Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Steering Hook Up Questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bandit Billy, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am trying to hook up my steering column to my cross-steer Vega style box and I need some assistance please. I attempted to use a Flaming River EZ-shaft but the angle came out to 41 degrees (my box is mounted to the frame at 0 degrees, horizontal to frame - thus the angle of the shaft equals the angle of the u-joint on the steering box in this application).
    upload_2015-12-29_12-26-53.png

    upload_2015-12-29_13-10-39.png
    That is excessive by any standard, most recommend not exceeding 30 degrees, maybe as high as 35 degrees maximum as in above drawing but not 41 degrees. So I need to install a 3 u-joint system similar to this drawing.

    upload_2015-12-29_12-30-12.png

    So given the above information there are 2 ways of hooking this up (or maybe more).
    1. A single u-joint (19) at the end of the column, a section of shaft, a support bearing (18), section of shaft, a single u-joint (15), section of shaft and a single u-joint (or a vibration reducer) on the steering box (16).
    2. A double universal on the end of the column, support bearing, shaft and the single u-joint (or vibration reducer) on the steering box.

    Facts:
    The distance from box to the column is about 18.5", not a lot of room for a lot for connections.
    The vibration reducer is an extra $100.00?
    8BA Flathead in a 34 ford frame,
    I have Red's headers and an Offy oil pan breather on that side to contend with.
    Column is flaming river, as is cross-steer box.
    Box is 5/8" X 36, column is 3/4" X 36.
    Using DD shaft so I can cut to fit easily.
    Frame rails are boxed making the support bearing placement and mounting tricky as an afterthought.

    This is spendy stuff in polished SS and I don't want to make further errors if I can avoid it. Your advice is appreciated, your experience necessary. Don't steer me wrong.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,838

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    .
    upload_2015-12-30_7-38-17.png upload_2015-12-30_7-42-21.png

    Flaming River & Borgeson make these double U-joints that work over 35° angles. They work up to 70° angles. With a long intermediate shaft you still require a support bearing. Theses u-joints come in either splined or DD

    Here's a good example of what NOT to do

    A coupe steering - Pine Rivers.jpg
     
    Texas Webb and Atwater Mike like this.
  3. Go to a hardware store and get about three feet of 3/4 inch wooden dowel, it's cheap and you'll need more than enough to allow for screw ups. Use this to mock up your steerting. Cut the dowell to the length the various shafts need to be and you can see how the system will go together and how many u-joints you'll need.

    When all seems right, cut your DD shaft accordingly. I've had good luck with ordering u-joints from one of the large national vendors. When the u-joint arrives carefully remove it from the packaging and very loosely (without scratching it) bolt it up. If it works you're good to go. If you need something else simply send it back and ask for an exchange or refund. As long as the part can be returned in the original packaging and it's not scratched they should work with you.

    What mgtstumpy said about the double u-joints in post #2 may work for you as well. Don't forget the support bearing.
     
    pitman and Texas Webb like this.
  4. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the wood dowel idea, that's a keeper Seadog. And the "what not to do" pic? WTF? I wonder how that steers. Looks nasty, and dangerous. there's almost 90 degrees on a couple of those universals. I agree on the support bearing, I have to use one, going to have to figure out where and how to mount it.
     

  5. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,052

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Billy
    A photo or two of the column and where it exits the firewall will help us get a better visual on how to go about this. I took a bit of a different approach on my roadsters steering.
    I have a real short column with the first joint on the interior side and just the shaft going through the firewall with a intermediate rod end support and second shaft and u-joint. It helps break up the severe angularity issues these cars usually have when trying to work around headers, engine mounts, etc.
    @seadog has the procedure down, this is how it's generally done,, wood doweling is a
    bunch cheaper if a mis-calculation occurs or a change of plans.
    I'll see what photos I have. Most of my photos are in crashed pc pergatory.
    No luck, I'll take some shots of photos tomorrow.

    [​IMG]








     
    Hnstray likes this.
  6. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,991

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Can you cut the box's mount off and tilt it? Most hot rods with Vega boxes have them tilted up in the back.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,052

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Hnstray likes this.
  8. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,633

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I 're-tilted' two Vega boxes to rid the excess 'U' joints and bearing standoffs.
    Only other mod was the longer pitman arm and the bending of it.
    Ideal geometry, (I cringe at the sight of 2 and 3 'U' joints outrigging the engine...
    just looks like Rube Goldberg)
     
    da34guy likes this.
  9. And/or alter the steering column mount?
    This stuff should all come into play when things are being mocked up. A BBC in a Bantam would cause issues, but this one should be pretty straight forward.
     
  10. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ill take some photos tonight after work so you can see what I have in place. I thought about tilting the box but I thought it would lead to bump steer issues but I hadn't thought about bending the pitman to counter the tilted box. I should have thought of that prior but the pitman arm is chrome plated and will have to be re-plated f I bend it.

    Ill be back with some pics so you can help me figure this part out. Next up is brake and clutch assembly so don't go too far.
     
  11. mink
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,310

    mink
    Member
    from CT

    You need to evaluate the angle at the joints like the sketch shows. The photo you provided shows the angle between the shaft centerline and true vertical. You need to use the protractor with two arms and a pivot point
     
  12. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, fully agreed mink, I bought one at HF this afternoon to double check it. The whole issue is that I mounted the base of the column high on the toe board to make more room for brake, clutch and loud pedals. You can see below that I do not much real estate to play with on the floor. In fact I will probably have to flatten out a bit of that trans hump for the gas pedal. When I mounted the column that high that I created the high degree on the u-joints.

    I had this picture I took last night of the column drop that Flaming River sent, it is 2" diameter X 3 1/2" drop rather than 1 3/4" X 2 1/2" drop which is what I ordered but they are replacing it.

    They were nice enough to sell me a 8 degree dash mount for the drop to match the 32 style dash in my car so the drop hangs straight down. You guys might keep that In mind for future reference. But the pictures do show the location of the interior firewall mount location. Ill take shots of the motor side and box tonight and post them up.
    upload_2015-12-30_14-21-14.png
    upload_2015-12-30_14-21-53.png
     
  13. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,608

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Post 2 is on the wrong side of the motor also! Jus sayn!
     
  14. ..if you end up bending a pitman arm, that tends to also shorten it to some degree, keep that in mind.
     
  15. hard to tell by the pictures , it's something best seen in person......but , i think you need to go through the toe-board a bit lower , so your column is more of an angle. then maybe use a longer column to get the first u-joint down closer to the frame. that should help with the angle on the steering box
     
  16. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,991

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Tilting the box will not cause bump steer. Tilt your box. No need to bend the pitman arm.
     
    verno30 likes this.
  17. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,765

    Andy
    Member

    I tilted my box pretty steeply. I have very little angle in the joint at the box. I also bent the pitman arm so it was pretty much opposite from stock. The tie rod goes in from the top too. It has worked perfectly for 25 years. It has ground clearance and small joint angles. It actually looks like the way Henry did the 37-48 boxes.
     
  18. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,047

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Don't know if you are joking or serious, but if the latter, please note the car is from Australia where the vehicles are right hand drive.

    And the idiom "jus sayn" or the more common "just sayin' ", is about like fingernails on a blackboard......know what I mean Vern?

    Ray
     
    Flathead Dave likes this.
  19. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    36-3window, before I mounted the column I mocked up a cardboard tube and tried several locations, in each location my feet hit the column to some degree. I know that is not a big deal to some, in fact one the AMBR award winners had his peddles notched to fit around the column. But I don't want the interference or the chance my big clumsy feet get hung up on the column when I need to brake suddenly or change gears. Plus I got a clutch pedal to mount in there too so space is a premium. I knew this would cause difficulties but there has to be a way to accommodate this. But if the consensus agrees I can always weld it up and re-drill, it's only metal.

    Ok, home after a slow day at work...finally. Here are the pictures of the business side of the firewall. In this picture you get a birds eye view of the column end and the box. I pulled the header, I can always cut it up and modify that to fit. I should have pulled that dipstick handle but, like my kids say...deal. Keep in mind the column drop has been shipped back to FR so the column is hanging from the floor drop right now like it is in the picture above. The final angle coming through the firewall will not be so drastic. Obviously I will wait for the new column drop to arrive before making changes and final installation of the hook up components to assure correct angles. Right now I have a week or so to do research, H.A.M.B. style.

    upload_2015-12-30_18-16-39.png
    Here the dipstick is a bit more out of view
    upload_2015-12-30_18-17-45.png
    A little closer view of the box. The FR bot is mounted level with the frame currently, 02 degrees above horizontal. It is connected to a So-Cal dropped axle and hairpins to locate it if that matters.
    upload_2015-12-30_18-18-37.png
    I don't have a lot of room to work with, like I said, 18.5 inches from box to column, that includes the splines all the way to the box and the column end. Tell me if you need better pics or more info, ill gladly provide it. The closest I can measure it, the drop from the column end to the box is 11 inches vertical drop.

    I should also explain, the box cannot be moved forward. As the pictures show I have mounted the flathead back in the frame several inches behind the cross-member for weight distribution and clearance for the blower belt and fan shroud. I have to make it work where it sits. I could angle the box still, as some have mentioned, as the bracket is only tacked in while I mock up the car.

    I really appreciate the help everyone. Y'all are my brain trust.
     
  20. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hnstray, nice input. My wife says that all the time and it is driving me insane! I'd like her new year's resolution to be not saying that anymore. But then she would get to pick a resolution for me and I don't want to go there...just sayin.

    Starting to sound like a box tilt may be in my 2016 plans.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  21. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So I ended up returning my EZ Shaft steering link to Flaming River and had them send me 3 U-joints, some DD and a support bearing. Installed it last night, no joint has more then 30 degrees, closer to 20. Looks good and missed the headers by a mile. Made a cool little support bearing bracket out of crap I found in the garage and welded it on for a test fit. Jacked up the front end and peg to pegged it effortlessly.

    Thought I'd share the update on the steering question, thanks those who assisted me and I'll make mention that Flaming River is a nice place to work with, even through the exchanges and tech help. The thread may help someone else in the future.

    Kinda fun, first time my car has had steering.
    upload_2016-2-1_14-51-50.png
     
  22. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,386

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    Too true. I have no idea why people like to use "just sayin' ".
     
  23. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,283

    Kerrynzl
    Member

    Correct, You actually raise the steering box as you tilt it upwards.
    You need the steering to be straight ahead, and you rotate it [swivel it] from the ball joint on the pitman arm so the end of the pitman still stays at the same height.

    While you're at it run a string line beside it all from the box to the steering wheel [taped to the body/frame] so you can eyeball the angles.
    Sometimes you can rotate the column downward to lessen the angle
     
  24. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,048

    chevyfordman
    Member

    I would mount the bearing support on the side of the frame instead of on the top or make a cover for it. Just my two cents for a cleaner look. I love FR joints, small and clean. Another small thing that I do, I buy round stainless stock and DD the ends, cool. Looks like you are doing a clean job to me.
     
  25. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,774

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thanks for the compliment. The car is running inner fenders that will hide the bracket otherwise I would have tried to bury it. I actually started tearing the car apart for paint today. Not much left of her at the moment except a very large stack of full boxes.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.