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Vertical Movement in Steering Column


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Hi all,

I'm getting ready to do a steering box adjustment, since it's still very loose and difficult to drive. I rebuilt the linkages (some of the ball cups were a bit worn) and threw in new tie rods from Kanter. I then adjusted the locknut on the box to get some of the play out. Unfortunately, it still needs work.

I plan on replacing the rear panhard bar bushings and inspecting the rag joint.

Something that came to my attention was movement in the steering column when turning the wheel, especially with the car turned off. I remember reading that a specific adjustment is required when this play is present.

I was hoping to hear some opinions.


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Guest NikeAjax

Is the movement within the column, or the actual column itself? There are bushings inside the collar Pete mentioned, are they there? The only other hard-point where the column attaches is just after it comes out of the firewall and onto the, um, you know those dinguses for the water to drain out of when the car gets wet, the rain-phlumuktomisers... Check to see if those bushings are or aren't there, or the bolts are tight on the rain-phlumuktomiser bracket, then if it's still uppy-downy, perhaps it's internal and the nuts inside the actual column aren't tight...


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  • 2 weeks later...


I had a chance to tinker with the car today. The rag joint/steering coupler had excessive play in it. I can't believe I didn't suspect it sooner.

I didn't want to wait on a new one from CARS, so I began looking for alternatives. Dorman makes universal couplers as part of their 'Help!' line. There are two part numbers that have identical specs:

31000: Item Details

31005: Item Details

Both are listed as 3-3/16" O.D. and 1-1/3" I.D.

The NAPA crossover part number is 6301012: NAPA AUTO PARTS | PART DETAILS

My local Napa had one it stock, and judging by the packaging, it looks as if it was sitting there for years. This part is a direct replacement for 1956 (and newer?) models. I loosened the steering column at the firewall and at the collar, realigned it (the collar was higher on one side), installed the new rag joint, and tightened everything up. The play in the column is completely gone and the difference in steering is night and day.

Beginning disassembly:




Old joint:


The new joint came with hardware, however, I didn't use any of it:


Made in China and USA! I was hoping for the latter...






Hope this helps someone.

Edited by 1956century (see edit history)
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