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66 390gt Fairlane steering question. ...

December 7 2017 at 7:39 AM
JT  (Login gasser64)
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Race car with soon to be 10 pt cage. I want to eliminate the steering column and use heim joints and new steering shaft, etc. I was looking at the pictures and it looks like the manual box has a long shaft that gos all the way to the steering wheel. Can this shaft be cut off by the box and a new joint welded on? Has anyone done this? Thanks in advance.


    
This message has been edited by gasser64 on Dec 7, 2017 7:58 AM


 
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Stan
(Login jadua)
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steering shaft

December 7 2017, 9:59 AM 

Yes, Ive done this several times in the past although if i remember right the steering kits offered by aftermarket MFGs for race cars arent very expensive. Good Luck..

 
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Michael
(Login jjz103)
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Hey hope you have thought this through...

December 7 2017, 10:46 AM 

JT Im not sure of your tech level so I apologise if these comments are off your mark. From an engineering point of view I would be very careful about relying on welded steering components. It is illegal on a street car for good reason. The impacts and opposing stresses give much higher risk of fatigue and fail in the weld. Plus there are issues in embrittlement or change in the temper of the surrounding metal as it is affected by heat. For this reason in a professionally regulated category you may get scrutineered out. But assuming you are in a less regulated category where you are free to modify as you want, there is the safety of you and others to think of. As a circuit race driver no friggin way man!! The stresses on the on the track mean 10x the probability of a break, 10x the kinetic energy when you hit the wall and 1/10th the chance of avoiding that. On the bright side you will have about half the chance of snapping your thumbs or wrists because the wheel will be nice and sloppy! Any critical component that can put you in that risk zone dont screw with, do it 100% right by the book, you will have plenty of crashes and spins on the track without this type of drama. Incidentally, pace on the track comes from absolute trust in your machinery. You wont be as quick if you are worried about things like this. If the race variety you are in is light steering (drag) then my comments may be off the mark (im circuit).

 
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Stan
(Login jadua)
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hey Michael

December 7 2017, 4:43 PM 

Your point is well taken and in fact i had one welded on a race car that broke the weld, with that said
most the aftermarket steering such as borgeson and the rack & pinion units use the factory shaft and will have you cut it off just above the steering box to reuse (mid 60s ford) , End is ground to fit u-joint and a set bolt is used to hold in place, after market race shafts will often use a bolt through u-joints. Companies such as borgeson will sell most parts separate including a steering shaft.
But your right buddy a little wisdom goes a long way.

 
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afxclone
(Login afxclone)
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steering

December 7 2017, 11:00 AM 

LOT , but 64 comet AFX clone, uses 68 mustang steering box . bolts right in used aftermarket column from Morrison, w detachable wheel. lots easier to get in & out 64 center link with modified idler arm(pan clearance), mustang outers with 68 mustang spindles & brakes. alignment was easy too. but this was my car, & it worked for me

 
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johannarich.
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steering

December 7 2017, 12:41 PM 

i've got two 66 fairlanes, both late production and both have the removable column with the ragjoint. i understand the early 66's have the solid shaft, but the late-66 to 69 fairlane, comet or torino steering box will interchange. however, as the steering boxes look physically identical, the manual and power boxes have a different steering ratio. i used a 68 torino manual steering box on mine. anyway, just a thought. as for using heim joints, check speedway motors, or a street rod shop as they have u-joints, shafts and heim joints / pillow blocks for your application (also check a circletrack parts supplier, they do similiar mods.)

 
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kelly
(Login lowriser)
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"think" my 67 MS is fixed shaft

December 7 2017, 5:13 PM 

I know my 66 GT MS was.
Heartily recommend power steering box with manual drag link.

life's too short.
manual steering boxes suck.

 
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Tom P
(Login tomposthuma)
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don't weld

December 7 2017, 7:36 PM 

Get a U-joint with a square or D shape and grind the stub from the steering box to fit it. Use a setscrew into a drilled divot to keep it from pulling off.

Or just get a box with the rag joint. I've had several 66-67 Fairlanes and Comets and never had one with the solid shaft. Same deal on 62 to 65's, some are rag joints back to 62.

 
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Tim
(Login 10w30dna)
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I just did that on a solid shaft 67.....easy and safe

December 8 2017, 7:07 AM 

I found that the solid shaft box on my 67 was worn out........I checked my options and went with a 68-69 p/s box and m/s pitman arm in my manual steering car. From dash to box I used race parts from Keyser Mfg ( check out the really nice race parts not seen in many drag race catalogs) I used the collapsible column and bought the u-joints with required splines (many combinations) and used the big heim joint to mount/support the column at the metal support behind dash. The upper end is splined for the quick release and many wheel options from there. Easy to do,really. Go to local stock car supply in near one........toy box!
Engines are like garages,never big enough! Check out my distributor restoration sites! New http://428cobrajetcars.com


    
This message has been edited by 10w30dna on Dec 8, 2017 7:22 AM


 
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Dan
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Welding stock steering shafts

December 8 2017, 2:03 PM 

Just an FYI part of the danger is that some shafts are hardened where others are not or simply made of stronger alloy steel such as 4340. There are brand new universal joints intended to be welded to solid or tube shafts. The main thing is if you don't know, don't risk it as stated above.

While Borgeson provides OE parts and is known as a quality company, due to the peened retainer cups I've had several failures including two exploded in the package. Maybe this has changed but I had to repair/replace a few . On top of that a Flaming river joint while almost identical is rebuildable due to the simple set screw retainer they use. So you can swap the needle bearings if you ever wear it out or get customer with one on a bad angle that needs to make a race before fixing his setup correctly. Plus if you have a few around you can swap ends with nothing more than an Allen key.

Another trick I came up with is that a Ford factory collapsible shaft is 3/4" double D just like every steering joint company makes. Drill the rivets and a little heat (as in lightly with a propane torch. ...don't glow the thing red and ruin it) melts the plastic retainer. That sleeve is double D of course too and can then be reused to add any length of double D shaft to the factory unit by simply pinning the stock parts just like factory. A simple 3/4"ID by 2-1/4" bearing will slip into the stock column. You can retain the collapsible feature if you like and the whole thing is completely reversible back to stock.

 
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Tom P
(Login tomposthuma)
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Re: Welding stock steering shafts

December 8 2017, 6:53 PM 

To add to Dan's tips and tricks, the stock steering column has a flange for the rag joint. That can be hammered off and the shaft is splined underneath.

 
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JT
(Login gasser64)
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Thanks guys.

December 8 2017, 6:20 PM 

I used ideas from all of you. I cut the shaft off 3 inches from the box. D shaped the shaft to fit a double set screw steering joint. The heim joints, bracket, and removable steering wheel hub is on the way. Didn't weld anything.


    
This message has been edited by gasser64 on Dec 8, 2017 6:21 PM


 
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6667fan
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There are several companies that rebuild boxes

December 9 2017, 1:30 PM 

I mention this in the event you wish to change your ratio. I think I went through Buy Auto Parts when I changed my street car from PS to manual and wanted a more advantageous ratio. Not cheap, they will need a core and the box might cost between $275-400.
A race car like yours may have different criteria. Good luck with project. JB

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Every second counts

 
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wayne aldrich
(Login striptripper53)
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welded

December 10 2017, 7:47 AM 

We welded columns where i used to work the columns when it started out had a double d on the shaft and then a roll pin through it. Then we got bought by japanese no roll pin save money.Then no double d save more just weld it we all bitched about and was told it shutup and do it. No big deal these go in school buses class 8 semis.When i hear how good japanese stuff is i know better.They had one brake on the road and got sued we got ins for that.

 
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