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20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

Thought of sharing my steering shaft conversion from rag joint to U-joint in a 1gen. I did it last year and was pleased with the results

- Zero slack (to the steering box anyway)
- More header room (at least with my SBC Hooker 1 3/4 Super Comps with AFR heads)
- Improved steering feel

- Bit of work
- May be challenging to get the steering column aligned for the first time and the steering shaft has to be straight

It all started with me inspecting the condition of the steering shaft and column in general. The plastic sleeve at the end was pretty much destroyed, causing the shaft to grind itself to the column. Auch :

So I started by disassembling the column, removing the gear shift tube and cutting a bit from the end of the tube, making the end flat.
Then I cut the rag joint hub off from the steering shaft
I fitted a bar inside which I milled to accept the U- joint DD end and plug welded it inside the steering shaft :

Then it was time to make the housing for the ball bearing, the housing would go inside the column tube. The housing extends through the firewall to make the whole thing robust :

Before I put the housing inside the column I knocked a smaller tube inside the column and plug welded it, because a collapsible column is pretty much rubber when you have removed the gear shift tube. So I kind of put a "new gear shift tube" to reinforce the column again.

Here's the assembled column with the housing in place and secured :

Here it is with the Borgeson U-joint :

Here it is installed :

20 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That really is a great idea. Did it make that much of a difference?
My comparison can be a bit biased since my stock setup was in such a bad shape, but I can tell that the mostly I noticed was better feedback and self centering.
I was afraid that the rather rigid setup would cause steering wheel vibration ,but no, at least not with my 15" rim setup.
This year I'm going for 18" so let's see if that affects. I do have a backup plan if vibration comes an issue, change the Borgeson U-joint to their vibration absorbing version.

The guys doing the U-joint conversions to front mount steering box cars should know the difference, but imho if you have the steering box, rag joint and steering column in good working condition I probably wouldn't do this upgrade
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