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

FR-425

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Here's a potential solution,

I have not done this yet but I need a solution soon as well.

I will post up my results when done, but anyone is welcome to have a go.


Here it is:

1989-95 Jeep XJ, ZJ shaft...modified (XJ's, ZJ's are the cherokee's btw)

Double "D" one end; spline-"D" other end. check

U-joints: check

Shaft a little to long: cut to fit at the slider.

1.jpg
 



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FR-425

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Update:

The victim: (Donor)

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee 6 cyl. (ZJ)

Here's a pic of the two shafts for comparison Ford(top) ZJ(bottom)

2.jpg


The Plan:

The 93' ZJ shaft is just about 2" to long.
I will remove the rubber damper sleeve covering the slider and cut to length. Replace with shock boot.

Note: The older XJ shafts are about 3' long; can't be cut enough to get the right length ( the slider tube is not deep enough )

On the splined end the spline count is different; but only provides alignment and a "measure" of safety; not the primary holding mechanism. The "D" cut and clamp force is the primary.

However; I intend to machine the splines for a "better" fit.

Caution: Please do not except this as a go ahead to do this:

I will have to stress test this for a extended period of time to feel safe with it.

And for as long as I run it I will have to commit myself to daily safety inspection of this modification for as long as I own this truck.

If I feel this is in any way not holding dead fast I will scrap the whole thing or sacrifice the steering box by welding the spline joint to the input shaft.

OK, That's the Disclaimer.

Updates should come fast now.
 






gmanpaint

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Do you have a body lift?

I have been looking for a cheaper way of replacing mine. I am running a 3" BL and using the extension with it. The angle from the BL has caused the upper "D" to round out and it has slop as a result.

So if that XJ shaft is 2" longer, it just might work as is. Well, as long as the "D" ends are the same as the EX. :scratch:

Edit: I just read it again. The spline count is different. :(
 






FR-425

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I do not have a body lift,

But this would probably work for a 3" body lift without cutting (Bonus!)

The upper "D" is a perfect match and is in fact much beefier. (as you can see)
 






gmanpaint

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I will watch your progress as it happens. :thumbsup:

Can you do me a favor? Will you take pics of the before, during, and after comparison shots of the xj spline work? That will help a bunch.
Thanks! :)
 






FR-425

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Funny thing is my rag joints look good!

But it is 20 years old.

With the over-sized tires it's just feels mushy and the added stress will probably tear em out soon.

NO! the original will NOT be for sale! sorry, keep'n for spare.
 






jd4242

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Why not just find one with ujoints top and bottom..91 had them and some others..
 






FR-425

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Picked through 27 91's at 4 different bone yards.

All had rag on the bottom. Available? not in this town,

What others? you got a secret?
 






jd4242

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Let me find the thread.maybe it was 90, know they made them.
 






jd4242

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jd4242

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There is also a way of doing it using the explorer upper half that uses a ujoint and a aerostar lower half that uses a ujoint.let me find the thread...
 






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FR-425

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Nope, I dont have a pic, but I do have a dual U-joint steering shaft somewhere in my garage.


I didnt know anyone else knew they existed. :thumbsup:

I see,,, didn't catch the part about an actual double u-joint mystery 91' Ex
 






FR-425

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Well, anywhoo,,

now there's gonna be another option.

I do appreciate all the feedback and other options though. Good stuff!

Paid $9.95 for the dime a dozen ZJ shaft and it's nice and beefy.

I also like the "zero fail" damper yoke on it.

If you look at the upper (left) in the pic of the ZJ shaft you can see that the yoke is "floated" on the shaft with a rubber bushing, The shaft itself protrudes through and has the fail safe tabs in the open end of the u-joint yoke.

It will still have vibration damping like the rag joint style. A little stiffer, but that's what I'm looking for.
 






FR-425

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Why not just find one with ujoints top and bottom..91 had them and some others..


I did, I did,, see a puddy tat! :D The shaft I picked out has u-joints both ends..

Besides the ratio of Jeep's to Explorer's in the JY is like 100:1 :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 






Backwoods "X"

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Are you doing this using parts from an XJ (regular, square Cherokee) or a ZJ (Grand Cherokee) is a <BIG> difference here.
 






FR-425

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OOOoops! yep major typo;

good catch, I'll go back and edit.
 






FR-425

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Ok, all the z's are in the right place now.
 



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FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
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Update;

NEXT WEEK; INSTALL!
034.jpg


Cut measurements worked out to:

6-1/4" off the stub.

2-3/4 off the tube.


3.jpg
4.jpg



035.jpg

I reexamined the spline situation; the clamp material is quite soft and filing on the splines only knocked the points off.

So, Plan "B": I will open the cuff enough to allow me to "tap" it onto the box shaft and clamp it down.

Turns out the "flat" is the primary stay, the splines insure the flats are 90* to the pinch bolt, so that when tightened down they pull together flat.

For an extra measure I am going to use different hardware; the original bolts thread into the cuff but do not pass all the way through, so I will use longer grade 8 bolts so I can use a castellated nut and cotter pin to secure it. Same on the upper double "D"

5.jpg
 






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