Steering gearbox noise!

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Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

Hey everybody in Corvair land! I just wanted to give an update on my 1965 sports coupe I recently purchased less than a month ago , just wanted to mention reading the forums here has save me a lot of trouble, and helped me tremendously! when I got it I want to change the plug and the sleeve came out of the head along with the spark plug, and some members help me out which was awesome! So new plugs wires, carburetor rebuild kit filed points etc., won't start then the other day I was reading on the forum, and someone was talking about getting back to the basics, which being used to working on new cars for the last 15 years I sort of forgot, so I went and checked the firing order, you guessed it wrong order, researched firing order, one turn of the key it fired up and was humming! Got so excited I drove it around the block I'll! but I noticed slop in the steering wheel and a strange little grinding noise from the steering, after heavy forum reading, figured out it was the pitman bushing, after dismantling that I swiveled gearbox shaft, and noticed strange grinding noise, so here's the question if it is making a strange grinding noise in the steering box does that mean it is toast? I've seen on here people rebuild them in whatnot, but what are my options? Thanks everybody in advance!
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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by terribleted »

Usually means it needs to be rebuilt.
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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

I figured, I guess I was hoping that maybe I could pack it with the grease and that noise would go away?

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

s the gearbox of the e m the same as the LM?

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by joelsplace »

No. Corvairs used several different boxes that are not interchangeable. Yours probably has the '65 only long shaft box that runs all the way to the steering wheel.
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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by terribleted »

screwrod@gmail.com wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:29 am
s the gearbox of the e m the same as the LM?
there are a number of different boxes and steering column variations in Corvairs. Here is a link to Clark's Corvair Parts catalog page 157B which shows the different rebuilt steering boxes for sale. https://ssl.corvair.com/user-cgi/catalo ... _page=157B
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66vairguy
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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by 66vairguy »

screwrod --- The early 65 models had a solid shaft from the steering box to the steering wheel. In the mid 65 model run (or about then) Chevy revised the steering box so the shaft was about half as long bolted to a coupler with a reinforced bracket at the bulkhead, then another shaft from the coupler to the steering wheel was used. This coupler design was used for all the 1966 models. Why the change - well documentation is lacking, but it's accepted the "solid shaft" early 65 design was dangerous in severe front end crashes. The late 65 and 66 design was similar to what Volvo implemented called the "tip up" design to reduce steering injuries to the driver in a severe crash. Folks argue about this, but years ago I found the test pictures of a Corvair being crashed with the solid shaft steering wheel impacting the test dummy - not pretty.

In 1967 GM redesigned ALL their cars to meet the new upcoming safety regulation with "collapsible" steering columns.

O.K. So you have a grinding noise.
First - determine which 65 design you have.

Second - there is a bearing for the shaft in the turn signal mechanism and a bearing in the lower mast (tube around the steering shaft) the shaft goes through. The lower bearing is often full of dirt and crude, or at worse it is frozen solid from rust. One fellow even posted a pick of how the frozen bearing cut a groove into the steering shaft!!

Third - The steering box has a seal were the shaft exits and that seal is often bad and lets splashed water running down the steering shaft to enter the steering box and rust inside components. If that happens the box is usually not rebuildable. Note that if the adjustment screw was over tightened it will cause the ball and worm to fail and cause rough movement and a "crunching" sound.

I would NOT drive the car until you determine were the problem is. Good luck

Oh! There is a different design for the adjustable telescoping steering wheel, but you did not indicate you had that option.

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

Excellent information as usual ! So I did look into it last night it's a solid shaft that goes about half or so way up, then it has a clamp that clamps to another rod I'm sure to the steering wheel area itself, I have been putting rust breaker on the nuts and bolts of the unit and we'll be removing it all ,dismantling to some degree to see exactly what you have mentioned, thanks again!

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

I wonder if it is 1 long shaft that goes to the steering column but there is a coupler just above the gas tank ,right now I don't know if that coupler does anything or what it does any clues?

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by terribleted »

Late 65 model have a coupler near the fuel tank. if it was then solid shaft type it would have not coupler and the coupler does something. It allows the shaft to bend at the coupler during collision so there is less chance of the steering shaft stabbing you in the chest than a long one piece one.
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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

Nice, I feel a little safer!

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by bbodie52 »

The two attached manuals may be helpful...

:chevy: :wrench:
Attachments
1965 Corvair Chassis Shop Manual - SECTION 9 - STEERING.pdf
1965 Corvair Chassis Shop Manual - SECTION 9 - STEERING
(4.31 MiB) Downloaded 16 times
Rebuilding a Corvair Steering Box.pdf
Rebuilding a Corvair Steering Box
(570.04 KiB) Downloaded 15 times
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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by 66vairguy »

screwrod - you have the late 65-66 steering box/shaft. NOTE the 65 shop manual DOES NOT HAVE CONTAIN ANY INFORMATION ON THE LATE 65 STYLE.

You will need the 66 shop manual supplemental for good information.

The shop manual suggests cutting a BIG hole in the inner fender to access the coupler bolts - I suggest you DON'T CUT THE HOLE. It was a kludge method to speed up repairs at the dealer to ONLY replace the steering box. The factory installed the coupled shaft and steering box AS ONE UNIT. After all this time EVERYTHING is in need of inspection (coupler will need to be dismantled and greased) and the mast bearings will need attention and you CAN'T do that unless you pull EVERYTHING out of the car.

Remove steering wheel and turn signal mechanism, Remove steering mast (tube around around shaft) inside the car, remove pitman arm from steering box (usually easier in the car). Unbolt steering box and "jiggle" the box, coupler, shafts out and down toward the front of the car (car front end needs to be up off the ground for clearance). NOTE where the shaft passed through the reinforced bracket you have to "jiggle" things to get things up and over the bracket (it's cut open on the top). Then you can easily get to the coupler, bearings, steering box, etc.

Reverse process to install. The re-enforced bracket has captive nuts for bolts from inside the car that hold the mast to the floor, BUT it will not fall off the bulkhead with the bolts out since there is an additional large sheet metal screw holding it in place. You may want to remove it, clean and paint the bracket.

Good luck.

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

Thanks for all the info guys! I understand what you are saying! Though there's a lot of information to take in I will take this job slowly,my only question at this point is, is it possible to take the shaft off the gearbox at the gearbox? , if you can't get the shaft out of the gearbox how do finally get the shaft out of the gearbox? Lol

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by terribleted »

The gear box end of the shaft is part of the gearbox and can not be removed until the gearbox is disassembled. I think your set up is a shaft about a foot or so long that is part of the box and then the coupler and then the upper shaft. Removal is remove steering wheel and all parts from inside the car including the outer column jacket. Then you remove the box from the car and pull upper shaft and coupler out with the box. Once this is on the ground access to disassemble the coupler to de-couple upper shaft from box and lower shaft is easy.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

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Re: Steering gearbox noise!

Post by screwrod@gmail.com »

Wow! I appreciate the info, and I know you are right these items must be checked ! I see signs that nobody was in this area for a long time maybe not ever...during my research, I read somewhere in all this madness that, if the gasket going into the steering box( steering wheel shaft) if that gasket is gone ,it is screwed is that right? If so I will start searching for an new gearbox

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