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MG MGB Technical - Late steering column ...

... with the flange at the bottom secured to the toe-board with three bolts which are part of the alignment of the column and rack shafts.

Is this flange attached to the column? And if so how? The parts catalogues indicate they are an assembly, but mine is completely detached and just fell off. There seems little likelihood it could be used for alignment of the column as there is at least 1/8" clearance all the way round between the column tube and the flange. There is a ring welded to the tube near the bottom, which the flange can butt up against as if it is supposed to be welded to it, but that puts the flange a good half an inch away from the toe-board when the pointers on the shafts are correctly aligned. In any case in and out movement is part of the alignment process, if the flange were permanently fixed to the column tube that couldn't happen, so it must move. But as I say the flange is not a separate part in the catalogues, only a rubber sealing gasket that goes between the flange and the toe-board.
PaulH Solihull

Paul I"m building a new GT shell and I have two steering columns in the workshop which have the bottom flange floating as you describe. I"ll inspect them in detail tomorrow and report in the evening Jim.
jim soutar

Hi Paul:

I have a spare late model steering column and am looking at it now. The upper mounting that bolts to the support under the dash is spot welded to the tube that holds the actual steering shart. This mount has three mounting points where the bolts fix the column to the support.

The bottom that bolts to the toe-board is steel and is able to come off of the steering tube assembly - it can slide back and forth and turn. It has a rubber gasket to go between it and the toe-board. There is a flange at the bottom of the tube that prevents unlimited rearward travel.

There is also a rubber bush between the steel tube and lower mounting flange.

The whole assembly looks like it is made to slide forwards and backwards to assist in alignment.

Let me know if you want pictures and I can upload them for you.
B Dubuc

Thanks for that.

A rubber bush between the tube and the flange is the only thing that makes any sense with the rest of the parts. I don't have that, and neither is it shown in the parts catalogues, just the (apparently) flat gasket between plate and toe-board. It would actually make more sense if that bush were attached to the gasket as a flange, but never mind.

It's been said that the toe-board plate is used to align the column and rack shafts, but that is not correct. You leave it floating until you have corrected the horizontal alignment by pivoting the column sideways on its three bolts, and corrected the vertical alignment with shims on the column bolts and the rack bolts as required. The bottom plate and gasket is simply there to provide a seal against water and fumes getting into the cabin, and is the last thing to be tightened.

Any road up, as they say round these parts, it's back on and aligned now.
PaulH Solihull

Apologies for late posting. Both my columns are as described above with the bottom flange floating on a moulded rubber bush. Jim
jim soutar

On the subject of the columns then, Although they are 'Fixed', can one drop the column a bit and then adjust all? I had always wondered this as I am a short ar..!! And peering over the steering wheel of the GT sometimes has people smirking, very unkind! Mike
J.M. Doust

On the late cars with colapsible columns there is a small amount of movement on the bolt holes just under the dash. To gain more movement would mean shearing the plastic pins in the inner column and then sliding the two tubes together to take the steering wheel closer to the dash. To reinstate the inner columns, redrill the two tubes in the new position and reaffix with 1/8" alluminium rivets. If you just want to lower the whole assembly nearer to your knees, add spacers between column and dash to the three bolts above your knees. Loosen rack when you do this and check column alighnment and reshim rack mountings as necessary.
jim soutar

You would only need to shear and redrill the column shafts if you wanted the wheel closer to you or further away from you. For just lowering it you only need to add more spacers (should be one at each bolt already) between the three column and body brackets, but you do have to check and adjust the alignment carefully afterwards, with additional shims between the above brackets (probably just the top two that are slightly closer to the driver if lowering the column) or the rack mounts as required. You really do need the proper alignment gauges to do this with the later energy absorbing columns, as with these the whole column has to be moved in and out to get the correct spacing between the cut-outs in the two shafts so the UJ bolts will go through (or the rack bolts will go in, which ever you do last). The earlier columns with a bracket at the top and another nearer the bottom have a sliding shaft which automatically moves to the correct position when you insert the bolts to UJ and rack mounts.

But if you are short, why not replace the seat foam, or add extra layers above the webbing, and be able to see out of the screen as well :o)
PaulH Solihull

This thread was discussed between 16/01/2011 and 19/01/2011

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