Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Re: 68 steering shaft length
Your steering shaft appears to be a shortened by a bit more than 1/2 inch.
Is your steering column a floor shift? If it is a floor shift the shift tube provides some strength to the steering column in bending. But shearing the plastic injection between the two tubes may not be really detrimental to the column.
If it is a column shift, rotating your shift lever may eventually weaken the shift tube joint at the plastic injection because it was shortened and the plastic partially sheared in the past.
As far as the steering shaft, (where you measured the 32 13/16 inch steering shaft length) I would try to pull it back out to obtain the original 33 3/8 inch length. The steering column may function quite well as is.
FYI, the steering shaft is formed from two very close tolerance shaft. A solid shaft up to the steering wheel and a hollow tubular shaft that extends down to the flange on the lower end. There is generous overlap where the two shafts come together so there is really no safety concerns. The worst that can happen is a small amount of looseness at the junction of the two shafts. The injected plastic at that point may very well prevent any looseness even though the shaft has been pulled back to its original length.