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Ok guys, I'm going to use this space for updates as well as a walk through on removing the old coupler and fitting the new u-joint as I go through the processes myself. I will try to take lots of pictures and give the best advice I can for you guys and gals. I'm sure some of you have been through the things I am working on so if you have any tips or advice of an easier way or something I am missing, please let me know so I can add that into this write up.
This will be your walk thru on doing this WITHOUT an engine in the car.
So, to start off with, my good friend Scotty Gibb was kind enough to donate a steering box for this project and that is where I will start. I parted a car recently and decided to use the drivers side of the firewall, front frame rail, and steering column mount area to use for a bench testing jig.
I got it all cleaned up and remounted the steering column and put an OEM coupler back on it to make sure everything would line up properly for test fitting the new joints. Then I went ahead and installed the box that Scotty sent me and tightened it all together.
Ok, This is what you guys and gals will be starting with sort of. Obviously it will be much easier on the bench with no engine in the way and all of the old grease and grime cleaned off of everything, but it will give you a good base to start from.
So here is our OEM coupler. Yours will likely have a rubber boot covering it. Pull that boot back out of the way and this is what you will see.
Ok, for starters, take this bolt loose on this collar.
Remove the bolt and slide the collar down over the steering box input shaft like so.
Then you will have to take these 3 bolts/nuts out to let the steering box slide away from the coupler. You may have to also remove the steering link from the pitman arm, but Im not sure about that as I don't have that hooked up to try.
Once you have the steering box separated from the coupler, its on to the Coupler removal. Start by removing the lower snap ring that keeps the gold colored ring in place. A very small screw driver or pick works well for this.
Then the gold ring should just slide off of the coupler and reveal the ends of 2 dowels that hold the main coupler body on to the inner ring.
Now, these dowels are just pushed into a hole on each side and need to be removed with a good strong magnet. However, I learned after fighting with one for hours that there is a spring inside of the coupler that puts pressure forward on the whole assembly to keep it all held in tight. So, you will need to push the coupler towards the firewall to take the pressure off of everything to remove the 2 dowels. It takes a few minutes to get the feel for it, but when you get the right amount of pressure, they will just pull right out with a decent magnet.
Get them both out and the main part of the coupler will come right off in your hands.
And here you can see the spring I mentioned earlier that is down in the middle of the coupler.
Now for the hard part. The inner ring is still there and yours will be covered in old sticky smelly grease. It will also have a longer pin through it holding it onto the end of the steering column. Wipe all of that old grease off of there as much as you can and this is what you should see.
From here it is up to you...I don't recommend a hammer and punch be used at any point in this procedure. Exercise PATIENCE!!! You could easily bend the steering shaft and cause yourself a lot more headaches. However, this pin is a press fit! Meaning it fits with ZERO tolerance through the end of the column. So, it isn't gonna just fall out. I had to get inventive and make a special set of pliers to remove it. I will investigate whether or not they actually make a tool for removing these kinds of pins and if I find one, I will post a link to it here. But, here is what I made with some old c-clamp vise grips and some scrap metal and an old bolt and washer. With a little time and trial and error, I fabbed up a solution for myself.
I know it looks pretty gross and medieval, but it works. You need a pin side to push the press pin out of the steering shaft (I used an old 1/4" bolt cut to length), and a loop or recess for it to pass through on the other side while still holding onto the inner coupler ring. (I used an old 7/16" large flat washer with a chunk cut out). I then welded tabs onto the ends of the washer where it was cut out to hang onto the backside of that inner coupler ring. (before that it just kept slipping off the ring).
But, once I got through all of the trial and error, Success!!!
You can see here how it works (inner ring not pictured) or at least get an idea.
Now, back to the project at hand. You have a ring left on the steering shaft with no pin holding it, so just turn the ring 90 degrees either way and it should just slip right off of the end of the shaft.
Wipe away the grease and you will be left with this shaft with an 8mm hole in the end.
Edited by BC_99, 17 November 2014 - 09:27 PM.