5.3L Chevy Motor Swap – Steering Shaft Adjustments

This part of the swap is not turning out exactly as I had originally hoped it would…I was hoping I could get away with not having to do a split front driveshaft OR split steering shaft..but in the process of moving the motor over so far to the drivers side, it has caused a situation in which I’m most likely going to be forced to do a split (intermediate) steering shaft setup to get from the steering column around the motor headers down to the steering box.  Here are a few pictures of the situation I’m looking at….I am planning on trying to call the folks at Flaming River or Borgeson Steering Products to see if they can help me fabricate something up, because I DO have an idea of something that may work, but need their input.  Here’s my thought:

steering-shaft-situation1  steering-shaft-situation2

Here’s another view of my thoughts on what I could do…

steering-shaft-situation3

and finally…

steering-shaft-situation4

I tried explaining this to one of the guys at boregeson and wasn’t sure they were getting what I was saying… So hopefully next time I get on the phone with them I will be able to work with them and show them this page so they know what I’m trying to do… and maybe I can have them fabricate up a “extension” so that I could essentially still have a 1 piece steering shaft, it would just be a little shorter than the stock shaft was.  By fabricating the “extension” (in my mind, would be similar to a socket wrench extension… so the top side would be a female 1″ 48 spline “coupler” welded to a stick of 1″ steel bar that is about 8-10 inches in length, and then on the other end would be a 48 spline round shaft that the steering shaft U-joint would mount to (which was originally connected directly to the column shaft).  Hopefully that makes sense…if anyone else has better thoughts, let me know… if this doesn’t work out, then I’m going to have to re-do the whole thing and set it up like a Ford Mustang, where it has basically 2 steering shafts and 3 u-joints, and a carrier support bearing on the lower side to hold it steady.

UPDATE, 2-25-12, STEERING IS DONE!!!!!

Solution – 2 Piece Steering Shaft

Ok, so I decided to simply split the shaft into two pieces and put in another u-joint.  To do this, I had to come up with a bracket to hold a heim joint that would stabilize the lower portion of the shaft (which is the longer part).   So, I took lots of measurements and decided to use the bolts that the shock mount bolts to the frame with and put longer bolts in there and locking nuts on them.  Then I went and used cardboard to pre-create a model bracket which I could then test the fitting with (on a very basic level but hey it worked great).

steering-shaft-done1

After creating the cardboard bracket and checking tolerances I went to lowes and bought some plate steel, then marked it up and had my brother in law cut and weld it up for me.  Brought it back and then put the heim joint in with a lock washer and then set it all in and bolted it all together, got some new set screws and put it in, voila, perfect fit and it’s adjustable!   Best part is that it goes around the motor without trouble, and provides plenty of room in front of the exhaust manifold.  I think it will work just fine and I’m not concerned about it’s strength at all.

heim-joint

steering-shaft-done2

Well, I’m glad that project is done… I feel confident that it will work fine, but DO plan on checking things on it every so often, because I’m a paranoid type of person.  🙂  I also plan on having my brother in law tack weld the large washers to the bracket to make sure that the joint doesn’t go anywhere.  Although, I have tightened that lower lock washer SO tight that I doubt it will ever move, I still don’t take chances when it comes to steering or brakes, so every precaution will be taken to make sure it’s safe.

If you have any questions or comments (please be nice), feel free to send me an email!

On to the Fuel Delivery!

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