Section F (23/04/09 )


F.1    General description and data
F.2    Steering wheel removal
F.3    Steering column removal
F.4    Removal of steering box, idler, dampers and track rods
F.5    Steering adjustments
F.6    Track arrangement
F.7    To adjust the track
F.8    Lubrication


Sabra Handbook Steering Plate 11




The steering mechanism is of the rack and pinion type, movement being transmitted from the steering wheel and column, through the steering box and the idler levers to the track rods. Adjustments are made at the steering box and track rods. 

The l5 in. diameter wooden rimmed steering wheel is secured to the wheel boss by five countersunk screws; the boss is attached to the steering column by a castle nut with a plain washer, in addition, the boss and column are keyed.   The column is supported by, and rotates in. a rubber guide with a phosphor-bronze bush, at the fascia panel and by an aluminium screwed plate on tbe engine side of the panel moulding. A flange on the end of the column connects with a silentbloc flexible coupling, to the steering box pinion flange, the assembly being secured by two bolts and selflocking nuts.

In both the right and left hand drives, the components are similar, only the position of the steering box differs. On the right hand drive, the steering box is secured by three bolts and nuts to a bracket welded to the chassis forward frame and is mounted above and to the right of the steering idler. On the left hand drive, the steering box is secured by three bolts and nuts direct to the chassis frame and is mounted below and to the left of the steering idler.

On the right hand drive, the steering box rack end is drilled horizontally, to be bolted to the idler link, and in addition, is drilled and tapped vertically. Provision is made for a steering telescopic damper, one end is bolted to the left hand side of the chassis, the other end is bolted to the vertical tapping in the rack end.

The idler, mounted centrally, fore and aft, is secured by four bolts and nuts to a chassis cross member. The idler body retains the shaft, rotating in oilite bushes, to which the idler levers are splined. One lever is bolted to the idler link positioned above the idler, and the second lever, the drop arm, is double-ended to accommodate the track rod ends.

On the left hand drive, the steering box rack has an eye end which is bolted to the idler link. The link is of U channel fabrication with a welded right-angled attachment; the second lever, the drop arm is also bolted to the idler link, the track rods etc. being identical to the right hand drive version. The steering telescopic damper is bolted to the link right-angled attachment, the other end of the damper being bolted to the right hand chassis frame.

The track rods are Thompson type, tubular in construction with 'E' dual type ball joints at the steering arm end.   The rods are adjustable either end, have right and left hand threads and are fitted with locknuts.

Lubrication of the steering is via grease nipples at the following points.

Steering box, two nipples, idler, one nipple, track rods, one nipple at each end of each track rod. 

It is recommende that these points be lubricated every 2,000 miles (3.200 kilometres).



Remove the steering wheel cap from the wheel centre by inserting a lever and gently easing the cap out. Unscrew plain nut from the end of the steering column and lift off steering wheel and boss, collect Woodruff key from the steering column keyway.



(Right Hand Drive)

With the steering wheel removed to gain access to the flexible coupling and to facilitate column ------water bottle from its mounting.  unscrew and remove the two bolts, nuts and washers securing the column flange flexible coupling and steering pinion flange.  The column can now be eased forward from its support and guide bush until it is completely withdrawn.

(Left Hand Drive)

To enable complete withdrawal of the column, the steering box will have to be removed (see steering box removal below) before the column can be eased from its support and guide bush. The removal sequence, excluding steering box removal is identical to the right hand drive version. 


.Sabra Handbook Steering Pic 02




To remove the steering box (right or left hand drive), flexible coupling previously disconnected, remove bolt securing rack end to idler link and disconnect the telescopic damper from the rack end (right hand drive only). Unscrew three bolts and nuts securing the steering box to the mounting bracket (right hand) or chassis frame (left hand drive) and lift off the steering box.

To remove the idler, with the steering box previously removed, disconnect track rods from idler drop arm double end. Disconnect telescopic damper front idler bracket (left hand drive) and unscrew the four bolts and nuts securing the idler to the chassis cross member and lift off idler, complete with idler link.

To remove the steering telescopic dampers, previously disconnected at the steering box rack end or idler link, unscrew the bolt retaining the damper to the chassis side frame and lift off the damper.

To remove the track rods, not previously disconnected at the idler drop arm, remove split pin and nut from the track rod and steering arm attachment. Exert pressure upwards on track rod, support the steering arm end and tap opposite side sharply releasing the track rod from the steering arm.




Adjustments are carried out at the steering box and track rods.

For slack or loose steering, slacken off the two selflocking nuts with sleeve retaining plate. Tap eccentric sleeve peg to turn sleeve (thus taking up any backlash between rack and pinion). Tighten self-locking nuts. Pinion end play (column end play) is taken up on the pinion adjusting nut on the steering box casing. Should there be any play in the rack, the damper plug on the underside of the steering box should be removed and the cup springs, spring pads and shims inspected. To increase compression against the track, remove shims as required from damper plug.

Should there be play on the idler shaft, renew the two oilite busbes. Check on end splines of shaft and mating splines of idler arms. Renew if defective. Should the steering column be bent, it must be renewed.



The 'toe-in' of front road wheels (0,218 in.) is set by two track rod tubes which run to the front stub-axle steering arms, from either side of the central steering-idler box. The idler box drop arms impart turning push-pull effort to the axles. !!Elsewhere is stated: toe-in 1/16 in or 1,5mm !!



Sabra Handbook Steering Pic 03




1.    Jack up the front of the car.

2.    Free the locknuts at each end of the two track-rod tubes.
The tube ends are contra-threaded, left and right hand.

3.    Rotate the track-rod tubes by hand, or pipe-grip-forwards at the top to reduce track width, rearwards at the top to increase track width.

4.    Equalize the settings of the two track-rod tubes by checking the thread lengths left in view. To check that equal adjustment has been obtained, throw the steering wheel alternately to full right, then to full left lock, and see that full travel is obtained either way.
Note that there are stop bolts, lock nut retained, fitted to the radius suspension arms at each side.

5.    Tighten the locknuts.

'Toe-In' Adjustment

Because of the effect of weight on the attitude of the front wheels, the car should be loaded (two persons or equivalent) to all up weight, before making final adjustments. 

Checking for Wear

When excessive wear has taken place between the swivel pins and bushes, it may be apparent in uneven wear of the front tyres.  To check for excessive wear, jack up the front of the car until the wheels are clear of the ground, then, taking hold of the top or bottom centres of the wheels, rock them about their fore and aft axes; this will disclose visible movement between the stub-axle forks and the ends of the radius suspension arms, if wear has taken place.



To Replace Swivel Pins and Busbes

The following procedure should be adopted for the replacement of swivel pins and bushes on either side of the car:

  1. Jack up one side of the car.

  2. Remove front wheel, for ease of access. Disconnect the hydraulic brake hose at the hub union, using 7/16 inch and 9/16 inch U.N.F. spanners.

  3. Take out the two steering arm bolts, again using 7/16 inch and 9/16 inch U.N.F. spanners, with the lockplate, located beneath the bottom stub-axle fork and remove the steering arm.

  4. Remove the swivel pin (top) dust cap.

  5. Undo the cotter-pin retaining nut (1/2 inch U.N.F.) which projects at the front of the suspension arm end, until the threaded end of the cotter-pin no longer protrudes from the nut. Tap the face of the nut to drive the cotter-pin rearwards and, when free, remove the nut and washer and withdraw the cotter-pin.

  6. Select a round brass drift, slightly smaller in diameter than the swivel pin and drive the pin downwards, completely through the stub-axle forks and suspension arm end. There is a thrust washer between the lower stub-axle fork and the suspension arm which will now be freed.
    Having been freed from the suspension assembly by the removal of the swivel pin the stub-axle should be clamped firmly in the workbench vice before attempting the replacement of worn fork-bushes. 


7.        Remove the two front grease nipples from the stub-axle forks and, with the aid of a piece of steel tube slightly smaller in diameter than the stub-axle fork bushes, drive the worn bushes out of the forks. (If these are difficult to shift, heat the forks a little with a blowlamp).

8.        Fit replacement bushes, heating the stub-axle forks if necessary and taking care that the helix aperture lines up with the grease nipple inlet holes inside each bush. Refit the grease nipples.

9.        Check the replacement swivel pins in the newly fitted bushes ease the busbes with an expanding parallel reamer until the pin is a slide fit.

10.    Reassemble, working back through these points.
Note that the swivel pin can be inserted from the top and tapped down into position. A new thrust washer should be fitted between the lower stub-axle fork and the suspension arm. To locate the swivel pin flat for the admission of the securing cotter-pin. it should be noted that the top of the swivel pin is drilled and tapped, so that a 3/8 inch U.N.F. bolt can be inserted and the pin turned until secured. When the swivel pin has been secured this bolt should be removed. Grease swivel pins and bushes liberally. Refit the hydraulic brake hose and bleed the system as necessary.



There are five lubrication nipples in the steering idler and track rod system and these require periodic greasing. Two are on the steering arm/track joints, two on the idler arm/track joints, and one is beneath the steering idler top mounting pivot.

Note: The shape of the rack and pinion (as shown in the figure on top of the page) is not correct.

This is what they should look like:

Sabra Handbook Steering Pic 04


Common Technics