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Steering arm and drag link
#1
The rebuild of my 1936 Two Seater (Opal) is progressing very slowly, mainly due to lack of space I'm limiting myself to removing small sub assemblies for refurbishing and putting aside for when I have the space to remove the body to enable me to tackle the chassis.
My latest "mini project" is the steering gear.
If I am correct, I may have an example of a problem which I read about in the green book, I think the incorrect steering arm has been fitted and the drag link tube has been "modified" in order to make it clear the chassis.
As I am a beginner in the world of Sevens I would be grateful if somebody would confirm that this steering arm is not the correct one for a low frame model? It was pointing up when bolted to the hub assembly.

[Image: Steering-arm.jpg]

And that the drag link tube should be straight?

[Image: Drag-Link.jpg]

There is damage to the drag link tube which I suspect is the reason it was bent in the first place.

[Image: Drag-link-Damage.jpg]

I suspect I can correct the bend in the tube but guess I will be looking for a servicable low frame steering arm?

I am also a bit concerned that the steering drop arm has been twisted, I haven't yet removed the steering box but it looks like the axis of the drag link ball pin is not parrallel to the axis of the drop arm shaft, I guess it's possible that the tube was bent in situ and as a result the drop arm has been deformed at the same time. If this is the case is it possible to straighten the drop arm safely?


I would be very grateful for any advice or comments.

Many thanks,    Phil.
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#2
The hub steering arm is located by the flat on the flange. It can likley be pushed down somewhat while tightening. Before spending time on that arm I trust you have read all the material on failed arms. Well covered on the supplier Cochcrane website.
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#3
Hi Phil,

Working on sub-assemblies is a good approach if your timescale is drawn out. Far less opportunity to loose things or forget how it all goes together!

The drag link should indeed be straight.

Replacement steering arms are available (I think in two different patterns) and you should change it anyway - most originals are fractured on the inside of the curve and will eventually break. Both my cars have new ones fitted even though the originals "looked" ok.

My guess is all these items were damaged in a minor accident.

Anyone any thoughts on the drop arm? I'd be inclined to change it.

Peter.
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#4
A new arm would certainly bring peace of mind. If you plan to keep it have it crack tested on the inside radius (to be frank, I'm not a huge fan of dye penetrant crack test kits, close inspection with a magnifying glass is nearly as good).

I think given the bend, the groove and the corrosion I would keep an eye out for a better drag link second hand or even fabricate a new one from some steel tube.
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#5
Many thanks to you all for your suggestions and input, I'll definitely look for a replacement drag link tube, there may be something at Beaulieu this weekend, fingers crossed. I've crack tested the steering arm and looked very closely with high magnification and nothing showed up.
I'll wait until I've removed and inspected the steering box before ordering parts as I may well need some for that too.

Thanks again,    ..... Phil.
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#6
My crack tested steering arm was fitted 20yrs ago but with a brace as it was for competition use.   Terry.


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#7
30 years ago I fitted a crack tested and braced steering arm, almost identical to that in picture posted by Terrytuned, in theory its a great idea and certainly has to be better than not fitting a brace. But the best part of 20 years later I removed it again after finding cracks beginning to propagate on the internal radius, cracked or not I now always fit one of David's arms to my own cars. I have heard some say yes we hear that arms do crack but when have you ever heard of on breaking in two whilst driving, in honesty the answer is never, but I don't want to be the first reporting such an incident. I absolutely hate scaremongering and hearsay around Austin 7 and often speak out against such, that said whatever you do it is without doubt important to periodically check this component, and the information here, to my mind, can not be repeated often enough.
Black Art Enthusiast
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