[T3] Steering box play

Daniel Nohejl d.nohejl at gmail.com
Mon Apr 3 18:08:35 PDT 2017

So with the expert help of Sean our steering is once again top notch!

As I mentioned a week or so ago, our steering had become increasingly goofy over the last month or two and we couldn’t figure out why as there was no apparent suspension issue. We got together yesterday with Sean and started out by checking for tie rod end and ball joint play but found none at all. However, there was the obvious vertical play on the roller shaft and a clear thunk as this happened. Since Bentley says to do the worm first, we used these tools to do the adjustment:


Those made the work much easier than a 15/16” wrench, a shaved down brake light switch, and a large pair of Channel Locks. Some play was eliminated, but there was still plenty left, so we adjusted the “screw” on top of the box. After the first adjustment, the visible in/out play of the roller/output shaft and the thunk completely disappeared! There was still about 2” of play in the steering wheel though. We then did subtler adjustments at both the worm and roller points. Ultimately, we were able to eliminate ALL play by fine tuning both adjustments (mostly on top of the box and there’s plenty of adjusting screw left) and the car drives like new again. The wheel feels wonderfully responsive: no more twitching over bumps, slop, or thunking. Honestly, it’s like a whole new front end was installed. 


> On Mar 26, 2017, at 11:04 PM, Jim Adney <jadney at vwtype3.org> wrote:
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> When replying, please consider trimming your message. Thanks! :)
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> On 26 Mar 2017 at 20:31, Sean Bartnik wrote:
>> Up-and-down play at the shaft the drop arm bolts to (aka the roller
>> shaft) is adjustable via the small adjuster screw on the top cover of
>> the steering box.  
> That's not quite right. The adjustment screw should be captured in 
> the top of the shaft by a snap ring. The amount of play in there is 
> adjusted by exchanging shims. You're supposed to chose a shim that 
> allows the screw to turn in the shaft with minimum play. See the 
> Bentley, Ch 7, pg. 35. There's a very good photo, Fig. 10-22.
> It's possible that the aftermarket TRW steering boxes have eliminated 
> this feature. I can see that this would be one way to make the boxes 
> cheaper.  
> -- 
> *******************************
> Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
> Madison, Wisconsin, USA
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