Steering Wheel Off-Center 70 GS

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by tminihan, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    My steering wheel points at 2:00 when driving straight. I've rotated the steering wheel on the shaft as much as allowed by the locking ring and horn contact. I adjusted the tie rods - on the driver's side there is no longer a gap between the tie rod and center link. The pitman arm is pointing straight back visually. Are there other minor adjustments that can be made? Not a huge deal but makes my OCD kick in. 70 GS with PS. Thanks, Tom
  2. john.schaefer77

    john.schaefer77 Well-Known Member

    I know it is not supposed to be possible to put the rag joint on wrong but it is. Ask me how I know!

    The rag joint bolt should be straight up and down when the steering box is straight.

    I would put the steering wheel straight because moving it on the shaft can effect the turn signal cam.
  3. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    Thanks John - I just took a quick look, the bolt appears to be vertical with wheels straight. I'll do a little rag joint research on this site. Can I rotate the splined shaft above the rag joint or is the bolt groove keyed to that location? Not sure if it matters but it's a 455 car. Thanks, Tom
  4. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    I didn't find much on rag joint removal. Just getting a visual of the joint, if I remove the main bolt, is there enough slip towards the steering wheel that will allow me to center the wheel, then slip the joint back onto the steering box shaft? Or do I need to be able to pull the stering column into the pass compartment a few inches to create enough separation? I guess I can tackle it from the other direction too, remove the steering box. Thanks, Tom
  5. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Something is way off. Is the steering/ suspension stock?
  6. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    As far as I can tell it's all stock. The rag joint looks fresh/new. I got the car as a roller, the joint had already been replaced. Is it keyed to the shaft or can it be removed, rotated and reinstalled? Is it possible when the PO installed the new joint they just didn't get it back in the same location? Thanks, Tom
  7. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    Any opinions on which is least painful to reset the rag joint - steering gear box removal or pulling the steering column up towards the rear of the car? Thanks, Tom
  8. john.schaefer77

    john.schaefer77 Well-Known Member

    If you loosen the rag joint bolt you should be able to push it slightly toward the steering wheel (just a bit) and see the box input shaft has a flat spot in the splines, that should be level with the ground when the rag joint bolt is vertical.

    I put a new box on last week and put the rag joint on before I installed the box.
    Box removal is pretty easy anyway. Hardest part is the pitman to center link. I put the rag joint on wrong and had to remove the box to fix. I left the pitman arm on the box and just popped the center link side. This helped hold the box when lining up the rag joint and starting a bolt in the box.

    Here is a document I got on a chevelle web site that was pretty helpful.

    Attached Files:

  9. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    @ years ago, I replaced the centre link on my '72 GS and had the same steering problem when driving. I was having the front end aligned anyhow and that remedied my problem. If I remember correctly, here is an alignment mark on the steering shaft that has to align to the one on the steering wheel.
    john.schaefer77 likes this.
  10. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    Thanks John, that's an excellent document, I'll start in on it tonight. Thanks, Tom
  11. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    Ok, so I moved the rag joint up as you suggested, placed the gear box flat at 12:00, now the steering wheel mark is 180 out. I plan to pull the gearbox and rag joint to see if the splines on the rag joint end of the intermediate shaft also have a flat - if not I can compensate there. Also, I think I read that for a big block car the intermediate shaft end of the rag joint can be installed 180 out. Thanks, Tom
    john.schaefer77 likes this.
  12. pglade

    pglade Well-Known Member

    Tom - The splined end of the intermediate shaft DOES HAVE a "notch" machined into it so the cast-end pinch bolt will feed all the way in.

    Pic below of the machined groove on the int. shaft end...

    john.schaefer77 likes this.
  13. pglade

    pglade Well-Known Member

    EDIT: What I say below only would apply if an "unmodified" int. shaft was off the car and not reinstalled but had been taken apart for "rebuilding" and re-assembled.

    As far as the overall int. shaft being "180 degrees" out.....The only way I think that is possible is if the upper "bell" piece was removed to clean/regrease/possibly install a new rubber boot AND then re-assembled with the bell 180 degrees out.

    >Remember, the upper "bell" can only be mounted onto the splined end of the column one way....there's also a machined groove in the inner column shaft to allow the large retaining/pinch bolt to go all the way into the upper bell pinch clamp.

    >The cast iron end that slips onto the steering box end of the shaft is also "indexed" b/c the holes (2) for the rag joint attachment bolts are TWO DIFFERENT SIZES. (NOTE: "regular" non-big block shafts with the integral swedged-on ends are also like this).

    So - THE UPPER BELL has to be properly oriented to the LOWER CAST piece. I've "rebuilt" and restored probably 25 of these shafts over the past few years and that's one "gotcha" that I learned. Then again, it may not apply if your shaft is already reinstalled on the those pieces should be oriented correctly. On the other hand, if the int. shaft is off the car you could check and make sure nobody "messed" with the holes in the cast end, etc to sort of "force things" into place. Probably an extremely small likelehood something like that was done but you never know....I've seen some fairly crude mods done on these cars all in the name of quickly putting stuff back together.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  14. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    Thanks for the detailed response Pglade. Everything is installed on the car now, steers nice, steering wheel is just not centred. Are you saying the bell cannot be installed on top of the intermediate shaft incorrectly? In some of my research I came across a post that suggested the cast on the steering box end of the intermediate shaft could go on 180 out.
    Thoughts on best course of action? I’m thinking remove steering box, rag joint and intermediate shaft and asses from there. Thanks, Tom
  15. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    So I have the steering box, rag joint and intermediate shaft off. Can the bell Pglade referred to be rotated 180? If so, how is that done? I think my only other options would be to drill out the rag joint so that can be rotate 180. Thanks, Tom
  16. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    I removed the grommet, rotated the bell and re-assembled. That must be the "gotcha" that Pglade referred to.
  17. pglade

    pglade Well-Known Member

    Sorry - I wasn't near the computer long enough today to chime in again.

    You asked in your post above (#14) - "In some of my research I came across a post that suggested the cast on the steering box end of the intermediate shaft could go on 180 out."

    No it can't - not the CAST END ITSELF - because of what I pointed out in my first reply above (#12) with the picture of the splined end of the shaft. It's impossible to install the bell AND the bell pinch bolt 180 degrees out. THE MACHINED SLOT requires the bell to be in the correct position to get the pinch bolt in.

    What you heard is somebody probably mis-describing the problem I pointed out....if the upper bell is put on 180 degrees out (WHICH CAN EASILY HAPPEN if someone didn't know this when they took the upper bell off) then the problem they are alluding to will happen. Hard to describe accurately in words.
  18. tminihan

    tminihan 1970 GS455 Vert - Project

    Ok, I see where you're coming from now and you were spot on. Once I rotated the bell and re-assembled everything seemed to be in order now (I will need to find a grommet retaining ring/clip). I appreciate all that weighed in on this thread to help diagnose and fix the steering. Thanks, Tom
  19. john.schaefer77

    john.schaefer77 Well-Known Member

    Glad you were able to figure it out.

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