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Steering Column Restoration

The steering column including wheel, throttle and spark lever quadrants, and gear box is enormous! Every part was exclusively manufactured for the Simplex Crane model 5.

According to the Automobile Trade Journal August 1915:

The worm and gear are both of hardened steel. The worm shaft is fitted with Hess Bright thrust bearings, and both this and the worm gear shaft are mounted on bronze bushings. The gears are entirely enclosed and run in heavy oil. Both the spark and throttle control levers are mounted on a stationary sector above the steering wheel, which has a rim of 18 in. diameter. The electric horn, which is carried on the motor under the hood, is operated by a button on top of the steering post.

In the Instructions for care and operation:

The steering gear is of the worm and wheel type and is non-adjustable.

The end thrust of the worm is taken care of by two ball thrust bearings, and requires no adjustment. The worm wheel is mounted on plain bronze eccentric bearings, these being set in the shoulder end.

Any adjustment should be made by the Simplex Service Department.

We began with disassembly, thorough cleaning and inspection. We found that no repair or adjustment was required. The worm gear and shaft, the gear wheel and shaft, and the gear wheel shaft bushings were found to be in near perfect condition and did not require repair. We did purchase both NOS thrust bearings.


As this is a preservation car in remarkable condition, all that we did for the wheel and controls was cleaning and polishing

Steering gear box before removal and restoration

Steering gear box with attached throttle and spark gears and levers after initial cleaning

Gear box while cleaning and draining lubricant

Complete steering column during cleaning

Steering gear box before removal of gear wheel

Steering gear box after removal of gear wheel

Lower thrust bearing

Worm gear and shaft

Steering gear box: Outer column cover. Steering, throttle control, spark control, and horn tubes

Throttle, spark, and horn tubes

Throttle and spark control gears and levers

Foot pedal throttle control bell crank with linkage

Linkage after disassembly

Pitman arm ready for paint

Preparing steering wheel for removal

Horn button after removal

Insulated horn button contact, This contact was cleaned and repaired and a new armor-clad cable was soldered on. The rich sound of this car's original Klaxon horn is very nice!

The quality and complexity of this steering mechanism is paramount!

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