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Patcon

Steering box

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    We almost have Cody's car road ready but he is complaining about too much steering slop. I need to look at it but I wanted some pointers on what too look at and if the steering box can be tightened up? I know to look at the ball joints and wheel bearings but what else?

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    72 Datsun 510 wagon

    Should have put it because it is not obvious it's in the 510 sub-forum

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    Check the U-joint.  Interesting that Nissan offered u-joint rebuild parts for the 510, but did not offer them for the 240Z.  If the 510 parts are NLA at Nissan, it's possible that ez-to-source Kawasaki ATV halfshaft u-joints that fit the S30 will also work for the 510.  $30 complete (spider, cups, bearing needles, seals, circlips, and grease fiiting) and relatively easy to install.  A 64th inch of slop in the u-joint will be greatly amplified at the steering wheel and makes straight-ahead highway driving 'more involving'.

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    The 510 steering ujoints are the same as the 240 piece. Find the thread about the ATV400 ujoint part number.

    510 Steering boxes are problematic to find in good condition. There is a lash adjustment on the top, play with that to get it as tight as possible. Even mine that is nearly slop free with all new ball joints throughout still steers like most 50 year old cars with reciprocal ball steering.....

    There is a guy making a new K member with a rack and pinion but it requires a front sump engine.

    Edited by zKars

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    Thanks guys. I will check the U joint and the steering box. So there is no problem in trying to tighten the steering box up? If I over tighten what happens? Heavy, stiff steering or worse?

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    There's a procedure in the Steering chapter.  Tighten then back off 20-25 degrees.  You can pop out the internals also and pack some new grease in.  What's there will probably be dried out.

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    2 hours ago, Zed Head said:

    There's a procedure in the Steering chapter

    For a Z or a 510?

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    10 hours ago, Namerow said:

    Only one U-joint in the 510's steering shaft?

    there is only one u joint in the steering shaft. Box is on the rear of the cross member and there is not much room there

    The joint looks good. All the slop looked like it was in the box itself. We already pulled the hubs and greased them. They had a little play too.

    This is the way I adjusted the box.:

    Roll the car forward a few feet, to make sure the wheels are pointing forward.
    Then, take a wrench and loosen the jam nut on the top of the steering box, AT THE SAME TIME, put a slotted screw driver into the slot in the top of the screw, AND HOLD IT IN THAT POSITION! Now, carefully screw the screw down in the box, till you feel some resistance. ( you may have to back the nut off a hair more, to keep it from tightening up) Then, go grab the steering wheel and wiggle it back and forth, WHILE WATCHING THE WHEELS. You want to see the wheels move, with the steering wheel movement. IF not, tighten a bit more. When it seems ok, hold the screw in that EXACT position, and then you tighten the jam nut!
    Now, this is whre you find out if your worm and sector gears are bagged beyond adjustment. You have to drive the car, to see if it wants to return to center, AFTER you try to turn a corner. IF it is sluggish, or just plain TOO TIGHT, you have to back OFF the adjustment, till it turns ok, but, if you loose the on-center tightness...YOUR BOX is dead. You will either have to live with that vague steering, try and find a better box, or, try to find a good HL510 box and put that on.

    So try a few points , test drive.....GOOD LUCK!

    While you can turn the wheels statically, I do recommend you actually drive the car to really see how it's working, and BECAREFUL when you first turn, as you may be surprised at how tight the box can become, past the on-center feel.

    We did all this with the car in the air. Now time for a test drive...

    • Like 2

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    Drove it yesterday. It is much better, but the tires were low on air. So it was still a little splashy but a big improvement!

    Now on to brakes and improved carburation

    Edited by Patcon

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