Archive | Steering RSS feed for this section

Mast bearing replacement

13 Oct

Got the new mast bearing and steering wheel on Monday and installed it all on Tuesday. Went with the repopped version over NOS for a couple reasons…
One, the wire. NOS is cloth covered and is likely to dry out quicker than the alternative and become brittle. Besides, the rest of my replacement harness is plastic covered and no one will ever see this part. …he who judges shall get the f out and walk.
Two, I was concerned the plastic insulator part might also be brittle or become brittle more quickly than a newer piece.

Turns out there is no discernible difference between the original and the repop other than the plastic covered wire. Materials are otherwise identical and the insulator part that I thought was plastic turned out to be a rubber (or silicone) material.

Installation was a breeze. Rubbed a bit of grease on the jacket and it slid right into the column and the wheel went on without issue.

I had a ton of pictures of the reassembly process but the microSD card in my phone crapped out and I lost them all. Good news is, I drove the truck all week and messing with disassembling and reassembling the horn button has inspired me to get moving on restoring the original 6v noise maker.


About the new steering wheel… I ended up with three wheels from two different vendors (both in Missouri). The short story is that I ordered the black paintable wheel from a vendor in Kansas City, MO then found a pre-painted version for less from another vendor located in Independence, MO so I ordered that one too with the intention of returning the first one.

The black one was gorgeous! Perfectly smooth, super glossy, fit the mast splines well and the horn contact dropped right in. The painted one … horrible. Looked like the casting was trimmed by a 12yr old with a straight razor and the paint shot by a blind man in a dust storm, the splines didn’t line up well and the horn contact didn’t even come close to fitting. I called and they promptly sent another claiming the first one was a fluke. The second one was better. Not as nice as the black one but good enough that it looks good on the truck and clean up shouldn’t be much more than a bit of sanding and a repaint if I should ever become so anal retentive that it bothers me. The horn contact still had to be significantly reworked to fit.

I had several photos documenting the wheels, installation and a few of the cab with it installed but those too were lost when the SD card died.


Having nothing at all to do with the truck. Due to the tragic loss of so many amazing and most likely award winning photographs, I promptly went to the local “Shack” and purchased a brand spankin new 32gb SanDisk Ultra microSD card.

I leave you with a stunning picture of the aforementioned card.  :)



4 Oct

Tank is in, everything is good …then the steering mast bearing takes a crap.

Took a bit of work to remove but I got it out and I’m waiting on a new one which should arrive by Monday.

I’m lucky the actual bearing assembly only broke loose from the mast jacket. It coulda separated and dumped all the ball bearings down the column into the steering box!












What I believe happened was that the material between the jacket and bearing assembly deteriorated and the tension of the spring pushed the bearing portion out of the jacket over time.

Happy early Xmas to me!

4 Dec

Drove to Indiana to pick up one of Nostalgia Sid’s 4″ drop axles from fellow Bolter, Dan S. While there, I took his 49’s tired old 216 off his hands along with it’s three speed transmission and steering box.

2011-12-03 15.09.46

Technically this is as plug n’ play as it gets with this type of thing. Mount the axle, connect the brake line, bleed the brakes and bolt on the wheels. Having come off Dan’s ’49 3100 though, the brakes are the Huck type while Bessie, being a ’51, has the later self adjusting Bendix type. From what I understand the Huck brakes are prone to fade more so than the Bendix type, and require more frequent periodic adjustment. Parts are a bit more expensive too. Lucky for me they only have a couple hundred miles on them after being rebuilt. I figure I’ll use them until they need another rebuilding or prove to be a pain, after which I’ll look into rebuilding my front Bendix drums or doing a disc conversion. Either way, I’m replacing the single reservoir master cylinder with a dual.

Plug for Nostalgia Sid –
Two plugs for Dan – –