Steering column oddity

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andrewhawkswell
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Steering column oddity

Postby andrewhawkswell » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:39 pm

This is the steering column out of my 1936 4f. However it has no means of greasing the bushes for the fork spindles. As you can imagine this has played havoc in its past life with the fork spindle which was seized in when it came time to remove it. It has also worn oversize the non threaded small eye on the middle link. Other Ariels I have seen have a grease nipple at each end near the bushes. Mine looks like a genuine Ariel part but does it belong to this model or is it off something else - and why are there no grease nipples fitted?
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ian.scott
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby ian.scott » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:58 pm

There were none fitted to 35 VH either, so I drilled and tapped it to take them ,but be careful to get the angle right so you can get the grease gun on straight.

Ian

andrewhawkswell
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby andrewhawkswell » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:35 pm

Have you any photos you can show Ian, and how far in from the end did you fit them? I was thinking of doing the same and fitting R/A nipples facing out so that there was plenty of room. Did you arrange to get the grease in part way along the bushes or on the inside of them? - I can't see this last one working as it would all escape down the steering damper hole. Can anyone who has a steering column with grease nipples tell me if there are small raised bosses in the part for the nipples to screw into with more wall thickness?

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alan.moore
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby alan.moore » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:43 pm

Andrew
Here is mine from my '39VH

The bottom pivot holes go into the bush itself which are drilled.
The top one goes into the tube

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bottom


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1939 VH Redhunter;1942 RN WNG;1951 Triumph 6T Thunderbird;1970 BSA B175 Bantam;1986 Yamaha SRX600 single
http://cloggymoore.wix.com/triumph-pre-unit-6t

andrewhawkswell
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby andrewhawkswell » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:45 pm

Thanks Alan that's very useful.

john.whiting
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby john.whiting » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:20 am

They were originally fitted with self lubricating bushes,which had graphite in the bearing material.The modern equivalent is Glacier bushes,made from a sort of metal string,and very costly.I remember when the Caterpillar articulated graders came out in the early seventies,the bearings in the frame were selflubricating,it was great until water got into them and rusted the steel bearing surface.A lot of girder forks had no bushes and ran spindle to casting.Norton being an example.Repair meant a new oversize spindle and boring out the casting.Regards John.

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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby andrewhawkswell » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:50 pm

Thanks John - I will be fitting grease nipples. It's odd that all the other spindles have them except this one and the parts list calls up the same bushes in all locations. As for mine, I just wondered whether to braze on some pads for the nipples or go straight through the wall.

I have used glacier bushes through work - for subsea use so they are on a stainless substrate. Also used sintered bronze oilite bushes in some designs.

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paul.jameson
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby paul.jameson » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:25 pm

I have given this some thought and finally come up with a theory as to why you may not have grease nipple holes on your steering column. The part number quoted in the parts books usually refers to a 1933 part but this was changed in 1935 when the extra plate below the damper was fitted to accommodate two damper discs instead of the previous single disc. The new steering crown from 1935 is easily identified by the slot for the bottom damper plate. Your steering column has this slot so it has to be from 1935 or later. Looking at the parts book for a 1948 Square Four the steering column has been redrawn, along with the rest of the page and doesn't show any bosses for the grease nipples. (Yes, I know that by 1948 telescopic forks were in universal use on Ariels but the girder fork details still appear in the parts book, along with the tele fork ones). So, my theory is that the grease nipples were omitted late in WWII to save costs on W/NG machines which were unlikely to survive very long on the battlefield and that your bike has, for some reason, been fitted with one of these steering columns.

Incidentally, I have a 1933 type column on my RH500 and a post 1935 type on my 4G. Apart from the bottom damper plate slot, another difference is that the post 1935 type has the grease nipples part way along the bushes whilst the 1933 type has the grease nipples inboard of the bushes. As a result, the grease applied works its way on the 1933 type very efficiently to the steering damper disc. So the second damping disc and the change in position of the grease nipples was a "belt and braces" approach to an ineffective steering damper.
Paul Jameson
36 4G, 37 VH, 54 KH(A), 75 Healey 1000/4, 52/53 ex ISDT KHA (project).
Former Machine Registrar & Archivist, General Secretary and Single Spares Organiser (over a 25 year period).
Now Archivist once more - but not Machine Registrar.

andrewhawkswell
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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby andrewhawkswell » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:01 pm

Thanks Paul for your reply - I will put the nipples to feed part way along the bushes for the reason you mention.
Were some W/NG supplied black? - The steering part has no traces of olive drab paint on it -looks to have been black from day 1 but it could have been re painted.

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Re: Steering column oddity

Postby andrewhawkswell » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:17 pm

I went out to the shed after your reply Paul and took a photo of the steering damper - its got the double disc arrangement although the bottom one of the friction discs has a distinctly home made feel about it, being a lot thicker and "floppier" than the material of the top disc, but the metal parts look right enough. I also had another look at the 1936 spare parts book that seems to show an impossible combination of a 4800-33 column (sans slot)with a 4916-35 bottom plate with tongue to go into the slot. I assume this was a printer's error in the parts list and that they had a work around at the works for if such a part were ordered. For the record, my Ariel's despatch date is down as 14-10-35.
regards
Andrew.
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