Two-Tooth Steering Column

One day while I was at Snyder’s Antique Auto Parts, a fellow asked me how hard it was to adjust the steering box.  It seems he was rebuilding a two-tooth box.  I told him, “There’s nothing to it.  Just follow the directions in the Model A Ford Mechanics Handbook.”  This brought laughs from those in the showroom, but there is a very understandable chapter on assembly and adjustment of the two-tooth box on pages Sect. 1-290 through Sect. 1-305.

If you just want to tighten up your steering, you can make three of the four adjustments without removing the steering column.

First adjustment:  Start by loosening the upper race jam nut on shaft end play bolt.  Tighten end play bolt until snug and then back off 1/8 turn.  Then tighten the jam nut and upper race locking bolt.

Second adjustment:  Start by loosening the jam nut on sector shaft end play screw.  With a stubby screwdriver, tighten sector end play screw and then tighten jam nut.

Third adjustment:  This is the most critical and delicate.  Jack the front end of your car up until both front tires clear.  Spin steering wheel to make sure it spins free.  Then with a 5/8” wrench, loosen the four housing cover nuts about one turn each.  With a 7/8” wrench, turn the eccentric adjusting sleeve nut clockwise to tighten.  Careful, a little bit goes a long way with this adjustment.  Spin the steering wheel lock to lock in place, making sure you don’t have a high spot.  If you do, you will know it.  Turn it counterclockwise to loosen.  With the steering aimed straight, wiggle the steering wheel while watching the front tires for play.  When satisfied, tighten the four housing nuts and recheck your adjustments.

This tech tip was originally provided by AJ Pennington and printed in the June 2002 “A” Quail Call.

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