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How to adjust Steering Wheel Play

by Takeo De Meter

Last week, Annette told me that she did not very much enjoy the 1/4 turn play in the steering of her Stage One. I enjoyed watching her struggle, of course, but in the end it got a bit hairy when we were test driving a new road book on very narrow and slippery lanes with deeeeeep, bottomless ditches on both sides. So we decided to do something about it.

Steering box adjustment in a Series III is very easy and straightforward. First, you try to locate the steering box cover under the wing. One usually finds it under the mud, somewhere near the footwell. Steel brush and/or high pressure cleaner recommended. Ok, so now you have got most of the shit out of the way and it looks like this on a LHD Stage One:

Next part of the fun is to locate the 3 M8 bolts that hold the cover in place and to remove them. The cover will then fall off by itself. Hint: one nut is located inside the vehicle, on the bulkhead under the pedal box, another nut is located under and left of the brake servo.



Once you have removed the cover, you will see this: a very dirty and oily steering box.

The adjustment itself is even easier than removing the cover. First put the wheels straight. Then take the steering wheel rim between thumb and index finger and feel for the "play", so that you have an idea of what you started with. Next, undo the large locking nut (24 mm) and, holding the locking nut steady, screw in the adjusting nut (11mm) a few turns. Then, check for play again and repeat the procedure until all play is eliminated. When all play is gone, you have tightened the adjusting nut too much and then go back a bit, otherwise your steering box may lock up in the first tight curve you encounter.

Tighten 24mm locking nut well. Replace steering box cover (have fun).
That is all there is to it.


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