Post Reply

steering wheel play

Post by johnnyonions » Subscribing Member » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:28 am
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:33 am
Posts: 308
my Bedford has been developing a steering fault , play at the steering wheel , at least a 3" play before any feel that its engaging the steering , and also has a desire to go left if not holding the wheel , it's had the balljoints renewed last year .
I've had it up on axle stands to see if anything was loose etc. I tried looking for play at the wheels but to be honest I'm not sure what to look for .


Re: steering wheel play

User avatar
Post by Phil Bradshaw » Club admin » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:10 am
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:15 pm
Posts: 3795
Possibilities -

Loose steering wheel. Remove centre embellisher for access to the nut.

(Normal end float is against pressure of the spring above the column upper bearing; any slackness beyond that may indicate worn lower bush or detached circlip and washer. Remove column and tube assembly for access. On installation fit steering wheel and spring to settle lower bush thrust washer against the bush before tightening lower shaft pinch bolt and, or, cotter pin. Excessive end float shouldn't cause so much play at the steering wheel though.)

Steering column shaft and coupling -


Worn universal joint normally announces itself before much play is apparent as lumpy steering as the needle rollers disintegrate.

Pinch bolt often is best replaced with new: 5/16-inch UNF high tensile bolt and Cleveloc nut. P-type (precision) nyloc nut may be used to replace worn Cleveloc nut.

Rubber coupling may be disc type with safety plate or block type with metal inserts for the 4 special bolts (pan head with locating lug). Disc and block types are not inter-changeable.

Rack flange cotter pin loose enough to remove can be fettled if worn; when installing tap head as the nut is tightened. Plain or nyloc nut may be used.

Cotter pin too tight to move without heavy artillery should be ok unless the flange is moving on the pinion shaft (pin worn), in which case remove rack and shaft as an assembly so that the cotter pin is exposed to everything you've got for removing it. GM cotter pins can be found but at eye-watering prices so ideally it should come out undamaged...

If the column shaft is ok then check for lost motion in the rack as the flange is turned - grab the shaft from underneath and twist it while watching track rods movement (release steering lock first!).

Also check security of the rack on the axle beam (3 bolts, one with a nut).
  • What is real is not the external form but the idea, the essence of things. Constantin Brâncuși

Post Reply

Return to “Steering and road wheels”