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Steering Column Shaft Too Low Through Bulkhead!!


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Spitfire 1500 full rebuild. Refurbished the steering column and rack - new column bushes and rack bushes and setup. All installed and setup really good, nice tight steering with new UJ type knuckle. However, the steering column shaft is too low as it passes through the bulkhead rubber seal. The shaft sits at the bottom of the bulkhead hole and I cannot line up the two seal securing screws into the clips, screws sit too low also - see pictures. The body has been off a respray but I took note and pictures of the body/mounting washers. There seemed to be a few varying of spacer kits from suppliers. All the original washers where single aluminium or rubber, except the bulkhead ones which had a single ali washer with a rubber washer on top. I replaced like for like from the kit, from Canleys. Everything looked good with body panel and bonnet gaps fairly good. I did not take out the steering column for the sprayers but everything fitted back in O.K, top and bottom clamps holding really firm. But I am stuck with the steering column too low and the seal cannot be fitted correctly, as shown in the pictures. 

So if I cannot adjust in any way the top clamp and the column shaft looks inline with the steering rack splined spigot, what has changed, or is wrong? I undid the steering rack U clamps and checked the new bushes to see if the rack could be moved up a bit. It can be rotated slightly in the bushes, but that does not lift the spigot/shaft much at all. So the only change on the passage through bulkhead seal would be if the front body was lowered a bit, ie, by removing one of the two mounting washers. I did check on my other competition bitsa Spitfire mk2/3 and it has only the single ali spacer at the front bulkhead position. But as I have mounted the body/chassis kit exactly as it came off, surely the double washer at the bulkhead must be right. 

Having had Spits for just coming up to 50 years, I have never come across this situation in the past with body off jobs. So any ideas anybody, or anyone come across this issue as well. It seems an issue I cannot work out. Save my sanity please!

Many thanks.

 

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Pete, thanks for the quick response.

Yes that could affect it, but I connected the column shaft through on to the steering knuckle and then set the lower support in it's slots. That way the shaft is straight, I would need to force up the lower support a long way in it's slots to correct the level in the bulkhead seal, then the steering would be very tight I guess with such a bow in the shaft.

So no round of applause yet!

Thanks.

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The fact that you've raised the front of the body with spacers might affect it - slightly - can you post photos of this area around the front outriggers? It may have had a spacer when dismantled but that's no indication that it requires one in the same place now, so we may be able to spot something from photos of the area. It's the only thing I can think of, as the other end of the column is fixed and non-adjustable. 

(You haven't fitted the steering rack upside down? ..   :)  )

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Pictures of the original ali/rubber shims on the chassis after the body removed. Plus current ali and rubber shims under front bulkhead. The pictures make the body look a horrendous distance above the outriggers, but it is about enough to get fingers between body and chassis. I replaced new for old, like for like and at the moment the panel gaps are very good, just the steering column through the bulkhead seal issue. I can try it without the rubber washer, or with just a thin rubber pad but it must have an effect on the panel gaps, or at least the bonnet gaps.IMG_0982.thumb.JPG.228e8acf23dfb21ef2541da9140f8a58.JPGIMG_0988.thumb.JPG.5d76cc84ee165c0717ce1fc9f78ef19a.JPG

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11 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

i would say  in general you dont normally have  rubber and metal spacer on the  two front mounts   just the metal ones , 

same as over the diff .

all others one rubber one washer or whatever is required to line things up 

Pete

Rubber only at the front; I found this the hard way on the Herald. Solid ones are above the diff as you say, but nowhere else.

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Checked my dismantling pictures and I had ali spacers above the diff, rubber washers at the chassis waist points that each take a inboard seatbelt mount. Then as I stated, bulkhead had an ali mount + rubber washer. As I mentioned previously, my bitsa racer, as in my profile picture, only has one ali spacer at the front. But I would always think it best to put things back as the manufacturer set them up, in this case spacer + rubber washer. I thought I would buy the chassis mount kit from one of the very few old school suppliers that you can still rely on, ie, Chic Doig to make sure I got the appropriate bits in the kit. The attached picture shows only a pair of rubber washers, so I reused an original pair for the waist mounts.

So as I need to move on with this issue I will try with removing the front rubber washers and observe how much that helps the steering shaft positioning and check how it affects the panel gaps. 

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1 hour ago, Pete Lewis said:

here you go  613178  see oe parts manual below

613178 PAD-BODY (ALI) -

spity bodymnt006.pdf

Different from the Herald then, my mistake - apologies. (the reason why my Herald roof wouldn't fit is because I put the metal washers at the front as well as the diff....)

Interestingly enough all of the kits I've seen just now have only a solid washer at the front, not both solid and rubber.

 

 

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i would have thought the design was each tub needs a solid fix somewhere  or the whole door gap bonnet fit would be forever on the change as the tubs shift about on the rubbers 

but its odd the Vit6 parts only shows 2 off   makes little sense from an engineering point 

there again good old triumph surprising how often the WSM or parts  manuals  manage to leave out or forget the one crucial bit of a clue we  strive to need                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Pete                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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27 minutes ago, Pete Lewis said:

i would have thought the design was each tub needs a solid fix somewhere  or the whole door gap bonnet fit would be forever on the change as the tubs shift about on the rubbers 

but its odd the Vit6 parts only shows 2 off   makes little sense from an engineering point 

there again good old triumph surprising how often the WSM or parts  manuals  manage to leave out or forget the one crucial bit of a clue we  strive to need                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Pete                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

That's why my Herald is now once again in bits... the solid mounts went on the bulkhead and soft mounts above the diff... and the roof wouldn't fit... simply because I was using my Spitfire as reference back in the 1990s.

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I knew it would not bring enough difference, but I have removed the rubber washers and just left the ali spacer at the front bulkhead to see what affect it might make. It does only give about a 3/16" improvement, no where near enough and of course as expected it does affect the panel and bonnet gaps. Just doesn't make sense why the steering shaft is so low in the bulkhead aperture. 
 
The rack is set right and the bottom column support is fully loosened off, not affecting anything. The top column support is a two piece sold support that cannot be adjusted up or down as it bolts solid to the under dash framing. I suppose it is possible to get the top half of this mount machined down 1/4", or maybe more, that would bring the steering shaft higher up. It is ludicrous to consider this, but I just cannot work out why I have this situation, what has changed. 
 
 

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