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Thread: Steering Joint CHEAP Upgrade...near firewall not box.

  1. #1


    I've decided to re-repost this for some of the newer zone members we've picked up in the last year and change. The angle joint in the steering column shaft has a very thing retainer and mine let go. This is the fix...or the preventative measure.

    Ok, where the column shaft meets the shaft coming up from the steering box there is a socket style greased joint there. This joint has a very thin, like .042", retainer/seal combo that holds the joint together. Mine pulled apart while going up a steep, off camber, hill making up for the lack of articulation in the suspension. Yeah, beating the truck. The shaft coming down from the steering wheel has a cross pin at the bottom of it and has two square blocks with the center drilled through that sit on the cross pin and then slip into the socket, or lower, part of the joint. There is a spring clip on the outside of the socket that holds the retainer/assembly together. The retainer/seal thing is reletively weak in comparison to a good jerk fron the driver on the wheel. When it comes apart, it's all a person can do to press it together and try and get home.
    THE FIX: I took a very large washer and chucked it up in the lathe and turned the inside diameter out so that with a little maneuvering it would go over the cross pin and on the shaft. I then turned the outside diameter down so that it would just fit in the socket side of the joint. This washer is a hefty .187" (3/16"), more than four times the thickness of the original retainer. Before I installed the retainer on the shaft, I needed a dust boot. I took a wheel cylinder boot, we all have these kicking around, and cut the small center out of it then stretched it over the steering shaft past the cross pin. Then the heavy retainer, then the two square blocks. I installed a grease fitting on the lower end of the socket before assembly. With that heaped with grease and the ability to add further grease, I slipped the assembly together and put the snap ring in place. The snap ring fits nice and snug. I got in the cab and thrashed hell out of the steering wheel and it all stayed together.

    Even though I wrote a book, this is a very easy fix and a heavy duty upgrade. ...and the search goes on for the next weak link!
    Big Blocks RULE!

  2. #2


    I am curious now that you've posted this-- what do FSJ's have in there? I'll have to look. For the record I plan on a FlamingRiver style setup w/u-joints, for the Cherokee first since it's going to be hydro-assisted.

    I'll go take a look later and post what I see's.
    **I heart Bump_r **

  3. #3


    im going to reuse the stock wheel and column, so im trying to understand this post. i may just go flaming river, but i dont know what i need to connect it to the stock column. anyone?

  4. #4


    Doesn't the stock shaft have a rag joint at the other end??

    As, I am not too fond of rag joints, I am looking to replace the shaft entirely.

    IS there a rag joint fix/replacement? In this first iteration of my 715, I am on a tight budget, and basically, if it ain't broke, I don't aim to fix it. However, making something like you describe, on my benchtop lathe is a no budget thing to me... only cost is time. So, odds are good that I'll do that too, time permitting. Is there anything like that for the rag joint?

  5. #5


    If you have powersteering, your rag-joint will live forever as the amount of input stress on it is cut way back as opposed to the manual setup.

    Lee, the shaft that has the rag joint on one end has the female side that accepts the shaft coming down from the dash. What hold that shaft into that female receiver is a spring clip holding a thin plate with a seal on it. That's it. I can't think that my truck is special to have this come apart like it did, but I'd've really been screwed if I was further off trail. I replaced the stock retainer seal thing with a slightly modified 3/16" flat washer. I also put a grease fitting on the lower side of the female couple so that I could keep it fresh with grease.
    Big Blocks RULE!

  6. #6


    ok, well that makes me feel better!
    i was going to try and pull the column apart and grease fix anything i could find

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    East Central MN


    FSJ's have a U-Joint there. It does not interchange the M715 joint(different shaft size).


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