Wobbly Steering Column – Sorted

The fuel issue is still unsolved though I have another idea to try out, but got distracted with a quest to sort the wobbly steering shaft in the steering column. Looking at the manuals, the column was missing a felt bush, backed by Peter from AJ Restorations also saying something about a felt bush being required. So a search around the internet and I saw on the MK1 Cortina site the felt bush, a small rhombus shaped scrap of fabric about 6 x 4 cm (approx 3×2 inches). The problem being, minimum orders were £10 and this part was only £4 and I think my membership had lapsed anyway. So looking around Ebay I saw a very similar felt bush for the MGB steering column, so for about £7.50 including postage, I had placed my order.

Removing the steering wheel wasn’t as difficult as I initially thought, just prising out the centre badge and then removing four small screws that held the chrome horn push in place. I disassembled the horn push inner assembly unnecessarily but it didn’t matter as the horn was operated separately by a button on the dash board. It made easier access to the big nut holding the steering in place and so, it all came off relatively easy.

Fitting the felt bush was an epic struggle. My first attempt didn’t really work, poking and prodding with screw drivers and a plastic filler spatula didn’t get very far. I had to trim the bush down too as there was a quite a bit of overlap when wrapped around the steering shaft. I then thought if I could squash the felt a bit more with two jubilee clips it would push through into the steering column tube. After about an hour of pushing and pressing I left the jubilee clips on to come back to at a later date.

Felt bush being pressed in by ring spanner with further persuasion by the filler spatula

Two weeks later, I took the jubilee clips off to have another go and pulled out the felt bush. Only about 3-5 mm had been squeezed in and even that was at an angle. I then had the brain wave of wrapping insulation tape tightly around the felt to squeeze it closely around the steering shaft. Then with a suitable ring spanner I could press down fairly evenly and begin to push the felt into the tight gap between the shaft and steering column tube using the filler spatula as well to compress the felt into the gap, unwinding the tape as it edged in millimetres at a time. It took a long while later with lots of pressing, pushing and some more persuasion with a soft mallet that I had got about ¾ of the bush in and enough to stop the steering shaft from wobbling about and trimmed off the excess.

Felt Bush mostly squeezed in.

The steering ancillaries were all put back, the steering top shroud that had cracked again upon removal and had been glued back together and the steering wheel moved smoothly with out flopping about.

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