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Removal of the Steering Column, Drive Shaft, and Transmission

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

In order to remove the engine for rebuilding and restoration, it was first necessary to remove the Steering column, Drive-line and Transmission. The size and weight of these assemblies makes their removal challenging.

Removal of the Steering Column


Steering wheel and lever quadrants

First we removed the bell crank with attached throttle and magneto linkage

Next we removed the drag-link

Steering column split flange with throttle pedal


Next we unbolted and removed the split halves of the steering column flange that attached to the floorboard and firewall. Then we disconnected the steering box from the frame. This allowed us to lift the steering column up and over the driver's seat and out of the vehicle.


Steering box before disassembly, with armored horn wire in place

Steering column with box cover removed for initial inspection

Pitman arm after removal and bead blasting, noticeably larger than a Model T Ford

Removal of Drive Shaft - Rear Section

This picture shows the rear portion of the drive shaft with the pinned trunnion axle and sliding roller bearing assembly removed

Trunnion bearing assembly with axle in place

Trunnion housing after drive shaft removal

Trunnion housing after drive shaft removal showing the four finely machined hardened bearing roller plates


Removal of the drive shaft was challenging as is typical for this project. We started at the back end where it connected to the differential. The first step in disconnecting the rear end of the drive shaft was to unbolt and slide forward the cast aluminum bell shaped grease cover. Next we needed to remove the finely machined trunnion housing cover... it was tight! With the trunnion housing cover slid forward we were able to move the rear end of the drive shaft laterally out of place. This allowed us to move to the front end.

Removal of Drive Shaft - Front Section

First we disconnected the speedometer cable and drive. Next we unscrewed the u-joint cover with the attached speedometer gear.


The u-joint assembly is located inside the service brake drum, which is attached to the rear of the transmission.


Next we removed eight castellated nuts which held the two halves of the u-joint bearing cap together. When we pulled the rear half of the bearing cap away from the front, the loose roller bearings rained down upon us! This allowed us to remove the drive shaft from the vehicle.


Front half of u-joint assembly


Removal of Transmission First Steps

To begin the removal of the transmission we removed the clutch and pedal pads and brake adjusting arms. We removed the emergency brake rod from the emergency brake lever. We removed the aluminum cover from the top of the transmission which held the shifting lever and emergency brake lever in place.

Before the transmission can be pulled away from the engine one must remove the clutch access cover to allow for removal of the clevis pin which attaches the clutch pedal shaft linkage to the throw-out bearing collar. There is very little room to work in the required area through the small access port. This job was tedious and Frustrating.


clutch housing with access port

clutch cover with throw-out bearing collar


Disconnecting Cast Aluminum Transmission - Bell Housing From Engine Crankcase

Next we removed all cap screws, nuts and washers which joined the engine crankcase to the bell housing. In addition to the small fasteners there are two very large, finely machined hollow locating pins which join the crankcase and bell housing together. Each of the two pins had fine threads and a large nut and washer on their forward portion and a larger diameter shoulder with washer to the rear. These pins proved to be incredibly tight and required heat and enormous pressure to drive out!


Note the large pin in the upper right of this picture

Locating pin after cleaning


Final Removal of Transmission

The extreme weight and large size of the transmission assembly caused us great concern. The decision was made to adapt a hydraulic engine hoist to support the assembly for removal. A platform was fabricated and attached to the top of the stand's lifting arm. Then the transmission was secured to the platform with perforated steel tape (plumber's tape). After the transmission was fastened, we lifted the hoist to relieve pressure and the stand and transmission were rolled back away from the engine. Finally the hydraulic lift was lowered and the transmission was lowered onto a rolling cart.


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