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Discussion Starter · #381 ·
Considering I have no experience with steering, I once again am asking for the pros to comment. I know I am going to have to put a support somewhere in the chain but does this look OK with the angles have? Also, I have weld on u joints. Should I drill them for nuts and bolts?
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Wow Dave, just wow. You will need a support for the center section for sure. Not sure where you will bolt it or mount it. To the frame if you can get it there. As far as the u joints, make sure they are sinked together. Drill a bolt set divet in the steering arm, screw your set screw in and blue or purple lock tite it. Also try to get your steering link shafts to just come even with the u joint inside so you are not binding the shaft. Hope that makes sense. You might get away with a support on the shaft nearest the steering box to the frame.
 

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Well if the joint on the steering box input shaft is a weld on joint on the splined end, I'd sure add two set screws for that end! Never weld a joint to the steering box. As for the others, it's easier to have a set screw to keep things set while you remove it to weld it all.
Maybe it's the picture angle, but appears if you were to either lower the column at the dash with a drop, or raise the column where it comes through the firewall, that you will eliminate one joint, and also reduce the angle at the next joint. Or if you lowered both dash and firewall points the shaft could go under the headers, and not snake through. And end up with two joints to do it.
Where it is now you'll need two support heim ends, and not sure where they'd be mounted in the areas they're needed?

Almost hate to ask the next question. It appears your box is just in front of the axle center line? If so, then it's too far forward to steer off the rear side, and not far enough forward to point the pitman arm back to steer off the front side. Looks like it needs to move further forward, or further back? End of your pitman arm should be in a straight line to the off side steering arm.

Here's mine with the same frame type, and similar engine placement.






As Mike said, be sure your joints are timed the same. Usually DD joints wont let themselves be out of time.
 

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Dave get the box set up first with the Pittman arm set up, then work back to the steering column...look at the speedway catalog for T bucket steering and others for that special piece you need..really needs to be under the headers..hang in there you will all of a sudden get that Ah Ha moment and it will be perfect...been there done that......lol many times..rest is looking great
 

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Discussion Starter · #385 ·
UGH. What an ego burst that was. I thought I was being clever and it appeared to work except the whole Pittman arm thing which I was not aware. I thought it could be at an angle. So, just so we are on the same page, here is what I have going on.

The opposite steering arm is forward. I changed it while I was re-doing the front end.
I am using 3/4 inch round bar instead of DD bar
The U-joint going into the steering arm is splined and has a set nut.
All U-joints are weld on ends where the 3/4 inch bar goes in
The steering column is as high as it can go on the outside. I can look at ways to lower it inside.

OK. Now I added information I probably should have stated, here are my questions-

1. can the Pittman arm face backwards? I think the answer is yes since I see Vall's pointing back
2. should I weld or drill for bolts? I am thinking bolts for ease of assembly/disassembly
3. does the drag link absolutely have to be straight across from where the bolt that holds the drag link is on I can go on top or down below the springs. Right now I have a 6 inch bolt with a steel spacer to get it above the springs with plans to beef it up so it can handle the pressure of turning.
4. what is synching the U-joints mean? Never even heard of that...

Thanks guys!
 

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This illustrates what I call having the ujoints in synch. Not sure that is the right word. This is from the Borgeson & Mullins web site. Pretty informative about steering.
borgeson.jpg
 

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Also, personally I would not drill through your steering shaft to put a bolt in, it may cause a shear point. I know some folks say it is ok. I would not go with the round shaft, there is too much chance of getting the u joints out of line (synch) with each other. Either use DD or splined shaft. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #388 ·
Thanks Mike, that helps a lot. I am still afraid I will need 3 joints like the 4th picture down. Oh well, I will tear it apart and start over!
 

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Dave, The direction the pitman arms faces depends on which side of the axle you're box is. If you have the box ahead of the axle and the arm pointed forward, your car will turn right when you turn the wheel left!! It needs to point back when ahead of the axle, and forward when behind the axle.
As to the angle on the drag link. It should be as close to parallel to the axle as possible because as the pitman arms swings left to right the angle increases. So if it's not parallel to begin with it will end up at a much greater angle as it reaches full swing either way. When the angle gets too great turning the wheel doesn't have as much affect on the tires, so the steering may feel somewhat odd when turning sharply.
If you lower the column where it penetrates the firewall it will also increase the angles, unless you also lower the mounting point at the dash mount. Increasing the angle will mean more stress on the steering joints, which means they could bind. Shouldn't have more than 30 degrees on a joint, so if it's greater you'd need to add a joint to reduce at each joint, or buy the double joints that allow much greater angles. But double joints might be just what you need to get under the headers, and also reduce the number of joints. This one gives 70 degrees of angle, and if used in the right place could solve a lot of fitment issues.



With a joint at the steering box, then one of these near #5-#7 cylinder under the header, one more at the column would get you there. And all under the headers, so you can easily build support heims off the frame or motor mount.

I use wooden dowel cut up and taped together to mock up the shaft is it gets tricky. Cheap, and once mocked up I use an angle finder to ensure it will work with joints before I start cutting up expensive DD shaft.
On the round shaft. I don't use it myself, but it's not a problem using it or welding on it. I prefer DD because it's so positive inside the joints, and allows for joint replacement easily since they're set screw and the D shape.
When I did my Austin and used the stock column I slid DD up inside the column, and welded it to the column. Then was able to use DD shaft after that for each joint. But my Corvair box had a solid output shaft, so I cut it off and ground it to a DD shape. Then I slipped the flex joint over to make the final connection.
If you do add set screws and indents to the round shaft, I wouldn't rely on that as the only connection. I'd still put a couple tack welds per side, as if they came loose the round shape would allow them to slip. Tack welds would hold, and yet allow them to be ground off for future replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #390 ·
I decided to lay off the steering for awhile to get a break. This last 2 weeks were horrible as my new diabetes medicine threw me for a loop. Turns out I am one of the 1% of the people who has their stomach paralyzed due to the meds I was taking, so no digestion was going on. I got that all fixed and spent some time working on the car.

Got the rear axle centered in the frame and picked up one of these-

2001-2003 CHEVY S10 4x4 REPLACEMENT HD REAR ALUMINUM DRIVESHAFT ASSEMBLY - SKU# 15083841_HDALM4 - Fort Wayne Clutch & Driveline

Although a factory version of it. 4 inch all aluminum balanced drive shaft that is clean as hell! Scored it for 25 dollars! It happens to be the same size as the one I have although much beefier! So this weekend I am putting my turbo 350 yoke on it and installing it and will be checking the pinion angle. Hope it all works out!

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Discussion Starter · #392 ·

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I've seen the steer clear setup before, but like Dave, I wont spend that on it unless I had no other option. I can buy a lot of steering joints and 3/4 heim ends to build up my steering shaft and still not approach that pricing.
 

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It looks like it saves alot of time with header problems.
 

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It looks like it saves alot of time with header problems.
Not sure it saves time, unless you really had a mess to get around. A couple joints, a brace, and maybe a column drop, will get 90% of the steering jobs done.
I think that Steer Clear device might take a lot more work to adapt to the column, and steering box. I've always wondered how short your column will need to be just to connect an input shaft to it? Then how do you get the input shaft angle to match? Use a steering joint? And then another joint on the output side to match your steering box?
Not as simple as just bolting it on your firewall and you're done. Check out the video at about 28 sec. in, and see how short the steering column is, plus a joint on the input and output side of the device.
 

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I was looking at column angle and clearances.
 

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Almost forgot, leg room. As you know, an Austin is not the roomiest. And then with an engine setback, seat setback etc. You get the picture.
 

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Column angle, or seat setback don't have a lot to do with roominess in a cramped Austin really. At least I don't see it in mine, or my buddy's '48 A40. Since you're centered on the steering wheel, and your feet are on either side of the column, the angle of the column isn't a big deal.
I moved my column back towards me quite a bit because I'm sitting way back in my early Austin. So I also had to build a 5" drop from an old connecting rod to lower the steering wheel, as moving it back made it rise up too high. But didn't change where it penetrated the floor. Just changed how much column passed through the firewall. Mine barely goes through the firewall maybe 1" now, but my firewall it even with the cowl now, and previously was 14" forward with footwells on either side of the stock flathead 4 cyl. My buddy's A40 has a stock firewall and SBC, and he's got a 70's Chevy tilt column, with a full size Camaro steering box. Not problem with angle, foot room, etc. And I think he has no drop at all on his column, and even has a backseat still!
 

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Discussion Starter · #399 ·
OK. what a productive weekend. Here is a short list of things done-

Shifter hooked up to transmission
Bolts connecting flywheel to torque convertor
power wire and fuel line ran and attached to frame all the way back
Under hood firewall wired including starter, distributor and aux fuse/power distribution.
Pounded out the old U-joints from the axle.

Man it feels great to get stuff done. I have until August 26th to get it done so I can drive it to the Hot Rod Power Tour coming in to St. Louis.

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