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Martin Cutler
Experienced User
Username: martin_cutler

Post Number: 30
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, 24 February, 2008 - 20:14:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi guys,

I am not happy with the steering on B319LH. It is considerably stiffer than the steering on B256MD. Considering B256MD has wider radial tyres, I would have thought it would be heavier. I would like to investigate the ends of the drag link. Has anybody undertaken this task before? Any hints or tips? I noticed in one of my books that the R Type had an upgrade in the drag link ends, as the MK VI had considerable wear. I am very happy with all other aspects of driving B319LH, she is a fine vehicle, but I am taking her to Orange in a fortnight's time, around a 4 hour trip, so I want to make sure everything is OK in the steering department before I head off. I will also be fitting a speed bump detector! :-)


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Martin Cutler
Experienced User
Username: martin_cutler

Post Number: 36
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February, 2008 - 20:06:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Just looked at the steering drag link, how the hell do you get it out without dissassembling the whole front end!!! I might leave this alone for a while.......

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Mark Glanville
Experienced User
Username: mark_glanville

Post Number: 12
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Sunday, 18 January, 2009 - 21:24:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Martin,
My steering is very heavy on one of my MK 6 Bentley's also. As you know I have two other Bentleys to benchmark from, so I know it could be better. Did you ever revisit your problem and rectify your heavy steering?
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 1574
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 19 January, 2009 - 05:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The steering linkages and joints will not affect steering heaviness at all. If shot, they will only introduce free play and wobble. Any possible friction in those joints is more than an order of magnitude less than the real cause of heaviness.

Heavy steering is almost always a pivot pin - read king pin - issue. The king pins are usually shot to pieces, mainly due to the lack of use of the chassis lubrication.

In that case, the needle rollers often look like smashed rice grains and the bearing cups scored beyond salvage. Others have been fitted with bronze bushes by some clown to save cost. Bronze bushes were often fitted to ruined king pins and in place of their needle rollers in the 1970s and 1980s as desperate efforts to save bucks. They make the steering godawfully heavy. Luckily, new king pins, needle rollers and bearing cups are cheaper these days than they once were, and a king pin and its bearings will cost just $300. The king pin alone will even give you change from $150. Remetalling and sleeving have never been, to my knowledge, either cost-effective or durable.

Usually if the king pins are shot, then the lower yoke has been shot long beforehand. Their cost is about the same as a king pin.

However, to refer to the question directly:

The steering lever and linkage joints are spring-loaded and adjustable unless the pins are very badly spent, again usually only if the chassis lubrication has been bodged or not used. Likewise, the bronze bushes. The spring loading is often rejected by a vehicle tester mistaking the correct ”give” as wear. Take care not simply to tighten them down until the load spring has packed solid: that is a sure way to destroy them quickly.

Best clear up a few terms here, as there is no drag link FC Holden-style.

Below refers mainly to cars from Mk VI B1GT – and that includes R-Types. The MkVI cars before B1GT have a simpler but less effective single swivel centre steering assembly.

• First there is the side steering tube. It runs forward from the steering box pendulum lever to the centre steering lever

• The centre steering lever connects to the cross tube centre link. The cross tube centre link is the closest thing to a Holden's or Morris' drag link, but is only about 10” long on a MkVI-R.

• The cross tube centre link connects to the two cross steering tubes: they are the linkages to the hubs.

The centre steering lever, the cross tube centre link and the housings are often referred to as the centre steering assembly. This may be removed very simply as an assembly once the chassis lubrication line is disconnected, and the side tube and cross steering tubes ball ends have been released.

I have removed the centre steering assembly from B174UM and others several times, and it is a remarkably easy operation.

To release the ball pins on the front of the side tube and the inner ends of the cross tubes is the only tricky bit first time. You need a substantial professional-grade puller with a very thin pair of claws. The old lever-and-bash-the-housing method as on a Holden or Ford will not work on any of the ball pin joints on these cars. Don't even try or it will end in heartache. Leaving any of the three joints in place is not an option. Releasing them is obvious, but impossible without suitable tools.

Then there are just two bolts to undo, one each side, coming from the front of the chassis at about 30º (see diagramme below) to remove the entire centre steering assembly. That is the easy part, and the two nuts and bolts come off with an everyday socket spanner in a few minutes. Once removed, the assembly may be inspected and the bronze bushes replaced if necessary.

See for more details and legends.


Centre steering assembly.
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Martin Cutler
Prolific User
Username: martin_cutler

Post Number: 106
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 20 January, 2009 - 21:14:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Mark,

I haven't had a chance to look at the steering yet, I was going to get the R Type going first, and then pull it apart, but this hasn't happened either. My other vehicle projects have also stalled, due to lack of time and funds.

There is a definite clunk coming from the centre steering assembly area when you waggle the wheel at straight ahead. I had a day to myself on saturday, and ended up doing a service on B256MD.

Thanks Richard for the information, realistically it will be june before I pull it apart. I have half the studs out of the R Type head, but it is not moving.


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Bill Vatter
Frequent User
Username: bill_vatter

Post Number: 51
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, 23 January, 2009 - 10:06:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I seem to recollect that late in the Mk VI production there was a bronze bushing replaced by a ball bearing somewhere in the steering linkage. Then these cars with the ball bearing suffered some wear to the bearing race which made the steering more difficult, and eventually the ball bearing mod was deleted.

Does that story ring any bells with anyone?
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Laurie Fox
Frequent User
Username: laurie_fox

Post Number: 53
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Friday, 23 January, 2009 - 11:02:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The bronze bush was changed to a bearing round about B215PU and the original was put back again round about B390TN.



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