Minion Missile - 1973 Colombian Patrol Project

Builds, refurbishments, restorations, upgrades

Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 7:53 am

Waiting on some parts for the windshield. So, dug into something that I have been dreading. When we re-wired the patrol, we put the fuseblock behind the dash - between the glovebox and steering wheel. When we did this, we ran wires underneath the steering column. That looks terrible with that amount of wires hanging down, so we need to position them above the steering column. So, we had to remove the steering wheel and steering column. in the process of doing this, I noticed that the splines on both the wheel and the column are worn.

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The wheel is much more worn than the column. Is there a way to remedy this? Was thinking about taking it to a machine shop and seeing what they could do. Not sure if that is a pressed in part, or if it's part of the wheel. If it is pressed in, does anyone have a replacement part number?

thx.
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Postby RiverPatrol » Thu May 21, 2020 9:02 am

You sure find some of the strangest unpleasant surprises on this Patrol. It's amazing how much of it has been molested. I don't know if this can be fixed. You're probably going to need at least a new steering wheel.
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Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 9:24 am

RiverPatrol wrote:You sure find some of the strangest unpleasant surprises on this Patrol. It's amazing how much of it has been molested. I don't know if this can be fixed. You're probably going to need at least a new steering wheel.


I like to think of it as the gift that keeps giving.... This thing is full of surprises. It's also a really good lesson to never buy a car sight unseen - this is what can happen ... :lol:

That being said, we wanted a project car and this one certainly hasn't disappointed. I think if it wasn't for this forum it would have headed to the scrap heap long ago. Appreciate everyone's help. Hopefully my posts are at least somewhat entertaining..
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Postby moore_rb » Thu May 21, 2020 9:38 am

If the steering shaft spines in the pic are indicative of the condition of the entire shaft, then I think those can be saved with some tedious attention with a Dremel tool and a small cutoff wheel, or better yet, a set of thread-files. I wouldn't use a die grinder- they spin too fast.

I would not try to save the steering wheel splines- they look too far gone (going by the pics) :(

I'm trying to imagine how many times a steering wheel would need to have been pulled, then re-seated incorrectly, in order to induce that much wear on the splines... :think:

I imagine that your steering wheel is the same as a 69's ? if so, there might possibly be one somewhere in the states, otherwise, I'd get in touch with our master Aussie Patrol parts-gopher (G60Micheal) and see if he can track one down for you in the land down-under...
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Postby Daner » Thu May 21, 2020 9:43 am

I’ve never seen that before, usually they are intact as they are locked together, protecting both sides of the spline. Was there any play in the steering wheel?
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Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 9:55 am

Daner wrote:I’ve never seen that before, usually they are intact as they are locked together, protecting both sides of the spline. Was there any play in the steering wheel?


There was some play in the steering wheel - I put that on the list of things to address at some point. It wasn't excessive and I figured it just needed some tuning up. Looking at this, I'm glad that I pulled it. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. The shaft has a pretty significant flat spot on the other side, so that will need to be replaced too. I'm now on the hunt for some new (old) parts....
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Postby RiverPatrol » Thu May 21, 2020 12:47 pm

For the shaft, you're best off replacing the entire gear box. You'll need one for a '69 since they changed how they mount on the frame then as I recall. Here's one, horribly overpriced and on the wrong coast: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1967-NISSAN-PA ... 1438.l2649
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Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 1:56 pm

Thanks River. I have a partial gearbox from the '67 chassis that I dismantled a while back. Unfortunately, the shaft has been cut-off; however, I can look at the gearbox assembly and see if there are any differences. Once I figure that out, I'll post a separate message soliciting this group for parts. I suspect there's more than a few in the corners of our garages from the parts patrols that we have disassembled.
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Postby RiverPatrol » Thu May 21, 2020 2:46 pm

The shaft on the earlier Patrols is different also. That is why the early and later steering wheels are not interchangeable. Looking forward to your progress posts on this. You're always so diligent, and ultimately successful.
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Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 5:15 pm

Here's a comparison of the two steering gear boxes. The one on the bottom is from the 1967 chassis. The one on top is from mine, which is a later version. The earlier version is different - it looks like it is two pieces whereas the later version is just one. I put the 1967 gearbox on my frame and it bolted right up. The steering shaft is cut, but it looks like it lines up and is angled identically to the later version. I also connected the pitman arm to the draglink with no issues. So, I think If i can find a matching pair of gearbox/steering wheel, regardless of year, I should be fine.

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Postby RiverPatrol » Thu May 21, 2020 5:26 pm

Great, that means they'll bolt up to the frame. I would've sworn the box changed in the way it mounts in the later model. Where the shaft is different is at the steering wheel end, the splines are different. Many folks have wanted the early steering wheel on their '69 Patrol but it can't happen because of that. Of course, if you go with an earlier box you can always go with the earlier steering wheel.
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Postby Esteban » Thu May 21, 2020 8:27 pm

mad4hws wrote:The earlier version is different - it looks like it is two pieces whereas the later version is just one. I put the 1967 gearbox on my frame and it bolted right up. The steering shaft is cut, but it looks like it lines up and is angled identically to the later version.


The two part housing was a clever trick from Nissan to make only one box to be used on left hand drive or right hand. Only the bottom housing was different, and of course, the sector shaft inside.
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Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 8:51 pm

Esteban wrote:The two part housing was a clever trick from Nissan to make only one box to be used on left hand drive or right hand. Only the bottom housing was different, and of course, the sector shaft inside.


That makes sense... I just wonder how you came to learn this. I'm sure there is a story there. If there was a category called "Patrol" on Jeopardy, I would not bet against you... or River.
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Postby Esteban » Thu May 21, 2020 9:37 pm

mad4hws wrote:
Esteban wrote:The two part housing was a clever trick from Nissan to make only one box to be used on left hand drive or right hand. Only the bottom housing was different, and of course, the sector shaft inside.


That makes sense... I just wonder how you came to learn this. I'm sure there is a story there. If there was a category called "Patrol" on Jeopardy, I would not bet against you... or River.


Thanks!

You're right, since there is a story behind. I have a spare main housing of the two part type steering box. The Nissan dealership in Ecuador, more than 35 years ago decided to get rid of the old parts inventory. Since I was friends with some of the guys there, they gave me a list of all the parts, and I found among a few other items, the steering box housing. I bought it for pennies on the dollar! just because of the bushings that are inside (easier to replace the housing than change the bushings) They are so well built that to this day I haven't use it. But going back to how I came to the conclusion that it was the same part, it was a deduction on my own, since once you see it alone, one side of the housing is a mirror of the other one, and the bearings and shims are the same on both sides, top and bottom so to speak.

Among other odd items I bought at that time, was a sector shaft for RHD models (a paper weight at the moment) and also got three tie rods (the short one) that were also for the RHD models, so they collected dust at the dealership. The only thing different from the LHD tie rods is the position of the grease zerk! And since you can dismantle them, I have used the guts to repair the long one! Also got them for pennies.
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Postby mad4hws » Thu May 21, 2020 10:11 pm

what a great story! Not only that, it's a testement to how well these things were built that they're now collecting dust in your shop all these years later. Thanks Esteban.
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