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steering box

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Seems every thing I look at on my "new" 2002 needs work. Very slowly it is taking shape.
The steering box now has my attention. It was really  loose.
After adjusting it out,  it's a lot better. Even so not as tight as it could / should be.
So ... I plan to rebuild the steering box with the IE kit, but first I thought I would ask you guys.
Any upgrades for this?
I was at a British car show and a guy with a Sunbeam Tiger was showing me his steering box.He could electronically adjust it's stiffness via a knob on his dashboard.
Now that was pretty cool. (don't ask me how it works )

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When you say ‘rebuild kit’ do you mean the package with two seals, a gasket and some hardware?

 

This is not going to rebuild your steering box, it may stop it leaking. If the adjustment has all been ‘used up’ then you are looking at new bearings which is a much more complex task. This also assumes that the worm and sector roller are in good condition. 

 

Someone is selling ‘rebuilt’ boxes on eBay but there seems to be some debate as to what that means. Alternatively, finding a better condition used box has long been the answer. 

 

 

 

 

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If you hold the arm steady, how much play or slop is there in the wheel and what is the diameter of your wheel?

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A 2002 uses a worm & roller type of steering box.  Even brand new it will have more play than a rack and pinion, or even a worm and roller with power steering (the power steering pump takes up the slack).  So if you're used to rack & pinion or power assisted steering even a tight 2002 steering box is gonna feel a little loose.  

 

You can adjust an '02 steering box until you're out of adjusting screw; just don't adjust too tightly or you'll quickly wear out the box's innards.  It's best to do the adjusting with the front wheels clear of the ground so you can feel excessive drag as you adjust.  

 

These boxes can go well over 250k miles without wearing out so long as they're kept lubricated.  

 

mike

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Excellent info Mike.
I will get the wheels off the ground ,check play (enispritz), look for leaks and adjust.

You are correct sir, I am use to a rack and did not consider the difference.
I organize a vintage car club in our area and will compare mine to a couple of other 2002s in our group. 

Might be me, simply expecting too much from the steering box. (My other 2 old cars have racks...)

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It is important to note that the more the adjustment screw is turned downward (to tighten the box), it pushes down on the roller gear (the vertical piece).  This moves the steering arm down as well.  The bottom retaining nut for the steering arm eventually will come in contact with the lower control arm (with the front suspension at full droop).

 

So, if the top adjustment screw has been turned down very far, your steering box is worn out.

 

Also, check the tightness of the (4) steering box cover bolts.  If they are loose, then your steering action will be as well. 

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Excellent J.
I will get back to it tomorrow and see what I have.
Is the IE refurbish kit of any use if the box is not leaking? It does have what appear to be bushings...

A 'new' refurbished box is ~ $400. Yikes. 

At that kind of money, any steering box upgrades for the E10 - (later model bmw?)?

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(edited)

The IE refurb kit was specifically named "refurb" kit and NOT "rebuild" kit specifically for this reason.  

 

There are some rebuilders who claim to use a new roller and worm gear, I will say that this is hogwash until proven otherwise.  Stories of having large numbers of these parts stashed away seem far-fetched at this point.  Meaning any "rebuilt" box done by a general rebuilder is using used parts.

 

All 2002's used the same type of steering box (early and late) with the only difference being non-consequential internal changes done by ZF at some point during their independent production runs.  If you want an "upgrade", there isn't an off-the-shelf solution.  There is a fellow out of Europe offering a steering rack conversion using your core parts though.

Edited by AceAndrew
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7 minutes ago, Moto Carlo said:

Excellent J.
I will get back to it tomorrow and see what I have.
Is the IE refurbish kit of any use if the box is not leaking? It does have what appear to be bushings...

A 'new' refurbished box is ~ $400. Yikes. 

At that kind of money, any steering box upgrades for the E10 - (later model bmw?)?

I've installed the IE steering box kit on my 69.  A gasket, (2) seals and some hardware.  When re-assembling, make sure to spread some grease (like wheel bearing grease) in between the seal lips and on the roller gear where it contacts the lower seal.  If you don't there is a good chance the steering box will leak after all your hard work.   Happened to me!

 

Jack Fahuna (Pro Bimmer) used to offer rebuilt steering boxes (advertised in the older Roundel club magazines).  Not sure if he can still offer them.

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Add: What I don't see mentioned above is one of the primary causes of wear, that being the long brass bushings inside the box the housing, which the roller shaft 'rides' in.

 

Those bushings are not included in refurb kits, and - rightfully so - as it's not a simple DIY job. I do not know whether the boxes sold on ebay include bushing replacement.

 

'I've got a guy' who replaces those brass bushings when I bring a customer's steering box, and it makes a difference. (Of course, the worm/roller contact surfaces need to be in very good shape.) One day I plan on bringing a couple of good cores over to rebuild and then sell 'em.... -KB

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19 minutes ago, kbmb02 said:

Add: What I don't see mentioned above is one of the primary causes of wear, that being the long brass bushings inside the box the housing, which the roller shaft 'rides' in.

 

Those bushings are not included in refurb kits, and - rightfully so - as it's not a simple DIY job. I do not know whether the boxes sold on ebay include bushing replacement.

 

'I've got a guy' who replaces those brass bushings when I bring a customer's steering box, and it makes a difference. (Of course, the worm/roller contact surfaces need to be in very good shape.) One day I plan on bringing a couple of good cores over to rebuild and then sell 'em.... -KB

+1  Thanks for adding this.

Picture of the top bushing (inside the "cap").

IMG_8943_zpsf8416b09.jpg

Poor quality image showing the lower bushing for the roller shaft.

IMG_8947_zpse95a15a0.jpg

 

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From the link above:

 

"These boxes are rebuilt through our special arrangement with ZF the original equipment manufacturer. "

 

Aye, there's the rub !

 

I wonder what the secret sauce behind this statement is?

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I worked with Fahuna when he offered rebuilt boxes---years ago.  

Because I live just a few miles away from ZF, Jack sent me the boxes, I drove over to ZF, dropped 'em off and picked em up when they were done.  Then back to Fahuna. 

 

BUT, ZF stopped rebuilding the boxes after some duffuss in their inventory control department had the supply of replacement parts, which were stored on a pallet in the warehouse,  deposited in the dumpster outside the loading dock door because they were SLOW MOVING  and taking up to much space in his warehouse. 

 

End of story.  Sorry. 

 

Mac. 

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