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steering shaft upgrade?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by convertaburb, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. convertaburb

    convertaburb Registered Member

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    Has anyone used the shaft upgrade from www.borgeson.com ? there is a tech article in the may 2005 issue of offroad and it comes with 2 u-joints and replaces the rag joint at the bottom.
     
  2. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    I've installed one when I put the 56 on the newer frame. It let me work with more of an angle than the old rag joint did. Worked fine for my situation but there used to be a write-up on modifying the shaft out of a van that would do just about the same thing for a lot less $$$. Borgeson makes some fine products but you really pay for them.
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I bought a steering shaft from an early 90's XJ. U-joints at both ends and the length looks really close. Cost me $10...

    Rene
     
  4. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Search for the various posts on using chevy van shafts, it's been discussed many times. As for me, I pulled a shaft out of an early 90's XJ as well. It 'almost' bolted right in. The steering box end went right on, but I had to reduce the steering column shaft a little bit with a file to make the XJ shaft fit over it. After I got the shaft to slip over the steering column "hooyah" I ran a drill bit through the hole in the shaft that the bolt goes through to clamp it on. This clearanced the steering column shaft so the bolt would fit. Don't know if you can really understand what I'm describing. I paid like $10 for my shaft as well from p-n-p. Dont waste your $$$ on a Borgeson shaft, do the van shaft conversion or get one from an XJ and do the little mods that make it fit.
     
  5. joshua632

    joshua632 Guest

    I've got a shaft from a newer astro van on my s10-k5 hybrid it fit perfect with a little modification. I'm sure it would work for a plain k5 application also. Its got u-joints on both ends.
     
  6. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I've the the Borgeson unit in my K5....works fine.

    Not really much "sexy" about it, except that it replaces that cheesy factory ragjoint. Build quality looks nice, but as some have mentioned....it's not a "cheap" solution.

    Might be some pics in my gallery?....anything from Moab 2002 would show it since I put it on just prior to that trip.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    My dad and I have been looking at a bunch of different shafts to see if anything is a true bolt on.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like any of the shafts out there (that I've seen) will work as is. Well, work as intended by the manufacturer.

    The steering box end seems to be almost universal between years and jeep/GM. The steering column end is different as most thinking about this know, the bolt through the column, or the bolt that clamps the shaft to the column end.

    I'm not a huge stickler of safety, but the steering column end (at least the later bolt through design, which is hollow) is pretty flimsy metal as is. Grinding off of that to *me* (and my dad) doesn't appear to be a good idea. May work a long time, but if/when it does give, you could kill somebody besides yourself, which is where I personally draw the safety line.

    The jeep style ones are similar, BUT the way the shaft is "keyed" is different than the GM shaft. If you look closely, the "flats" on column and shaft are not even on both sides. The GM truck bolt through column end has "even" flats on both sides.

    The Astro shafts are also not "bolt ons" but I can't recall why right now. I do remember that it's because of the mismatch in column ends between them and our trucks. Full size vans that we've looked at are also not "right".
     
  8. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    As I recall, I had to remove a very minimal amount of metal from the GM column to get the jeep shaft to slip on. I thought about the safety issue for a while before I went ahead and filed some of it off. I did not have to take any off of the flats only off of the round ends. I think I has to take a total of 3/32" or so off the diameter, not too bad when you consider the tubing wall is about 1/8" thick. the only other metal removal was after I got the shaft slid onto the colums as far as it needed to go, I ran a drill bit through the hole on the shaft where the bolt goes to clamp it on. This was for clearance for the clamp bolt. If I thought there were any safety issues with removing as little metal as I did, I would not have done it.
     
  9. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I wonder...

    Would it be possible to use the original "pot" joint at the steering colum,and "splice" it into a shaft with a U-joint on the steering box end??-or is it best to get rid of both?(I have seen a pot joint pull apart before,but not as often as the rag joint at the box)-the shafts look similar on most GM vehicles--I had to put 2 together to make 1 that fit my 74 when the rag joint failed..the shaft had a pin thru it,and a leaf spring looking thing in between where they slid together--I had to pull both apart and put the 2 halves together to end up with the right splines on both ends..

    I'd like to eliminate the rubber rag joint on my 82 K20,they seem to fail pretty easy when you use a plow on the truck , and mine is oil soaked--after having a short staining ride when the one on my 74 failed,I'd rather not have it happen again!:blush:
     
  10. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    I think when folks do the Chevy Van steering shaft conversion they keep that joint. I am not sure tho. And I think you want two ujoints in the shaft, for the same reason driveshafts have two ujoints. You won't have vibration per se in a steering shaft with one ujoint, but steering will probably feel funny, like your wheel will feel 'tight' twice on each revolution of the wheel. Hard to describe.
     

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