Play in the steering box but only above 35 MPH

My recently rebuilt Adwest Marles Varamatic steeringbox is perfect at low speeds, but aboce about 35 mph, there is a bit of play. Bone dry, but the play is annoying…

Typically the play is more in the idler arm. This is why some of us have put in a rack & pinion. Not withstanding all the theoretical criticism it can be a worthwhile improvement.

It is a e20 G, sorry.
Hard to fit a rack, plus the stock box is fine, when in good order. I have it in 5 saloons.
I can continue to fiddle with the top tightening screw…, as suggested by the man in England who rebuilt them all. At least they are bone dry now.

Hi Peder,

Who rebuilt your steering boxes? Do you remember the cost?
Thank you in advance!

When you say ‘bone dry’ do we assume no leaks?
I used a company called ICS here in the UK for steering box rebuilds for both my XK 120 and Mk1
Really pleased with the results

Yes, bone dry means no oil on or below the steering box.

Skickat från min iPad

Somrbody in England, in his home workshop. He stopped doing it about 3 yrs ago. Cost was perhaps 300£.

But 2 of the 4 he did for me are still not perfect. No leaks of course, but don’t feel 100% correct when driving. I have tried various adjustments to the set screw on top, which he sdod I could do, but still not perfect like the other 2.

I think it might be down to internal wear on the grooved axle😨


as I understand it, most wear takes place around the centre position, and adjustment of “tightness”, using the two separate screws that adjust worm and sector shaft contact will result in to much tightness away from the centre position

did you see the Youtube series I put up on rebuilding the Adwest Landrover box ?

They are identical design

I never found the video on Youtube, but understand what you mean. I have this box on 5 cars, of which 2 are perfect, one nearly perfect, and 2 have this play which could be caused by physical wear or, as someone suggested, servo effect due to the pump not being 100%.
All boxes were rebuilt by the same man in England. None of them leak, not a single drop.
One one of the bad boxes I released the locking screw, which was showing far less thread above the locking nut, compared to one of the perfect boxes. I think that this improved the overall feeling when driving. How does that make sense?

the top screw simply forces the 2 main steering parts closer together…if they are too tight, it wont even move, loosening them will make the motion easier.

I will find the videos and add them to this thread later on. After watching them, you will understand everything…might be the same bloke, he is English

Thanks Tony,
I have now watched parts 1 and 2. Very good video. I almost understood everything.
I think that my problem is related to those 5lb of torque on the side screw, secured by that 45$ grub screw

Hi Peder…I have an older rebuilt steering box awaiting to be transplanted into my 420G

While it is sitting out, I took the chance the remove that huge side screw and copper slip it.

In my opinion, it would be difficult to move in situ. In the case of this unit, after removing the grub screw, I had an assistant, and we each applied a punch to opposite ends of the screw slot, and tapped with hammers until it came free

The alternative would be a proper fitting flathead screwdriver bit almost 1" wide in an impact driver. I did not have such a bit.

I marked its original location…doing it up too tight will completely lock the pitman arm from moving at all

finally, a $5 Ebay electronic “luggage/fish” scale works perfectly to measure the torque values