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Technical Steering support heim joint noise!

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Dubbzilla, May 8, 2019.

  1. My steering shaft supports are NOISEY !

    I'm setting up the steering on my Model A now.

    I've got brand new Borgeson Ujoints...3 joints in total...2 singles(one at column bottom, one at Vega Box) and one double ujoint (in the middle).

    Using AllStar brand steering shaft support heims on either side of the double joint...and they have the oversized ID for steering applications.

    My HEIM joints are making a lot of noise with the shaft clanking around in the little bit of play of the ID on the joint.

    You can't see the upper heim in these photos.

    Is that noise normal and do folks just live with that?


  2. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,254


    IMO the shaft should be firm in heim joint with no play. Once you're driving you won't hear it though, however the movement over time will eventually wear the shaft and/or support bearing. The OD on my steering shafts (3/4DD) match the ID of the support bearing (3/4) with no play. Any noticeable movement or free play is not good and needs to be addressed before you start driving the car. Down here that would be picked up at tech. inspection stage.

    During mock up stage we all need to move things around a few times to make them fit whilst maintaining shallow operating angles and adeauate clearances as we fit everything into limited space. I gather that the top angle where the double joint is utilised at the base of the firewall is over 35 degrees as you require double joints over that up to 70 degrees. Is there a support bearing above the double joint or does it attach to lower end of column steering shaft? If you were able to use a single universal joint at the firewall where the double joint currently is, a support bearing wouldn't be required.

    The support bearing needs to be centred on the shaft, where practicable, as in that provides good stability however like everyone else you need to work within the confines of the headers etc. Rule of thumb, ensure that you maintain a 1/2" clearance gap to headers.


    XXL__ likes this.
  3. Thanks for the good reply Stumpy.

    Right out of the box the Heims had noticeable play when slid over the steering shaft.

    The joint itself is's the steering shaft wiggling slightly in the ID of the joint.

    Called the retailer...he said some freeplay was normal for steering shaft heims...said their ID is oversized specifically for steering shaft setups.

    Looks like steering heims are supposed to be .757 according to any info I can find?

    I don't have a calliper...but I guess my next step is to grab one and see exactly what I've got for shaft OD and heim ID.

    And yes...pretty sure I need the double ujoint to get out around the header and up to the column.
  4. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 271


    I don't like saying stuff like this, and especially with how quickly the U joints add up, but there's probably a reason the Flaming River, Borgeson, and basically any other brand of steering support heim joints start at 3 or 4 times the cost of the All Star stuff and go up from there. The spherical part of the heim should be firm while being moveable, but not sloppy, and the shaft really shouldn't have play beyond being a nice slip fit in the bore. Up to .755 on the high is what I've heard for the 3/4 shaft openings.
    If its making noise not moving in the garage, you probably don't want to find out what noises it will make out on the road
    Atwater Mike, XXL__ and mgtstumpy like this.
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  5. Redrodguy
    Joined: Nov 18, 2016
    Posts: 65


    Sounds like the retailer is trying to sell you a load of crap. Look on McMaster-Carr website at rod ends. A standard 3/4" ball joint rod end shows - ID Tolerance-0.0005" to 0.0025". There are others that have as little as 0.0008", depending on type and application. Not sure where they're coming from by telling you that they're "oversized for steering applications." - that's BS.
    Dubbzilla likes this.
  6. andy dewitt
    Joined: Mar 25, 2017
    Posts: 8

    andy dewitt

    Always used Borgeson shaft support without any issues. In my opinion the support should be as close to the double u-joint as possible
    nochop and Dubbzilla like this.
  7. Not just the one retailer.,11110.html
  8. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,055


    Those heims are for race car steering shafts which are 3/4" chromemoly tube, not for the double D shaft you are using, you can probably use standard heim joints.
    seb fontana and Dubbzilla like this.
  9. Pretty sure it just boils down to bunk heim joints.

    Just had the machine shop check them for me.

    DD shaft I have is .749

    ID of the heim is .758
  10. Ok...I was hoping to keep that lower heim under the motor mount so it was out of sight.

    I'll see if there's room to move it up.

  11. Just got off the phone with Borgeson... they're saying the same thing.

    Oversized bore on their plain steel steering shaft heim...tolerance from 5-8 thou.

    Then he says try the stainless..." for some reason they are closer to the actual .75"

  12. What is the OD on 3/4 chromemoly shaft?

    And thanks...I'll try a couple of different options I guess.

    Nothing on the shelf where I live...just a pain to keep ordering and trying.
  13. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,465


    Can you put a small tapered wedge into the heim joint along both flat sides of the steering shaft? Held in place with lock tight or JB weld. Since it is a captured shaft and this is not a safety issue, just a noise, rattle issue, I don't see a problem with this fix.
    seb fontana, Dubbzilla and scratch like this.
  14. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 671


    Dubbzilla and scratch like this.
  15. nugget32
    Joined: Aug 21, 2011
    Posts: 244


    Put a few, around the circumference, centerpunch dimples in the shaft where in is hidden by the id of the bearing. An old machine shop trick to tighten up sloppy fits.

    Sent from my VS500 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  16. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 1,937


    Looks like the DD Shaft is not stainless. If that is the case, once you paint the shaft, it will probably be a pretty tight fit, yet let you slip it through the Support Bearing w/o marring the paint.
    Dubbzilla and nugget32 like this.
  17. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,319

    from New York

    I have a set up similar to yours in my '32 and the Borgeson support bearing fits with zero slop and no noise. The difference is that my shafts are 3/4" round, not DD. I have never seen a heim joint with so much slop that you can actually wiggle the shaft and when you do it makes noise.
    Dubbzilla likes this.
  18. Gray Ford
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 477

    Gray Ford
    from Illinois

    What he said worked for me ......^^^^^^^^^^^
  19. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,410


    Learned along time ago that when it comes to steering, brakes and cooling to always buy the best.
    nochop and nugget32 like this.
  20. Not that I've ever seen.

  21. Makes sense...Borgeson says their stainless shafts/heims are a super close fit.

    Plain steel stuff has play.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  22. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,329

    Atwater Mike

    Keep aluminum components out of the steering linkage, please...
    Consider the oncoming traffic...
  23. Nothing aluminium here. Steel heim.
  24. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 472

    from so cal

    The double D exacerbates the problem.
    Maybe you could make it round in that area.
  25. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,446

    from oregon

    Another reason I don't like them things.
  26. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,250


  27. Never2old
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 472

    from so cal

    One of the reasons I went splines.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  28. jimvette59
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 677


    Check your steering column joint it looks like it is biting (to much angle). Yes the Heim joint bore size may not be correct and that is where the noise is being heard. JMHO.
  29. Bert Kollar
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 895

    Bert Kollar

    I have done three cars with UnIsteer and no problems

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