My restoration (to date !)

Steering and U/J fix

Replacing the steering universal joints (U/Js) and intermediate column is actually not that bad. Good lighting really helps - I used an inspection lamp, Maglite torch and garage lighting.

1) Remove the front right roadwheel (U.K. cars - obviously use axle stands) and undo all four bolts (2 per upper/lower U/J) and _remove them_. The splines on the columns are recessed to accommodate these bolts and you WON'T get the U/Js off otherwise !

2) Shout at the dog as it's just run off with the spanner you need.

3) Shout at the car as the U/Js are seized solid. (You might be as well to put penetrating oil on all the bolts and around all the U/J recesses the night before you attempt this as overnight it can begin to seep into all the lovely rusty bits.) Basically, loads of oil and judicious use of a hammer will help free up the two joints. Try to free the upper U/J first - not essential - it just makes the job a bit easier.

3a) It's easier to turn the intermediate steering column itself (to get different angles on the U/Js) than to keep getting up and turning the steering wheel. Watch your knuckles though - mine are still growing back ! (Oh, and make sure both wheels are off the ground !)

4) When both U/Js slide freely have a cup of tea (a fine old English tradition) as you've probably spent the last hour scraping grit, salt, rust and general crud off the splines to free up the now much cursed U/Js.

5) Slide everything up towards the steering wheel end (you're trying to get the lower U/J off first). Get the upper U/J up as far as possible, then the intermediate column, then the lower U/J should slide off the lower spline. It IS tight and sometimes if you turn the steering column slightly so that the wheels are off centre you can gain a little bit of extra space to push all the joints up a bit further.

6) Rejoice as the offending article slips easily away from the lower spline, and then smoothly glides off the upper steering column end. Honestly.

7) Grease the splines and note that the replacement U/Js will only go one way round - the steering column end (upper U/J) is bigger than the lower spline end (lower U/J). Clean the U/J holes as any little bits of grit in there really make the things hard to slide on.

8) Align the roadwheels with the steering wheel - or you'll end up with the steering wheel half cocked when you're driving in a straight line ! The U/J's will only go in one of two ways round due to the recesses for the bolts in the splines.

9) Put the new column/U/Js (with all bolts OUT) through the wheel arch (i.e. don't fit it from above through the bonnet) and fit the upper U/J onto the steering column first. (Make sure the bolts will align with the spline recesses) Push all the components up towards the steering wheel and fit the lower U/J. Slide everything down so that the intermediate steering column has equal amounts of rod sticking through the end of each U/J.

10) Fit the bolts loosely and check that the steering is straight.

11) The bolts should be done up to between 16 and 20 lb/ft. NOTE PLEASE :- I found that 16 lb/ft was _insufficient_ and that the column still slid between the U/Js. Nyloc nuts are also a good idea !

12) Refit roadwheel (wheelnut torque=40 lb/ft)

13) ....good luck !

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