When it comes to owning a 90 year old car, one thing is for certain: there’s always going to be something to work on! That has been the case with our 1930 Ford Model A coupe since we purchased it a year or so ago. We rebuilt the carb, rebuilt the water pump, swapped the transmission and went through just about every other mechanical item of note trying to make things “safe and sound”. But after multiple attempts at adjusting the steering box, it either felt too sloppy or too tight, with no option in between. It was fast becoming obvious that it was time to pull the box out of the car for a proper rebuild.
Thankfully, that task is rather simple after removing the floorboards (which we already had out) and pulling the starter. From there, it’s a matter of disassembling the box and inspecting for damage. Normally, damage isn’t something one wants to find. But when it comes to solving a mechanical problem like a tight steering box, not finding damage means not solving the problem. We want damage and we want to solve the problem. So, we tore into the box, pulled the sector housing and carefully inspected the bearings, races, worm gear, and sector, and came to the conclusion that there was some serious pitting on the bearing races, wear in the sector and worm gear, and zero oil in the box whatsoever. Damage? Check.