volare gear box on my 54 ford pu - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:44 PM
william r plise's Avatar
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volare gear box on my 54 ford pu

hey guy's I have a 54 ford pick up with a volare front suspension and a chrysler gear box. My truck has quite a bit of play in the steering wheel and has a tendency to wonder as Im driving down the road. Will tightening the set screw on top of the gear box take up some of the slack in the steering wheel? I've had all the ball joints and bushings replaced but can't find anyplace to get it alligned cuz they say its to low to fit on their racks. I guess I could raise the truck up three inches or so with the torsion [sp] bars to get it back up to get it on the rack but will that three inches throw it way out of allignment if i lower it back down.? She sits about 6 inches off the ground measuring from the front bumper down and looks pretty cool. I use to know some of this stuff but this old age thing keeps giving me CRS. bill
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:04 AM
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I suggest finding a BETTER alignment shop ...

Most chain shop type shops do not have the ability to align a non factory front end ... and do not want to fool with it. Find yourself a older, owner operated front shop shop ... who has years of experience and and he can help you.

My front shop alignment guy has a 9 second ET 1/4 mile drag car
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:19 AM
F&J F&J is offline
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The top screw on steering boxes adjusts the up-and-down play in the pitman shaft. Get a helper to rock the steering wheel back & forth very slightly through the "free play" so you can watch the pottom of the pitman shaft. Look to see if the shaft is moving up & down slightly, OR if instead, the shaft seems to go from side to side.

Side to side play is a bad lower bushing/bearing and usually the shaft would be worn also.

If there is no side to side play and there is still free play in the box, then try adjusting the screw in. Normally you turn the steering wheel 1/4 turn from center to do this. Then as you go back to center, there should be no freeplay at all, but not a binding either. Do this with front wheels off the ground to feel for binding.

You should not adjust the torsions just to get on a rack because they can't align the front end without setting them to "ride height" first.

Older shops may still have the portable alignment turntables that lay on the floor, as well as the magnetic heads that fit older front hubs or clamp on heads that catch the outer wheel rim.

One more thing on torsion front ends; if you lower them too much, the caster & camber settings won't be able to be set correctly due to running out of enough adjustment on the eccentric adjusters. In that case you need to raise it some to allow the settings to get closer to specs. Some aftermarket tubular upper a-arms for mopars are built a little longer to help get lowered cars aligned better.
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