You will find that steering gears and rack-and-pinion assemblies utilize a splined input shaft and that nearly all aftermarket and the majority of original equipment steering columns have a splined output shaft. Steering u-joints and steering shaft are responsible for connecting these two primary steering system components. Depending on the route, you may wind up with a single short steering shaft segment or two or more segments in your design. Your choice of u-joints determines the application of any of the three steering shaft types we provide. Speedy To improve the connection between a double D-style joint and the shaft, you can drill a dimple on the steering shaft for the set screw to clamp into. Simply tighten the pinch bolt to create an indentation, then drill a 1/8-inch-deep recess in the area where the pinch bolt will be tightened. Before completing, a dab of Loc-Tite on the set screw is always a smart precaution.
Choosing the Best Steering Shaft
The most prevalent steering shaft design is the double D steering shaft.
Completely Machinable Double D Shaft The entire length of a fully machined double D shaft features two flats that correspond to the female end of the u joint. The 3/4-inch measurement on a double D shaft, for instance, is taken across the rounded section of the shaft. The fully machined double D shaft is available in a variety of lengths and maybe simply trimmed to fit your steering system’s exact specifications. Note that the fully machined double D shaft can be inserted past the main body of the u-joint, where it may come into contact with the joint and cause binding; therefore, ensure that the shaft is flush with the main body of the u-joint at all times. Multiple lengths are accessible for the fully machined double-D shaft. After carefully measuring the length of your steering system, if you need an atypical length, it is recommended to order the overall length and then trim it to the specific length required for your project.
Only the ends of a double D end shaft have the machined D shape.
Steering Shaft with Two D-Ends This style is a variation on the fully machined double D shaft in which the double D is only machined into each end. This gives a spherical steering shaft that is more aesthetically pleasing while allowing for DIY installation of the twin D-style U-joints on each end. The machined double D ends are designed to be put to the ideal depth into the U-joint with the round portion of the shaft fully seated against the U-joint body, which is an advantage of this design. There is no concern about exceeding the mounting depth and causing the joint to bind. The length of these steering shafts ranges from 4 to 36 inches.
Solid, Round Steering Shafts Are More Robust, But They Must Be Welded.
Spherical Steering Shaft This 3/4-inch diameter solid steel steering shaft is utilized with a 3/4-inch steering U-joint with a “smooth bore.” In general, this use requires welding, but there are cases in which you could drill and pin the shaft or grind a notch in it and utilize a pinch bolt configuration.
This Steering U-Joint Is Designed to Connect a Solid Round Steering Shaft to a Splined Steering Component.
While both types of double D steering shafts are compatible with a double D-style steering U-joint, the solid round steering shaft requires a smooth bore 3/4-inch ID steering U-joint. As with the fully machined double D shaft mentioned previously, the solid round steering shaft can also be put too deeply into the joint, causing binding or steering lock. Ensure the shaft is flush with the end of the steering U-main Joint’s body before beginning to weld the shaft to the joint.
Steering Dampers Remove a Portion of The Steering System’s Road Vibrations.
While many vendors offer rag joints for OE GM columns, when it comes to creating your new steering system with aftermarket columns, the standard OE rag joint with the correct connection specifications is simply not manufactured. However, that does not imply that you must accept steering system harmonics on your steering wheel and in your hands. Using an inline steering damper, you can simply dampen these harmonics and give your steering system a more solid feel.
Determining the right steering system components for your build, test fitting, and finalizing the steering system routing takes time, but doing it correctly ensures a safe steering system that converts steering wheel inputs into precise outputs at the front wheels while clearing the frame, engine, exhaust, and any other obstacles.