Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Suspension related stuff goes in here.
kmoses
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:28 pm
Your car is a: 1979 Spider 2000

Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby kmoses » Fri May 01, 2015 10:54 pm

I'm rebuilding the front end of my spider and decided to pull the steering idler and check the fluid level.
When I removed the top cap, there was some oil and I thought everything was going to be in good working condition.
Image

I then removed the section with the spring loaded balls, exposing the lower chamber and guess what I found......no oil!
Image

I ended up stripping it to the bare housing, removing the old seal, machining a O-ring grove in the shaft bore (near the bottom), and prepping the old seal bore for a new double lip radial seal. The new seal is 31mm x 20mm x 7mm. I did pack the area between the new O-Ring and radial seal with brake caliper grease (is waterproof, handles hi-temps, does not dry out and has a low breakaway). Hopefully this repair will last.
Image

O-Ring location at base of shaft housing.
Image

Double Lip seal (the bore that held the factory seal needed to be opened up .015" to accept the new 31mm OD seal.
Image

Everything reassembled.
Image
Last edited by kmoses on Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
So Cal Mark
Posts: 13841
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:45 pm
Your car is a: lots and lots of Fiats
Location: upland, ca.
Contact:

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type)

Postby So Cal Mark » Sat May 02, 2015 12:32 am

it's always a surprise when it appears the idler has oil in it until you remove the top plate :?
Mark Allison
allisonsautomotive.com Fiat and Alfa Romeo parts and service. Performance parts our specialty!
Headers, ignitions, wheels, cams, flywheels
starsmark@hotmail.com 909-981-3566

kmoses
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:28 pm
Your car is a: 1979 Spider 2000

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby kmoses » Fri May 08, 2015 9:54 pm

Photos updated to show O-Ring location and new 31x20x7 Double lip seal.

vandor
Posts: 3997
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 1:23 pm
Your car is a: 1971 124 Spider
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby vandor » Sat May 09, 2015 12:37 am

I usually take out the seals from the paddles and semi-fill them with grease, as that won't leak out.
Csaba
'71 124 Spider, much modified
'17 124 Abarth, silver
http://italiancarclub.com/csaba/
Co-owner of the best dang Fiat parts place in town

kmoses
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:28 pm
Your car is a: 1979 Spider 2000

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby kmoses » Tue May 12, 2015 7:20 am

When you go from gear oil to grease, do you add a fitting so that the shaft can be greased?

User avatar
johndemar
Posts: 683
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:12 am
Your car is a: 1976 Fiat 124 Spider
Location: Phoenix

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby johndemar » Tue May 12, 2015 9:01 am

A zirc fitting can be place on the side of the idler.

If you go over to the Mira site, Kelly Dicker has a detailed process there on how to do it.
Sorry, no link, the site is a little awkward to navigate.
76 Fiat 124 Spider
One owner since July 20, 1976
Amadio Motor, Jeannette, PA

Fi8spider
Posts: 378
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:12 am
Your car is a: 1974 Fiat 124 Spider

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby Fi8spider » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:04 am

Nice write up on the seal arrangement and size.
Is the recommendation here to use grease instead of a hydraulic fluid to fill the chambers?

spider2081
Posts: 2099
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:45 pm
Your car is a: 1981 Spider 2000
Location: Wallingford,CT
Contact:

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby spider2081 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:49 am

really nice job

Stugots
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:34 am
Your car is a: Looking for a 2000 spider

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby Stugots » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:57 pm

Good write up. But I have a question. I am trying to disassemble mine. I got the top plate off with no issue, but the middle section with the 4 ball bearings wont come off. It is loose and spins on there. It doesn't appear to be threaded from your pictures. I tried prying with a flat blade, but it just won't come off. I am hesitant to put too much pressure on it because it seems like it should just pop off. How easy is it supposed to be to get off? Is it possible I have seized something up already?

kmoses
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:28 pm
Your car is a: 1979 Spider 2000

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby kmoses » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:36 am

Mine had a little drag when taking it off and putting it on. I would remove the lower nut and arm (mark the arm and shaft with a punch so it goes back on the shaft in the same location). You should then be able to remove the shaft and then the cap. I used 90wt. oil in my rebuild but it looks like grease is a good option also.

User avatar
KevAndAndi
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:14 pm
Your car is a: 1981 Fiat Spider 2000
Location: Chatham, NJ

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby KevAndAndi » Fri Jun 17, 2016 3:29 pm

I'm usually a fan of restoration, rebuilding, and preservation of original parts, but I gotta say: For me, it seemed clear that the better way was to replace the idler with the new, dry ball-bearing version. I'm curious as to why folks would prefer to spend the time and effort of rebuilding the oil-filled version which always carries a risk of leaking.

Not judging - just wondering.
Kevin
1981 Spider 2000

DieselSpider
Posts: 1418
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:21 pm
Your car is a: 1978 124 Spider with Isuzu Turbo Diesel

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby DieselSpider » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:07 am

KevAndAndi wrote:I'm usually a fan of restoration, rebuilding, and preservation of original parts, but I gotta say: For me, it seemed clear that the better way was to replace the idler with the new, dry ball-bearing version. I'm curious as to why folks would prefer to spend the time and effort of rebuilding the oil-filled version which always carries a risk of leaking.

Not judging - just wondering.


The steering damper built into the oil filled version can afford some drivers an extra margin of control in certain driving conditions. If you rarely drive on rough roads with potholes and frost heaves you might never notice the difference. One could install an external steering damper on the center link and anchor it to the cross member if they went with the dry idler and didn't like the looser feeling.

vandor
Posts: 3997
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 1:23 pm
Your car is a: 1971 124 Spider
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby vandor » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:29 am

FWIW only the 124 Sports had the oil filled idler, the sedans and wagons' idlers had bushings.
Csaba
'71 124 Spider, much modified
'17 124 Abarth, silver
http://italiancarclub.com/csaba/
Co-owner of the best dang Fiat parts place in town

Fi8spider
Posts: 378
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:12 am
Your car is a: 1974 Fiat 124 Spider

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby Fi8spider » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:19 pm

Nice write up.

Once again lovely job on the lower seal.

User avatar
baltobernie
Posts: 3291
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:00 pm
Your car is a: 1973 Spider
Location: Highland, MD

Re: Steering Idler (Oil filled type) Salvage

Postby baltobernie » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:47 pm

Great write-up and photos; thanks. Can you recommend a source for the seal you used? And the finished dimension of the housing?


Return to “Suspension Related”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests