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Hi Moses

here are some pics of the 1966 Aussie Willys 4WD Pickup steering box not sure of the brand but it sure needs some seals it all looks original i would not expect it to be a modification

i would expect the seals to be same for rhd & i hope that most internal parts will interchange between left & right hand drive but apart from the leaks it seems ok

i know there is a lot of play in the steering arm on the lower swivel hub bearing i will have to investigate this issue it may just be loose bolts

cheers  ian

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Hi, Ian!  Yes, you have a Ross TL cam-and-lever steering gear.  Your photos are always detailed and informative, good angles for this Ross gear. 

This is the time honored Jeep approach, and I have rebuilt many units professionally.  When we had our mechanical restoration shop, the TL units came in numbers from Jeep, Studebaker and I-H owners and restorers.  Your unit looks original, I could rebuild it blindfolded.  Some of the units that arrived at our shop looked like they had been...

This is a two-pin cam gear with fairly stout worm bearings and worm.  The lever arm/cam with pins was a major wear point, specifically the pins.  Here is a review of what you can expect if your gear has wear:  http://www.4wdmechanix.com/Rebuilding-the-Ross-TL-Steering-Gear?r=1 and http://www.4wdmechanix.com/Ross-TL-Steering-Gear-Replacement-Parts?r=1.

Rebuilding a Ross TL steering gear

Typical parts involved with a Ross TL steering gear rebuild on a 1971-back Jeep, many early I-H/Scout and Studebaker applications, too.  I-H was a big fan of Ross gears, the medium-duty and heavy-duty I-H truck applications with the pins mounted on tapered roller bearings actually held up well.  AMC/Jeep switched to Saginaw gears and everyone benefited.

When checking pitman backlash, which is generally pin wear as indicated in the two URL links shared, make sure the gear is on center, which is it's high point.  Off-center on these gears will produce a lot of backlash, which is expected but must be within wear norms.  Find the gear center point without relying upon the steering wheel position, as many times the steering wheel has been moved and re-positioned to center up the steering wheel with the front wheel alignment.  This is a more primitive, non-adjustable draglink steering.

A classic approach to these gears is to toss them (or sell the unit to a patient restorer who has OEM parts) and install a Saginaw manual (recirculating ball-and-nut) or power unit (integral like you've rebuilt and shared).  Advance Adapters makes a conversion kit, and many retain the original upper steering column and steering wheel for a nostalgia look.  If you decide to make the conversion, post a topic, we'll discuss the safest practices.

Moses

 

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great info thanks Moses ill be a bit time poor for the next couple of weeks but i plan on tidying up the few things that need doing so i can get it on west aus rego so i can drive it

when these ross tl boxes fail do they break or just wear badly just curious because it will likely do a few long trips so reliability is big on my list of priorities as it already has fuel economy/range that will be suited to long trips

also how durable is the dana 53 ive heard theyre not great but this vehicle wont be treated badly so im guessing it will be fine

cheers  ian

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Hi, Ian...The TL boxes typically don't fail in a fatalistic sense.  They generally get so loose between the pins and worm groove that the vehicle wanders badly.  Like any gear, there is very limited "adjustment" for solving this issue.  Severe pin wear demands a gear replacement or repair.  Don't try to adjust out excessive wear, you'll see from my video and articles that the pins/cones wear flat spots over time.  Excessive adjustment can result in the steering gear binding.

Wander is the biggest clue as to wear, be sure the wander is the gear and not the draglink ends or tie-rod joints.  Always check pitman backlash with the steering gear on its absolute center/high spot.  There will always be "normal" play or gear backlash when the gear steers off-center in either direction.

The Spicer 53 is somewhat durable but can be noisy, they are overkill for your load plans.  The design issue is an arcane spiral bevel gear set, which is clearly not a high speed gear type.  These trucks worked, typically at lower speeds;  they did not cruise interstates.  The axle is rebuildable, and in many ways easier to set up than a Spicer integral housing hypoid axle.

Moses

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