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Steering Shaft Upgrade - Flaming River

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Scott B., February 29, 2012.

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    1. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      As my truck is 18 years old, had 320,000 miles on it, and it getting a V8, I thought a steering upgrade would be a good idea.

      There has been plenty of discussion on this in the past - but most of revolved around (used) factory parts. I have read about Flaming River products in the past, and they are supposed to be good, if not a little pricy. I didn't really want to use any used parts - and, the factory parts are much larger in diameter than the FR parts. I am putting headers on the V8, so I figured I needed all the room I could get.

      FR doesn't list a kit for the Ranger. However, they just asked me to measure the components on the truck, then found the correct matching components.

      Installation was straightforward. I put the u-joints on, cut the shaft to fit, done.

      On to the pictures:

      The factory steering shaft.

      The FR parts.

      Close-up of the u-joints.

      The cut-to-fit shaft, cut and fit.
       

      Attached Files:

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    3. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      Pictures, continued:

      Factory shaft removed.

      FR steering installed.

      FR steering installed.

      Final install with dust boot.
       

      Attached Files:

      Last edited: February 29, 2012
    4. GRNMACHINE

      GRNMACHINE Elite Explorer

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      Flaming River is or was the company recommended for those putting 3" bodylifts on. Where exactly do u cut the shaft? No experience with this, have 2" bodylift, no mods needed to steering. I do however, see a rip in the boot of the steering shaft which I am thinking cant be good. Thanks for the pics and writeup.
       
    5. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Thats real nice. :thumbsup:

      Do they say how much angle that can be run with? People with 3" body lifts could use it if the working angle is greater than stock, same for gearbox re-location.
       
    6. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      I took a "best guess" as to where to cut the shaft. The shaft that came with the kit was about 3 times as long as I needed.

      The smaller diameter piece is solid, sliding into the larger diameter piece. I thought it would be best to have the longer half be the solid piece. That being decided, I cut the longer piece to fit between the two u-joints, and the other piece long enough to make up the gap plus an inch or so.

      I have enough shaft left over, so if this doesn't work, I can redo it.
       
    7. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      No, there was no mention as to a maximum angle.

      The u-joints are very nice bearing units - I'd guess they could handle quite a bit of angle. After all, the shaft is not spinning at 3-4000 RPM...
       
    8. parli22

      parli22 Loco en cabeza Elite Explorer

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      Subscribing because I'm just about to do that project on my truck
      Do u have the part numbers for the parts that you ordered
       
    9. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      Part Numbers:

      FR1856-S Slip & Coll. shaft, 30"
      FR1714DD 3/4"-36 x 1" DD
      FR1717DD 3/4" DD x 1" DD


      You have the option of getting a stainless steel slip & coll. shaft, at additional cost.
       
    10. GRNMACHINE

      GRNMACHINE Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for posting and pics!
       
    11. dkchrist

      dkchrist Well-Known Member

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      Awesome info! Great for those looking at axle swaps ;)
       
    12. Naasau

      Naasau Elite Explorer

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      Great pics! I did the same a while back and Haven't regretted it since!

      I can't tell on yours, but my shafts came with a groove cut into the inner shaft, and a grease fitting on the outer to act as a slip/limiter thing. It took me a while, but I was able to cut down the inner on both sides, and the outer out redrilled/retapped and cut down so that the final product had the greasable groove function. Did your's come with that functionality or have they dropped it from the ford design?
       
    13. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      Glad everyone likes the pictures.

      My kit came with the groove but I had already cut the shaft before I figured that out. :( I think it will be OK without it since the shaft does not slide during normal steering. I did grease it before installing.
       
    14. Stic-o

      Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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      How do you like it? Is it worth the $300 bucks?
       
    15. Naasau

      Naasau Elite Explorer

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      Well, I don't know about Scott, but I'm paranoid about my steering. And after the rubber rag joint disintegrated on my stock intermediate shaft, I wanted something so friggin' solid that it would outlive everything else on the truck, including the parts that I've welded up myself.

      I spit out all that info jsut so that you know the context when I say that for me, this shaft is perfect! I'm also a big fan of the extra materials so that you can trim it to fit, whatever position the steering box is in, and whatever BL you've got.
       
    16. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      I'll let you know when I start driving the truck. (The V8 swap is not complete yet...)
       
    17. Stic-o

      Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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      I only ask because I've meaning to do something to JP's steering. I have a good amount of play in the steering...Say 4" or so :eek: Once you get use to it it's not so bad, but it really needs to get fixed:( I should probally start with a new PS box.
       
    18. cbsdd

      cbsdd New Member

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      Nice write up. I need to do this on my truck I replaced the rags joints on mine but that made the steering have a weird wobble in it like it wasn't centered and had more of an oval feel to the steering. Anywho, how do the flamiming river u-joints connect onto the spline on the gearbox? I'm assuming that they have groves in them.
       
    19. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      Yes - the joint on the gearbox is female spline, and the joint on the column is a female "D".
       
    20. Naasau

      Naasau Elite Explorer

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      Confirmed.

      And as an aside, mine still looks and feels like new!
       
    21. albi1cnobi1

      albi1cnobi1 Elite Mountaineer Elite Explorer

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      I'd like to do this to my 99 Mounty. Obviously my rack is different from the 1st gens, it's not splined. Do you know if this has been done? Or even if they have an application for my truck. Any input would be appreciated.
       
    22. Naasau

      Naasau Elite Explorer

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      I would assume so; have you checked out the flaming river site for an application chart?
       
    23. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      First time i saw this thread. I have the Flaming River shaft and joints on my Dodge Dart and love it. Also have the Flaming River tilt column.

      Sure is gut wrenching having to cut the shaft to size. Measure a dozen times cut once :D
       
    24. albi1cnobi1

      albi1cnobi1 Elite Mountaineer Elite Explorer

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      Yeah I did. They don't show an application for my truck. I guess I'll have to give them a call. I just figured I'd throw it out there and see if anyone had done this to a 2nd gen.
       
    25. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      Just give them a call.

      They will ask for the size/type of each shaft, and the distance between the two.

      They will send you the correct ends, and a shaft. As Rick said, measure several times, cut once.
       
    26. jd4242

      jd4242 Elite Explorer

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      Do you think it was necessary to use two ujoints? Swear I saw over on rps they had the shaft turned around the other way where the larger piece of the slip bar fit directly over the steering wheel shaft.then the lower used a ujoint, prob 3/4-36-3/4dd.was I dreaming when I thought I seen this or does it look like it could even just use a one joint setup?:dunno:
       

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