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MG TD TF 1500 - Steering shaft alignment

The carrier on the end of the steering shaft which holds the three steering isolation rubbers only seems to be parallel with its counterpart on the rack pinion in one position. ie it seems to be out of square with the shaft. I can line the two parts up so the faces have equal gap all around, and then rotate them together half a turn, and they go way out of alignment. I can't see any signs of damage or bending of the shafts. It looks like it has been built this way, but I can't see why.
Has anybody got any ideas on this?
Regards, Richard.
R Payne

Richard, one shaft or the other HAS to be bent. They were not made that way. I would start by removing the three nuts, bolts and all the bushings. Then have someone rotate the steering wheel to see if the end connecting end is true. Then, jack up the front of the car and move the front wheels from side to side. Watch the steering shaft end of the pinion shaft to see if it is true. I hope this test will identify the bad part. Let us know what you see.
Jim Merz

Richard -- I agree with Jim, somebody is not straight. The trick is going to be to identify which is bent and get it straightened. Horrors maybe both are bent. Any other evidence of a front end collision? Let us know what you find. Good Luck, Bob
R. K. (Bob) Jeffers

Hi Richard,
Ho Hum- an interesting situation you have got with your steering set-up!Bob has eluded to previous accident damage and this could be a key to the problem.I have seen the Rack and Pinion chassis mounting brackets(2)actually bent from nasty frontal impact thereby disturbing the necessary alignment of the shafts.
Also,albeit a long shot,a Y Type, shorter pinion may have been installed at some stage in the cars life.The pinion shaft has to be lengthened for use in a TF and in the process a misaligment has occured.Look for any weld line under the pinion's paint!I personally do not subscibe to welding any steering shafts like this.
Anyway,let us know what you find.No doubt you are keen to 'rocket down the road' sooner than later!
Rob. G.
Rob Grantham

I've pulled the steering shaft out, rotating it in a vee block and measuring the carrier. There is over 3mm run out but there is no sign of any bending of the shaft. One of the arms of the carrier is bent a little, but otherwise it is almost as though the carrier has been welded on the end of the tube out of square. I've cleaned it up with a wire brush on a drill .The only welding is production welding so it does not seem to have been butchered. Maybe there has been an accident that has stretched the tube in this area. It seems quite strange.
Anyway, I suppose I could heat it up and straighten it, but would probably be safer to just buy an undamaged one and throw the old one away don't feel comfortable about reclaiming damaged steering components.
Regards, Richard.
R Payne

Richard, 3 mm is a lot, but if it is the outer circumference of the tabs, and not the mounting plate welded on skewed, it may be possible to carefully bend the tabs to square the flange? You may try putting the shaft in a vise, and bend the tabs with some thing like the nearly closed jaws of a large adjustable wrench fitted over the tabs, to make the bend at the bottom of the tab rather than in the middle by the holes.
If this is practical and doesn't try to tear the welds, you may "realign" this shaft.
Dallas Congleton

Dallas, it is a combination of bend in one tab and skewing of the whole mounting plate. I will have another look at it tomorrow, maybe I can make a jig to align it , but will also check onprice and availability of a new one.
Regards, Richard.
R Payne

I was out in the shop since I replied and this subject came to mind, so I looked at the steering shaft that is presently out of my TD. The "tabs" I mentioned bending are actually on the short shaft coming from the rack and pinion assemble. The mating portion on the long shaft that goes to the steering wheel has the heavier cast sockets for the rubber bushings. These are probably not bendable. As someone else suggested, a skilled welder with the correct equipment could cut and re-weld this section with no problems, if you do not find another.

Dallas Congleton

has anyone else "repaired" something that didn't need repairing? i have. one of those tomes i should have paused and taken a couple of sniffs of air and pondered the beauty of this little british car. it makes me wonder about this problem...richard says there is no evidence of damage..i would consider that for a moment or two. perhaps ask myself then how could the current situation come to pass? at least pause here before i started bending anything or even buying anything. regards, tom
tm peterson

Thanks everyone, you have helped me establish that the shaft is indeed bent, and I have ordered a replacement part. Dallas, my cousin's husband Tom has an MGB just out of Winston Salem -was there visiting them this time last year and took it for a spin - was really awkward changing gears with the " wrong" hand.
Regards, Richard.
R Payne

I know what you mean Richard. Our first rental car in England was a compact with a straight shift, which to us was on the "wrong" side. This was compounded with a right hander using his left. On subsequent trips, and to Ireland and Scotland, I opted for the automatic, and removed several layers of stress, considering the other requirements such as staying on the "wrong side" of the road, roundabout rules versus actual practices, and funny vocabulary in the signage. ;>)
I will hopefully be able to relive these experiences someday down under.

Dallas Congleton

This thread was discussed between 17/06/2006 and 19/06/2006

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