From : 
"TJ" <>
To :  <>
Subject :  Job Satisfaction and Restoration update
Date :  Sun, 18 Nov 2001 22:53:49 -0800
The steering wheel on my coupe was always loose.  It had lateral play in
it.  I always hated that.  A while back the Hack Mechanic wrote about
replacing the steering spindle bearings in his car and I always hoped
that someday I'd get around to doing the same.  With the dash and
everything out of Katrina there was no better time.  I'd already removed
the steering surround so that I could restore it too.  DPO had drilled a
hole in the side of it, so after bead blasting both halves and welding
the hole with a TIG it was ready for its new crinkle finish powder coat
(came out pretty nicely!).  I went to considerable effort to locate and
order the replacement bearings.  There are two, one at the steering
wheel end, and the other is pressed in to the upper half of the steering
surround.  A few knocks with a delicate hammer will get it out, but be
careful, the steering surround is cast aluminum and the boss that hold
that bearing is pretty thin.

The hardest part is taking the steering spindle bits apart.  There are
two circlips that hold the whole thing together and they're a bear to
get off.  Most snap ring expanders won't work on them.  It takes
patience, and careful prying, and a second set of hands in some cases.
I managed to get them off without sticking the screwdriver through my
eye and my knuckles escaped with only minor scarring!

Putting the whole assembly back together was no easier, but with the new
bearing installed and the surround back in the car the results were well
worth the pain.  The bearings themselves were greased lightly but I
added a little lithium grease to each for good measure.  My Nardi wheel
and the restored steering surround in its new crinkle black look
beautiful, and there is ZERO play now in the column itself, a HUGE
improvement.  Someday I will be able to drive it and enjoy the fruits of
my labor.

Note that these bearings were not expensive, although they're definitely
not a part that gets asked for often.  I ordered them from Maximilian
and they had to get them from Der Fatherland.  The package they came in
looked like it had seen its share of Oktoberfests.  I love NOS parts
like that, you wonder how long they'd been sitting on the shelf just
waiting for the day they'd be needed.   While I had the steering
surround out I rerouted the turnsignal and headlight switches and
swapped sides so the turn signal is on the left.  This is easy to do and
the only consideration that may need to be made is that there is a
little aux. light for the key (cutest thing in the world, I'd never
known this was there until I took the surround apart [have you seen
it?].  It illuminates the ignition through a little plastic triangle
that is set in the surround.   Anyway, it's part of the turn signal
harness and I may need to lengthen it an inch or so in order for it to
reach across to the other side, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

(... rest of message edited out ...)

Peace, and Happy Thanksgiving! TJ TJ Noto AFM #134  Cowpoke Racing-"Friends in Slow Places" 95 Ducati 916 Strada 96 Ducati Monster 900 (Chela's) 70 Norton Commando Fastback 61 Ducati Falcone 80 73 BMW 3.0 CS (Katrina) 77 Mercedes 280C (Mimosa) 00 Ford F150 Supercab 97 BMW Z3 (Chela's) 87 Suzuki RG250 (For Sale!)