MG Sports Cars

engine swaps and other performance upgrades, plus "factory" and Costello V8s

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Wilcat1@sky.com
William McCullough

(9 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2014 05:39PM

Main British Car:


Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: Wilcat1@sky.com
Date: May 02, 2014 02:55PM

Hello All

First mail from me to you

My problem relates to the purchase of the recently available needle roller kits for the MG B steering, normally only available via the MGOC in a converted and refurbished king pin c/w a surcharge on the return of the old top trunion.

The conversion set of rollers etc came from SC parts, unfortunately no instructions were forthcoming. You get a steel cup/roller cage/and two steel washers for each side. Not having started the task yet, I think it might be possible to fit the 'cup' into the trunion first or last !

Can anyone advise re the fitting sequence of these parts, looking at the system it seems as though the lighter of the two steel washers should fit up into the trunion, then the roller cage cage and finally the heavier of the two washers, this heavier washer would rest on the top of the stub axle, the thinking is that any shims that might be necessary could be added above the top washer. Lubrication would be via the MG's exiting top grease nipple on the stub axle.

I have two V8 conversions ( both Rover engines)' and the intention is to fit both cars with the above, . I would add that the roller bearings appear to be German manufacture and came direct to me in Northern Ireland .

Any feedback re the fitting sequence of the parts, and if possible the benefit that are experienced would be appreciated.


Wilcat1@sky.com
William McCullough

(9 posts)

Registered:
04/07/2014 05:39PM

Main British Car:


Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: Wilcat1@sky.com
Date: May 04, 2014 04:58AM

further to my previous mail on the subject. SC have mailed me to state that the machined 'Cup' faces up and it's base bears on the top of the stub axle, effectively this would produce a reservoir to contain the grease and should also prevent road dirt getting into the bearing surface.

Still looking for experiences that users of these roller bearings can relate. - in other words is it worth the effort/time/expense to replace the original tried and trusted MG system.

Hate the heavy steering! cannot justify the 1250 cost of power steering, the lady of the house would not be amused.


Best wishes to all


ex-tyke
Graham Creswick
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
(974 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:17AM

Main British Car:
1976 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: May 05, 2014 04:53PM

William, here's my take on your 'heavy' steering problem - replacing original steering column bearings with needle bearings isn't going to reduce steering effort - at best they may extend the period before steering shaft play is noticeable.
If you are not using excessively wide tires, there's more than likely a fundamental problem with a steering component (steering rack, kingpins, etc)....a 'notchy' feeling in the steering (between lock-to-lock) is steering shaft to steering column misalignment (at the u-joint}
I'd start by ensuring all steering components are within spec and properly lubricated and if I were to spend some money, a pair of caster reduction wedges would be a better bet for reducing steering effort.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: mgb260
Date: May 05, 2014 05:04PM

Graham, He's talking about the kingpin bushings. I know Speedway Motors sells them for old Ford and Chevy straight axle kingpins. I have thought about trying them. You can reduce caster also. Another thing is wheel offset for less scrub.


ex-tyke
Graham Creswick
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
(974 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:17AM

Main British Car:
1976 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: May 05, 2014 08:57PM

Quote:
He's talking about the kingpin bushings...
Ok, Jim, thanks for clarification....!
...but I'm still sticking with my original reply that there must be some other fundamental issue with the steering.components/maintenance/geometry.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4309 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: Moderator
Date: May 06, 2014 02:51AM

Welcome to BritishV8, William!


I don't know anything about the roller conversion mod... but I share Graham's instinct. For a quick-and-easy reality check, I'd put the car on jack stands and make sure the steering goes lock-to-lock without friction or binding. If the steering rack hasn't been lubed in this century, doing so might help a lot.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5354 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: May 06, 2014 10:13AM

I gave this some thought. The weight of the car is indeed supported from the top kingpin washer so unless it is kept in a constant state of lubrication it will add to steering effort somewhat and a roller thrust bearing here will help reduce steering effort. Keeping the dirt out will be the issue as they are not fitted with a seal. You can probably get the bearing and hardened seats (washers) from your local bearing distributor much more cheaply though.

I also agree that steering effort should not normally be high but opinions vary as to what high is. Wheel offset has much to do with steering effort.

Jim



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3235 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: May 06, 2014 10:16AM

As does the diameter of the steering wheel.

I'm holding out for ball joints. ;)


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(906 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: Dan B
Date: May 06, 2014 10:19AM

This is a somewhat popular upgrade on a TR7, installing needle bearings on the upper strut mount. Some people say it makes no difference, or very little, while others swear by it.


DiDueColpi
Fred Key
West coast - Canada
(1220 posts)

Registered:
05/14/2010 03:06AM

Main British Car:
What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: DiDueColpi
Date: May 06, 2014 01:22PM

As everyone said, the wheel and tire combination along with steering wheel diameter will have a profound effect on steering feel and effort.
A smaller steering wheel or wider tire with a bigger offset will increase steering effort.
And feedback to the steering wheel will become unacceptable.
As well, lubrication is critical.
Use a good quality moly or graphpite enhanced high pressure grease.
The steering rack has a huge potential to increase steering effort. It is designed with an internal rubbing block that controls the pinion to rack clearance. When run dry, this system can cause significant drag.
A near stock setup in good condition will steer easily when lubricated well.
So here are my thoughts.
Once you've been through the rest of the steering system. And it is deemed to be in good shape.
Then have a look at the king pin assembly.
The needle bearing conversion for the top thrust washer makes sense. But it would need to be of very good quality to endure the full weight of the car.
I would not consider a needle bearing conversion to the king pin bushings though.
On the surface it seems to be a great idea.
The problem is with the large side loads and limited movement that these bushings are subjected to.
Brinelling of the kingpin would happen very quickly and lead to a very notchy steering.
Bushings, in good shape, with their lubrication slots intact are your best bet.
If the steering is still too heavy after all that. Then I would consider an electric conversion.
The prices are dropping and the packaging is hard to beat.

Cheers
Fred


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4309 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: Moderator
Date: May 06, 2014 04:15PM

I think someone on this forum previously advised that all current aftermarket MGB racks (from Moss) use the "rubber bumper" gear ratio rather than the quicker/earlier "chrome bumper" ratio. If so, fitting a new rack to a chrome bumper MGB might be a relatively easy way to decrease steering effort somewhat.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: mgb260
Date: May 06, 2014 05:21PM

Curtis, the later RB would be easier to steer than the CB quicker ratio. I think the RB is approximately 3.5 turns, while the CB is 2.5 turns.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3235 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: May 07, 2014 12:01PM

I now understand why I never could relate to the heavy steering remarks. My MG is a '79 model. ;)


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5354 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: May 07, 2014 01:30PM

Does make a difference. The earlier cars are a bit quicker and more sensitive of course... ;-)

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3235 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: May 07, 2014 02:06PM

Too quick maybe, when that 16.5" steering wheel gets replaced with something a good bit smaller like a 14".



mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: mgb260
Date: May 07, 2014 04:58PM

Carl, Then you have Armstrong steering!


MustangSix
Jack Collins

(28 posts)

Registered:
12/16/2011 10:53AM

Main British Car:


Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: MustangSix
Date: June 03, 2014 02:55PM

Needle bearing kingpin conversions have been used for many, many years on early Fords (1928-1948). Those, combined with a Torrington bearing between the axle and kingpin thrust surfaces significantly lower steering effort.

Except for the added fiddly nature of installing bearings vs. inserting and reaming bushings, they work well and last as long or longer than the original bushings.

I have them on my deuce roadster; if the cost isn't an obstacle, I wouldn't hesitate to use them in an MG when the time comes to rebuild the kingpins.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: mgb260
Date: June 03, 2014 05:24PM

Jack, Yeah, I've seen them in Speedway Motors catalog for Ford and Chevy kingpins on straight axles.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5354 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: June 03, 2014 10:21PM

So how do those work? Just insert a caged needle bearing in place of the bushing? Use the new kingpin as the inner race? Is the bushing bore used as the outer race or does that have to be machined out for the outer race? Or are the kingpins also turned down for a hardened inner race?

I suppose if you were going to go that far with it there might not be that much more effort in fitting another thrust bearing to the top as well.

Jim


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1811 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Needle roller conversion for MG. B steering
Posted by: mgb260
Date: June 04, 2014 09:28AM

Jim, Look at the instructions on this Speedway Motors kingpin bearing set:



[www.speedwaymotors.com]
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