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How to: Steering mod: Rag Joint to U-joint ZJ Shaft

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by FR-425, February 2, 2014.

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    1. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That does not sound like your issue will be resolved by this modification. First, you need to find the problem. It sounds to me that you might have a loose or worn out tie rod end, but only if you can feel the movement through the wheel when it "clunks". This mod is for loose steering shafts due to worn out rag joints.
       
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    3. Got Trq

      Got Trq Member

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      Well I also have pretty sloppy steering :( My X is a work in progress, slowly being restored haha.
       
    4. Benjam

      Benjam Active Member

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      425, is your steering wheel still straight ahead after putting the jeep shaft on?

      Benjam :D
       
    5. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      No, it turned to the left a bit. Just shows how bad the rag joints were.

      The steering wheel is keyed to the column shaft, so the only way to correct it is to re-adjust the tie rod ends.

      If you mark the the tie rod ends and turn both the exact same amount in the same direction i.e. wheels right or wheels left you can get the steering wheel back to center with out fudg'n up the toe-in.
       
    6. Benjam

      Benjam Active Member

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      Okay good, I'm just concerned about those lower splines being right. My steering wheel is to the right now when I'm going straight.

      I'll have to post pictures later of how bad my rag joints were. Really bad indeed.

      I also adjusted the steering gear and got some play out of that. I have to do an outer tie rod end so I'll align it then and everything should be good and tight!

      Benjam :D
       
    7. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      :thumbsup:
       
    8. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      23,000 miles on the shaft now, a trip to Moab and Plenty of other wheel'n in between.


      Still solid as a rock. This mod is for sure a keeper.
       
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    9. Kami808

      Kami808 New Member

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      Last edited: January 22, 2015
    10. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      Hard to say from just that pic.

      But I can see that all three of those in the pic are slightly different from each other.

      To be sure if your going to buy on-line look for 92' - 95' only
       
    11. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I finally finished this mod on my 1994 Explorer. Works very well. Took some play out of the wheel, and don't have to worry about the rag joints exploding. It is very straightforward, just follow the guide. Go for a drive (I went off-roading) and work the steering. Come back and retighten the bolts/nuts.

      IMG_20170405_175023465.jpg

      IMG_20170405_175028881.jpg

      IMG_20170405_175052137.jpg
      I was planning on modifying the shaft by welding on the Explorer's steering gear box side shaft fitting. After 425 sent me his old, worn out shaft, I realized its a cast piece. I didn't want to trust a cast to stamped steel weld, and it was going to be much more trouble than its worth. Ended up doing just what the "how to" states. The steering wheel was only a little bit off. Maybe due to the rod end type steering setup, but any little modification to my steering puts the wheel off-center. It was already off-center the other direction due to a recent pitman arm mod. I have changed out a few steering gear boxes on my Explorer (4) in the years I have had it, and always had to adjust the steering wheel about the same as with this mod.
       
    12. 96EXXLTinCO

      96EXXLTinCO Elite Explorer

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      Getting my hands on a shaft should be no problem (there's a total of 6 92-94 ZJ's in our local upull n pay yard. However, any thoughts as to how having a 3" body lift might effect the length needed? Obviously it would take a longer shaft (yes there's a joke there, I'm keeping it PG) but any idea how much longer? Not sure what's keeping my rag joint together at this point, it looks horrible, and sometimes turning the steering wheel feels like I'm merely giving the truck a suggestion on which way to go.
       
    13. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      I did this with a 3" BL in the 94. There is plenty of shaft for it. Somewhere towards the back of Pugly's thread is a small write up on it, showing lengths to cut.
       
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    14. 96EXXLTinCO

      96EXXLTinCO Elite Explorer

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      That's perfect!! I'll take a look at that. Thx Greg.
       
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    15. timtimtimajim

      timtimtimajim Elite Explorer

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      One of them is missing it's steering shaft already:D And it was an easy one with half of the engine already gone before I got there
       
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    16. 96EXXLTinCO

      96EXXLTinCO Elite Explorer

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      Oh you're putting one in also huh? Awesome!! Online inventory showed 6 from 92-95. That seem about right to you since you had boots on the ground?
       
    17. timtimtimajim

      timtimtimajim Elite Explorer

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      Yep! hopefully this weekend if I have a chance. But yah, six sounds about right. I was just there Monday so things probably really haven't changed much
       
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    18. timtimtimajim

      timtimtimajim Elite Explorer

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      Thanks @FR-425 for this write up. I just did this mod today and the steering on my Ex has way more feel and is much more responsive. The old rag joints were looking pretty worn out
       
    19. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      :burnout:
       
    20. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      Sorry Photobucket went tits up! working on a solution for images. Geez!
       
    21. FullBlownModz

      FullBlownModz Member

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      Glad to see a few of the images resurface! I am in progress of completing this mod. My rag joints don't even look like they have any rubber left! I just picked up a 93 zj shaft, and now i need to cut it down. The only thing I am worried about is the splines not matching up/stripping out over time. Are your splines still holding up?
       
    22. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Don't worry, it will be fine. Mine has been through a lot and its still tight.
       
    23. yostyexplorer94

      yostyexplorer94 1st Gen Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    24. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      :bounce:
       
    25. FR-425

      FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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      I put 40,000 miles on mine after the mod including plenty of off-road. No issues.
      There is not a great deal of force at that point due to the power assist.
       

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