Need help with the infamous tilt column rag joint please...

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Frankenstang71

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My Car
71 M code, light pewter 4 spd. ram air, no stripes, no spoiler, deluxe or sport interior needs compete restoration .
As title states I am in the middle of rebuilding my rag joint and my first attempt at getting a dorman rubber piece did not pan out. This donut is very close but not close enough. The bolt circle is just a bit too small. I haven't searched the local parts stores yet but I wanted to know if the lares 201 has the same donut as the tilt column as I can buy a lares joint as cheap as my local auto parts stores will want for a help kit. This dorman kit is the only one listed on amazon with similar measurements. So does anyone know if the lares 201 is a suitable donor or what number Dorman help kit can be used? Also can rivets be found to duplicate the factory rivets in these? Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm just asking a question here.
As I've not personally had or even looked at a tilt column, I just don't see why the bottom end rag joint needed to be any different to the non tilt column. That is not the part that moves, so why? The connection to the PS or even manual box (yes, I know they are different spline sizes) is the same either way, so that part is obvious.
This is something that has been in my mind for years without getting a satisfactory answer. Can someone please enlighten me?
 
As I recall, the splines are different between the tilt and not tilt column.
Mike, I disagree. The splines on the Saginaw 800 PS box input shaft the same size and count. I've rebuilt a few of these boxes and have not seen any difference is input shaft size. That said, I'd like to go back and double check for my own information. The manual box, yes it is smaller diam and spline count.
EDIT:
There is a lot of good information in this from Lee Power Steering. It does not however address the tilt column, which indicates the input shaft are no different.
Click on the redirect notice and it will take you to the page.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url...ved=0CBEQjhxqFwoTCIiPzOGqgf0CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAH
 
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As I recall, the splines are different between the tilt and not tilt column.

Mike is right. The non-tilt columns have a flange that is welded to the lower section of the steering shaft. The coupler bolts to that flange.

The tilt column does not have that welded flange, so one end of the coupler is splined to interface with the steering box input shaft, and the other end clamps to the “D” shaped lower column shaft.

The couplers are unicorns. Honestly the tilt rag joints are a bit sketchy as there is no backup interface between the driver and the steering box if the rubber disk fails. The non-tilt couplers have steel pins that interface with the lower steering shaft flange if the rubber was to fail.
 
Mike is right. The non-tilt columns have a flange that is welded to the lower section of the steering shaft. The coupler bolts to that flange.

The tilt column does not have that welded flange, so one end of the coupler is splined to interface with the steering box input shaft, and the other end clamps to the “D” shaped lower column shaft.

The couplers are unicorns. Honestly the tilt rag joints are a bit sketchy as there is no backup interface between the driver and the steering box if the rubber disk fails. The non-tilt couplers have steel pins that interface with the lower steering shaft flange if the rubber was to fail.
Bentworker, Now you mention it, I remember that difference in the shafts between tilt and non tilt. The coupler to the box is 13/16th x 36 spline and I thought that was what Mike was referring to. Having not seen the tilt column, I still ask myself "why was there a need for the two columns be different. Surely they could both have been one or the other". Ford engineering again I suppose.
Thanks for the info.
 
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So first I assembled the joint with the Dorman 3100 rag (3105 is also same size) and I noted that d/t the hole being half a hole off you could only use a plain (non shouldered bolt) 5/16" bolt in holes and that was literally stretching the rubber to make it fit. It would work but not really great in my view. I received my lares 201 today and found the donut to be the correct size. I cut the lares joint apart carefully and hammered the pins out. It is the perfect donor donut. If only one could find the factory type shouldered rivets. I used 2 gold shouldered bolts from the lares joint and the black pins from the dorman kit. The pins are not needed with my joint as the tilt casting does indeed have a interface inside the circle that locks together with the other casting if the rubber fails. I will want to get two more lares gold shoulder bolts to replace the black pins just for looks. This was my experience, yours may differ...
 

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To reply to the comment about no back up if the rubber fails: you have to look close but inside of my early 71 there is 2 tangs cast into the pieces that lock together if the rubber joint was to fail. Mine did not have the lock pins originally, just 4 steel rivets.
 

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When I recently replaced the original rag joint assembly on my 72 Mustang that has Ford Factory Power Steering, I found out that the 71-73 with factory power steering came with either a Saginaw or Borg Warner Steering Box. The sales rep at NPD told me that they sale three different rag joints for the 71-73. I purchased all three so I could get the right spline count for my car then returned the two that didn't work for full credit. The folks at NPD are very good to work with.
 
FWIW, I used a joint from Lares and it came apart in less than a year. To replace it, I sourced one from NPD…Very satisfied with it so far(5 years in service). It was the OE style, rubber with fibre reinforcement, whereas the Lares design was 100% rubber.
 
FWIW, I used a joint from Lares and it came apart in less than a year. To replace it, I sourced one from NPD…Very satisfied with it so far(5 years in service). It was the OE style, rubber with fibre reinforcement, whereas the Lares design was 100% rubber.
the current lares 201 has lots of wire reinforcement, the sharp wire ends are constantly poking your fingers as you assemble it. I guess the bottom line question/answer of this thread to me is that the rubber insert for the tilt column is the same size as rubber insert in the non tilt columns.
 
I'm with Geoff. I have no idea why the tilt and non-tilt rag joints weren't the same. Makes no sense at all.
Kevin, thinking back, I believe I read somewhere the the tilt column lower shaft is assembled through the top of the tube, whereas the non tilt is assembled from the bottom. If that's the case, there is still no reason for the two needed to be different. Ford and there ideas once again!!
 
the current lares 201 has lots of wire reinforcement, the sharp wire ends are constantly poking your fingers as you assemble it. I guess the bottom line question/answer of this thread to me is that the rubber insert for the tilt column is the same size as rubber insert in the non tilt columns.
Hmm, I've been using the Lares 201 for 5 + years and no issues at all. I've removed and reassembled the PS box a couple of times over that time as well as it's something I keep my eye on.
The main reason I went with the Lares 201 is because the Scott Drake version, although it has safety pins the correct (factory) diameters, they are too short to actually engage the slots on the shaft. They may as well not be there for all the good they do.
 
Hmm, I've been using the Lares 201 for 5 + years and no issues at all. I've removed and reassembled the PS box a couple of times over that time as well as it's something I keep my eye on.
The main reason I went with the Lares 201 is because the Scott Drake version, although it has safety pins the correct (factory) diameters, they are too short to actually engage the slots on the shaft. They may as well not be there for all the good they do.
I did not view the pokey wires to be a real issue...just an illustration that it was reinforced with a lot of wire...I got out my hobby nippers and trimmed them off. I was happy with the lares joint, curious what npd sells but happy with my outcome.
 
Hmm, I've been using the Lares 201 for 5 + years and no issues at all. I've removed and reassembled the PS box a couple of times over that time as well as it's something I keep my eye on.
The main reason I went with the Lares 201 is because the Scott Drake version, although it has safety pins the correct (factory) diameters, they are too short to actually engage the slots on the shaft. They may as well not be there for all the good they do.
+2
I have been using the Lares for about 8 years. You can definitely see the reinforcement on mine. It has definitely had brake fluid on it. I check it often when I am under the car to make sure all is looking good. I tried to spray it after brake fluid accidents, which may not do much to protect it.
 
There's a post on our group Facebook right now from a Earl Lewis in which he is trying to swap the lower shaft from a non tilt to a tilt column. Rag joint issues are also being discussed, Is this you our someone else?
 
There's a post on our group Facebook right now from a Earl Lewis in which he is trying to swap the lower shaft from a non tilt to a tilt column. Rag joint issues are also being discussed, Is this you our someone else?
Not me..
 
I see, ok. As said before, we mostly use "user names" here, whereas on F/B it is proper names.
As for swapping the lower portion of the steering shafts, if it could be done safely, it might not be a bad idea and would solve the rag joint problem. However, I have my doubts.
 

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