Manaul Steering box ball bearings


New Member
I have a problem with my manual steering box. I have been replacing seeping gaskets and accidently push the drop arm causing ball bearings to drop out of place. I have stripped the box and am about to rebuild it. I cleaned and counted the ball bearings to make sure I did not lose any. I was very surprised to find that I have 19 9/32" and 27 5/16". Not good. Should be 20 and 26. This could explain some stiffness in the box.
I have inspected the parts and there does not seem to be any severe wear so I am going to re-use the box.
Does anyone have a spare 9/32" ball bearing?
Thanks Mick for the link.
Set of 10 for just£2.80. Can replace all balls in one of the shaft bearings.
Will see if the steering box working improves
Ken Jones
Got the new 9/32 balls and put the box together with 10 9/32 to each shaft bearing and 26 5/16 to the recirculating cage, all as per the workshop manual. When I rotated the shaft, it locked after a half-turn. Took the cover plate off and could persuade the shaft to turn by rocking the cage but would lock again. Full strip down down and started again. Counted the bearings as I took them out and got 10 + 10 + 26.
I did notice that with the 26 balls in the cage, there was a gap in the train of balls and wondered if it needed the 27th ball. Reassembled with 27 balls in the cage and everything rotated smoothly. Adjusted shaft end play and top adjustment nut, filled with fresh gear oil so now works very smoothly with no play in shaft or drop arm.
It will be some time before I can test on the road as Gwen is missing front suspension, engine and gearbox but all now being refitted. Hope to be finished by Easter (not sure 2023 0r 2024)