowly while having someone rock the steering wheel to feel improvement. You can almost lock the wheel up.  You want 25-50mm free play in the wheel, even 100mm would give you a normal feel while driving.

In most circumstances this is all you need.

In the worst case the box may be badly worn in the well-used straight ahead position and you can adjust it nicely but when you turn the wheel it starts to jam as the less worn section comes into contact and in fact may be so bad that adjusting up on the worn centre will lock the wheel when it is turned.

So, after adjusting the straight ahead position with a little bit of play you must turn the wheel to see if it moves freely from lock to lock. If it jams you must back it off until it is free right through the range and just put up with a bit more play straight ahead. There is no need to fret as a "sloppy" wheel does not mean wandering all over the road, just a bit more wheel movement which you do subconsciously.

The other common box instead of an eccentric bolt has a screw (with lock nut) going in the side of the box. Same procedure - screw in while checking wheel then test for full range freedom of movement..

Lang

PS. Before blaming the box just make sure all the other bits of the steering are not worn or loose. Check the rod ends are not worn and are tight in their sockets and particularly the tightness of the steering rod and pitman arm connection. (there is a spring in there to cater for shock loads holding it on the ball which can be screwed tighter - but not jammed tight- to take up wear on the ball).  Also have someone turn the wheel and see the shaft coming out of the box is not moving sideways from worn bushes. A sloppy steering box is not going to kill you but a failed rod-end just might.
Last edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by Lang.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #249369 by Jacob
Lang, thank you so much for your quick reply, i will check this out together with my brother and check all other items first.
Appreciate your input, regards Jacob
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2 months 3 weeks ago #249387 by JOHN.K.
From the parts ,it appears to be a Bishop 'low efficiency ' gear ......Yes ,thats the official name ............'the High Efficiency 'gear had a roller stud in the pitman ,yours has a fixed stud............A common user of this gear was Bedford ,and you may be able to get new parts for a Bedford ............I have new parts ,but freight would be astronomical.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #249389 by cobbadog
Bishop supplied GMH out here n raving cars sd well. 

Cheers Cobba & Cobbarette
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Working on more play time.

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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 3 weeks ago #249392 by Lang
I forgot there is a third Dodge type adjustment. Works the same way.

This box has a cap (looks like a bolt). Just unscrew that and underneath you will find the locknut and screw. Adjust as I have described.


 

 

And just to cover all bases this is the Dodge box off lighter vehicles of the period. You can see the star washer has different size positions. Loosen the bolt and turn the star to the next position. Not as precise as the screw or eccentric bolt but does the same job. You will see you have gone one slot too many if it binds when turning the wheel after adjustment.
 
Last edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by Lang.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #249404 by Jacob
Thanks for your help.
Jacob

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2 months 3 weeks ago #249405 by Brocky45
If you have problems finding parts check on Fargo Trucks.. They are the same truck built in Canada..

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2 months 3 weeks ago #249419 by JOHN.K.
US/Canada Dodge has a Gemmer type box......nothing like the Bishop ..(Gemmer is the best box by far ,also used by Ford US/Canada)

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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 3 weeks ago #249421 by JOHN.K.
Your Bishop can be improved greatly by replacing the stud in the sector shaft .....you should be able to buy one NOS.......If the stud is badly out of shape,then likely the worm is also damaged .....this was a whole new shaft and worm and a costly repair ............There is no adjustment on these boxes .......the cover has steel shims to the housing,and these are to set mesh originally and should nt be altered..................the bearing adjustment of the worm is also set by shims,and if the column has endfloat ,the shims may be CAREFULLY removed to just eliminate endfloat...........its also possible the upper bearing has rust damage .......also possible the sector shaft bushing is worn .
Last edit: 2 months 3 weeks ago by JOHN.K..
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