The New England M.G. ‘T’ Register has a long history of providing its members with advice and technical expertise on the restoration and maintenance of our special cars. We present some of our favorite technical articles and tips here for members and visitors alike.
After I brought my TD home for the first time, it needed some pushing about in the garage and I noticed that the steering was not so easy as it had been on the one I had new in 1953. I figured the rack would need cleaning out, that I would find it full of hardened grease when it should have been full of 80 weight oil.
To my surprise, the rack was full of oil and worked smoothly indeed. What, I wondered, was the cause of the hard steering?
In dismantling the bronze ends from the kingpin on the left side I happened to notice that the top of the pin was describing a circle (I had the bottom bronze end securely fastened in a vise). It was obvious that the kingpin was bent.
The kingpin is fairly long and is not hardened. It is fitted into the two rather substantial bronze ends, but the effective length of the pin is from the two points where it is attached (at the top) to the shock absorber arm and (at the bottom) where it is attached to the lower control frame. Thus a fairly mild strike on the stub axle can easily deform the kingpin.
Repair is simple. Jack up the car by the bottom control arm, take out the two bolts which hold the kingpin in place, remove the two bronze ends, remove the pinch bolt from the stub axle assembly and press the kingpin out of the stub axle. You'll note that it is a taper fit . . . please don't try pressing on the wrong end of the taper.
The kingpin is centered on both ends. I took mine to a local machine shop where there is a large unused and inaccurate lathe, swung the kingpin between centers and used a bar to take the bow out. Don't try this on a precision lathe, as it is really a hard use of the lathe.
By Adrian West
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Disclaimer: All Tech Tips presented here are copyright of The New England M.G. ‘T’ Register. Be advised that every effort was made to verify the validity of each tip. But as in any free advice, it’s up to the user to judge the usefulness of each tip presented here.