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I've done a lot of reading of previous posts related to rag joints and the steering box, related to removing and replacing.  Since I'm learning this as I go along, it leads to questions floating around that I need clarifications on to see if I understand things correctly.

 

If I wanted to replace the rag joint but keep steering box in place, is there enough movement in the collapsible steering column to push the rag joint up so that it clears the steering box input shaft in order to be removed and replaced with new one?

 

In order to get the needed space, should I plan on pulling up the steering column by loosening up the column and firewall bolts?

 

My steering box is an SPA-T, so it my understanding its a variable quick ratio 12.7:1, 2.67 turns LTL, Were these common for the Mach1's?

 

Is there any difference/advantages to buying a rebuilt SPA-T steering box, for example from CarSteering.com or sending mine to be rebuild to someone like Powersteering.com?

 

Thanks!

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I've done a lot of reading of previous posts related to rag joints and the steering box, related to removing and replacing.  Since I'm learning this as I go along, it leads to questions floating around that I need clarifications on to see if I understand things correctly.

 

If I wanted to replace the rag joint but keep steering box in place, is there enough movement in the collapsible steering column to push the rag joint up so that it clears the steering box input shaft in order to be removed and replaced with new one?

 

In order to get the needed space, should I plan on pulling up the steering column by loosening up the column and firewall bolts?

 

 

Yes, but no guarantees. Worst case you do as you noted.

 

My steering box is an SPA-T, so it my understanding its a variable quick ratio 12.7:1, 2.67 turns LTL, Were these common for the Mach1's?

 

ALL 71-73 Mach 1s that were optioned with power steering were equipped with the variable ratio box, as was any car with Competition Suspension and P/S.

 

Is there any difference/advantages to buying a rebuilt SPA-T steering box, for example from CarSteering.com or sending mine to be rebuild to someone like Powersteering.com?

 

No experience with either company, as I rebuild my own boxes.

 

 

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I've done a lot of reading of previous posts related to rag joints and the steering box, related to removing and replacing.  Since I'm learning this as I go along, it leads to questions floating around that I need clarifications on to see if I understand things correctly.

 

If I wanted to replace the rag joint but keep steering box in place, is there enough movement in the collapsible steering column to push the rag joint up so that it clears the steering box input shaft in order to be removed and replaced with new one?

 

In order to get the needed space, should I plan on pulling up the steering column by loosening up the column and firewall bolts?

 

My steering box is an SPA-T, so it my understanding its a variable quick ratio 12.7:1, 2.67 turns LTL, Were these common for the Mach1's?

 

Is there any difference/advantages to buying a rebuilt SPA-T steering box, for example from CarSteering.com or sending mine to be rebuild to someone like Powersteering.com?

 

Thanks!

 As I mentioned before, any time I have replaced a rag joint in recent years, the box has been off. I have not tried to change one by pushing the internal shaft upwards to gain space. Removing the column is not that hard to do, but more of a pita than removing the box. I have a feeling that by removing the 3 bolts and having help with the weight, you might be able to rotate the input shaft so it draws the box forward (front of car) to r&r the rag joint. That would be IF you don't want, or can't pull the drag link joint at the pitman arm.

If you do decide to pull the column, that would also be a good time to service all your pedal bushings etc. I mean you now have the space to do it, so why not kill two birds with one stone!

The SPA-T box is NOT 12.7:1 unless it's been upgraded. It is 16 and 13:1. with 3 1/8th turns LTL. If it is not then either something is wrong or the box has been modified. Personally, if it were me, I'd be pulling the box to bench test it. The "T" box was used on Mach 1's, but may have been on others as well. I'm sure our friend Secluff will know for sure.

As for rebuilding your PS box, if it has never been apart, then yes. For sure there will be way too much slop by now. If under power, you can move the steering wheel more than a 1/2" either way from center, the balls are worn (or the groove in the rack-piston or worm screw has worn bigger). Ford used to have 5 different size ball kits available for this reason, but alas, no longer. Sending it out is best as learning to do it yourself is not for the feint of heart. I learned out of necessity. If you do want to go quick ratio, then possibly PowerSteering.com might be best for the switch to 12.7:1. Another rebuilder who helped me with supplies is Steer and Gear in Columbus Ohio if they are closer to you. I know a couple of people who have sent their box to them without complaint. Problem with rebuilding these old castings is wear in the rotation valve area. There are 3 seals on the R/V and the soft casting tends to get grooves in it. Too deep and they will leak and loose performance to the point of possible failure of the PS system. In some cases, they can be machined and sleeved, but costly. Best to talk to a couple of rebuilders and get quotes and ask questions.

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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after removing the inner shaft, I was able to get the telescopic shaft to move with a little force due to rust. I did not need to move the steering box

DSCN3198.jpg

 

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I've done a lot of reading of previous posts related to rag joints and the steering box, related to removing and replacing.  Since I'm learning this as I go along, it leads to questions floating around that I need clarifications on to see if I understand things correctly.

 

If I wanted to replace the rag joint but keep steering box in place, is there enough movement in the collapsible steering column to push the rag joint up so that it clears the steering box input shaft in order to be removed and replaced with new one?

 

In order to get the needed space, should I plan on pulling up the steering column by loosening up the column and firewall bolts?

 

My steering box is an SPA-T, so it my understanding its a variable quick ratio 12.7:1, 2.67 turns LTL, Were these common for the Mach1's?

 

Is there any difference/advantages to buying a rebuilt SPA-T steering box, for example from CarSteering.com or sending mine to be rebuild to someone like Powersteering.com?

 

Thanks!

 As I mentioned before, any time I have replaced a rag joint in recent years, the box has been off. I have not tried to change one by pushing the internal shaft upwards to gain space. Removing the column is not that hard to do, but more of a pita than removing the box. I have a feeling that by removing the 3 bolts and having help with the weight, you might be able to rotate the input shaft so it draws the box forward (front of car) to r&r the rag joint. That would be IF you don't want, or can't pull the drag link joint at the pitman arm.

If you do decide to pull the column, that would also be a good time to service all your pedal bushings etc. I mean you now have the space to do it, so why not kill two birds with one stone!

The SPA-T box is NOT 12.7:1 unless it's been upgraded. It is 16 and 13:1. with 3 1/8th turns LTL. If it is not then either something is wrong or the box has been modified. Personally, if it were me, I'd be pulling the box to bench test it. The "T" box was used on Mach 1's, but may have been on others as well. I'm sure our friend Secluff will know for sure.

As for rebuilding your PS box, if it has never been apart, then yes. For sure there will be way too much slop by now. If under power, you can move the steering wheel more than a 1/2" either way from center, the balls are worn (or the groove in the rack-piston or worm screw has worn bigger). Ford used to have 5 different size ball kits available for this reason, but alas, no longer. Sending it out is best as learning to do it yourself is not for the feint of heart. I learned out of necessity. If you do want to go quick ratio, then possibly PowerSteering.com might be best for the switch to 12.7:1. Another rebuilder who helped me with supplies is Steer and Gear in Columbus Ohio if they are closer to you. I know a couple of people who have sent their box to them without complaint. Problem with rebuilding these old castings is wear in the rotation valve area. There are 3 seals on the R/V and the soft casting tends to get grooves in it. Too deep and they will leak and loose performance to the point of possible failure of the PS system. In some cases, they can be machined and sleeved, but costly. Best to talk to a couple of rebuilders and get quotes and ask questions.

 

 

Thanks all, for the tips and info!

 

Out of curiosity today I raised the front wheels off the ground and rechecked the LTL. The previous time where I was getting a little over 2 turns LTL I had the wheels raised but didnt have the engine running. However, today WITH the engine running its a little over 3 turns. So, thats the same as the info I have been reading related to a variable PS box. Good info to know!

 

Which cars actually received the 12.7:1?

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Thanks all, for the tips and info!

 

Out of curiosity today I raised the front wheels off the ground and rechecked the LTL. The previous time where I was getting a little over 2 turns LTL I had the wheels raised but didnt have the engine running. However, today WITH the engine running its a little over 3 turns. So, thats the same as the info I have been reading related to a variable PS box. Good info to know!

 

Which cars actually received the 12.7:1?

 Bentworker would know for sure, but as far as I know, no Fords, all GM late 70's early 80's and maybe a bit later. The castings and internals are basically the same for all Saginaw 800 boxes, but the castings are different at the mounting points depending on application. Ford Mustangs are like an inverted "Y" if I'm not mistaken without checking.

If you have 3 1/8 turns, then for sure you have a V/R box. The standard 17.5:1 PS box on Mustang coups, verts or fastback will be 4 turn LTL

Geoff.

 I learn something new every day!

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