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Old 05-12-2019, 11:36 PM
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What are my options here for this steering column

Hi guys, I'm looking for some suggestions here. With the new 383 stroker engine in the car the bulky steering shaft coupler now has about a hair of clearance with the exhaust manifold. To make matters worse, the coupler was welded to the steering column shaft. Now I got a sweet set of headers but without even installing them I can already tell that they won't fit with the steering shaft coupler in the way. I thought about maybe moving the whole steering column about an inch or 2 on the firewall away from the manifold but that would require me to cut a bigger hole in the firewall and reinstall the column holding brackets and column gear shifter etc and I think that would be too much trouble. Also the steering shaft coupler is clunky and deteriorating so I would prefer to replace the steering shaft and and hopefully find some kind of low profile coupler that'll give more clearance between the manifold and shaft? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.



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Old 05-13-2019, 07:15 AM
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Now would be a good time to upgrade to a chrome column with universal joints to get around your new headers. Bit pricey but lots better than a welded steering shaft.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39 master View Post
Now would be a good time to upgrade to a chrome column with universal joints to get around your new headers. Bit pricey but lots better than a welded steering shaft.



Do you mean a chrome steering shaft? Why would I need to replace the whole steering column?
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:47 PM
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You said the shaft was welded so there just isn't any universal joint that will fit the column shaft now. Replacing just the shaft in the column is not out of the question but would end up costing more than a new column. Yes, I said chrome (column) but it could be steel that can be painted or a junkyard column but you need the standard end to the column shaft so that a universal joint can be adapted. Universal joints are smaller in diameter to get around the new headers and can handle 30 degrees of deflection.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39 master View Post
You said the shaft was welded so there just isn't any universal joint that will fit the column shaft now. Replacing just the shaft in the column is not out of the question but would end up costing more than a new column. Yes, I said chrome (column) but it could be steel that can be painted or a junkyard column but you need the standard end to the column shaft so that a universal joint can be adapted. Universal joints are smaller in diameter to get around the new headers and can handle 30 degrees of deflection.

Thanks for the reply. The thing is that I'm trying to avoid replacing the whole steering column. What if I just cut the end of the column shaft that was welded to the coupler? (where the arrow points to in the picture) There's still about 1 1/2 inch of the column shaft that I could still use to slip a new link/joint to with a new shaft going to the steering box. Wouldn't that work?
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:26 PM
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If the shaft is 3/4 inch dia you could cut off the welded part and machine the end to take a double d universal joint. Might gain you a small bit of room..

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:23 PM
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Yes, machine the end to a double D. That would be a bit difficult to chuck it up in a milling machine to get the proper size and centered "D" with just a short stub sticking out. Then there is the cost of a shop doing the machining. Plan B would be a new column.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39 master View Post
Yes, machine the end to a double D. That would be a bit difficult to chuck it up in a milling machine to get the proper size and centered "D" with just a short stub sticking out. Then there is the cost of a shop doing the machining. Plan B would be a new column.

Or maybe just get a 3/4'' coupler with a round smooth bore on one side and a DD on the other? I think that might work..
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:08 AM
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Carefully DD the shaft with a grinder and a file, you won't have to worry about the round bore slipping.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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U joint coupler

I did a jeep engine swap and used pieces from a chevy astro van, and a coupler that fit on a 3/4 round shaft. after we got everything together tightened the allen screws to mark the round shaft then drilled the point locations so the allen screws would bite. then finally got everything together tested then tig welded the round shaft to the round end of the coupler.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:33 AM
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I think the universal joint providers warn against welding their joints.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:25 PM
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I understand your dilemma, but this is not a difficult project. see my photos below. PM me if you would like additional photos or...

The first photo shows the overall final fitment. The second photo is during the "final adjustment", can be tedious !!

As noted in previous reply, You can shorten your column and install and new end bearing at the bottom end that's now shortened, which also is a shaft retainer in many instances. You will most likely need to remove your steering column.

We usually machine down "UHMW" or "Delrin" for the new column bearing, both are white polymers great for Low Speed Bearing surfaces. UHMW is the better of the two.

I use DD (Double D) Stainless Steel Shafts and U-Joints. The center joint is supported by a Spherical Rod End which Bolts onto a "L" bracket that We welded onto the inside of the frame.

Yes, My frame need cleaning, spring cleaning time. This steering setup has been Steering my '56 Chevy with the LS1 & T56 six speed for over 12 years, NO maintenance had to adjustments !!

I used Lock Tite on the Allen set screws.

Good Luck
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMike View Post
I understand your dilemma, but this is not a difficult project. see my photos below. PM me if you would like additional photos or...

The first photo shows the overall final fitment. The second photo is during the "final adjustment", can be tedious !!

As noted in previous reply, You can shorten your column and install and new end bearing at the bottom end that's now shortened, which also is a shaft retainer in many instances. You will most likely need to remove your steering column.

We usually machine down "UHMW" or "Delrin" for the new column bearing, both are white polymers great for Low Speed Bearing surfaces. UHMW is the better of the two.

I use DD (Double D) Stainless Steel Shafts and U-Joints. The center joint is supported by a Spherical Rod End which Bolts onto a "L" bracket that We welded onto the inside of the frame.

Yes, My frame need cleaning, spring cleaning time. This steering setup has been Steering my '56 Chevy with the LS1 & T56 six speed for over 12 years, NO maintenance had to adjustments !!

I used Lock Tite on the Allen set screws.

Good Luck

My setup is a bit more difficult as not only did the previous owner welded the coupler to the steering column shaft,(and now I have to cut it) but he also welded the end of the steering column to the firewall.


What I've done is ordered a 3/4'' round to 3/4'' DD u-joint and a DD 33'' long shaft, which I'll have to cut to make it fit, and another 3/4'' DD to DD u-joint to attach the shaft into the steering box and eliminate the rag joint.

If the 3/4'' round part of the joint fits the column I'm going to make a hole on it to pin down the set screw. I'm thinking it'll work with this setup but I'm just a bit concerned as to how I'm I going to fit the steering shaft between the 2 joints (between the steering shaft and the steering box) as this isen't going to be a telescoping shaft. I guess I'll have to unbolt and move the steering box out of the way to make room for the shaft.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:58 PM
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47 Ford,

Welding items on the end of a steering shaft is more common that you would think. Welding the Column to the Firewall is new too me.

You'll break a few drill Bits freeing up the Column, try a 1/4 inch. After you've drill holes in a circle around the column try Wiss Tin Snips or something similar to cut the small pieces on metal between the 1/4 inch holes. This will be a PITA.

Recommend some good leather work gloves.

You can gain 3/8 inch or a little more at each end of a DD U-joint. Might be easier to place the steering column into your '47 loosely and then measure carefully. Remove it, several times, for final fitment.

A life long friend of mine just machined a short section DD shaft down to fit into a Column tube that was cut off to fit a '35 Ford Build. Close to what your doing.

After all the parts are cut to fit etc and bolted in place, then the steering wheel in the Straight position the Junction between the Machined upper DD shaft section and the Steering Column's round shaft can be Tack Welded.. And one more removed so it can be fully Welded 360 degrees.

Michael
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:01 PM
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Borgeson, Flaming River and many others sell conversion joints to fit stock shafts, then from there small universals. Tack welds can be done on 180 deg spots to ensure round shaft movement is eliminated. However, you get a joint w set screws, take the screws out, place on shaft, mark spots, drill shallow indents or make shallow flat spots, reinstall, tighten set screw w a backer nut, all loctited....youre good.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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