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Help! Collapsible steering shaft, service needed?

Evolution1980

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(This post is not about a telescoping steering wheel)

Per observation by C4C5Specialist, it seems that my steering shaft has shifted forward ever so slightly that it's now causing my u-joint to bind which significantly increases steering effort to the point I don't really like driving the car. (Keep in mind I have a rack & pinion now, not the OEM setup)

For those that can reference the 1980 service manual, the break out diagram is on page 3B4-19.

I was told by another person that the steering shaft on the 80's was collapsible for reasons of crash safety. And that it's possible that whatever allows the shaft to collapse has failed and now the shaft has shifted forward or has enough play in it that it moves back and forth causing the binding in the u-joint.

What kind of job am I looking at to remedy the issue?
Anyone else ever had this problem or even heard of it? I suppose it's a rare issue because the original steering setup likely wouldn't be impacted by slight movement, but I have the rack & pinion with additional u-joints, so it's causing a problem.
 

bill81vette

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Andre,My guess would be if your steering column has failed(or started to collapse) it's time for another steering column!!!;squint:;squint:
or else you can remove it and tear it a part to see what happened to it...:confused:confused
 

Hib Halverson

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Collapsable columns have been on C3 since the late 60s.

If the section of the column which collapses has partially collapsed, it will have to be repalced.

However, right at the end of the OP is a reference to rack-and-pinion, so I take it this car has been converted using the Vette Brakes and Products or Speed Direct rack-and-pinion conversions.

The symptoms sound more like a problem with the universal joints below the column rather than with the column itself.

Getting the physics of a multiple u-joint system correct such that there is no binding can sometimes be a pain. I'd carefully inspect the two joints and the shafts going down to the rack to make sure everything rotates freely. You might consider contacting the rack conversions maker about u-joint binding.
 
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Evolution1980

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Thanks for chiming in, Hib, Yeah, I have a Steeroids in the car. It's a tortured path that is made via two u-joints to get from the steering wheel to the rack, but my mechanic was meticulous in getting everything properly aligned. It's been solid for the past couple years now.

When Paul Koerner inspected my car back in June at CruiseFest, he pointed out to me, and I saw myself that when we turned the wheel, we could actually notice the steering shaft shifting about 1/16" or so forward and back during a turn, almost what you'd expect to see if the bar was bent. It's just enough to cause minor binding in the joint. It's not really noticeable when the front end is in the air, but once it's on ground it's very pronounced.
 
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How many U-joints in the system? If you have two with an intermediate shaft between them, the shaft MUST be supported with a fixed-mount support bearing that's correctly aligned, or it will cause exactly the symptom you describe.

:beer
 
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Evolution1980

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JohnZ,
(Since I don't have pics here at work, I did a google image search and came up with this thread! :L)

There are two u-joints and the intermediary is stabilized with a heim joint that attaches to the frame. Similar to the pics in the referenced thread above.
 

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