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Thread: Steering column missalignment

  1. #11
    Thanks for all the advice - I do favour the UJ option as it means less strain on the column if the alignment is less than 100% true.

    I seem to recall cutting a hole in the front compartment of my first Nova - presumably to allow enough rotation of the steering box but can't recall the precise reasoning.

    Think I'll weld in a UJ and worry about it later if the MOT fails it. Personally I think a UJ is the better and safer option all around.
    "The most beautiful kit car in the world - Motor"

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    East Riding
    I think but don't quote me on this the welding of columns and MOT test is more relevant to newer cars. Newer cars have there CV joints held in with pins. if you look at the VW column the crush cage is welded. My last Nova used a Metro Column with a VW spline to the box that was welded and I never had an issue.


  3. #13
    My column isn't welded but the rod with 2 UJ's at each end from the column to the rack is. The rod itself is butt welded, then there is a pipe over the rod pinned and welded too. So its a belt and braces approach given the importance of the joint. Having said that its been done on a section out of view from inspection, hence haven't had any testing issues.

  4. #14
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter***
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Bicester Oxon
    I thought it had been suggested somewhere (not sure where mind you...) that the advantage of rotating the steering box was to get the track rods as level as possible to help avoid bump steer effects? Does the difference in weight up front compared to a beetle (?) mean that the geometry of the suspension / steering is altered from stock before you start (i.e. as far as the lug preventing rotating the box further?)

    I'm no expert, so these are more a case of questions to those that are! `¬)

  5. #15
    I actually thought the opposite was true - rotating the box would increase bump steer, hence another good reason to fit a UJ and retain the standard configuration?
    "The most beautiful kit car in the world - Motor"

  6. #16
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Hampshire, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Phill View Post
    I actually thought the opposite was true - rotating the box would increase bump steer, hence another good reason to fit a UJ and retain the standard configuration?
    Yes and no - the Nova has less weight over the front axle, so the normal ride height at the front of the chassis is higher than the donor Beetle. This means that the steering arm (Pitman arm) is higher than the track rod ends, and will make the bump-steer worse (it is always bad).

    Rotating the box so that the steering column and steering wheel sit lower down actually helps to restore the factory geometry, although this is just a happy accident.

    I would definitely endorse the UJ approach, and a whole different steering column, for several reasons. The first is that the "rag joint" is hopelessly sloppy, and can actually rip apart. A UJ won't do that. Secondly, the collapsible lattice structure in the column is all that is between the steering wheel and the steering box. Badly corroded ones can literally snap in half. The difficulty in aligning the column with the Nova dash places more stress on the lattice and means that in the past a number have snapped on Novas, fortunately all at low speeds. It is a hopeless design that should be consigned to the bin! I can't believe that a sleeved and welded butt joint could be considered less safe than the Beetle collapsible column, but there you go...

    Incidentally, VW had the right idea, they just didn't take it to its logical conclusion - my Rover SD1 column is typical of the collapsible type, it has a splined sliding shaft so that no matter how far extended it is, there is always a positive connection to the steering gear. Then a collapsible lattice is put around it, so that in an accident, the column collapses, but the connection to the steering gear is retained.

    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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