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willysmjeeps.com :: View topic - M38 Early Ross Steering Gear Box
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M38 Early Ross Steering Gear Box
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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
Posts: 507
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:40 pm    Post subject: M38 Early Ross Steering Gear Box Reply with quote

While my motor is at the machine shop, this weekends adventure.....my horn had become intermittent and finicky after an initial install of the proper horn switch and rod, and I had never looked inside the steering box before --- so what better time than with the motor out?

I've got an early Ross gear box (identical to M38 Reference Guide) right down to the 'A' marked bolt heads on the upper housing and side covers. It had a "short" horn switch adapter and bolt plug in the base that I screwed a switch into. Never noticed the difference between the "short" adapter and "long" adapter before today.

So I pull the gear box and disassemble it. I see a lot of crud in the steering cam shaft, which I suspect is interfering with the horn rod. I'm thinking it looks like a long .45 caliber barrel to me, so I can just run a patch or three and maybe a bore brush down it to clean it out. Wrong! After about two hours to remove the first patch that stuck in the barrel I get this out of it too. No wonder the patch jammed:



Looks like broken pieces of lever studs (pins) to me, and how the heck could they migrate up the steering cam tube? And how did I ever get the horn rod by them the first time? After scratching my grape for a while I got out a magnet. These chips are hard, must be iron. Nope. Crustified grease. When the magnet didn't stick I got out the side-cutters and snipped them in half. Crazy.

So on to looking at the rest of the box, still thinking about the horn (I'm a driver, not a mechanic Laughing). The short switch adapter had no guide tube on it. Along with the debris, it kind of explains why the rod wasn't consistently hitting the ball on the end of the switch.

Photo of short adapter and bolt plug partially pressed out, with long adapter on the side:



Photo of long adapter, and short adapter with bolt plug removed.



From what I can tell in the manuals, it looks like the short adapter was early M38, but the plug makes me think maybe CJ. Anyway, I pressed it out to install the long adapter I got from MWM a while back (nice piece).

Other observations on the box so far, and glad I looked:

Nothing obviously cracked, bent, or broken. Bearings and races look good. The gear box was about 1/3 filled with grease. No gasket on the side cover, just RTV. No gaskets or RTV on the upper over, 5 shims present. No lock washers on the upper cover at all, and split lock washers on the side cover.

Questions to research:

The ORD9 (pg. 263 and 264) for the lock washers says part number 120638, 5/16" Style 9, .0601 OD. What the heck is "style 9"?

The ORD9 for the upper cover (pg. 265) says there's one gasket (WO-804399) used after serial number 31337. That kind of implies no gaskets before serial number 31337? Then figure 14-2 shows no gasket(s), and figure 14-3 shows two gaskets. A real puzzler. Along with 5 shims.

The box has a 15/16" lever shaft diameter, and the studs are 1-1/2 inches apart, center to center. What I'm not sure of, and what the manuals don't say (yes I have the Ross Manual) is if these parts are correct for this box. I know there's a lot of stuff out there on the market......including some fatally defective levers (that I need to carefully review those posts).

The truck steers well, the only "slop" I'd say was about 3-inches movement in the steering wheel (outer limit of acceptable). Other than that, everything tight, tracks well, no drifting, and no trace of death wobble. Box may not have been adjusted properly, I didn't check.

More photos in my album (page 14) of what looks to me like a pretty much original early M38 Ross Steering Gear Box.
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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wesk
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Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The early box did not have the sealed type mast transition.

Quote:
What the heck is "style 9"?


SPLIT HELICAL-RIGHT HAND


Quote:
The ORD9 for the upper cover (pg. 265) says there's one gasket (WO-804399) used after serial number 31337. That kind of implies no gaskets before serial number 31337? Then figure 14-2 shows no gasket(s), and figure 14-3 shows two gaskets. A real puzzler. Along with 5 shims.


Fig 14-2 is for the early gear box 7375345 (RG# TA13077) Unsealed transition to mast.

Fig 14-3 is for the later (After serial 31337) 7412447 (RG# TA13084) sealed transition to mast.


Here's the illustration from the early NOV 51 ORD 9

Quote:
The box has a 15/16" lever shaft diameter, and the studs are 1-1/2 inches apart, center to center.


There were two different shafts, with lever used. The early ORD 9 shows the early one as WO# 801715 But you have a typo in fig 14-2 of the newer ORD 9 which shows the WO# 804534 which is the late shaft, with lever. Can't help with dimensions.

The difference between the stock Willys shafts and the dangerous repops is shown below.


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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
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Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wes.
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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4x4M38
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Joined: May 30, 2014
Posts: 2861
Location: Texas Hill Country

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notice also Ron, the adapter had the tube on the early version as well.

When I disassembled the late box I got from an A1, the tube had become detached from the asapter. It looked like it had been crimped where on at some point. You might look and see if there is a rough edge on the top. That’s probably where your now missing tube used to be arrached!

John’s is all one piece now if I remember correctly.

I don’t guess you found that tube wandering around in there anywhere?
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Brian
1950 M38
MC11481
http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=album372&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Brian,
The short adapter originally in there is fully threaded for that big nut plug (with o-ring) shown in my photo to seal it. No evidence it ever had the horn rod guide tube attached to it, no rough or crimped edge, and no tube was floating around inside the steering shaft either. The previous owner had a cheap-o horn switch wired to the dashboard.

Many moons ago I just removed that big nut plug and screwed the horn switch into it with a new rod going up to the button on the wheel. Worked for a little while, but I knew something wasn't quite right about it.

In the figure Wes posted above from the early NOV 51 ORD9, Item H, Tube Assembly kind of looks like its 2-piece -- separate from the adapter? I say this because the adapter in that figure isn't even called out.

Anyway, I punched out the short adapter and will install the long adapter with tube. With the crud now cleaned out of the steering shaft it should "beep-beep" with no problems. It may not be truly correct for an early gear box, but it's pretty close, and I need a working horn. I don't think anybody is making the early adapters, so I got the late one from MWM too! It's a nice, sturdy piece.

If I remember correctly, I trimmed a little bit off the horn rod for the short adapter, so it might now be a little short for the long adapter. We'll see. Another $10 lesson for another horn rod ain't too painful. Wink

Thanks!
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
Posts: 507
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another question if I may.

The dash clamp on my outer steering column jacket has a piece of welting covering the bottom half of the jacket, but nothing on the top half in between the dash and jacket.

Is the steering column jacket supposed to be metal-to-metal contact up against the dash, or does it get a piece of welting too?

No joy finding this in the ORD9.

Thanks!
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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wesk
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only thing scheduled on the inside of the lower clamp half are the shims. Perhaps someone lost their shims and substituted a piece of felt.

Felt is not mentioned in either of the ORD 9's and neither the TM 9-8012 nor the TM 9-1804B.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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mdainsd
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That joint seems to like to make noise, at least it has in some of the Jeeps I have owned. I use a piece of 1" wide O.D. webbing (strap). One turn all the way around the mast jacket. You can just see the edge of it when the clamp is on and tightened. Very solid and no squeaks. Doesn't mar the paint on the dash, clamp or mast jacket either.

Note: the thinner webbing seems to fit best. The stuff used on the top straps etc is too thick.
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1952 Dodge M37, 1942 MB script, 1948 FrankenJeep CJ2A/M38, 1951 M38, !942 WC-57 Command Car Undergoing factory original restoration, 1944 WC-51 Weapons , (2) M1941 Sperry 60" Anti-Aircraft Searchlight, John Deere M-gators
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kenperkins
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mine also had anti squeak material there
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'51 M100 Dunbar
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wesk
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously folks used the felt to replace the lost shims. The purpose of the shim/s was to stop rattles.



The obvious lack of an ORD 9 listing for the shims would be the cause of the field folks improvisations. However, plain flat stock shims of the correct dimension and shape are easily fabricated in the field so only the lazy folks would proceed with a weaker material substitute.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks gentlemen!

I know the steering column jacket is supposed to be solidly clamped in place to the dash before tightening the gear box to the frame so it's properly aligned straight with no binding or tension on it. The two slotted bolts holes on the gear box seem to allow plenty of adjustment range.

The piece of welting I have in there now is the same asphalt impregnated anti-squeak stuff like used under the gas tank. It seems to work well, clamps tightly, no rattles, and no chewed up paint. I don't think my column was bound up when I removed the gear box, but admit I didn't think to notice it at the time. I may need to go to the metal shim solution if keeping the welting exceeds the adjustment range.

Regards!
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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mdainsd
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to call names Wes. Not lazy, just solving a problem that metal shims didn't. Not much strength required in an anti-squeak remedy.
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1952 Dodge M37, 1942 MB script, 1948 FrankenJeep CJ2A/M38, 1951 M38, !942 WC-57 Command Car Undergoing factory original restoration, 1944 WC-51 Weapons , (2) M1941 Sperry 60" Anti-Aircraft Searchlight, John Deere M-gators
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wesk
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the metal shims since the first GPW I owned in 1970 and no rattles on it or the ensuing 15 other jeeps I have owned over those years. They do not loosen. Felt is easily compressible as is rubber and not the best choice for a permanent solution.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found some additional information on the long and short horn switch adapters and horn rod guide tubes, with photos.

https://www.willysjeepparts.com/Steering_Gear_Housing.htm
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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RonD2
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Posts: 507
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I got my early steering gear box disassembled, cleaned up, inspected, and re-assembled. The internal parts all checked serviceable so I reassembled and filled it with John Deere Corn Head Grease (NGLI 0) and fitted it back on the frame today. I'm in South Carolina so freezing isn't an issue with this lubricants' specs.

As previously mentioned in this post, I have a piece of anti-squeak welting on the steering column clamp (lower half of the column), and intend to use a same piece of cotton webbing on the upper half of the column where it meets the dash. Fitting undefined metal shims (as Wes said are correct) is a bridge too far for me without photo or more information to go on.

Anyway, the two slotted (for adjustment) mounting holes in the gear box body and the welting seem to take care of proper vertical alignment of the column, when clamping it in, before tightening the gearbox up to the frame as the TM calls for.

The welting doesn't fully take care of lateral (or horizontal) alignment of the gear box to the frame, and I ask this question because there seems to be a gap between the box and the frame when the column is clamped in and the gear box mounting bolts are being tightened (possible binding).

Then I notice in the ORD9, page 268, a SPACER, steering to frame bolt, G740-7375339, WO-647089, quantity 1 each. No other description or dimensions provided. The quantity of only 1 seems odd, but hard to tell when I can't see where it's supposed to be used. No joy in the M38 Reference Guide or forum searches.

Does anybody know if this SPACER is used to laterally align the box to the frame once the column is clamped in? The Ross TM emphasizes the importance of not binding the column in any way, horizontal or vertical. The ORD9 doesn't provide any dimensions for this SPACER, and says it's the only one on the entire truck. The TM9-8012 doesn't mention it (and strangely, nothing about column alignment or binding) at all.

I'd appreciate any experience or advice you might have about this SPACER.

While I'm at it. listed right above this SPACER in the ORD9 is a SHIM, washer type, 15/32 ID, 1-1/4 OD, 0.0097 thick (housing mounting), quantity "as many as required". The thickness dimension seems odd to me ---- .0097 is pretty thin. Any idea where this SHIM or SHIMS are used? Like the spacer mentioned above, I can't find it in any TM except the ORD9.

Very hard for a driver like me to tell if these parts are critical for a safe steering system...... as always, thanks!

By the way, my horn switch rod went in and adjusted perfectly (switch tested electrically A-OK with ohmmeter). Big help to get the crud out of the tube I guess.
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51
1954 M100 Dunbar Kapple M750759 dod 1-54

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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