Supporting the steering shaft

One of the many problems encountered when building a Robin hood, and probably other kit cars that use the Sierra steering column, is supporting the lower part of the column. Ford have a bearing type of set up, that doesn't like being at the angle that we want it to be at, modifying it for using in the Robin Hood, is at best a bodge job.

One of our members (Dave Castle) saw an article by Mike Gouldsborough on the SG7's website, for an excellent method of engineering the answer, by using a flexible bearing assembly.

This consists of 2 plates that hold the actual bearing, which is 'rounded' on the O/D, so acts very much like a rose joint.

The Ford plastic bush, that fits over the triangular part of the column, is slightly (not a lot!) too big to go into the bearing, so needs reducing on the O/D to fit. I found it easy enough to sort, by gripping a fairly coarse file in the vice, grip the bush with a 12mm nut & bolt with a couple of washers, then work it on the file with the drill spinning.

Keep testing to see if it'll go into the bearing, you just want to be able to push it in with thumb pressure. Once in, nip up the 2 grub screws.

There you go! belting job! and as you can see it doesn't need to be square to the shaft or anything. I would say that there's no need for the special grip washer to keep the bush in place, as it's held with the grub screws now.

You will need to know accurately just where the column should come through the bulkhead, as you need a 2¼" dia hole to accommodate the 'dished' part of the plates. Alternatively, you could mount the bearing onto some ¼" ally plate, the you'd only need a hole approx 1½" dia.

Note also, the plates should NOT sandwich the bulkhead, but should both bolt to each other, and when they do, they tighten up on the outer of the bearing, holding it in it's final place, so leave the bolts slightly slack until ready.

The bearing was obtained from:-------

Cost was £10-20p  (jan 2006) plus £2 p&p.         Check for prices now!!

Part number:  SLFL25

Revolution seals Bearings ltd.

Tel No:  01923 858385