• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

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


gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
August 1, 2008
Messages
10,924
Reaction score
1,243
City, State
MO MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 & 95 XLT's
Looking forward to see how this works out. :thumbsup:

I really hope it clamps hard enough so it wont round it out. As you said, it is soft metal, and any slop will wear it down, and cause play in the steering wheel. My "Flat" spot has lost its edges, and rounded off some in mine from the slop, and is continually growing to this day.

Fingers & Toes crossed for you on success!! :bounce:
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Complete, DONE, Sweet!
First things first;
Off to the hardware store for some hardware engineering;
The Jeep bolts are not long enough for a lock nut: Unacceptable!
050.jpg


051.jpg


Recessed for flange bolts:

052.jpg


I'll fix that!
053.jpg
054.jpg

The upper double "D" needs a 1/4" longer bolt than the lower:
055.jpg

Nylock with Loctite sounds good!
056.jpg
057.jpg

Ready to install!
Out with the old:
NOTE: PARK THE TRUCK, WHEELS STRAIGHT AND LOCK THE COLUMN:
DO NOT TURN THE WHEEL UNTIL I TELL YOU TO!
058.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Some comparison shots:
61.jpg
62.jpg
63.jpg

Lower rag joint not look'n real safe!
64.jpg

The remains of the stub that was cut off the ZJ shaft is a perfect fit to "inside" sleeve the steering column tube. Nice! This one's for member "gmanpaint" in particular. (strengthen up the column)
65.jpg

The Ford shaft uses a through bolt, both as the "pinch" and as the safety; so next we have to address that:
We need to drill a "center" hole in the ZJ shaft to accommodate:
66.jpg

This leftover piece of the ZJ shaft is coming in handy!
It makes for a perfect gauge to scribe the center line to drill the hole.
67.jpg

We now have a pinch bolt, And a safety pin.
Drilling took 3 minutes; this stuff is really soft.. ... ..
68.jpg

Get both ends opened up so you don't have to fight with it:
69.jpg

Install the lower half first:
Line up the "flats" and tap it onto the gear box shaft: (Gently)
don't want to bust the u-joint. If your bang'n,, open the end up more.
Tap it down until the bolt "groove" is lined up:
Wait to install this bolt last; you will need to turn the wheel to get it in.
70.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Grease the shaft:

Slide the upper onto the lower, then up onto the column.
Install the safety pin; loctite and nylock
081.jpg

Now the pinch bolt; Torque it home. Also loctite and nylock
This ain't going anywhere!
082.jpg

The whole enchilada in place:
83.jpg

Now to get the lower pinch bolt in:
Start the engine and turn the wheel so you can get at it through the wheel well.
No, it's not going to slip on the gear box shaft, I drove the truck 2 miles with NO pinch bolt as part of the safety testing.
Torque it home with loctite.
084.jpg

Now we need to turn the wheel again to get the lock nut on. (you guessed it! loctite and nylock)
And that ain't go'n anywhere either!
085.jpg

And that's that! DONE!
Some curb shots for testing;
Power steering gives out before you get any real force going on the steering wheel.
086.jpg

I'm feeling good about the durability and safety of this mod.
Now for a couple weeks of commuting to work for further testing.
Drives real NICE! no more mushy feel, steering response is way quicker.
Shaft $9.95
Grade 8 Bolts $2.75
 
Last edited by a moderator:




gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
August 1, 2008
Messages
10,924
Reaction score
1,243
City, State
MO MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 & 95 XLT's
Woot! :bounce:

Now that's a nice cheap mod for a tighter steering response! :thumbsup:

Can you add the bolt, nut, & washer size's you used to the parts list?

Great write up sir! :biggthump
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Woot! :bounce:

Now that's a nice cheap mod for a tighter steering response! :thumbsup:

Can you add the bolt, nut, & washer size's you used to the parts list?

Great write up sir! :biggthump
I have no idea;

The bolts are 8 x 1.25 metric though.

I just carried the junk to the hardware store with me and figured it out.
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Wow!

Five days 200 miles on it now.

I can't imagine that this truck ever drove this good brand new with double rag joints.

Sweet!

Best drive-ability Mod so far.

It's a dream on the highway!

No more long trip fatigue from chasing the truck with the wheel.

So far the attachments are solid as a rock.
 
Last edited:




Benjam

Active Member
Joined
February 21, 2011
Messages
256
Reaction score
6
City, State
WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT Stick,4x4, 422 cam
Lower rag joint not look'n real safe!
This is how my upper rag joint looks currently..:roll:

new one is sitting in my toolbox, just waiting on time to put it in..

This thread has me wondering though, I'm almost positive I only have one rag joint on my steering shaft.. Pretty sure the bottom is a u-joint?

Benjam :D
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
Some do have one u-joint. 91' -92'

93' - 94' double rag, unless replaced at some time in the past.
 




Benjam

Active Member
Joined
February 21, 2011
Messages
256
Reaction score
6
City, State
WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT Stick,4x4, 422 cam
Well I took a closer look tonight. My 92 does have the double rag joint setup.

So I either pony up all my dollars for a Flaming river shaft, or go this route..

I'm concerned with mushing the stub on the steering gear from the different splines.. What are your thoughts, FR? I know the big flats are where it really grabs but I don't want to dicker my steering gear up too bad in case I go back to a stock spline count later on.

The race is on, now. My top rag joint is not getting any better. Steering is getting substantially more sloppy each day.

Does anyone remember a thread about using a 95? explorer steering shaft? I vaguely remember that as working in a first gen. I'm searching but to no avail :thumbdwn:

Benjam :D

Edit: This is the discussion I was thinking about.. no help for us first gens due to steering gear vs. rack.
 
Last edited:




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
The ZJ clamp material is really soft but the steering box shaft is hardened, so no worries about the shaft.

I pulled mine back off after running it 7 days, to check it out, and the splines of the steering box shaft cut right into the clamp.

It's totally permanent; Not going anywhere. I'm love'n it. Drives Sooooo much better.

I already got a second ZJ shaft and cut to fit for future replacement when the u-joints go bad. The joints on the ZJ shaft are not serviceable. (crimped into the yokes )

Second gen shafts are not even close; (IFS) you'll see when you hit the bone yard.
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
The slop was worse on mine than I thought,

It had a clunking sound that I assumed was slop in the steering box itself; but turns out the rag joint safety stops were hitting when you just rocked the wheel.

Scary
 




Benjam

Active Member
Joined
February 21, 2011
Messages
256
Reaction score
6
City, State
WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT Stick,4x4, 422 cam
Any possibility of adding servicable u-joints? Or servicing the current ones? I've replaced a few shafts in late model cars becuase the joints bind. And thats on cars that have been on the road half the amount of time our explorers have been.


Benjam :D
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
The ZJ I sourced the shaft out of was a 93', the u-joints had zero play, Not really worried about serviceability.

With power steering these things don't see any real stress.

I don't think durability is going to be an issue.

The replacement is just for peace of mind and why not?

Plus I will carry it to meets in case someone else blows a rag on the trail.
 




Backwoods "X"

Active Member
Joined
June 20, 2011
Messages
220
Reaction score
0
City, State
Mt. Sterling, Ky
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 XLT
is on the "do while broke down currently" list. thanks for the info FR-425!
 








FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
6,000 miles on it now, all's good.

I now know how sloppy the steering box has become. Next on the list.

Guess I'll pop one in when I do the Supper Runner linkage.

After I wallow it out some more at MOAB.

Good times in the 4x4 arena!
 




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited




BKennedy

Elite Loser
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 29, 2000
Messages
7,140
Reaction score
935
Location
USA
City, State
San Diego, PRofK
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
I got questions, as I am the next victim in line for this modification. I like the idea of using lock nuts, but did you leave the original threads and just add the lock nuts? That was what I was planning. You remember what size the through bolt is (diameter)? I should have it in soon and I will double post the results here and on my SAS/build thread.
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




FR-425

Used to be a road here.
Elite Explorer
Joined
November 21, 2013
Messages
2,661
Reaction score
101
City, State
Phoenix, AZ.
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Explorer Limited
I got questions, as I am the next victim in line for this modification. I like the idea of using lock nuts, but did you leave the original threads and just add the lock nuts? That was what I was planning. You remember what size the through bolt is (diameter)? I should have it in soon and I will double post the results here and on my SAS/build thread.

Yes, I left the factory threads alone and just used longer bolts to add the lock nuts.

8mm x 1.25 pitch

For the upper safety pin I just used 1/4 20
 




Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
R TTB Steering Mod - build thread Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 68
Jim wright power steering cap Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 0
A steering box Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 6
yostyexplorer94 Saginaw Power Steering Pump Swap Homemade Mount Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 18
Krebs21 Solved Super Runner Steering w/ Rough Country drop pitman Arm capability. Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 1
R Steering stabilizers Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 5
mj1989gt Custom K-link Steering Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 12
R Power, power steering Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 0
9 Steering input please help. Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 10
1 5.0 full hydro power steering help Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 4
G Power steering help on a 1994 ford exploer Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 3
jrme Quick ratio steering box Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 7
Maniak Saginaw power steering pump conversion journey Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 26
2 steering Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 2
gmanpaint Install a U-joint between rag joint coupler and steering shaft? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 15
pteepee69 How to: Aftermarket Steering Shaft Installation Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 9
4 Skyjacker steering stabilizer Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 6
C i have some ? about steering after a five inch lift. Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 7
C Bad swaying / steering swaying back and forth. Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 3
B Steering Stabilizer on 2.5" Lift Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 4
rhauf high volume power steering pump? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 1
mj1989gt Offset TRE's with Stonecrusher style steering Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 50
F Body lift steering extension fix Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 2
F Speakers and Power Steering Fluid Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 1
K Steering mods Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 3
B better steering Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 6
O Ideas to reduce steering effort. Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 15
davy crockett Steering sucks, any solutions? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 10
gmanpaint Correct steering stabalizers for 94? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 25
J 1st Gen Steering Wheel Replacement Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 6
Nedwreck BROKEN Steering Box Output Shaft! Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 8
J Body Lift Steering Shaft help? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 24
J Disable Steering wheel Lock Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 5
Z Quick disconnect steering wheel Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 3
I Rack and pinion Steering on 1st gen X?? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 7
davy crockett Anyone have problems installing a steering stabilizer? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 12
ebgb 1st Gen steering gearbox Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 3
R HELP!! Steering Wheel Noise!! Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 5
F Power steering help... Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 8
J Steering gear box replacement unit? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 3
A steering wheel lock cylinder removal????? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 6
M steering box questionn Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 4
C Soooo... Now I am thinking about this. "Steering" Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 14
1 steering column is make wierd noises. Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 0
SwaintaN Steering Stabilizer choices (good, better, best?) Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 21
M Steering Box questions Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 5
F Steering binding after 3 inch body lift Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 6
M Aligment/ steering problems Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 27
F Superrunner steering Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 12
N 3" Body Lift, Do I need the steering extension? Modified 1991-1994 Explorers 4
Similar threads


















































Top