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Steering Overhaul
#1
Hello all, I'm currently overhauling the steering on my '34 Box Saloon, and I'm just thinking about the steering arm and what's best practice in terms of potential cracks. Is it generally regarded as acceptable to crack test and refit if all appears well, or should I be replacing it with a new one as a matter of course? Thanks!
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#2
The replacement steering arm is a more than worthwhile "fit and forget" replacement. Not cheap, but it's reflected in the quality of the product. I replaced the one on my RP earlier this year after discovering the original was cracked (and I didn't even have to use dye penetrant to find it)

[Image: 20190727-115615.jpg]
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#3
Assuming you are referring to the steering arm on the RH hub, cracks progress slowly. If none can be detected) usually in the inside of the curve and the radius of the flange) and is not obviously bent, OK. I have little faith in detection methods which do not involve magnetic field. The flange must not bear primarily on the vertical centre line and should be tightened firmly. If polishing the radii care necessary to preserve seating of the flange.
Prudent to check all the arms.
And strictly avoid tugging on the steering. If wedged in a parking space best to get out and pull the wheels from lock to lock.
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#4
Inspecting it is the least you should do. Have the paint off and clean it so you can see it properly. All crack testing methods have their 'blind spots', but a magnifying glass is a good start.
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#5
I have no relationship with David Cochrane other than buying a steering arm from him as almost the first thing to do after buying a Seven. Certainly every car I know that sees even the slowest and most basic competition use has one of his utterly safe and trustworthy steering arms.
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#6
Entirely agree with Steve Kay, and not expensive at £75 .
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#7
Without doubt, if you have any suspicions at all there might be a crack,  replace it. It could save your life.  £75 is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Smiley
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#8
Times seem to change. Some time ago I got a helluva hammering for drawing attention to the propensity of arms to fail and for the recommendation to crack test. Now we have folks recommending replacement of even OK arms as a matter of course!
Some arms would be Austin replacements. And some owners probably treated gently as was the teaching years ago.
I am always amazed how the often modest arms of moderns tolerate habitual lock to lock turning with the vehicle stationary.
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#9
Thanks all, sounds like I'm best getting a new one ordered, and I can always keep the current one as a good spare if it does turn out to be uncracked.
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#10
Funny memory you have there Bob, there is nothing new said by anyone in this thread. David arms have been recommend by many since their inception, the only conversation contrary to this which I recall was when one well known contributor suggested that even when cracked the arm will not snap like a carrot but fail gradually. There may have also been one or two who questioned if anyone has first hand experience of an arm actually failing in use. Personally I have experienced an arm develop cracks even after having a triangulating brace fitted, I also have experience of one of Davids fitted to my race car when it rolled four times at high speed the arm was bent almost double but intact! I also managed to straighten it again without it breaking or cracking, although that said I would never risk using it again.
Black Art Enthusiast 
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