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  • This problem is driving me nuts! Any ideas?!

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Typerpilot, Mar 31, 2010.

    1. Typerpilot

      Typerpilot Guest

      Hi Everyone,
      I am in the process of building a camper van using a Mercedes Sprinter as a rolling chassis and coupling it with the body of an old 1960's Morris FG (Ex ambulance). A truely unique one-off custom build.

      Now my problem is that the seating position for a Sprinter is behind the front wheels and the engine is basically in front of you under the bonnet, so the Merc steering column goes through the floor and uses a single universal joint to angle it onto the steering rack. However the Morris FG cab doesn't have a bonnet so the engine sits inbetween the driver and the passenger inside the cab. This layout therefore puts the drivers seat over (if not slightly in front) of the front wheels. So now the steering rack is along way backwards from where the steering column finishes (and there are only so many angles universal joints can manage!).
      So what I am looking for is either a way to build (have built ;) ) a special geared 90 degree steering box or find an existing vehicle that seats the driver in a similar position and 'borrow' their system.

      Does that make sense? Basically where my steering column ends I need to some how make it do a 90 degree turn and link up with the steering rack which is about 20" backwards!

      Any ideas would be SERIOUSLY appreciated!
      Thanks in advance.

      B
       
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    3. mvalenti

      mvalenti Well-Known Member

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    4. Typerpilot

      Typerpilot Guest

      Thanks for your reply. I've looked at various hot rod and aftermarket boxes but they all seem to be set up for the driver sitting behind the front wheels - my problem is that the driving position is in front of the front wheels therefore the steering mechanism (base of steering column to steering rack) has to do a complete U turn involving some rather sharp angles.
      The green box in this image is sort of where the bottom of the steering column will finish. Now usually in a Mercedes Sprinter it would just attach to the steering shaft on the steering rack - but in my layout I am left with it a good 20" forward of the steering shaft - and this is my problem!!

      [​IMG]

      In this image you can see where the drivers seat will eventually be mounted. The steering shaft on the steering rack is just out of view but you can see where the steering column will go and end.

      [​IMG]
       
    5. mvalenti

      mvalenti Well-Known Member

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      For some reason, I cant see the images on my work PC. Ilooked online at cab over type trucks and they seem to have the same issue you do. column far forward of the steering rack. My brother is a diesel truck mechanic, ant I'm sure he would know right off the bat. I will ask him over the weekend, but I will do some internet searching as well.
       
    6. Typerpilot

      Typerpilot Guest

      Thanks a lot - that's really good of you!

      These links are to the photos - should work if you paste them into a new browser
      :
      http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/ ... nt=600.jpg

      http://s66.photobucket.com/albums/h249/ ... nt=601.jpg

      Mitsubishi do a tipper lorry called a Fuso Canter which has the seating slightly ahead of the front axel so next week I might go and bother a nearby dealer and ask if I can have a look under one and/or see their exploded diagrams in the parts dept.

      Have a great Easter.
      Ben
       
    7. mvalenti

      mvalenti Well-Known Member

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    8. Typerpilot

      Typerpilot Guest

      That is exactly it!! What model Isuzu truck is that image from?!! :shock:
       
    9. Valmiki

      Valmiki Member

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      VW transporter have a little geared unit which connects to the output of the steering column, and sends the steering shaft backwards.

      You would have to re-mount your steering rack so that the input shaft points forwards (rotate the rack assy around it's centreline).

      Then you could connect (via universal joints) a shaft from the little geared unit to the rack.

      P.S. as you've said "rack", I'm assuming there is no "piman arm", as mentioned in a previous post.

      I'm not sure where all this is going to leave you regarding getting an MOT or roadworthiness certificate.

      Hope this helps.
       

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