A special thanks to Bud Silvers; without his tireless effort this page would not exist.
The Machine Shop specializes in the newer/current version of MG steering (with the drag link assembly).
If you haven’t decided whether or not to switch, take a look here.
Note: all MG steering kits from The Machine Shop are greased FOR LIFE! No need to add any oil.
For most people with basic skills this can be completed in a single day. You will need to use a grinder or file, an electric drill, and basic hand tools.
Step 1: Locate the car on a good work surface.
A cement garage floor would be ideal.
Step 2: Remove the existing Bishop Cam (BC) steering:
1. Put the car on a jack stands to support the front of the car.
2. Adjust the steering wheel in the straight ahead position.
3. Remove the steering wheel.
4. Remove the right front wheel.
5. Remove the old drag link assembly by first removing the TC pitman arm from the BC box, then loosen the jam nut on the old drag link at the left side/wheel of the car.
6. Unscrew the TC drag link from the TC rod end at the left front wheel. The only part of this assembly that you will reuse is the left hand threaded TC jam nut.
NOTE THAT THE LEFT SIDE ROD END HAS LEFT HAND THREADS! Leave the TC rod end attached to the steering arm which is attached to the left wheel. This can be a difficult part to remove and there is no reason to remove it!
7. Set the TC drag link assembly aside; it will not be reused.
8. Remove the single bolt securing the BC box to the bracket.
9. Remove the bolt securing the Steering Column inside the car, under the facia.
10. Place some kind of protection, like a towel, on the fender underneath the headlight.
11. Remove the BC Steering assembly forward out the triangle formed by the fender, the radiator, and the headlight bar.
12. Remove the BC bracket from the frame.
13. The Steering Column, BC box, TC pitman arm, and BC bracket will not be used again and can be stored. If you have a current kit with a new drag link the TC drag link will not be used.
Step 3: Install the VW Steering Bracket:
Click here to read about bracket discrepancies.
1. Remove the two rivets securing the brake line bracket. This can be done by drilling the heads of the rivets off or by grinding with a disk type electric grinder. How ever you do it, EXTREME care must be take here NOT TO DAMAGE THE BRAKE LINE. If you have an early car you will find that the bracket is secured to the frame with the rivets only. If you have a later car you will find that the bracket is welded and riveted to the car. I strongly recommend that you remove the brake line first. This will require that you re-bleed the brake when the project is completed, but it makes the removal of the rivets and drilling of the holes much easier and safer.
2. Drill the rivet holes out to 3/8 of an inch. On Bud’s car the holes were larger than 5/16″ and smaller than 3/8″ which is why he drilled them out to 3/8″. Be very careful doing this since the holes must be drilled very straight. If you are just building your car and have access to the inside of the frame this is the preferred direction to drill the holes. The VW steering bracket is supplied with two Allen head bolts.
3. Note this picture and be sure the bracket is bolted to the frame in the position specified.
4. The completed installation should look like this.
5. Though every effort has been made to position these holes as accurately as possible, please be aware that there is some variation in all TC’s. In the event that your holes do not line up properly please contact me for further instructions. With over 40 kits sold this has not been an issue.
Step 4: Fit the VW assembly:
1. You may find it easier in the long run to remove the rubber exhaust excluder where the steering column passes through the scuttle, then place the excluder on the VW column. You will slide it into final position and re-install the bolts after you install the assembly.
2. NOTE: You may skip this step if you wish and try to slide the new VW steering column into the excluder while it is installed on the car. If you choose to do it this way it does save some time, but be aware that the VW steering column is 1/8th of an inch larger in diameter than the stock BC column. The use of some lubrication that does not damage the rubber of the excluder is recommended.
3. Place the VW steering box in position. This assembly goes in the opposite way that the BC assembly came out. Again use a towel on the fender under the headlight to prevent chipping or scratching the paint.
4. If you removed the excluder you should now slide it into position and replace the bolts.
5. Check the fit of the VW Steering Box. Below are a couple of pictures of Bud's car. As you can see, there is no clearance issue.
Clearance has been an problem on only one car so far, but you may need to add some clearance where the steering column passes through the scuttle. See the pictures below.
An alternative to this modification, if necessary, is to simply slide the steering box itself closer to the engine as this may provide the needed clearance. A word of caution to maintain enough clearance between the pitman arm and the down pipe when doing this. It’s usually recommended that the steering box be mounted as close to the frame as possible to give ample clearance between the pitman arm and the down pipe.
The last two pictures above show the steering column after clearance has been made and the exhaust excluder boot has been re-installed. It is important that the VW steering box be positioned as close to the frame rail as possible to add to clearance between the exhaust down pipe/pitman arm and between the steering column/starter motor. See the following three pictures.
AGAIN! PLEASE NOTE: There is some variation in all TC’s. They are not modern cars and the VW steering installation is a tight fit. You may find that you have to do some modifications to your car in order to fit the steering, as they are all a bit different. If you have any issues with fitting please call me at 719-330-0085.
Step 5: Install the VW steering:
1. Place the box in position.
2. Install the steering box clamp and snug the bolts securing the VW steering box to the round bracket.
3. Secure the steering column under the facia using the stock clamp. You will find that the VW steering column is a bit larger diameter than the stock column and the clamp will need to be spread just a bit. You will also find that this makes putting it into the bracket a bit difficult as well; you may also have to spread the bracket slightly. Once this is all assembled you can tighten the bolt.
4. Tighten the bolts on the VW steering box clamp. I strongly recommend the use of blue Loctite® on these bolts.
5. Install the TC jam nut from your old drag link onto the new drag link assembly. Remember that these are on the left side of the car and are LEFT HAND THREADS!
6. The new pitman arm and drag link will come to you pre-assembled. The VW end is pre-assembled and will be screwed in within 3 turns of as far as possible. You do not need to adjust this at this time.
7. Install the pitman arm/drag link from the right side of the car, between the spring and the frame, and thread into the TC rod end at the left side of the car. Remember that these are LEFT HAND THREADS.
8. Set your front wheels as close as you possibly can to straight ahead.
9. Find the center of the steering box by turning the splined shaft end (where the steering wheel goes) to full stop both left and right then back to the center.
10. Install the steering wheel in the straight ahead position. The VW box has a center just as the BC box did. You will note that there is a bit of resistance when the box is in the center. It becomes slightly looser as it is turned to the right or the left. This is to help when steering the car straight ahead and is the same principle used with the BC box.
Yes, this is probably one of the ugliest Brooklands wheels in existence!
11. Now screw the drag link assembly into the left rod end until the pitman arm will easily slide onto the steering box.
12. Install the pitman arm bolt and tighten. I strongly recommend the use of blue Loctite® on the threads of this bolt.
13. Tighten the jam nut on the left end of the drag link assembly.
14. Check your front wheels turning travel. You may notice a small amount of discrepancy between full left turn and full right turn, and have to adjust the length of the drag link to correct this and make the car steer straight ahead when the steering wheel is in the center. Correct the steering wheel by lengthening or shortening the Drag Link. It is important that the center of the steering box be maintained. You want some slight resistance when the car is going straight ahead.
15. If you removed the brake line at the beginning of this process then replace it now and re-bleed the right front brake.
16. Replace the right front wheel and remove the jack stands.
17. That’s all! Check everything again then go for a test drive!
Enjoy your steering.