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64 Coupe Steering Column

 
Old 03-15-2019, 07:30 AM
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VITIV Coupe
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Default 64 Coupe Steering Column

When my wheels are pointed in the straight ahead position, my steering wheel is in correct alignment with the index mark on the steering wheel and shaft (12 O'clock), but in what relationship is the flat spot on the lower end of the shaft (by rag joint) to the steering wheel. Where should that flat spot be? Mine is on the bottom. I cannot see the alignment mark on the shaft because bubba was in there at some point with a hammer and crucified the end of the shaft. I have seen the flat spot in various positions on other cars. At the NCRS meet in January in Lakeland I saw an original 64 NCRS correct and his was on the side (passenger side). Is there any correct way?
Leo

Last edited by VITIV Coupe; 03-15-2019 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:48 AM
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The flat spot on the engine bay end of the steering shaft is so that the pinch bolt of the steering coupler can pass across it....with the wheel centered that bolt should be vertical and inboard. The "saw cut" on the lower (steering box) side of the coupler should be facing straight up..at this point the index mark on the cockpit end of the steering column should be facing 12:00....


This how I installed things on my 63 - if it is incorrect I'm sure others will respond - there isn't much detail in the AIM on the topic...but it appears to me that the pinch bolt (item #5) on the coupler (and hence the flat spot on the steering shaft) should be as I've shown it above with everything centered:

Last edited by Frankie the Fink; 03-15-2019 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:47 PM
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:49 AM
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Thanks guys, the pictures were an immense help. Here is a picture of my dilemma. Is it worth it to try and take the wheel off the steering hub and re-position the shaft so the flat is on the side? I'm not even sure I can get it off.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:02 AM
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The munged up end of the steering shaft in your picture that destroyed the witness mark is from use of a steering puller - it happens...

Centering the steering wheel is a 5 minute job with a steering wheel puller - that you can borrow from Autozone or buy for about $13....
The real question is, with the "flat" spot in the correct position are your front wheels centered....somebody may have tweaked things ?

If it steers OK you may want to leave it alone or else get help from someone that knows what they're doing...
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the info Frankie, as I mentioned before, I have everything apart, I'm over her in Largo and I got a rebuild kit from Van Steel for the steering box and also a rebuild kit from CC for the rag joint. I think I'll rent a steering puller when I get back up north and put that flat spot on the side and start to reassemble everything from that point. Just a question? When I get the steering puller on the wheel, do I have to loosen anything on the steering column? This is just a picture of the rag joint before I removed it from the car.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:17 AM
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OK - not to be long winded but you are diving deep here and need to know a few things:

1) All you have to remove to use the steering wheel puller is the horn button and the big hex nut...disconnect the battery of course.

2) Unless your original rag joint is loose or deteriorated or in some other way not functioning -- keep it. The reproduction coupler carcasses (even from Long Island) aren't of the same quality by a long shot. Long Island used to have the correct 7-layer rags but they haven't been available for a couple of years now - which is why I paid big $$$ for an NOS complete coupler... Also several of the steering gurus on here will tell you that if your coupler rebuild kit comes with plain bolts - DO NOT USE THEM. Reuse your original coupler shoulder bolts even if they are rusty - you'll be much safer..

3) All of the newer steering box rebuild kits have a problem with the "high center" adjustment, people of the caliber of RIch Mozetta and Ernie Willcox have posted it about it quite a bit, e.g.

https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...post1598445045

If you already know these pitfalls fine, if not then I urge you to take heed from some of the forum experts...

Finally, there are several posts on how to adjust the spring clamp on the steering column in the engine bay - this is critical to get the right preload on the column bearings...

Last edited by Frankie the Fink; 03-16-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:53 AM
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Thanks Frankie, I have read a really good article about "1963-1982 Corvette Steering Gear Overhaul and Adjustment by Duke Williams and Bill Bradley" . In it it has everything you need to know about rebuilding a manual steering box, very good information. I feel confident I can do this procedure, no problem. I have also read on the forum countless thread on spring clamp on the lower steering column.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:29 PM
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I have the original rag joint from my 1964 coupe that is in excellent condition. I replaced it and the original steering box with a Borgeson PS conversion. Send me a PM if you are interested.

Also, place a hardened (grade 8) washer between the end of your steering shaft and the puller shaft to help protect the end of the steering shaft when you pull the steering wheel.

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Old Today, 01:06 AM
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Default Rag joint

I am interested in buying your rag joint if still available. My email is [email protected] GCG
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