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1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Dentsides Ford Truck

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  #1  
Old 07-24-2014, 11:03 PM
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Cool CAUTION: Rock Auto Rag Joints

Let me first say that I am okay and the truck is okay.

I was turning into the parking lot at work this evening when I heard a pop/snap noise and no longer had control over which direction the wheels were going. I was able to get it into a parking space, popped the hood and found this :

Click the image to open in full size.

I went through my ENTIRE steering system a few months back... New gear box, PS pump, borgeson steering shaft, everything. Including the rag joint, which I got from Rock Auto. I can't remember the brand off the top of my head, but I remember thinking that it seemed like the bolts were pulling in a little too much when I was installing it. They weren't shouldered like the ones I took out. But, I just brushed that off and figured that the design had changed and maybe the material the rag joint was made out of was stronger now or something.

Anyway, long story short, I had another rag joint from a different steering shaft I had bought that was good so I put that on and got it home. Here's a couple more from when I got it off. I'm very glad this didn't happen to me going down the road.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:10 PM
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Might I suggest a solid shaft coupler as a replacement? You'll feel every single bump in the road (literally) but you'll never have to worry about it coming apart again. There's two different styles; one that bolts on to the top of the column and one that welds on. The bottom is the same with the splines for the steering box. Just a thought.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:06 AM
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Yikes, that could have been really bad.

Good to hear that you're ok.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:10 AM
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Wow.... 'glad it was a low speed decoupling.

Ya might want to inform Rock Auto about that failure. If they give a darn they can look up what you ordered and maybe track any other reported failures.. However, their lawyers will come back and say it was installed incorrectly.

$0.02
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:14 AM
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Damn!! +1 on a borgeson shaft or the like.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIO Silver View Post
Wow.... 'glad it was a low speed decoupling.

Ya might want to inform Rock Auto about that failure. If they give a darn they can look up what you ordered and maybe track any other reported failures.. However, their lawyers will come back and say it was installed incorrectly.

$0.02
Agreed, that would be my 2˘ too.
In theory that's not supposed to happen. The joint has two pins that should engage the steering shaft hub in case of joint failure. I can see one of them in the pictures, but obviously something went drastically wrong.
Glad you're okay, it could have been a lot worse!
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo0o0o0 View Post
it could have been a lot worse!
Especially considering it WAS a lot worse for his dad a few months ago when something similar happened to the same truck at highway speeds.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindstromjd View Post
Might I suggest a solid shaft coupler as a replacement? You'll feel every single bump in the road (literally) but you'll never have to worry about it coming apart again. There's two different styles; one that bolts on to the top of the column and one that welds on. The bottom is the same with the splines for the steering box. Just a thought.
Yeah that's a possible solution. I'd rather deal with the bumps then worry about rag joint failure, but I didn't think they really failed like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjack33 View Post
Yikes, that could have been really bad.

Good to hear that you're ok.
Thanks, I appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIO Silver View Post
Wow.... 'glad it was a low speed decoupling.

Ya might want to inform Rock Auto about that failure. If they give a darn they can look up what you ordered and maybe track any other reported failures.. However, their lawyers will come back and say it was installed incorrectly.

$0.02
Me too, my dad or I will be talking to them tomorrow about it. I hope they don't offer a replacement, cause I sure as heck don't want one. I just wanted to put it on here so that anyone who has one or is looking at getting one can see.

I am POSITIVE it was installed properly, not even overtightened. The only failure was in the actual joint itself, everything else is fine. But of course the lawyers wouldn't agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by co425 View Post
Damn!! +1 on a borgeson shaft or the like.
I've got a borgeson shaft already, the rag joint had to be purchased separately and I figured "a rag joint is a rag joint".

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo0o0o0 View Post
Agreed, that would be my 2˘ too.
In theory that's not supposed to happen. The joint has two pins that should engage the steering shaft hub in case of joint failure. I can see one of them in the pictures, but obviously something went drastically wrong.
Glad you're okay, it could have been a lot worse!
Yeah, I'm not even quite sure what happened yet either. One of the bolts was still holding it on, but the holes where the other bolt and one of the pins are supposed to go were both torn. Then I think the last pin worked it's way out when I turned the wheel. Thanks though!

Edit: After further thought, I think that the reason those pins didn't do their job is that they seem smaller than they should've been. So they were too small to grab on to where they were supposed to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindstromjd View Post
Especially considering it WAS a lot worse for his dad a few months ago when something similar happened to the same truck at highway speeds.
Oh yeah, I don't think I ever posted about that here... That was a good time. That was a different issue, the bolt that was being used in the coupler between the steering shaft and the end of the column was apparently a little too small, which eventually led to the steering shaft working it's way off the steering column. That's what prompted me to go over EVERYTHING in the steering system and the rest of the truck in general, because who knows what other "fixes" might have been done.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:16 AM
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not to be the bad guy, but if you had issues before, maybe it's not the ragjoints fault. You say it pulled out before,, maybe it was too far the other way now and stretching the rag joint. That is a short section of shaft to have two different failures and not have something else going on. Does the truck have a body lift? Is the steering shaft bent? I would def check out everything else from the steering wheel to the box, something is amiss.

I see in your sig the truck has a 3" body lift, is this the same truck? My truck has a 2" body lift and I extended the steering shaft to match up. 3" would put the stock shaft at it's limit and put a Hell of an angle on the ragjoint.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1080 View Post
not to be the bad guy, but if you had issues before, maybe it's not the ragjoints fault. You say it pulled out before,, maybe it was too far the other way now and stretching the rag joint. That is a short section of shaft to have two different failures and not have something else going on. Does the truck have a body lift? Is the steering shaft bent? I would def check out everything else from the steering wheel to the box, something is amiss.

I see in your sig the truck has a 3" body lift, is this the same truck? My truck has a 2" body lift and I extended the steering shaft to match up. 3" would put the stock shaft at it's limit and put a Hell of an angle on the ragjoint.
The rag joint wasn't under any excess stress. The truck does have a 3" body lift, but the shaft that was in it (and the new borgeson shaft that I put in it) both extend out about 4" total to accommodate body lifts. The angle is obviously more than stock, but it was nothing crazy. I'll take a picture of the angle tomorrow, but I really do think it's fine.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:34 AM
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Double post, but what do you guys think of replacing the rag joint with a ujoint style coupling instead?
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 51fordf5 View Post
Double post, but what do you guys think of replacing the rag joint with a ujoint style coupling instead?
That's what I was referring to.

This is what I have it's spicer U joints from bench work steering.

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Old 07-25-2014, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co425 View Post
That's what I was referring to.

This is what I have it's spicer U joints from bench work steering.

Yup, that's what I was talking about, too.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co425 View Post
That's what I was referring to.

This is what I have it's spicer U joints from bench work steering.
Oops, I thought you were meaning something else. I like the looks of that, if you don't mind sharing, about how much did it cost for just the ujoint coupler at the bottom? I was looking at borgeson couplers and they were all above $100

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindstromjd View Post
Yup, that's what I was talking about, too.
Thought you were talking about something else too


Anyway, I went and looked more closely at the angle that the rag joint is at this morning, and I really don't see why it would be an issue. What do you guys think?

The angle just doesn't look large enough (to me) to put enough additional stress on the rag joint to cause concern. But then again, I'm still learning and maybe it is.

Click the image to open in full size.

Edit: Also note how much larger those pins are on this one.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:02 AM
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I am unsure what the shaft cost originally. I bought it as part of a steering swap kit. They do have a web site.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:02 AM
 
 
 
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