[Chrysler300] Steering box, radiator cap , radiator.. ?? good news.
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[Chrysler300] Steering box, radiator cap , radiator.. ?? good news.

On trip to Canada maritimes in my 67 Dart slant , — when passing trucks or being passed on narrow two lanes ,, 105 / 104 in Cape Breton , the dart , —like many 300’s I have driven — tended to pick up any longitudinal grooves in road paving and jump sideways a foot ( nice surprise at the 85 these crazy trailer truck guys drive at ). 
Time for some new shorts after a few of those. 

 I had put this up to “loose  mopar steering box” = needing the full deal . Which I have done too , at steer and gear .( great results)  But on this trip , now serious business , issue sure tends to get your attention . Much confusion and obviously wrong info on Mopar web over this steering box adjustment issue... read a lot  on vacation.  Dart has all new tie rods etc ( especially check idler , if you can move up and down it is junk) .
So to cut through 15 opinions mostly wrong , and also addressing the rather complex FSM procedure : 

The FSM goes into a lot of detail about setting the axial end play of support Timken s first .. true if assembling a rebuilt box. But engineer hat on again , these Timkens are hardly being used , compared to say front wheel bearings , and generally they ( Timkens) do not “get loose “ They fail suddenly by roller or race surface damage ,brinneling ,  ( surface fatigue)  dirt  and grinding up . Not wearing down . ( my opinion anyway). If you do the FSM Timken adjustment , lots of nice tight non leaking old seals will get opened etc . Lot of work too . So decided 99.9 the old Timkens are in fact just fine in there. On a used but good box that has always had oil in it . ( no rust pits inside)  . So let’s skip that whole thing . 
What wears is the worm engagement gears , or teeth,  in the part of gear used near straight ahead .( constant back and forth of steering , staying straight)  The screw and locknut in the dome top you can see , set that mesh  , from mid 58 up into 70’s design . Pre mid 58 different box. But if you set that center mesh tighter somehow , risk is it gets too tight at extremes,R and L , (still unworn), and then wheel might not come back by itself ( forewarned !) . 

Now , you can carefully watch input side of gearbox while pointing wheels straight ahead , someone else wiggles wheel in the steering lash space , you can feel it, — car is running to have pressure .  You watch pitman arm . If it does not move at all , while input does , lash in box is too much . Loosen locknut , large box wrench, turn the screw in clockwise , usually 1/4 to 1 turn does it , while wiggling , until lash is just gone .. arm at bottom moves. — but go no more !!! FSM says add ~ 1/2 turn more .. .that is for new . I just want zero lash , so pitman moves with wheel instantly . No added amount ... do  Small increments . So I did this in a motel parking lot . Hold screw after setting and tighten locknut. Might drip Oil at screw while doing — that is ok . Will seal up again after . Steering now perfect , no lash . 1 turn did it. Hard to believe I suffered so long . 10 years? No problems at extremes . 
Use this info as you wish , not telling anybody to do anything. Your call on that decision .. all yours. 
Second , I believe 17 lb radiator cap flexes the radiator tank top when you shut off car , boils in head, that boiling is normal , pressurises the   hoses , and radiator tank flexes , eventually causing linear cracks in solder at top tank to core joint . Solder has zero fatigue strength. Use 5 or 7 psi cap !!   7 lb Stant on eBay 3-4$ - I bought 5 of them.  Checked this out on Dart , —- the 3rd time tank joint has cracked , has a new V8 core , last year, 3 tank cracks in 50 k miles . ?? Why?? 2 radiators. So after the ferry,  I left the 17 cap loose , on this whole trip , as it had started spouting out a new tank crack , yet again !! On ferry , long idling , spitting, customs etc = big stress on me .  Despite loose cap, no overheating or water loss in 2000 miles on this trip , steep hills ,85 mph etc with a loose cap, and cracked tank . Rather blow off some ? excess fill at 7 , than crack radiator at 17 . I feel a mystery solved . ?? Overpressure temp at ,17 psi is probably 250 + F — is for extreme  duty towing up hill etc — is my takeaway. This  stayed  at 180 degrees no matter what .. with loose cap **— that says it all .  Boils for 30 seconds , when shut off , no pressure or overflow . 
Today’s .02, 
** Stant 17 lever cap , small rock holding lever up . Love 💕 that rock . Still learning .. j 
Sent from my iPhone

Posted by: John Grady <jkg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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