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Author Topic: Steering box adjustment  (Read 362 times)

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Steering box adjustment
« on: 10 April 2019, 13:16:04 »

Couple of different garages have told me that there is excessive play in the steering box and none are willing to adjust it themselves, so I thought of giving a go myself.
I have searched the thread on the topic of steering box adjustment and understand it is a fiddly job. Are there any active OOF members who have actually done it and give me couple of pointers?
I understand the box can only be accessed from underside the car, I had a look from under the bonnet but braking stuff is blocking access?
Can one actually see the adjustment screw when turning it? Should I use a ratchet with a suitable bit? Any info on what size torx fits there (and what spanner size aswell)?

There is an odd sound coming from steering aswell, when turning the wheel side to side I can hear a small knock when changing directions. At first I presumed it to be wishbones, but changing them did not rectify the matter. Previously mentioned 2 garages have not been able to identify any other faulty components. Can this be related to the play in the steering box?

Best regards,


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Re: Steering box adjustment
« Reply #1 on: 10 April 2019, 14:22:49 »

Much more likely that the excessive play is down to one or more of the ball-joints in the steering track-rods. Or excess wear in the steering drop-link arms, probably the idler arm. In your case the idler is on the offside, IE the other side from the steering column.

All Omegas have some play when there is no load on the wheels and more so when there is no power assistance because the engine is off, noticeable at certain positions on the steering wheel. 45<>90 deg I think. Play at the true straight ahead position should reach the minimum value.

The screw adjusts the backlash and you can jam the steering when loaded if you're not careful. Or prevent the steering wheel from self-centering.

Knocking noises are a symptom of worn out strut to anti-roll bar links or sometimes the steering idler arm bush.

Get the ball-joints, idler arm and wishbones, camber and tracking sorted first.
« Last Edit: 10 April 2019, 14:30:23 by Enceladus »


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Re: Steering box adjustment
« Reply #2 on: 10 April 2019, 15:21:06 »

Very easy to adjust, and very easy to cock it up !! I did mine some while back on the advice of the MOT man.

With the engine running, wheels on the road !!!

Wheels straight ahead , place piece of white tape at 12 O'clock on the steering wheel. check for play by moving steering wheel until the wheels JUST move. place second piece of tape at new "12 o'clock". repeat in the other direction. You now have three pieces of tape on the steering wheel.

Measure the distance around the rim between the outer two. If the distance is greater than 150mm then you have excessive play.

With the wheels straight - centre tape at 12 o'clock, Undo the lock nut and tighten the screw 1/8 turn, tighten lock nut.

Do the above check again. You are looking for about 100 mm between the outer tapes, if you have less than that you are risking it being too tight and locking up. Repeat until 100 mm play is set.

MOT Manual 2.2 A

HTH  :)
« Last Edit: 10 April 2019, 15:22:39 by Entwood »
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