Steering Gear

Discussions related to engines, transmissions, rear axles, suspension & steering.
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007johnyork
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:10 pm

Steering Gear

Post by 007johnyork » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:03 pm

I just discovered that the bearing on the intermediate arm (I think that is the correct name) is worn out and must be replaced. It is located under the radiator and radiator shell of my '38 Six. Is there any way to do it without removing the hood, fenders, grill, etc. If there is no other way, what is the best way to proceed?

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Steering Gear

Post by Dave Czirr » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:13 pm

I believe what you're referring to is the "center link" and lousy maintenance (read lack of greasing) over the years has made that a rather common problem. With a bit of difficulty you can remove the radiator w/o removing the fenders, grille or complete nose, of course you've go to remove the fan first, then the water pump; your choice which is easier. I've never actually worked on the center link but it seems everyone who has one of those has - I guess parts are available though they may not match the OEM parts in design or quality. If you actually need some detailed help with it, let us know and I can get you a contact person who has been there, done that.

PS 7/31: The person I spoke with who had done this job some years back confirms the comment by Phils38cpe that the link is serviced from below. He recalls two caged open ball bearings which he replaced, and fitted the unit with a grease fitting.

007johnyork
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Steering Gear

Post by 007johnyork » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:00 pm

Yes! By all means put me in contact with someone who has been there, done that! If this is possible without removing the entire front end it will be tremendous!

Phils38cpe
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:17 pm

Re: Steering Gear

Post by Phils38cpe » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:23 pm

I was just under my 38 coupe looking at the center link and I was able to reach both the nut and bolt holding the center link in without removing the radiator. Now I don't know if the link has been worked on before but the nut was on the top which means I could pull the bolt out the bottom and remove the link. If I were to pull the link out I would probably make a wench to be able to reach the top nut more easily.

flackmaster
Posts: 230
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Steering Gear

Post by flackmaster » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:17 am

yes, this can definitely be replaced without removing the nose. Google 1938 Packard Restoration and you can see it done online from the DIY network. Note that part of the benchwork shows a 37 assembly (the caged assembly), but the 38 setup (arm and bearings) are the same. If you need parts, I currently have a NOS arm on ebay (the wear is at the ball stud into the drag link), and I have replacement bearings as well.
David Flack flackmaster@sbcglobal.net

39SixSedanMan
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:14 am

Re: Steering Gear

Post by 39SixSedanMan » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:56 am

Regarding the DIY restoration of the 38 120 Coupe, Mark Lambert shows also that the original, open ball bearing design can be replaced with a modern, sealed bearing, which, once the dimensions are known, could be sourced from any bearing distributor for a reasonable amount. I have not checked, but perhaps this is what the big Packard vendors offer.

Phils38cpe
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:17 pm

Re: Steering Gear

Post by Phils38cpe » Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:04 am

I met a guy at a local cruise night and he told me that besides the bearing going bad it is also common for the holes that the main bolt(pin) goes through to become elongated. His fix was to weld a washer to the rad support. This action would require removal of the radiator.

troquet
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Steering Gear

Post by troquet » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:13 am

I too have a '38 Club Coupe with a steering crank problem. I have the engine out of the car so access is easy. My question is...Does any one or can anyone supply me with pencil drawing of the steering crank connection to the frame? It appears that someone has substituted pieces and I would like to reassemble it to original as near as I can. My bearings were completely shot and apparently the arm was rotating on the center bolt. I never noticed any steering problems prior to this and just removed the crank to clean things up. As I said the center bolt is a grade 5 3/4" bolt which I don't believe is original along with flat washers that may not original. The bearings are marked ND (New Departure?) 924. Also any comments on removing the bearing races. Any help would be appreciated.

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