• Fred Spee
    6 October 2013 at 09:27 #50437

    I like to adjust the play in a Marles steering box. Does anyone know
    if this can be done with the steering box still in place? Who will
    supply eventual needed shims? And, in case I’ll have to take the
    box out, what is the best way to do?
    I will be greatful to learn from an experienced forum member.


    Colin M34
    6 October 2013 at 13:47 #50438

    Hi Fred,

    What car is this for?. It’s a horrible job to do with it fully in situ but you should not have to remove it completely, as this is also a horrible job.Adjustment is easy when you get to it, and it transforms the steering so is well worth doing.

    If you can tell us what car it is fitted to, I will give you some more information.

    Colin M34

    Barry Brown
    7 October 2013 at 00:03 #50439

    Colin, Please post the info here so we all can learn! Thanks, Barry

    Colin M34
    7 October 2013 at 09:54 #50440

    Hi Barry,

    Your M45 does not have a Marles box, it has a Bishop Cam one which is different.


    Fred Spee
    7 October 2013 at 17:01 #50441

    Hi Colin,
    Thanks for your reply.
    It is for my 3L LC. There is some play in the rocker shaft and I
    loose some oil. As I cannot remove the drop arm withour a press
    I was planning to arrange the shimms on the back of the house.
    Of course I shall have to skip the fitting of an oil seal. Do you
    think this can be done with the steering box in place?
    And how do I get shimms for the proper adjustment?
    Regards, Fred Spee S.33

    Colin M34
    7 October 2013 at 17:29 #50442

    Hi Fred,

    is is Marles or Bishop Cam? They fitted both on LC 3L Lagondas. If the shaft is worn then is will need re-bushing and that requires full removal of the box.


    Fred Spee
    7 October 2013 at 22:11 #50443

    Hi Colin,

    It is a Marles one. Do you know how I can get it off?
    What do I have to start with, the part with the trottle and
    ingniton levers, or do I have to do the steering column first?
    I know the club supplies new parts. I am just afraid to
    damage the steering box.

    Regards, Fred.

    8 October 2013 at 09:05 #50444

    I had the Marles steering box & column for my LG6 completely rebuilt including machining & fitting a shaft seal by a steering specialist firm in Wimbledon about 10 years ago. It was only ?140 including all parts, so was literally a no-brainer to have them do it rather than buy the parts & try to do it myself.


    Colin M34
    8 October 2013 at 15:56 #50445

    Hi Lawrence,

    Sounds great! Having the bush and seal done seems a no-brainer.

    Can you confirm that Lagondas went back to Marles with the LG6 from Bishop Cam which was used on cars from around 1932? Both my 16/80 and my M45 both have Bishop Cam, whereas my 1927 HC 2 Litre has a “vintage” Marles box.

    Presumably they fitted Marles boxes when they went to independent front suspension on the LG6.


    8 October 2013 at 18:14 #50447

    Hi Laurence
    Was the firm in Wimbledon called Steering Services ?? If so I can thoroughly recomend them as well to Fred (usual disclaimer – only a satisfied customer). They have rebuilt 2 steering boxes for me (M45 and LG45) the last one about 10 years ago. I think Peter Whenman always used them.
    I would usually have a go at anything myself but I think for a “safety critical” thing like this it is best left to an “expert”.
    The last phone number I have for them (in UK) was 0208 5409756. Hope this helps Fred.

    8 October 2013 at 19:47 #50448

    Hi Bill,
    Yes, that name sounds familiar. Only problem I had was that a needle roller bearing was obsolete, so he fitted a plain bearing. The steering was heavy, so he suggested getting the part ground out & having another needle roller bearing fitted (or perhaps it was to accommodate larger diameter needle rollers. That was all fine, except the firm I gave the grinding work to lost the component…for 6 years!
    Hi Colin,
    Yes Marles on the LG6, & of course the same on the V12. If I remember correctly, “Newnes Overhaul & Repair” has a very comprehensive chapter covering these steering boxes. One quick fix that is possible is to cut a corner of the adjusting shim/s, thus allowing them to be fitted without completely removing the column….indeed found just that on my LG6 box…a bit of a bodge as keeping it really oil tight after doing that must be an issue.
    Incidentally the previous “professional restorer” of the steering box just tightened the bearings up….resulting in the bearings disintegrating & turning the oil into excellent grinding paste. Useful.


    Fred Spee
    8 October 2013 at 20:07 #50449

    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for the address. I might give them a caal. But as I live in
    Holland and as I see it as a project for next winter, because I
    love working on cars I prefer to do it by myself.
    I hope to receive some comments about the best way to do it
    in order to avoid damage on a rare steering box.

    9 October 2013 at 09:34 #50454

    You could do worse than buy a set of “Newnes Motor Overhaul & Repair”, it’s a 4 volume set plus a 5th “volume” of data sheets (including prewar Lagonda data). The set I bought was fortuitously 1940….best you look out for that publication date or earlier as obviously post war sets will have less relevant content.
    They are an absolute mine of information on all aspects of working on our sort of cars. They’re not rare, and they’re not generally expensive. My set cost ?8 about 20 years ago, but you’d still probably get a set for ?20 (ie less than the price of a Haynes manual for a modern!) odd today…..take care that the set includes the data sheets! As already stated, there’s an entire chapter on overhauling/adjusting the several different types of Marles steering gearbox.
    I also recently discovered that one of the prewar Motor Trader magazine data sheet supplements was devoted to Marles steering gearboxes, so you could look out for one of those as well. Ebay could be your friend here!

    9 October 2013 at 18:20 #50455

    Fred, just to answer also one of your original questions. If you do decide to have a go yourself and you need different shims you can buy sheets of shim steel (sometimes a pack in assorted thicknesses) and you can then cut your own shims out to the required shape and thickness. This is not too difficult to do if you are reasonably “handy”. You can cut them with an ordinary pair of scissors but might need to resharpen halfway through. Try not to use your wife’s dressmaking scissors as otherwise you may find that you spend more time in the garage than you originally intended !!
    I have done this for a rear axle (not Lagonda) trumpets in order to shim out the taper bearings.
    I bought a pack of shim steel (about 300mm x 150mm size by memory from a local engineers supplies but you should be able to find a supplier on the internet. You may have to accept metric not imperial thickness but that is not too much of a problem as you just check the imperial size and then work from that. Best of luck to you Fred if you decide to have a go and let us know how you get on !

    Fred Spee
    9 October 2013 at 19:36 #50456

    Hi Laurence, Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your information and suggestions.
    I think I’ll try to get some manuels first.
    I won’t spoil my wife’s sissors as there are already of poor
    quality and I have better ones in my garage.

    Anyway I’ll have something to do this winter.


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