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Spot Weld U Joints to Steering Shaft?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Spork!, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Spork!
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 195

    Spork!
    Member

    Replacing my column and the old column had a 1" output shaft at bottom. New one has 3/4" so had to get two new u-joints and intermediate shaft.

    The old intermediate shaft had u-joints pinned and then welded all the way around. The new shaft has splines but no flat spots or reliefs to hold shaft in place. I'm concerned if I just tighten up the set screw that it could wear a bit and the shaft can slide all the way into the u-joint. This would cause the joint to bind and the steering would lock up. Not good!

    I can either drill a small relief in the shaft where the set screw goes or weld a couple spots at the end of the joint to the shaft. It would be similar to the old shaft but don't think I need to weld all the way around.

    I like the welding idea better than drilling a relief. I just think it would be more solid with no possibility of slippage.

    Would there be any down side to welding, other than being pretty much a permanent deal? If a u-joint goes bad I'd have to replace the whole intermediate shaft again but that is not likely to happen.
     

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  2. BigAl1961
    Joined: Dec 22, 2010
    Posts: 116

    BigAl1961
    Member

    I've alway drilled a dimple in the shaft for the setscrew to seat in and some locktite on the threads. Never had a problem, I don't like to weld on u joints.
     

  3. have done the same in the past
     
  4. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    Dane
    Member
    from Soquel, CA

    x2 ^
     

  5. Spork!
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 195

    Spork!
    Member


    Okay, I'll drill a dimple. Why don't you like to weld a u-joint? If I welded it, it would just be a spot weld/tack weld so it wouldn't heat up the u-joint.
     
  6. S_Mazza
    Joined: Apr 27, 2011
    Posts: 363

    S_Mazza
    Member

  7. Use a dimple with a set screw and a lock nut. That's a belt, suspenders and a backup pair of suspenders.
     
  8. Spork!
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 195

    Spork!
    Member


    Thanks for the tip McGurk.

    However, the shaft and the u-joints are splined so the shaft won't spin in the joint and they have a set screw with lock nut. I'm just concerned that the shaft could slide further into the u-joint than it should as there is no "flat spot" for the set screw to lock onto.

    If the end of the shaft bottoms against the middle of the u-joint it will bind. It is really highly unlikely for this to happen but you can never be to careful with your steering!

    I started to drill a relief into the shaft for the set screw. Holly crap, that is some hard steel! :eek:
     
  9. wayne-o
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 278

    wayne-o
    Member

    I would not spot weld it. If you do then the torsion load is carried only by the spot weld, not the splines until the spot breaks. If you are having trouble drilling the shaft then it might be made of some type of alloy steel and if not welded properly can be brittle and start a stress crack.
     
  10. Spork!
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 195

    Spork!
    Member


    As there is just the tiniest bit of play between the shaft and the u-joint splines, this makes sense.

    I don't know what kind of steel the shaft is made of but is is some hard ass mo fo, that's for sure! :D I'm making a small dent in it but I think I'm going to go through some drill bits. This is when a vertical mill would come in handy!
     
  11. check feeds and speeds , if you dwell too long your only makin it harder
     
  12. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,921

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Doesn't have to be drilled, you can just grind a shallow groove on your pedistal grinder..
     
  13. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    You can install a collet on the shaft, held on with a pinch-bolt or set screw. Install it so it prevents gravity from allowing a loose shaft to slide down into the u-joint. Belts and suspenders are good. :)
     
  14. Spork!
    Joined: May 5, 2010
    Posts: 195

    Spork!
    Member


    Okay, now someone has their thinking cap on! :D

    To the grinder, Batman!
     
  15. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,524

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Doing NSRA inspections I check the joints by jerking on them. I have found several loose joints. About half did not have the relief drilled for the set screw. A bit of rust at the top of the joint gives you the first clue. Started checking when I found my own joints were loose. They were drilled but not lock tited.
     

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