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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
2nd post regarding my power steering conversion.
This is regarding the proper way to connect the steering shaft to the rag joint.
I have purchased these 2 kits from "tomsclassics" on eBay.
P/S Conversion Kit 1955 1956 1957 Chevrolet power steering conversion small block front motor mount | eBay
Shortened Column Kit 1955 1956 Chevrolet steering column jacket shortening kit 500 power steering | eBay

I have the p/s box mounted in the car and slipped the supplied rag joint onto the splined shaft of the input to the steering box.
My question is the connection of the steering shaft into the other end of the rag joint. It is a DD style connection and the shaft fits into the rag joint without an issue. The issue is, what do I do to keep it secure. There are no provisions for set set screws or roll pins of any kind on the rag joint or the shaft.
Any ideas? I have also messaged "tomsclassics" on eBay about this just now but would like to hear from other that may have had this same setup.

I have attached a picture for what it's worth of the mocked up connection from the box to the rag to the shaft.

Thanks for any input.
 

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Drill it, and pin it.
Or, as mine is, the flange is tig welded to the shaft. If I want to remove the olulum, I take the bolts out of the rag joint.
 

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In the photo it appears that you only have the shaft & not the complete shortened column in place. If that is indeed the case make sure that the complete column is in place lower mount bracket bolted in place as it needs to be, including the rag joint fully engaged on the steering box shaft with the pinch bolt in its correct place before you drill the rag joint & steering shaft do this with the car sitting on all 4 wheels things will change if everything isn't in place. Also if you are going to have a column shift auto make sure the shift lever will move enough to clear the detent.I had a issue where mine would not come out of park when the steering wheel was turned in a particular position it was making contact with the rag joint bolts not hard to fix once I found the problem. PS there 2 different length rag joints the shorter of the two is preferable usually.
 

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In the photo it appears that you only have the shaft & not the complete shortened column in place. If that is indeed the case make sure that the complete column is in place lower mount bracket bolted in place as it needs to be, including the rag joint fully engaged on the steering box shaft with the pinch bolt in its correct place before you drill the rag joint & steering shaft do this with the car sitting on all 4 wheels things will change if everything isn't in place. Also if you are going to have a column shift auto make sure the shift lever will move enough to clear the detent.I had a issue where mine would not come out of park when the steering wheel was turned in a particular position it was making contact with the rag joint bolts not hard to fix once I found the problem. PS there 2 different length rag joints the shorter of the two is preferable usually.
As the old buzzard said drill it then drive a roll pin in then run a locking wire through the pin around the shaft and twist to securely lock the pin in place
 

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In my case I drilled the rag joint & shaft & used a 1/4" hardened allen head bolt & lock nut with red lock tight a little anal about things that can kill me but certainly the roll pin safety wire works equally as well. Tig weld even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies guys.
The picture is just a mock-up, as the column tube is not yet installed.
If I were to go the route of drilling and installing a roll pin with safety wire, Do you have recommendations on what size hole/pin?
56ls408 - From my photo, can you tell from my photos if I have been supplied with the longer or shorter rag joint?
Thanks everyone
 

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Hard to say from a photo I went out & attempted to measure mine I'm unable to get a accurate measurement due to my Hydraboost unit with all its hoses but the best I can tell the upper portion that the shaft goes into to the front of the flange measures as close as I can tell to1" the overall length of the rag joint appears to be about 2.5-2.75" less than 3 anyway.In your photo the upper portion appears longer but again impossible to say from the photo.I wouldn't go changing anything that you currently have till you have everything mocked up on most these shortened column installs if yours is column shift the lever usually just clears the firewall enough to have full movement.If it's not a column shift without the shift lever it's probably a easier install.
 

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Hard to say from a photo I went out & attempted to measure mine I'm unable to get a accurate measurement due to my Hydraboost unit with all its hoses but the best I can tell the upper portion that the shaft goes into to the front of the flange measures as close as I can tell to1" the overall length of the rag joint appears to be about 2.5-2.75" less than 3 anyway.In your photo the upper portion appears longer but again impossible to say from the photo.I wouldn't go changing anything that you currently have till you have everything mocked up on most these shortened column installs if yours is column shift the lever usually just clears the firewall enough to have full movement.If it's not a column shift without the shift lever it's probably a easier install.
Just a side note on the rag joint , install I lost the ground for my horn when I installed the rag joint ,if I clamp a jumper wire on the shaft on each side of the rag joint my horn will work .It would have been nice to handle that before the install
 

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We used to have to sometimes jumper a original car across the rag joint but that was from corrosion where they lost grounding
 

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Lee Manufacturing in Sun Valley, Ca, sell a rag joint adapter kit for the 3rd gen metric ps box. I installed a 92 F,bird WS6 ps box 2-1/4 turns lock-to-lock, fast ratio in my ,68 Camaro that had a 68 manual steering Saginaw box.. Good road feel. They may have a product for you. Their ph # (818) 768-6374.
 

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Question on the Tom's steering column conversion, what keeps the steering shaft from just floating inside the column tube?
 

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If the fit isn't perfectly snug, I wouldn't use a roll pin. I see them break too often. And size does matter, too small and it's too weak, too big and the shaft is weakened. I like the set screw idea with two screws spread 90° apart, or the weld.
I'm assuming that the new steering column is made so it can't pull out.
 

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I don't think the roll pin would be a issue it's only purpose is to keep the shaft from sliding up & down in the rag joint not in the shaft turning inside the joint causing a loose of steering. As long as safety wire is ran through the roll pin to keep it from working its self out. I discovered when I attempted to measure my rag joint for the OP that I stated that mine was drilled through with a bolt & lock nut that was incorrect. I had done that to another car that I had installed a 500 box & shortened column in. On mine the rag joint has a set screw & the steering shaft was,once everything was set marked through the set screw hole then dissembled & drilled just enough so the set screw would properly index the shaft then the set screw was locktighted in place. Everything has to be set properly including the steering wheel or hub so the upper column bearing doesn't have any play before you make the final shaft to rag joint setting permanent.
 

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I don't think the roll pin would be a issue it's only purpose is to keep the shaft from sliding up & down in the rag joint not in the shaft turning inside the joint causing a loose of steering. As long as safety wire is ran through the roll pin to keep it from working its self out. I discovered when I attempted to measure my rag joint for the OP that I stated that mine was drilled through with a bolt & lock nut that was incorrect. I had done that to another car that I had installed a 500 box & shortened column in. On mine the rag joint has a set screw & the steering shaft was,once everything was set marked through the set screw hole then dissembled & drilled just enough so the set screw would properly index the shaft then the set screw was locktighted in place. Everything has to be set properly including the steering wheel or hub so the upper column bearing doesn't have any play before you make the final shaft to rag joint setting permanent.
Yes, I forgot the part about the D shape. I see roll/tension pins break when stressed. A tight fit and there is no problem.
I really like your idea of drilling a small dimple for the set screw and the locktite.
 
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