The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

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PostPosted:Thu May 19, 2022 12:23 am 
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Location:Highley, Shropshire
If you look at the design of the column inside the car, there is a large flat washer welded to the bottom. With the bush inserted from inside, this washer snugs down against the "brim" of the "top hat" sealing it in place against the plate and controlling exactly how much column protrudes through the bulkhead. Thus the nylon washer inside the car could understandably be to stop the metal washer chafing the (originally hard rubber) bush. If so, it's probably irrelevant with a poly bush anyway.

Now put the same bush in from below and the washer on the column will be actively trying to push the tapered end of the bush down and out again. At the very least, the washer will be bearing on a much smaller area and thus wear it out quicker.

Putting the bush in from the inside also obviates the need for a washer below the bush (and above the intermediate column clamp) as it's held in the plate, sandwiching the "brim" between the plate and the column washer. The intermediate column clamps on where it needs to, a point dictated by the bolt groove in the bottom of the upper column and the clamp need never touch the bottom of the bush or need a washer to "space it out". It'd probably rattle anyway!

I can make a case for the underbonnet steel washer being there to stop the slot in the upper intermediate clamp rubbing on the bottom of the bush as the UJ will, by it's nature and working, as it does, at a fairly acute angle, lengthen and shorten slightly as it rotates. Since its fixed at the bottom by the rack end pinchbolt, the only way it can go is up! Whether this is a meaningful distance I couldn't say, I cant think of any good way of measuring it.

That's my theory, based on sound engineering principals. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that Triumph actually adhered to sound engineering principals when they were building the cars. Or maybe someone on the line, who was probably fitting the bushes into the plates before the plate was anywhere near the car, could have read the drawing wrong (or there was a misprint, just as likely) and they got put in the wrong way from how the designer intended. Nothing would surprise me.

Having said i'm not gonna get involved in this (AGAIN!) i've still done it! D'oh! I'm going to bed now!

Steve

_________________
'73 2 door Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine (The Dolomega)
'72 Triumph 1500FWD in Slate Grey

Maverick Triumph, Servicing, Repairs, Electrical, Recomissioning, MOT prep, Trackerjack brake fitting service.
Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 50 years. PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted:Thu May 26, 2022 5:51 pm 
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Joined:Tue May 06, 2014 3:38 pm
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Location:South Benfleet, Essex
Before I put my 1974 Triumph Toledo 1300 “HL Special” back on the road, I too shall need to replace the “top-hat” shaped bush in the vertical-bulkhead plate at the bottom of the steering column!

When I substituted the complete “four-headlamp” Dolomite adjustable steering column, universal joints & linkages in 1982, I noticed that the Toledo’s original factory-fitted grey plastic (i.e. nylon!?!) “top-hat” shaped bush was split. Hence, I also substituted the vertical-bulkhead plate with “top-hat” shaped bush from the “four-headlamp” Dolomite.

In both cases, the “brim” of the “top-hat” shaped bush, was inside the passenger cabin, abutting the welded-on “thick-washer” at the bottom of the steering column.

A while ago, I noticed that the “top-hat” shaped bush I substituted in 1982, has also split at some time since I laid-up the car in 1999. The rubber bushes in the lower steering-column coupling also appear to have perished and require replacement.

I am now faced with the decision of what materials would furnish the most durable replacement parts:

• Nylon, polyurethane or other material for the “top-hat” shaped bush!?!
• Rubber, polyurethane or other material for the steering-column lower coupling bushes!?!

So far, all of the options seem inordinately expensive to me!

Triumph Dolomite ** STEERING COLUMN BUSH - Poly urethane **Superpro best quality| Price: £10•74

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/292145365656 ... e1b022c1f8

Superflex Steering Column Coupling Bush Kit for Triumph Dolomite Toledo 1971-81 | Price: £31•20

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281393695855 ... 7d17e7f74a

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Nigel A. Skeet

Independent tutor of mathematics, physics, technology & engineering, for secondary, tertiary, further & higher education.

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=308177758

Upgraded 1974 Triumph Toledo 1300 (Toledo / Dolomite HL / Sprint hybrid)

Onetime member + magazine editor & technical editor of Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club


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PostPosted:Thu May 26, 2022 6:16 pm 
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Location:The continent
The one in your link is not a Superflex but a Superpro. Not all poly bushes are the same quality but do want to go with the flow and name their inferior bushes something with super or flex in their name to 'add some quality'.
Fitting a superpro is replacing again next year.

For the lower flexi coupling I never had succes in replacing the little bushes. The current replacement couplings have a type of rubber that lasts about 5 steering wheel rotations and I found the Superflex bushes also not a great succes. I do fit an UJ type as replacement.

Jeroen

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PostPosted:Thu May 26, 2022 6:20 pm 
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Location:Halifax, West Yorkshire
I found Superpro excellent on Land Rovers over a period of years.
Flowflex were dreadful as were Britpart.
On Triumphs I tend to use SuperFlex and find they last really well.

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PostPosted:Fri May 27, 2022 1:39 am 
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Joined:Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:18 am
Posts:25
Location:Perth, Australia
Superpro vs superflex. On this occasion I am going to respectfully disagree with comment that superpro will need replacing again next year! I did a lot of research on this forum and online at large and fitted superpro throughout my car. Admittedly I’ve only done a few thousand miles. I was under impression that Chris Witor and superflex were an offshoot of an Aussie manufacturer (superpro) and both these brands are top notch.
Mine are holding up as good as new and I had choice on shore rating when I did the rear as trailing arms were same size of an old Holden.
Maybe I am biased as I am in Australia and like to support local if I can!


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PostPosted:Fri May 27, 2022 1:32 pm 
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TDC Shropshire Area Organiser

Joined:Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm
Posts:6581
Location:Highley, Shropshire
I use Superflex from Chris Witor for the column bush, buying 5 or 6 at a time, such is the demand from my customers! Though i've yet to change one twice on the same car. The club can also supply these.

On the lower coupling (FAM1718 in OE part number) i'm with Jeroen and, to be honest, everyone else! The modern aftermarket copies of FAM 1718 are not worth the cheese they are made of, most shed a bush within 6 months/1000miles whichever comes first I've also seen a couple of (much more dangerous) snapped bolts. Total rubbish and not fit for purpose! Because of this, even the diehard traditionalists at T D Fitchetts ("if it's not stock, we don't sell it!") have resorted to selling a UJ fitted coupling.

Also, not all UJ'd couplings are created equal, there are 2 distinct types, the cheaper "pressed" style and the more expensive but far superior "forged" style. From research i've done, the pressed coupling is a refugee from a MKI Escort Group4 rally specialist. As such, it's not QUITE the right spline for a Dolomite/Toledo rack spline, several people (me included) have found play in the joint to the rack spline despite tightening the 5/16" UNF pinchbolt to snapping point! Which is why I refuse to use them and go for the forged option. This is a Triumph 2000 part (T 2000 MkII without PAS) Though some of the usual suspects keep these on the shelf, I usually buy them from Chris Witor too, he always seems to have stock!

Note that whichever UJ'd coupling you go for, it will likely be a tad too long and will necessitate shotening of the intermediate column shaft by around 1/2" and concomitant extension of the bolt sliding flat upwards by the same amount. Takes about 10 mins with a decent angle grinder. However, it's worth all the effort as, once done, it's fit and forget!

Steve

_________________
'73 2 door Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine (The Dolomega)
'72 Triumph 1500FWD in Slate Grey

Maverick Triumph, Servicing, Repairs, Electrical, Recomissioning, MOT prep, Trackerjack brake fitting service.
Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 50 years. PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted:Fri May 27, 2022 5:24 pm 
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Future Club member hopefully!
Future Club member hopefully!

Joined:Tue May 06, 2014 3:38 pm
Posts:427
Location:South Benfleet, Essex
Quote:
The one in your link is not a Superflex but a Superpro. Not all poly bushes are the same quality but do want to go with the flow and name their inferior bushes something with super or flex in their name to 'add some quality'. Fitting a Superpro is replacing again next year.

Jeroen
Quote:
I found Superpro excellent on Land Rovers over a period of years.

Flowflex were dreadful as were Britpart.

On Triumphs I tend to use SuperFlex and find they last really well.
Quote:
I use Superflex from Chris Witor for the column bush, buying 5 or 6 at a time, such is the demand from my customers! Though i've yet to change one twice on the same car. The club can also supply these.

Steve

For various reasons, it’s probably been more than 20 years since I personally last replaced “rubber” bushes on any car; either my Triumph Toledo or my father’s Ford Sierra XR4x4!

I have no experience of buying, fitting or using polyurethane bushes in any shape or form, or indeed other polyurethane automotive components, so I doubt whether I would be able to distinguish between those of excellent quality & long-term durability from costly “cheap & nasty” imitations, which might fail soon after installation & use!

In addition to the need to replace the steering-column’s “top-hat” shaped bush, I shall probably need to replace most if not all of the front & rear suspension bushes, at least some of which are the original factory-fitted items from 1974.

Having no experience of any polyurethane bushes, I am ignorant of their relative merits re durability and suspension behaviour, compared to original-specification rubber bushes, and am slightly confused by the references to there being various options re different values of polyurethane “hardness”, “stiffness” or other characteristics; especially since no guidance is given about what values are appropriate to what applications!

Quote:
For the lower flexi coupling I never had success in replacing the little bushes. The current replacement couplings have a type of rubber that lasts about 5 steering wheel rotations and I found the Superflex bushes also not a great success. I do fit an UJ type as replacement.

Jeroen
Quote:
On the lower coupling (FAM1718 in OE part number) i'm with Jeroen and, to be honest, everyone else! The modern aftermarket copies of FAM 1718 are not worth the cheese they are made of, most shed a bush within 6 months/1000miles whichever comes first I've also seen a couple of (much more dangerous) snapped bolts. Total rubbish and not fit for purpose! Because of this, even the diehard traditionalists at T D Fitchetts ("if it's not stock, we don't sell it!") have resorted to selling a UJ fitted coupling.

Also, not all UJ'd couplings are created equal, there are 2 distinct types, the cheaper "pressed" style and the more expensive but far superior "forged" style. From research i've done, the pressed coupling is a refugee from a MKI Escort Group4 rally specialist. As such, it's not QUITE the right spline for a Dolomite/Toledo rack spline, several people (me included) have found play in the joint to the rack spline despite tightening the 5/16" UNF pinchbolt to snapping point! Which is why I refuse to use them and go for the forged option. This is a Triumph 2000 part (T 2000 MkII without PAS) Though some of the usual suspects keep these on the shelf, I usually buy them from Chris Witor too, he always seems to have stock!

Note that whichever UJ'd coupling you go for, it will likely be a tad too long and will necessitate shotening of the intermediate column shaft by around 1/2" and concomitant extension of the bolt sliding flat upwards by the same amount. Takes about 10 mins with a decent angle grinder. However, it's worth all the effort as, once done, it's fit and forget!

Steve

Your observations about the currently available replacement couplings is most disconcerting; especially the poor durability of the eight little bushes! I suspect that a “Hardy-Spicer” type UJ – universal joint would be much more durable.

I am surprised that the short, lower steering-column to steering-rack coupling, didn’t originally feature two of these UJs – universal joints, instead of a single UJ and the strange-looking flexible joint with the eight small rubber bushes.

_________________
Regards.

Nigel A. Skeet

Independent tutor of mathematics, physics, technology & engineering, for secondary, tertiary, further & higher education.

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=308177758

Upgraded 1974 Triumph Toledo 1300 (Toledo / Dolomite HL / Sprint hybrid)

Onetime member + magazine editor & technical editor of Volkswagen Type 2 Owners' Club


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