Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

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Topic author
It's Bill
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First Name: Bill
Last Name: Hoffer
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Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by It's Bill » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:17 pm

This forum is an outstanding resource. Last week, I had posted a request for guidance about how to repair my 1911 original steering quadrant and got a number of suggestions. I didn't expect to get a PM from Brent Reeb, who owns E&J Metal Fabricators, LTD located only 4 miles from me! Brent has a couple of Ts, and offered to help with my project.

I wanted to repair the original quadrant because the reproduction I bought was so different in the width and shape of its mounting collar. I also did not want to disassemble the steering column any more than absolutely necessary. So that meant adding material to the original notched areas and then cutting new notches, all with the collar and control levers in place. Brent said "No sweat!"

Basically, Brent applied brass to the brass quadrant by brazing it with a TIG welder! He put a tungsten rod in the TIG gun to create the arc and controlled the heat using a foot pedal. He fused little globs of brass onto the quadrant, giving me plenty of material for finishing. He made this look easy, but I was watching an artisan at work.

After I got the column home to my shop, I sculpted the notched areas back to original using diamond cutters in a flexible shaft handpiece. I found the cutters at Walmart online. I think there are 30 cutters in a set which cost a whopping $12.00 or so with free shipping. They come in various grits. I bought 40, 80, and 150 grits. The cutter I used showed absolutely no wear when I was done. I used dividers and hand files to lay out and cut the notches.

Also, I found that a groove had worn into the steering shaft where it passes through the shaft support at the firewall. The weight of the shaft caused it to contact the housing on the bottom side, and the minimal side to side rotation in 100 years of driving concentrated all the wear on about half of the shaft. To fix this, I chucked the shaft in my lathe, cut a stepped groove all the way around it, added brass by brazing to the turned area, and then cut the brazing to the finished diameter of the housing's shaft support. (My brazing technique is not so pretty good, but I got the job done.) In effect, I had created a bushing on the shaft that takes up the wear. I used Timesaver Yellow to get the final fit. The shaft no longer flops around in the housing, and the steering is as smooth as a widow's kiss.

Hope you enjoy the photos. I will post Brent's email if you wish to contact him. If I can be of help, let me know. Cheers, Bill
Attachments
Wear would not hold a throttle setting.  Not acceptable!
Wear would not hold a throttle setting. Not acceptable!
Worn Quadrant.
Worn Quadrant.
Repro versus original.  Repro loses.
Repro versus original. Repro loses.
Column set up for brazing. Note ground and foot pedal.
Column set up for brazing. Note ground and foot pedal.
TIG welder settings
TIG welder settings


Topic author
It's Bill
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:41 pm
First Name: Bill
Last Name: Hoffer
Location: Newtown, PA
MTFCA Number: 32571
MTFCI Number: 24364
Board Member Since: 2016

Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by It's Bill » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:26 pm

More Photos.
Attachments
Tungsten rod creates arc but is not consumed.
Tungsten rod creates arc but is not consumed.
Torch in left hand, rod in right.  Works better than the way I used to do it!
Torch in left hand, rod in right. Works better than the way I used to do it!
Maestro at work.
Maestro at work.
Crop IMG_3599.jpg
Crop IMG_3602.jpg


Topic author
It's Bill
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:41 pm
First Name: Bill
Last Name: Hoffer
Location: Newtown, PA
MTFCA Number: 32571
MTFCI Number: 24364
Board Member Since: 2016

Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by It's Bill » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:28 pm

More Photos.
Attachments
Crop IMG_3648.jpg
Crop IMG_3635.jpg
Crop IMG_3633.jpg
Crop IMG_3613.jpg
$12.00 at Walmart!
$12.00 at Walmart!


Topic author
It's Bill
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:41 pm
First Name: Bill
Last Name: Hoffer
Location: Newtown, PA
MTFCA Number: 32571
MTFCI Number: 24364
Board Member Since: 2016

Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by It's Bill » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:30 pm

More Photos.
Attachments
Super scientific check for straightness. Rolling it showed no bending.
Super scientific check for straightness. Rolling it showed no bending.
Crop IMG_3654.jpg
Crop IMG_3652.jpg


Topic author
It's Bill
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:41 pm
First Name: Bill
Last Name: Hoffer
Location: Newtown, PA
MTFCA Number: 32571
MTFCI Number: 24364
Board Member Since: 2016

Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by It's Bill » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:33 pm

More Photos.
Attachments
Crop IMG_3657.jpg
Crop IMG_3659.jpg
Those aren't bubbles, those are grease reservoirs!
Those aren't bubbles, those are grease reservoirs!
Timesaver is a lifesaver. Got a perfect fit.
Timesaver is a lifesaver. Got a perfect fit.

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Henry K. Lee
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Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by Henry K. Lee » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:14 pm

Good for another 200 years! Nice work Bill!

Hank


tdump
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Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by tdump » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:14 pm

I thought Tig would be the best choice for that.No flame to ruin surrounding parts,very controlable heat.My nieghbor did Tig welding for many years on dentistry equipment.Pressure vessels and such.He is good at it.
I watch him use that Tig torch like a artist uses a brush. Now he can screw up if the bottle has the wrong gas in it..We had a aluminum head he tried to fix and the idiot at the welding supply place gave him a bottle of the wrong gas. made a mess for sure.
If you can't help em, don't hinder em'


Allan
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Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by Allan » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:34 am

Excellent result Bill. It helps to know someone who knows what they are doing. I was given a spool of bronzing wire to use in my MIG welder. It came from the Holden car plant now closed, the last of the Australian built cars. I have never used the bronze wire, having no idea of the correct method/gas to use, but if it welds like steel MIG wire, it may be possible in your application. Unfortunately, the fellow who gave me the stuff was killed on the Harley he bought with funds from his redundancy payment. My younger son misses him terribly.

Allan from down under.


dmdeaton
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Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by dmdeaton » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:43 am

I am just learning that we can tig with brass. AC or Dc and what gas is needed? I am a hack with my tig welder but this gives me hope. I guess I can ask my local supply house.
Thanks for the write up


hah
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Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by hah » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:09 pm

How did you actually make the teeth?


tdump
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Re: Rebuilt Steering Quadrant - How We Did It

Post by tdump » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:13 pm

If I was younger I would invest in a Tig machine.Alot can be done with 1.
If you can't help em, don't hinder em'

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