72 Skylark Steering Shaft Upper Coupling Question

Discussion in 'The whoa and the sway.' started by Dan Gerber, May 15, 2022.

  1. Dan Gerber

    Dan Gerber Founders Club Member

    Hey guys...

    What is the function of the cup-shaped coupling at the upper end of the steering shaft in the photos? Is it designed to absorb some of the shock of a front-end collision (to protect the driver?), or is it simply intended to absorb the flex of the chassis during driving or while jacking it up, etc.

    While I had it laying on my work bench I was able to slide it in and out a little ways, and it flexed side to side a little.

    I'm interested because I have about a 1,000,000-inch clearance between that coupling and my TA shorty header pipe... And the last thing I want to do is remove and "massage" the already Jet-Hot coated header. In fact, I'm looking into having a custom steering shaft made if the coupling will be compromised by the heat.

    The coupling doesn't contact the header but I'm concerned that the heat may damage the coupling.

    Any information regarding the coupling will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Steering Shaft.jpg Steering Shaft Upper End.jpg
  2. Dan Gerber

    Dan Gerber Founders Club Member

    Really???? Nobody knows anything about that coupling??? Nobody has a friend who does know about it????

    I sure could use some information about it. So please...
  3. mrolds69

    mrolds69 "The Cure"

    Dan, I think to absorb the flex of the chassis. It has grease in it, too. I would be concerned if it were close to heat. The upper column can be moved a bit, maybe try moving it for more clearance?
  4. Buicksky

    Buicksky Gold Level Contributor

    Dan as Frank mentioned the bell section has grease in it, it does move and flex with the chassis. The C clip with the nut and bolt locks it in on the column shaft. The shaft has some nylon pins that I believe will allow collapsing in the event of a crash. I hope that helps a little.
    mrolds69 likes this.
  5. Dan Gerber

    Dan Gerber Founders Club Member

    Thank you, gentlemen. I learned something today. That's a good thing.

    (BTW: Clever avatar, mrolds69)
    mrolds69 likes this.
  6. 1973gs

    1973gs Well-Known Member

    Mine was 3/8" from my headers for four years without causing any damage. It probably is too close though. I have now changed to electric steering with a universal joint replacing that coupling. It's now about 1 1/4" from the headers and I feel better. I actually lengthened the column shaft and shortened the intermediate shaft for more clearance.
  7. Dan Gerber

    Dan Gerber Founders Club Member

    Thanks again, you guys.
    1 - I plan on seeing if I can move the steering column over although I doubt that I'll be able to gain enough to do any good.
    2 - Even if I can move it over, I'll probably remove the grease from the upper coupling of the intermediate steering shaft, flush it out with solvent and repack it with the highest operating-temperature grease I can find. (I want to make sure that the hot grease will not drip down on my freshly Jet-Hot coated header tube).
    3 - I'm also going to look into replacing the steering shaft with an aftermarket (Flaming River, etc) intermediate shaft and one of their upper couplings (which, if I remember correctly, are smaller in diameter).
    4 - Last resort: Remove the left header, cut out the offending segment of the header, do what has to be done to replace it with a"custom" segment that provides adequate clearance, then send the header back to Jet-Hot to have it re-coated.

    Oh well...
  8. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    Call Borgeson they have what you need to replace the whole shafts woth u joints it will drive and feel ALOT better with the more positive response

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