Are fixed steering column 1971 owners hosed when it comes to steering couplers too?

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Tdskip

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Hi guys, hope everybody had as good a week as possible given the circumstances. I’ve been making good use of your discussions via search and have learned a lot about this specific series from you.

I have a, cough cough, 1971 Cougar with a fixed steering column and dealing with my rag joint replacement has been a major pain. The Lares 201 and 202 don’t fit, and the Dorman 31000 is close but needs to be stretched to fit the original metal part with the splines.

Anyone here some up with a better approach on dealing with this, I think the fixed column owners here are in a similar boat.

Thanks in advance for any coaching and dope slaps if I am missing something obvious.

Tom

 

Tdskip

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Hi, thanks for the response.

The Dorman 31000 isn’t an exact fit and you need to fabricate the tangs that help locate the pins. Not the end of the word but I do wonder if having to stretch the rubber disk to make it fit will lessen the longevity of the rubber.

BTW - I’m also in SoCal. Nice to finally have a week of sun.

Thanks!

 
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Tom, I have to assume that the 71 Cougar uses the Saginaw 800 PS box, the same as Mustangs of that era. That being the case, the Lares 201 is the one to use with a fixed column. The Scott Drake version is useless as the safety pins will not be long enough to engage the slots on the column plate. 

The input shaft is 13/16" with a flat that will be on top when you set it up centered. Set the clamp on the Lares 201 with the bolt on top and the weird looking plate over the top of that, tighten the clamp bolt first of course after carefully positioning the joint to the column plate. hope that make sense, I don't always right what my mind sees.

 

Tdskip

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Tom, I have to assume that the 71 Cougar uses the Saginaw 800 PS box, the same as Mustangs of that era. That being the case, the Lares 201 is the one to use with a fixed column. The Scott Drake version is useless as the safety pins will not be long enough to engage the slots on the column plate. 

The input shaft is 13/16" with a flat that will be on top when you set it up centered. Set the clamp on the Lares 201 with the bolt on top and the weird looking plate over the top of that, tighten the clamp bolt first of course after carefully positioning the joint to the column plate. hope that make sense, I don't always right what my mind sees.

First all, thanks for the warm welcome and responses. I hope everyone is doing OK and can tell the difference between Friday and the weekend.

@Stanglover, I believe so but the Lares 201 does not fit my car. There is not enough clearance between the steering box splines and the column (with column retracted and loose inside the car).

The Lares 201 metal part is thicker than OEM and the rubber disk part is thicker as well, and together those make it too wide to install. @bentworker - you cannot get the replacement coupler mated to the splines of the steering box because there isn't enough room to rotate it so it will seat properly.

@Don C and @bentworker thanks for that link, I missed it when I was searching somehow. Looks like that owner had the same issue as I am encountering and had to loosen / remove the steering box.

So it looks like the good new is that there is a ready made replacement part, but the "bad" news is more disassembly is required. Hopefully the Lares part holds up.

 
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Ok, I understand what you're up against. Personally, the only times I've removed/replace the rag joint was during a steering box rebuild, so the box was out anyway. However I do know how tight it is down there and still a pita to get in and lined up. A helping hand is a good thing at this point. 

Below are a couple of pics of a Saginaw 800 PS box (in parts), yours should look like that (not in parts!) I'll add captions.



Sorry, but this is the only one found that shows part of the casting. I am on a back up computer, not all my pics are on this one.



This is what your input shaft should look like, 13/16" 36 spline with flat. The piece protruding the splined part is the torsion bar.

The Lares 202 is 3/4" no flat.

Hope that helps. If yours looks exactly like this, you need the Lares 201 coupling.

 

Tdskip

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Thanks @stanglover - I won't be near the car again until tomorrow but let me double check.

Have a good night.

 

Tdskip

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I just rebuilt my existing coupler with the new rubber parts.
@Jpaz - good morning. Did you use the Dorman 31000 kit? Fixed or tilt column?

 
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