Saturday, November 20, 2010

Steering Wheel

When I bought the van it didn't have the original steering wheel on it. It had a MGTD one, that was protected well by a leather cover. Well, one day I promised it to Jack (the guy who sold me the wheels) and an MGTD guy. Well, later I found out that they sell for $500 on eBay. That was the worst single decision I made on this project. That money could come in handy. Among other things it could be used for would have been buying an authentic-looking steering wheel for the van. I think that a Morris 8E steering wheels is the same as a J Van one, but I contacted Paul Banham at and he was simply too lazy to measure the two bosses dimension to close a sale, so I turfed that idea. I mean, I asked him twice to do it using both mine and my wife's email accounts in two emails spaced exactly one year apart!

What I ultimately settled on was the 1950 Ford truck pattern wheel. But the problem is that it was splined NOT keyed, so that meant doing some machining and then epoxying the new boss into the steering column. Worse, these steering wheels are already pretty pricey -- about $200, plus shipping. This week I looked at other options for the zillionth time online and, through some strange combination of keystrokes I found a website that sold vintage tractor parts, including the Oliver Super tractor. There I found the steering wheel included in the photo above. I typed the name in eBay and after paying $38, I have something that is a reasonable analog until Steve decides that Duncan is not restorable and I can have that one. The one above is keyed and the boss is tapered like a J Van one, except slightly smaller -- 0.015" on the top and .053" on the bottom. Maybe I can ram it together when it gets here. Otherwise, it seems like a simple job for the machine shop.

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