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DC Crew
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Discussion Starter #1
I AM HAVE A FRIENDLY ARGUMENT WITH A GUY THE KNOWS ALL !!!
IM NOT GOING TO SAY WHO SAID WHAT !!

TO CHANGE A RAG JOINT [ ALSO KNOWN AS THE STEERING COUPLING] DO YOU HAVE TO DROP THE STEERING COLUMN TO CHANGE THE RAG ?? OR CAN YOU MOVE THE OLD RAG OUT AND REPLACE THE NEW ONE ?? WITHOUT DROPPING THE COLUMN ??? I KNOW YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE BOLTS OFF FIRST

$25.00 IS ON THIS BET !!!!!!!!!

:nuts:
 

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On my 81 I know you can change it without dropping the column, the lower column shaft will slide up into the column enough to get the joint out. I don't know about other years
 

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On my 81 I know you can change it without dropping the column, the lower column shaft will slide up into the column enough to get the joint out. I don't know about other years
My 75's the same.. I can move the lower colum shaft up and get the joint out.
 

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Don't have to drop the column but you have to remove the pinch bolts and be careful you don't compress the shaft into the column in the process.
 

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You must either pull the column into the Vehicle or take out 2 bolts on the steering box and remove the pitman arm from the drag link, and rotate the steering box out of the way,, either one will do. Yuo should never colapse the steeing column to remove the rag joint. This is from Jim Shea. there is simply no other way to get the required clearance. Just conpleted the job:

 

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Guys take notice how the rag is flat when installed. If it appears to be "S" shaped then there is a problem- most likely the column is collapsed.
 

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Guys take notice how the rag is flat when installed. If it appears to be "S" shaped then there is a problem- most likely the column is collapsed.
Gary, mine has a little bend in it...when you say the column is collapsed, what do you mean?
 

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I believe with Jim Shea says allright, but I don't understand why....I have been driving my '72 here with a previously collapsed column and the stock power steering for some 6 years, then in O1 I put in my own rack setup...and see no problems with the column collapsed nearly all the way....

it's just a double D shaft, and long as the thing don't rattle around in there, I see no issue....I remember playing around 12 years ago with this column and found it easy to slide the shaft in and out, but upon twisting it, thought the machine work was really neat...close and snug as could be....

so either I have an unusual production sample, OR, it's normal, and not an issue....


:thumbsup: :WTF :huh:
 

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DC Crew
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Discussion Starter #11
now im lost !!!!!!!!!!!
what the heck is column collapsed ?????? say you take the old rag out the column falls [ collapsed ] or am I missing something ?? thanks for any info !!
jim
 

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I believe with Jim Shea says allright, but I don't understand why....I have been driving my '72 here with a previously collapsed column and the stock power steering for some 6 years, then in O1 I put in my own rack setup...and see no problems with the column collapsed nearly all the way....

it's just a double D shaft, and long as the thing don't rattle around in there, I see no issue....I remember playing around 12 years ago with this column and found it easy to slide the shaft in and out, but upon twisting it, thought the machine work was really neat...close and snug as could be....

so either I have an unusual production sample, OR, it's normal, and not an issue....


:thumbsup: :WTF :huh:
You'll be feeling if you get in a wreck though :laughing:
 

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now im lost !!!!!!!!!!!
what the heck is column collapsed ?????? say you take the old rag out the column falls [ collapsed ] or am I missing something ?? thanks for any info !!
jim
Here is a picture to help with what everyone is talking about,, in the pic,, see the line about 1.5 in down on the lower shaft,, that was where the lower part of the column was at.. It was re-extended to it's original length in the picture. they are usually HARD to re-extend,, and souldn't be collaspsed,, according to an original GM engineer,, Jim shea, that accually designed them.






 

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After a good number of folks were speared in front end crashes, the gov decided that columns should give when hit. The collapsible steering shaft was born. 2 pieces of tubing with flats (D-shape) that fit nicely together, then injected with plastic to keep them together. In a collision, the plastic shears, the shaft collapses. If someone has hit the shaft, dropped it, or caused the plastic to shear, the 2 parts will easily telescope. That's why the word is to NOT strike or hit the shaft.

Is it a problem? No idea. But I'd be looking for another shaft if it was me. As I see it, GM spent many hours and dollars working out how strong it should be and under what conditions it should collapse.

Jim Shea should answer this one- I'm sure there are others, but that guy KNOWS!!

:cheers:
 

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DC Crew
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Discussion Starter #15
tim !!
man I have owned many corvettes over the years did not know that
at all about the column !! > I think grandpa told me once you learn something everyday >> I did today
thanks
jim
 

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A couple of points:
Because the connection between the steering gear and the steering column is so critical from a safety standpoint, General Motors and Saginaw Division designed the flexible coupling connections with enough overlap that the flexible coupling will not disengage unless the gear is tipped or the steering column is pulled back into the passenger compartment by a couple inches.
I know that it is a pain in the azz but it was done from the safety aspect.

Yes the steering column shaft can be telescoped back into the steering column. The steering shaft was designed in two pieces with considerable overlap where they came together. The two shafts were originally held to the correct overall length by injected plastic. The plastic was designed to shear and the shaft to telescope on itself in a severe frontal collision. From just the steering aspect, it is perfectly safe to drive your car with the plastic sheared and the steering shaft partially telescoped (collapsed) because of the generous overlap.

The problem that I have seen is this: The shaft is fairly easy to get to move back into the steering column. In many, many cases it is a b*tch to get it back out to its original length. I don't know why it doesn't easily slide back out.

Many times people pry on the steering shaft trying to get the flex coupling out of the car. They break the plastic and the shaft telescopes into the column a small amount. Now when they install a new flex coupling they can't understand why the parts don't reach each other properly. They have to pull the rubber disc in the new flex coupling into an "S" to extend things out to reach. This will quickly wear out the rubber disc in the new flex coupling.

So in answer to the bet - Yes and No!
No, the parts can't normally be taken apart without either moving the column back or tipping the steering gear. (BTW, I don't think that you have to disconnect the pitman arm from the linkage in order to gain the necessary clearance when tipping the gear.)

Yes, you can gain clearance to remove the flex coupling by compressing the steering shaft back into the steering column. Getting the shaft back out to its original length can be a real problem.

Jim
 

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I've found that the easiest way to replace the rag joint is to remove the cross bolts center your wheels and lock the steering column. Unbolt the two pieces of the joint, drop the steering box and then remove the ends from the splines on the steering box and use a gear puller to remove the end on the steering shaft if it does not slide off easily. Put everything together in reverse order. This method may sound like it takes longer but it is actually speedier than trying to pry old rusty crap out of a tight space.
 

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The basic problem with a single cardan universal joint if used in a C3 Corvette application is that it does not have any axial or side to side compliance. Any dynamic movement of the car body (where the steering column is hard mounted) to the frame (where the gear is hard mounted) has to be absorbed by the lower bearing in the steering column.

Here is a link to a paper that I authored on the subject.
http://jimshea.corvettefaq.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/FlexCplgVsUniversalJoints1.doc

Jim
 

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1969 L46,
Remove the clamp (pinch) bolts from the flex coupling flange on the steering gear and the detachable flange on the steering column shaft. Take the end of a big screwdriver and stick it into the saw slot where the clamp bolt was pinching the flange on the shaft. Twist or rock the screwdriver to spring the slot open by just a small amount. The flange should come right off.

Jim
 
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