Well, got the column out yesterday.......disassembled, cleaned, inspected. Bearings, cups, retainers all looked fine.
The cam follower was as I suspected.....pretty rough as I've tuned it up twice in the last 14 years. Time for a new one!
Everything went pretty much just as Merk showed in his link. (Very nice 70 resto, by the way!)
I did spend considerable time taking the "factory warp" out of the sector arm. They all see to have this factory flaw, for some reason. Mine's now straight!
I did all my adjustments on the bench and set my column bearings with a reasonable amount of preload. Enough that there's a fair amount of resistance when you try to roll the shaft between your fingers.
One thing I recommend while you have your column on the bench.....rotate it through the complete travel and locate the dead-on centered position. Mark it as a quick reference point somewhere on the arm and box. Helps when trying to achieve an equal turning radius left and right.
Now for the bearing upgrade. I found a shielded ball thrust bearing through Motion Industries under part # 4459-00.
Listed for $4.56 + tax. It crossed to a NICE/RBC bearing part # 607V, and measures .75 x 1.65 x .5.
This is pretty much identical to the 600 series NICE bearings (#605V) everyone is using on the standard Cubs with 5/8" sector shafts. This one is 3/4" ID and works well on the bigger Ross box found on the 982s.
It's a tight fit at the raised mounting bosses on the box, but 2 18ga. steel machine washers between the box and bearing should provide enough clearance. (Mine had about 1/16th of an inch.) I topped that off with another steel machine washer and a 3/4" NyLok jam nut from Fastenal, part # 1137141. Make sure it's fine thread.
So far, so good!
Turned out to be a very smooth operating box. The one difficulty I ran into was with the mounting bracket. There's a factory hole punched in the bracket for the original jam nuts to clear. It's supposed to be 1 1/2", but gets distorted when the factory bends are made. The thrust bearing needs 1.65" plus some clearance. ( 3/32" over lets it clear)
I simply took my die grinder with a rotary file bit and enlarged the hole in the bracket to clear the bearing. You have to watch though, two of the 3/8" mounting holes are really close to the larger hole. Grind only enough to clear the bearing.
Some of you might feel a little uneasy grinding away on a NLA part, but if you go slow and take your time it will hardly be noticed.
However, due to the very tight clearances with this bearing, you can't use a standard headed 3/8" bolt in the two mounting holes closest to the bearing. I used 3/8" x 1" header bolts with a 7/16" hex head. They will clear the bearing.
Here's a couple pics............(hopefully!)
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