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Offline 376t

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steering in the right direction
« on: September 08, 2020, 07:19:32 PM »
Changing steering rag joint to u joint , is it critical to phase the new lower joint with the old upper joint ? I'm 90 degrees out of phase with the current set-up. Any input would would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Offline Wittsend

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 08:38:32 PM »
I think it would be best to use Google Images to see how other cars do it. I'm even struggling to picture it in my head. It might even suffice to just look at your driveshaft to observe how things are phased. What you do want is to be sure that each side of the rack has equal turns lock to lock. Sometimes the splines only allow certain positioning that might prevent that.

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 11:43:59 PM »
If you look at a rag joint its sort of like a u joint, it just has a felxible fabric disk instead of the metal center link in a u joint

The rag joint has metal sockets on eash side with 2 ears like the 2 prong "yokes" or shaft connections on a u joint. The sockets on the rag joint bolt to the rag joint disk  at a 90 degree angle from each other like a u joint

One mount attaches to the steering column and one ataches to the rack shaft.

Each connection has 2 bolts that correspond to the prongs or yokes on the u joint.

If you look at the rag joint you can observe the relationship between the steering  column "yoke" and the steering rack "yoke". Just position the u joint the same way

The advantage of the rag joint over a u joint is that the rag joint offers a flexible connection and the rotational speed it transfers from the input to the output shafts remains constant as the joint rotates like a cv joint.

Rag joints werent used on fords becaues they were cheeper but because they are more flexible and able to accommodate steering shaft to rack misalignments, provided a smoother feeling at the steering wheel and a more precise tranfer of power from the input to output shafts.

As a u joint rotates it tends to "clunk" over at 90 degree angles resulting in acceleration and deceleration of the output shaft. This increases as the angle between the input and output shaft increases. That is why modern front wheel drive cars use cv ( constant velocity) joints rather than u joints on the front wheels.

To check this out get one of the u joints used with socket wrench sets and connect a extensions to both sides then hold the extensions at a 45 degree angle from each other, rotate one extension and feel the effect on the other. Then increase the angle and you will find that the u joint starts to " "clunk" over and bind up as the angle increases.

Drive shafts arent as critical as they tend to stay pretty much in line with just a few degrees of ofset.

Also u joints need to be lubricated or the needle bearings will wear and disintegrate and the steering will have play and tend to "clunk" when the steering wheel is turned.

The .030" or so slack in the cups of a u joint due to worn out needle bearings usually resultsnin about 1/2 " o4 more play in the steering wheel. Not critical but annoying.

Unless you are REALLY stressing the rag joints the best solution may be to just replace the rag joints, check them regularly and replace as needed.

Due to the rigidity of an all.metal u joint misalignments may cause them to wear more and fail prematrely.

I drove MGBs for years and the steering u joints were a constant source of problems resulting in play in the steering wheel.

Just my opinion..
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline oldandcrotchety

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 09:02:33 AM »
But where would a person find a new correct rag joint.  When mine went bad I couldn't find one, so I had to buy several different ones that looked close. Was able to finally make one from a mid seventies GM ( I think) work but had to do some altering on it. Not completely satisfied, but so far it hasn't caused any problems.

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 11:34:49 AM »
Au5ozone has a dorman replacemt disk for $10

https://www.autozone.com/suspension-steering-tire-and-wheel/steering-coupler-assembly/dorman-help-steering-coupling-disc-kit-31000/730051_0_0

You use the metal parts from your old one and replace the fabric disk

Even if this particular disk doesnt fit the disk from any joint that is the same diameter or a little.larger should be able to be used with the factory pinto metal parts.

Using the factory metal parts and just replacing the disk is probably easier than trying to find a u joint that would fit
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline oldandcrotchety

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2020, 04:20:53 PM »
Thanks for the information.  I had not checked autozone as there wasn't one in my area. I will order one from them. all we have in my county is NAPA, O'reilly, and bumper to bumper.  You were very helpful. Thanks again

Offline oldandcrotchety

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 04:25:59 PM »
P.S. : I bet they had that one, since it is Dorman, but as soon as I said 1974 Pinto, they said "Sorry, no way."

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 04:43:56 PM »
Since it is a universal dorman part i woukd suspect that if you as oreilly or napa for the part number tbey would have it

I found a review on the autozone site with the measurements that might be helpful

FYI, the bolt centers are NOT 2-1/2. C-C measures 2-3/8, maybe closer to 2-1/4. I ordered this item based on the stated "2.5in" bolt distance. SIlly me. Now I have to elongate the bolt holes in the rubber disc. Otherwise, the product is as stated

If it doesnt fit then oreilly or napa should have another universal replacement that would fit.

That way you just use your oem metal parts so you have a guaranteed fit on the shafts.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: steering in the right direction
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2020, 04:46:05 PM »
Also.. if you have a 74 pinto a 74 mustang ii might fit. Or perhaps a m ii up till 80

I thiught you had an early 71 73 car
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles