SERIES LANDROVER STEERING RELAY LUBRICATION

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Steering Relay Lubrication

The one bad thing about Series III Land Rovers is the size of the steering wheel - if you, like me, do not exactly have a sylph-like figure!
Anything other than black T-shirts soon develop a neat dirt line around the middle. A smaller steering wheel is a good idea, but the steering on my Series III was stiff enough with the big wheel as it was. I tried a smaller wheel, much better from a convenience point of view, but my forearms soon began to resemble Popeye's!
Power steering..... well I like to keep my old bus as it is ...... simple & uncomplicated, my 2.25 diesel smoke machine works hard enough as it is, especially with the Range Rover differentials I fitted a while back, never mind having to power a steering pump.
My Land Rover is a 1960 rebuild on a galvanised chassis, & is in exceptionally good mechanical condition. The steering box is quite good too, I have adjusted it a bit, to take up the slack, but not enough to stiffen up the steering noticeably.
When I first bought it, it wandered all over the road! When I asked about this, various people said "They're all like that mate" Anyway, some new track rod & drag link ball joints soon dispelled that theory. I then thought about the steering relay. With the big spring helping to solidify the chain of events, especially if it's lubrication was a bit dubious, had to make some difference to the free running of the steering events. I had heard that it was possible to remove one of the bolt holes around the edge, & drip in some more oil, but this seemed very hit or miss. By the way, never remove all the bolts at once though, because if you do, a  very strong spring will fly out, which could be quite difficult to re-fit, especially with the relay in situ.

My solution is as follows:

Make a special grease nipple to fit in one of the bolt holes,
For this, I used an M6 Allen cap head bolt, with a hole drilled down the middle. Then I drilled & tapped the cap head end to take a standard grease nipple, which was then screwed into place.
Now, clean around the top of the relay to remove any grime, then remove the front bolt only from the top of the steering relay. Very important: You must only screw the hollow cap head bolt into the relay's bolt hole about 3 turns or less. If you bottom out the nipple extension, the grease cannot go anywhere, as the inlet hole is on the side of the internal thread. This now allows you, with the help of the grease or oil gun, to inject some low friction substance into the unit. I used molybdenum disulphide anti-scuffing type grease. Don't worry if some old oil drips out, it is only being replaced by the new grease. (If no oil drips out, the unit is probably dry anyway).
Remove the nipple, clean surplus grease from around the hole & replace the bolt.

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