rag joint on manual steering - Page 2 - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 03, 1:53 PM
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Just to put my 2 cents worth in I wanted to mention that I've seen many of these rag joints installed incorrectly on otherwise cool cars. The pins MUST be situated completely within the slot so that if the "rag" fails the pins will take the load. You would feel some slop in the steering but it would get you home. I think the column is adjustable up and down to suit each car.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 03, 2:50 PM
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The input shaft on the manual gear was originally 3/4 inch diameter with 30 serrations all the way around. This input shaft was used up until sometime in 1969. After that time they still had serrations but there was a flat milled on one side of the input shaft and the flexible coupling flange was changed to add a corresponding mating flat. The new coupling with the flat will not attach to the old gears with the "full round" input shaft.

The flat aided the assembly plants in attaching the flexible coupling to the gear quickly and in only one orientation.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 03, 2:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Uh oh. Does that mean I am in trouble if I did not mark exactly where the thing came off?
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 03, 8:50 PM
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Not really, with the full round input shaft when you assemble the flexible coupling to it, you will find that in order for you to install and tighten the pinch bolt, it has to pass through a notch that is machined into the input shaft.

You may have just one or two (or at most three) possible serrations that you can slip your flexible coupling flange onto. After that, you will find that the pinch bolt won't pass through the notch.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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I guess I don't understand. The round shaft has a full round notch and it seems the coupler would go on at any orentation. I may just be completely confused here. My car is a 67 manual steering.
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 12:42 AM
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I guess that I am wrong on this one. If you have full round serrations with what we called an annular groove rather than a notch, then you will be able to install the coupling in any orientation.

I was pretty sure that the notch went with full serrations and the annular groove went with the serrations with the flat. But if your gear is original, then I am wrong.

This is the orientation of the 1970 Corvette manual gear and flexible coupling: With the gear right on the center of travel, and looking straight at the input shaft of the gear, the flexible coupling should be installed so that the large attaching bolt 3/8-24 is at the 9 o'clock position (the small bolt 5/16-24 at 3 o'clock) and the attaching pinch bolt will be straight up and down driven from the top and on the left side of the input shaft.

I am reasonably sure that all the GM manual and power steering gears had the flexible coupling orientation the same with the gear right on center because they all attached to the same Saginaw steering columns.

Hope this gets your flex coupling installed correctly.

Jim Shea
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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So, I can put it on in any position, correct?

What you described is for a corvette and not what I will do.

And, will the part number you gave me eariler still Work?

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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 1:38 PM
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The part number should still be valid. Also the orientation of the Corvette flex coupling should be common to the rest of GM. I am quite sure that the orientation that I described should be valid for your A-car with manual steering.

If the orientation is not correct, you really haven't lost much. You do want your steering gear to be right on center as you are driving straight down the road. There is a "delash" high spot right on center that you want to make your steering feel good as you drive down the road.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 1:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks JIML82. With my rag joint off, I can find this center simply putting the wheels straight forward?

I am looking for some slack in the middle on the shaft?
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 4:12 PM
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You should rotate your steering gear all the way from full lock to full lock while counting the total number of turns and part turns. (With the gear in the car, take a piece of chalk and mark the shaft so you can easily count the turns.) Now rotate the gear from full lock to exactly 1/2 the number of lock to lock turns. This will put your gear right on center. I would mark the input shaft at this time so you know when the gear is positioned on center from now on.

Your car should drive straight ahead at this time. If it doesn't you should adjust your tie rods to get the car to travel straight. Remember, adjust both the right and left tie rods in the same direction and exactly the same number of turns. This will keep your front end toe adjustment from changing.

With the gear on center, now install the flexible coupling so that big 3/8-24 bolt is at the 9 o'clock position as I mentioned earlier.
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 03, 9:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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ok, now I ought to be able to do it. Thanks for staying with me on this.
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