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Rag Joints......

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Emmettology 101, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Had my truck(89 IFS light 2500)over a friends shop last night to check out the steering. Was getting a ton of slop and felt very unsafe. So after checking all the tierods and linkages, we found no movement.... I did have a tire that was worn pretty bad thanks to the damn old Pro Comp lift, so we were chocking it up to that. Well right before i left we had the hood open and I was turning the wheel to see if the box was loose. Found that my rag joint will turn until the two metal halves hit each other and then the truck turns. DOH!!!

    Looking at the box angle and the shaft angle, the shaft is in line with the steering box input. We were wondering why there was even a joint there since the was no angle.

    Never dealt with one of these before. Is it somethign you can get from Auto Zone? Or should I just cut some steel and weld the two plates together for a temp fix until I find a shaft from a van with the u-joints?
     
  2. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    im not sure why you need it either but I bet is has to do with the body flexing versus the frame.
    You can get them at just about any parts store in the Help! section.
     
  3. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    Since your steering column is mounted to the body and the gear is mounted to the frame I would think you would want to have something flexible there for when you get a little catty-wampus when wheeling.

    You could probably find one at the parts store but I've just made them out of old tires. Cut it to size and punch holes for the bolts.

    F R E E B I E !! :wink1:
     
  4. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    This is a driving truck and a non-wheeler. I'll stop today and see about the pieces at Auto Zone... Thanks!

    I did a search on Google after I made the post.... THey were syaing that this design was originated back in the 50's and was needed back then. But with the improving roads(I guess they dotn travel in Ohio much! :rotfl: ) and advancements in todays tires, they are not needed as much. They did show some newer style rag joints and then also the u-joint replacement piece.

    I tihnk one reason mine flew south is because I have a small power steering leak that soaks it down.. :(
     
  5. Stoopalini

    Stoopalini 1/2 ton status

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    The rag joint in my '96 Z was doing the same thing as your truck's. I ended up installing a rag-joint eliminator kit from Unbalanced Engineering and my steering issues were solved.

    When researching the rag joint, I came across 2 main beliefs for their existance: One is it absorbs vibrations through the steering shaft, and the other is a safety feature. If involved in a head on accident, the rag joint (being the weak link in the steering shaft) shears off preventing the steering wheel from impacting the driver. Not sure if this is true though :dunno:

    Something to consider,
    Thomas.
     
  6. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    (being the weak link in the steering shaft) shears off preventing the steering wheel from impacting the driver. Not sure if this is true though :dunno:


    this is true, but that is also why the shaft has a similar design to a driveshaft, the shaft will collapse to a point.


    my dads father had a 96 chevy pickupm the rag joint completly failed and he lost his steering on the dallas freeway, he ended up in a nasty wreck that involved multiple cars.. not good!


    rag joints suck, I hate them now, but just like any other part, they have a service life and they are something often neglected untill it fails off road...


    ask me how I know....:blush:
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I had one fail too....

    I had a life altering and shorts staining experince with my 74 K20 last year--I had just taken a huge detroit deisel 6 cyl.motor from an allis chamlers bulldozer to the scrapyard(weighed 4000+lbs!:blush: )and I was on my way home,then I decided to stop at my friends garage nearby--I was halfway thru a U turn when the steering wheel spun around freely like a kiddie ride at the amusement park!--but I wasnt very amused-dam near crashed into a fence and a parked car--luckily I wasnt going very fast,but it still scared the S%&& outa me!-took me all the next day to torch out the bolt holding it to the steering box on the side of the road in a snowstorm,(bolt head was too rotted to remove with a socket!)then 2 trips to nearby junkyards to find one that had the same splines as mine--ended up using 2 entire shafts from 2 different trucks,used both to make one out of two before both ends had the right splines--a PITA!!--the guy at the boneyard says"there all the same"---WRONG!! I was ready to scrap my truck by the time that ordeal was over--I should have,it lost reverse shortly after that!:frown1:


    I'm going to put a U-joint in place of the rag joint on my other trucks if they give me any greif--I dont care if the steering colum spears me in a crash--its highly unlikely I'll die due to that,considering all the other risks I take every day--its better than losing the steering at 70 mph on the highway...:yikes:
     
  8. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    Yup two different sizes on our trucks , coincides with the introduction of o-ring hoses instead of flared ends . One size is 3/4 30 , and the other is 13/16 36 , they have a splinne size even though they aren't splined 360 degrees around :k5: :k5:
     

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