Steering Box Rebuild Discussion
Pulled from a discussion between ppeter914, Mariner311, and Nissanman
The recommendation is to punch orientation marks in the relevant shafts and arms. This may not be necessary as the pit-man splines have a larger spline every 90 degrees IIRC, meaning you can only put the arms on in 4 orientations. It never hurts to be on the cautious side. The splined shafts on my '65 SP310 were tapered and required very little effort from a pit-man arm remover to dissemble. You can always find a good shop to recondition your shafts and bushings if it comes to that. I know one of the vendors sells complete reconditioned units as well as the parts to rebuild. The seals are still in the Nissan stock system, and cheap. You can go to hydraulics store to match up the o-rings, and cut your own top gasket.
It is wise to have a big bench vise as well as a 3/4" breaker bar and sockets to remove the big nuts. Makes it harder to do when out of the car.
The lower seal on the idler side is meant to be compressed at all times. You'll know what I mean once you see the seal. Since the idler side rides on a threaded shaft, the shaft will "ride" up and down ever so slightly as it rotates. You'll have to index the pit-man arm on the idler shaft to get the proper compression on the seal. It's not hard to figure out.
The worm has o-rings on both end plates, plus a small seal that the input shaft goes through. It's all very easy. Steering box lower seal is just a seal and not like the idler side. It doesn't need to be compressed. The top cover gasket is paper and one can be easily cut out of gasket material.
When removing the steering shaft from the worm box, be careful that the roller ball does not fall out of the housing. If it does, the needle bearings could fall out, and it's a pain putting them back in. Use some wheel bearing grease and a wooden dowel to hold the needle bearings in place if this does happen to you.
Getting the arm off the steering box may require heat and a press. In the process, we learned about the peg needle bearings......spent 30 minutes with magnets before finding them all. Interesting that Rallye says there's 38 (matches my count), Scheeler's Roadster Book says 40, and the Nissan manuals don't mention them at all. Regardless, can't wait to reinstall those.
If you need to take up space, you can thread the idler shaft in a little bit, you don't really need the washers. The top of the pit-man arm should contact seal.
You can put the worm shaft in backwards. Yup, it's true. The bearings and cover bolt patterns are identical making it easy if one isn't paying attention. Notice the taped up shaft on the right? Should be on the left. Luckily, there's just barely enough slack to lift the peg out after removing the top cover. Really wasn't looking forward to pulling the steering arm off. Still have to wait another day for the paint that covers my repairs to dry before installing.
Anyway, triple-check before you button it up.