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Location: San Diego, CA
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Steering Rack Shaft Engagement

As part of refreshing my front suspension I removed my steering rack to lube and update to turbo rod ends.

In the smugglers box where the rack engages the u-joint from the steering column - is this the correct amount of shaft engagement? Wiggling, tapping and prying I cant get it any further.

The green line is the end of the shaft, the red lines are the extent of the keyway for the cross bolt.



non-marked up images -




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Old 10-29-2020, 09:16 AM
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I usually aim for about middle of the relief for the bolt, as it looks like yours is.

To move or remove the shaft, I usually remove the bolt and gently tap an appropriately sized screwdriver tip into the split part of the U joint, parallel to the steering shaft to spread it a little.
Old 10-29-2020, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stownsen914 View Post
I usually aim for about middle of the relief for the bolt, as it looks like yours is.

To move or remove the shaft, I usually remove the bolt and gently tap an appropriately sized screwdriver tip into the split part of the U joint, parallel to the steering shaft to spread it a little.
Thanks, appreciate that! Logically the shaft is captive by the bolt/relief, I just don't remember there being so much shaft exposed...
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:05 PM
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And, remember that the top and bottom universal joints must be aligned with each other or you will get a knotchy feel when turning the steering wheel.
Cheers,
Johan
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Old 10-30-2020, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uwon View Post
And, remember that the top and bottom universal joints must be aligned with each other or you will get a knotchy feel when turning the steering wheel.
Cheers,
Johan
Hi Johan,

I'm not following you. There is a pair of U-joints at the bottom of the intermediate steering shaft, and a pair at the top. I did not remove the joints from the intermediate shaft so is this a non-issue?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solamar View Post
Hi Johan,

I'm not following you. There is a pair of U-joints at the bottom of the intermediate steering shaft, and a pair at the top. I did not remove the joints from the intermediate shaft so is this a non-issue?

Thanks,
Matt
Good! You should be OK. The top and bottom knuckles on the intermediate shaft should mirror each other for a smooth steering feel.
Now, get that knuckle down that spline to at least locking bolt. It sometimes requires loosening all that bolts holding the steering rack and wiggling it into position.
Good luck.
Johan
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:04 PM
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I just did this, it was not fun.

Looks like your right in the middle.
Old 10-31-2020, 05:30 AM
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I had the same question earlier this year during my suspension refresh. This is what I thought was OK. I used a large screwdriver and some more persuasion to bring it in tighter. Iíll try to find my pic of the final position.
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:04 PM
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This is the final steering shaft position. It was fussy and took quite a bit of wiggle jiggle. It’s tight quarters with the AC hoses!
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Last edited by rokemester; 10-31-2020 at 05:15 PM..
Old 10-31-2020, 05:12 PM
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What we have here is a non-issue.

The splined shafts have a broad notch. This does two things: 1) you can't "misclock" the system - the flats and cross bolt insure that the two U joints will be at the right angle.
And, 2) - the notch is long enough so the steering rod lengths can be adjusted if needed so that the rubber surrounded bearing sits easily in its bracket.

I once, seeking to lose a few grams of weight, cut off the splined ends, and welded them into the ends of a tube. I had neglected to measure carefully the relation of the flat on one end to the flat on the other. Got the irritating notchy steering as described. Fortunately, I was close enough that I could just do some grinding on one of the notches. Led me to study U joint geometry some - interesting subject which engineers had all figured out. The relation of the two U joints to each other depends on the bend angles.

But we don't need to know any of this for ordinary wrenching.

As long as there is no binding from the system being a bit too short, or a bit too long, all is good.

Old 10-31-2020, 08:21 PM
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