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Discussion Starter #1
68 camaro conv. 350ci auto 1st yr. on the road.
At some car meets, I notice how flat everyones
rag joints were. My is very waving, distorted.
New rag but I think my couplins are too far apart but that is how it was so i did not realize that it should be so flat.
What might be the best way to correct this.
 

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I wonder if your subframe bushings are shot and collapsed?
David

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Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
David's Motorsports page
First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327 original owner. 69 Camaro Vintage Racer, 65 Lola T-70 Chev SB Can-Am Vintage Racer
 

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You'll have to remove the carpet guard from the drivers side toe kick. Pull the plastic lower column cover up from the firewall (inside). Loosen the 2 bolts on the lower column support that "clamp" the column. You might have to loosen 2 of the bolts that fasten the support the firewall. Loosen the 3 nuts that fasten the column to the bottom of the dash.
You should now be able to move the column fore or aft enough to strighten out the rag joint.
 

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Paly,
The columns are designed to compress during a front end collision. Once compressed they remain the new length. I've seen cars that weren't hit hard, but the columns collapsed slightly. I've rebuilt columns for this reason and afterwards the rag joint lines up without the severe distortion you're seeing. Like some of the guys here say there are other reasons that can cause the distortion you are seeing as well. But be aware tht the inner shafts and outer housing are designed to collapse or compress when hit.

By the way once hit they can not be corrected or relengthened. No one is currently making parts for the 67-8 non tilt columns that I'm aware of. Year One makes parts for 69 and newer columns and 67-8 tilt columns, but that doesn't help you. I purchased my last donor column for $40.00, it was very nice and was a floor shift cloumn (different bowl assembly without the shift lever attachment). So they aren't very expensive for a used one. GM no longer carries the inner shaft or the mid and lower bearing assemblies. I was told the stock was depleted.

Dave

[This message has been edited by SY1 (edited 10-24-2002).]
 

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The rag joint is not supposed to be installed flat. UPC 9 of the factory assembly manual shows a .20 to .30 gap between the rag and the lowest part of the steering column flange before you bolt the rag to the flange. This will result in a .20 to .30 distortion in the rag which is normal. George
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well thank you very much.
1. run-a-way-69 I hear u my distortion is much greater than that. ty
2.SY1....You may very well be correct. Now my question is if that is the case can i do as
KYVOX is saying anyways, knowning this may be a cheat process is this a safety issue. It looks to me to be about a 3/4 to a 1 inch shift movement to get the proper spacing that I would need. this is a floor shift model colum. and btw i have replaced the subframe bushings. put @ 5000 miles on the car this yr.
with no apprent problems but I am concered.
steering does not feel bad very little play
but it looks iffy. thank you for your suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well thank you very much!!
1.run-a-way-69 George, I hear u have been there my distortion is much greater than that.
2. SY1 Dave, You may very well be correct. Now my question would be, can I do as KYVOX is saying, knowing this may be a cheat process, is this a safety issue. Looks to me to be @ ¾ to 1 inch shift movement I will need to get the proper spacing. Or perhaps you can inform me how to tell if the column has been collapsed or not!! This is a floor shift model column and btw I have replace the subframe bushings, put @ 5000 miles on the car this yr. with no apparent problems, steering feels good, very little play but it sure looks iffy that is why I am concerned. Thank you for your suggestions. Paly
 

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The .20 to .30 gap should be maintained when installing the steering column. You stated that you replaced the body mounts. Did you also check the proper alignment of the subframe with .610 diameter by 6" long pins. There are two .610 dia. holes 1 in each of the forward body mounts that line up with .610 dia. holes in the lower cowl area. After this is done the steering column is slid into place maintaining the .20 to .30 gap at the rag joint and tightened. After this is done the rag joint is bolted to the flange at the bottom of the steering column. Good Luck George
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Again thank you George, I think we are hitting on this and I shall just go back and double check myself and I think things are going to be just fine. other area of concern in the future.
This car has been project for my brother, his sons & mine. We are not auto mechs. but we are really enjoying ourselves and we are learning all the time. We call ourselves 3 time mechs.
Takes at least 3 times to get it right. lol
Looking forward to hearing from you in the future.
http://www.homestead.com/deady68/
 

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New rag joints have plastic spacers snapped around the safety studs which establish the correct spacing of the joint; they are to be removed after column installation is complete and all fasteners are torqued.

The originals had them too; the column was not secured tight to the upper mounting bracket or to the toe pan until after Body Drop, the body bolts were tight, and after the rag joint was secured. Once the rag joint was tight, the column was tightened at the upper bracket, and the toe plate attachments were tight, the plastic spacers were pulled off the rag joint and pitched in the trash. The mandatory assembly sequence is described in detail in the A.I.M. in UPC 9, Sheet A6. This mandatory assembly sequence ensured that the column was perfectly aligned with the rag joint, and would collapse properly (without binding) in a frontal collision.

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JohnZ
CRG
'69 Z28 Fathom Green
 

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Paly68,
Sorry I've been out of town since I posted last. George and John are both correct with their info and I'd make sure the subframe was aligned properly and the correct sequence of events was followed as they described. If you still have doubts about the condition of the column they are pretty simple to take apart. I found mine by accident. One of the bearings was making a clicking noise and someone had installed a custom steering wheel at one point and damged the threads beyond repair to the shaft. I found GM ran out of NOS shafts a few years back and bought the donor column at the swap meet for parts. When I got things apart I noticed the difference in lengths. Upon closer inspection there is a plastic cover on the columns under the dash and if yu remove this cover the outer column housing is perforated, like a heavy screen or cage in appearance. This is an area where you can first see damage if the column was compressed in a collision. I noticed mine damaged there as well. The 68 Chevrolet Chassis Manual has a good detail on rebuilding these as well as several pictures and an exploded view of the internals of the column to help you. It also has good information on the subframe, I used it when I was welding mine back up. At that time they did not yet have the repair kits to repair the damage or elongated mounting holes. I made my own and used the book details for locating the holes in the proper locations. I highly recomend this book. Good Luck,
Dave
 

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Paly68 - Just spent the last two hours looking at your web site. Bout busted a gut laughing. Fantastic job on the site and your car.

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1967 RS M3 with original 327
2001 Black Z28 convertible
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 67RSM3:
Paly68 - Just spent the last two hours looking at your web site. Bout busted a gut laughing. Fantastic job on the site and your car.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I keep waiting for the website to get boring, but it's not. It's almost disappointing. Call me an idiot, but did you REALLY burn down your garage while restoring this car? This website is better than any novel I have ever read (not that the total goes past the number of fingers I have.)

I give the website 4 kegs out of 4.

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68 Coupe, 350 4-speed
Jim's Camaro Corner
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well what a riot!!! Never expected such a response. We never got around to finishing that web set ( lot of work) but here are some finish pic if you would like to see. Still lots of work this winter, subframe conn. New top & glass, and exhaust just to name a few so I am sure I will be back here looking for some more of that good advice. Thanks again. Paly
http://briefcase.yahoo.com/mypaly_99
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ya was afraid of that i found out yohoo briefcase is not so free sry in the future time 4 new chapter thanks again everone
 
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