Steering column universal joint

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Steering column universal joint

Postby Collette Dobson » Sun May 15, 2022 20:32

Not sure yet but I think the mysterious knocking which I have been hunting all around the suspension, is actually play in the UJ on the steering column. Not listed as a part as far as I can see but should be fixable/replaceable. However ones for Suzuki jeeps (SJ 410/413) are cheap and available and look identical in photos. Has anyone done this before, know the best fix, know if the SJ ones are the same. For £12 it is worth a punt but I thought I would ask first. Thanks.
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Re: Steering column universal joint

Postby Collette Dobson » Mon May 16, 2022 12:09

Further investigation today and I now think it is the bearing in the end of the shaft next to the UJ (are they still called Hardy-Spicer joints?). That's annoying because it will involve dismantling the column which the service manual says not to do. However that was in the days when you could just buy a new steering column! I assume they are NLA or very expensive now.
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Re: Steering column universal joint

Postby Murray Betts » Mon May 16, 2022 14:23

I'm not sure of your noise, but I've had a slight click or knock when turning the steering wheel on occasions, it doesn't seem to be entirely repeatable and I've not really got to grips with exactly what the conditions are for it to happen. It's never been picked up on the MOT where they jack it up wheel-free and turn from lock to lock, so I'm not really sure where it comes from. I always suspected the lower universal joint but it doesn't really seem to be that, or not that I can identify anyway (could be though).
I keep waiting for it to get worse or consistent, but it's been the same for years. :?
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Re: Steering column universal joint

Postby Collette Dobson » Mon May 16, 2022 16:44

Working our way in ! Getting the steering wheel hub off was no easy task. Obviously no special tool available but managed to make one up by drilling six holes in an old puller from the back of the garage. Still very tight but it came off with a satisfying bang. I know the puller is old because the big bolt in the middle is a Whitworth size ! Picture in the gallery, I don't know how to link to it.
With the column off I can confirm the UJ it tight and indeed I can't really find anything that would produce the "clonk" at the end of the column. So further investigation needed. :confused:
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Re: Steering column universal joint

Postby Collette Dobson » Wed May 18, 2022 12:05

Well, took it all off and although there is a little play in the end of the shaft it doesn't seem enough to make a clonk and any fix would be a major strip of the column with the risk of not being able to get it back together. What I did clean, grease and reposition was the rubber gaiter taking the steering rod through the bulkhead and this does seem to have made a difference. I wonder if putting it all back again making sure it is aligned well has stopped the rod hitting the bulk head. The rubber didn't seem worn however, but something has definitely improved. I also now know that the column and the UJ is not the problem.
MURRAY - it might be worth you cleaning up the rubber gaiter and perhaps just loosening the column nuts and making sure it is all nicely aligned and central in the bulkhead hole. That would be a fairly easy job as it is actually removing the column that is a bit of a pain (wires and all).
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Re: Steering column universal joint

Postby Murray Betts » Thu May 19, 2022 22:13

Thanks Collette. I might well give that a try sometime soon.
I went out today to enjoy the sunshine and didn't notice any knocks at all but as said before, it seems a bit random as to when it does it.
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