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Steering Shaft Upgrade - Flaming River

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Old 02-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Steering Shaft Upgrade - Flaming River

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.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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Pictures, continued:

Factory shaft removed.

FR steering installed.

FR steering installed.

Final install with dust boot.
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Last edited by Scott B.; 02-29-2012 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Add 1 more picture
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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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.




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Old 02-29-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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Thats real nice.

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.




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Old 02-29-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GRNMACHINE View Post
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.
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.




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Old 02-29-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
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Thats real nice.

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.
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...




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Old 03-01-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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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




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Old 03-04-2012, 09:43 PM   #8
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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.




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Old 04-14-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for posting and pics!




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Old 04-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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Awesome info! Great for those looking at axle swaps




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Old 04-15-2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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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?




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Old 04-17-2012, 11:15 PM   #12
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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.




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Old 04-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #13
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How do you like it? Is it worth the $300 bucks?




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Old 04-18-2012, 11:09 AM   #14
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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.




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Old 04-29-2012, 10:24 PM   #15
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How do you like it? Is it worth the $300 bucks?
I'll let you know when I start driving the truck. (The V8 swap is not complete yet...)




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Old 04-29-2012, 10:33 PM   #16
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I'll let you know when I start driving the truck. (The V8 swap is not complete yet...)
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 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.




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Old 01-09-2013, 01:11 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:06 AM   #18
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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.
Yes - the joint on the gearbox is female spline, and the joint on the column is a female "D".




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Old 01-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
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Yes - the joint on the gearbox is female spline, and the joint on the column is a female "D".
Confirmed.

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




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Old 01-12-2013, 12:27 AM   #20
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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.




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