72' Rag joint replacement inquiry

7173Mustangs.com

Help Support 7173Mustangs.com:

Arocket1

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
77484
Good morning, I have a question concerning rag joint replacement on a 72' Mach 1
The car currently has a 351 Cleveland, automatic transmission and headers.
From reviewing the "sparse" youtube videos on this subject I cannot find what I am wanting to know so hopefully someone will jump on and answer my questions and hopefully offer some installation suggestions.

I have a replacement Rag Joint from CJ Pony Parts "Coupler 201"
Can this rag joint be changed out without unbolting the steering box?
From watching one video it appears that the original design allowed you to unbolt the steering column and then pull it back to gain the clearance needed to remove the old part and then install the new part? Is this correct?
I have not been under the car yet so I do not know if they will present any problems for this change out.
This work will take place with the car on jack stands as a lift is not available at the location where the car is.
One video showed this replacement with the engine out of the car and that would be nice however I do not have that option.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2015
Messages
1,564
Reaction score
250
Location
California
My Car
71' Grande project.
Nothing fancy- the Column will collapse a bit to facilitate R&R. Sometimes they can be a bit crusty if rusty or covered with undercoating. Just spray some lube on it.

As far as I know there isn’t a quality reproduction steering coupler being made with the “correct” 9/16” and 5/16” pins. Scott Drake makes one that is so close, but so far away because the pins are too short.

Most folks run a Lares 201 on the non tilt column. The splines are correct, the pins are long enough to act as a safety couple if the rubber was to fail. Only catch with them is the pins not the same diameter. Concours guy might notice.

You should be able to replace it with the car on jack stands or ramps. Only wild card is header interference.
 

Arocket1

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
77484
Nothing fancy- the Column will collapse a bit to facilitate R&R. Sometimes they can be a bit crusty if rusty or covered with undercoating. Just spray some lube on it.

As far as I know there isn’t a quality reproduction steering coupler being made with the “correct” 9/16” and 5/16” pins. Scott Drake makes one that is so close, but so far away because the pins are too short.

Most folks run a Lares 201 on the non tilt column. The splines are correct, the pins are long enough to act as a safety couple if the rubber was to fail. Only catch with them is the pins not the same diameter. Concours guy might notice.

You should be able to replace it with the car on jack stands or ramps. Only wild card is header interference.
Thank you for the quick reply! Hopefully the weather will clear up a bit and I can give it a go before the weekend runs out!
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
602
Reaction score
162
Location
Georgia
My Car
1973 Mach 1 "Q Code"
When I did mine, I used the Lares 201 as well and it fit with no issues. I am pretty sure that I replaced mine from the top and did not have to get under the car. I did not have to remove the steering box. The steering column does collapse some to allow you to get the new one in place. Good luck.

Tom
 

Bobby

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
250
Reaction score
88
Location
League City, TX
My Car
1972 Mach 1
When my 72 Mach 1 was delivered, I could not keep it centered on the road. I thought it could possibly be the power steering gearbox. I adjusted it to no avail. When I had my Stang rewired i had to send the steering column to Missouri to an individual for rebuild. Thats when it was determined that the rag joint was all wrong. The end of the steering column shaft was a half moon configuration which was a total mismatch with the rag joint. The rag joint had a spline configuration and would not properly grip the smooth half moon shaft no matter how tight it was. there was a good amount of surface wear on the outer portion of the steering column shaft. The guy that rebuilt my column had a proper fit rag joint for a price and sent it back with my column. it would fit the column shaft but not the steering gearbox. Since the replacement rag joint was riveted together, they guys at the shop had to grind off the rivets and make it fit with a different flange fitting and bolt it together. So I now have a franken-joint but it works and it eliminated most of the slop in the steering. Dont be surprised if you find the same on your steering column...
 

Attachments

  • ragjoint1.JPG
    ragjoint1.JPG
    455.8 KB · Views: 0
  • ragjoint2.JPG
    ragjoint2.JPG
    483.4 KB · Views: 0

Arocket1

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
77484
When my 72 Mach 1 was delivered, I could not keep it centered on the road. I thought it could possibly be the power steering gearbox. I adjusted it to no avail. When I had my Stang rewired i had to send the steering column to Missouri to an individual for rebuild. Thats when it was determined that the rag joint was all wrong. The end of the steering column shaft was a half moon configuration which was a total mismatch with the rag joint. The rag joint had a spline configuration and would not properly grip the smooth half moon shaft no matter how tight it was. there was a good amount of surface wear on the outer portion of the steering column shaft. The guy that rebuilt my column had a proper fit rag joint for a price and sent it back with my column. it would fit the column shaft but not the steering gearbox. Since the replacement rag joint was riveted together, they guys at the shop had to grind off the rivets and make it fit with a different flange fitting and bolt it together. So I now have a franken-joint but it works and it eliminated most of the slop in the steering. Dont be surprised if you find the same on your steering column...
Thank you for the information, I will check those issues out when I get everything apart.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
6,264
Reaction score
1,253
Location
SW Ontario
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
Hi and welcome to the forum. There is a section for introductions. When you have time, please introduce yourself and tell us about your car. Pictures are always a hit with us.
As for the coupler, you did not mention if the car was PS or manual steering. The couplers are different spline sizes. If it is PS, then by far the best option is the Lares 201. When you install it, the securing bolt head should be upper most. Don't worry about the pins being the same as most believe that the joint with the one larger pin was for quick assembly line installation. Just make sure the wheels are straight ahead and the PS box is centered. After that, it's a piece of cake..... well sort of.
Good luck.
 

Arocket1

New member
Joined
Nov 24, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
77484
Hi and welcome to the forum. There is a section for introductions. When you have time, please introduce yourself and tell us about your car. Pictures are always a hit with us.
As for the coupler, you did not mention if the car was PS or manual steering. The couplers are different spline sizes. If it is PS, then by far the best option is the Lares 201. When you install it, the securing bolt head should be upper most. Don't worry about the pins being the same as most believe that the joint with the one larger pin was for quick assembly line installation. Just make sure the wheels are straight ahead and the PS box is centered. After that, it's a piece of cake..... well sort of.
Good luck.
Good evening, will look at the introduction page when I have a minute.
Thank you for the additional information concerning the Rag Joint installation, the car is a PS car and I will take a hard look at the splines when I get it apart.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2274.JPG
    IMG_2274.JPG
    3.7 MB · Views: 0
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
6,264
Reaction score
1,253
Location
SW Ontario
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
Good evening, will look at the introduction page when I have a minute.
Thank you for the additional information concerning the Rag Joint installation, the car is a PS car and I will take a hard look at the splines when I get it apart.
Sounds good. As it is a PS car, the splines on the input shaft will be the same as the Lares 201 coupler. You may have to get the wire brush out though. Removing the old coupler could be a bit of work, but a good soaking with penetrating oil overnight and the use of a small pry bar, it should come off without too much problem. OR it may just slip off, no way to know until you try.
If you find later, that there is way too much free play in the box, there has been volumes written and posted on that subject. I personally have rebuilt a few of these for my own use only and can offer some help. Our friend here, Bentworker, has also a lot of experience with the Saginaw 800 boxes on our cars and can offer a ton of info. Should you decide to just buy a new PS box, Red Head seem to be the most favored and can offer fast ratio options.
That's for later of course, but good info to have in mind.
For now, one thing at a time.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
550
Reaction score
413
Location
Pittsford, NY
My Car
My all time favorite vehicle is our 1969 Shelby GT500
I purchased a tilt steering column from a 71 Cougar for our 73 Mach 1. I have not swapped it in yet, as I found in researching the rag joint for a P/S non-tilt column is not the same as for a 73 with a tilt column. Finally WCCC got one in, used. I do not see them anywhere new. The used one looks like it is in decent condition. I figure this coming Car Season I will do the swap. I hope I have the right parts needed re: the rag joint. I have a friend in SoCal who swapped in an oem tilt column for his 71 Mach 1 with great results. He is 2,000 + miles from me, and had a shop do the work, so I do not know any details other than it worked out for him.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
6,264
Reaction score
1,253
Location
SW Ontario
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1, M code, 4 speed.
I purchased a tilt steering column from a 71 Cougar for our 73 Mach 1. I have not swapped it in yet, as I found in researching the rag joint for a P/S non-tilt column is not the same as for a 73 with a tilt column. Finally WCCC got one in, used. I do not see them anywhere new. The used one looks like it is in decent condition. I figure this coming Car Season I will do the swap. I hope I have the right parts needed re: the rag joint. I have a friend in SoCal who swapped in an oem tilt column for his 71 Mach 1 with great results. He is 2,000 + miles from me, and had a shop do the work, so I do not know any details other than it worked out for him.
If I've got it right, the rag joint (coupler) for any tilt column is like "unobtainium". I have a friend having the same issue finding the correct coupler. Why they had to be different to a non-tilt, is beyond my comprehension. It's not the bottom end that tilts! However, having not ever seeing one that close up, I can't say for sure.
Ford's wonderful thinking again, I guess.
 
Top