DCharger68 New Reader
3/28/14 10:39 p.m.

So I've got a question that I figure would be good for the GRM forums. I want to build my own steering column. Could I take a piece of 3/4" OD pipe/tubing, two sealed bearings, and a piece of tubing big enough to hold everything, and make a steering column out of it? I'd like to put a quick release on it. I think Jegs has one for like $25 that'd work

Woody MegaDork
3/28/14 10:42 p.m.

What are you putting it into? You'll want a couple of universal joints on the shaft, so it's a little less like a spear pointed at your chest.

DCharger68 New Reader
3/28/14 10:45 p.m.

My 77 Camaro street/strip car. I figured I'd need a U joint at the bottom to go to the steering box.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
3/28/14 11:07 p.m.

Yes. You can. I used a universal right at the rack with a 30 degree bend as well as a nylon rag joint to keep it from being a chest harpoon.

DCharger68 New Reader
3/29/14 12:36 a.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker: Did you just put the rag joint in the standard location?

novaderrik PowerDork
3/29/14 1:57 a.m.

you are pretty much describing a standard race car steering shaft..

44Dwarf SuperDork
3/29/14 7:11 a.m.

Many many circle track cars have it just as you describe. there has been some improvements lately with lesser cost Double D collapsible shafts. I'd suggest getting on of those as your less likely to get harpooned. you'll need two thin Alum split collars to put on either side on the upper shaft (makes it so you don't pull or push the shaft in or out but allows the rack to come towards you in a crash)

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
3/29/14 7:46 a.m.
DCharger68 wrote: In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker: Did you just put the rag joint in the standard location?

The piece from the rack to the universal is a factory BMW E30 part that is aluminum - about 12" long with a collapsable sleeve and spline that fits the rack and the other end has a factory rag joint that I replaced the rubber puck with nylon in. I cut the spline end off the old steel steering shaft, turned it in the lathe until it fit into the 3/4 tube and plug+circumference welded it there.

So... everything driver-side of the rag is just a tube or a rod end. Everything rack side is factory parts.

DCharger68 New Reader
3/29/14 10:26 a.m.

I didn't realize it was that common or that easy to make

patgizz PowerDork
3/29/14 2:49 p.m.

yeah speedway sells everything you need.

for your car i'd get a 90's jeep cherokee steering shaft(fits gm box and column in damn near every rwd gm with a saginaw box) as it has u-joints instead of rubber rag joints, and is collapsible so you do not get chestpooned by the shaft in event of crash. then get a length of shaft with correct end to match the top of the jeep intermediate shaft, a couple bearings(not much more than a rod end really) and weld on your quick release end or whatever you plan to do inside the car.

or you can buy the inner and outer double D shaft to make your own collapsible column. chances are you would only have one universal making your own shaft in a 2nd gen because it's pretty close to a straight shot, with the only articulation really necessary to join the shaft off the box to the shaft coming out of the firewall.

DCharger68 New Reader
3/29/14 10:14 p.m.

I took a look at my car. It should be easy to run a new column and connect it to the stock steering shaft on the outside of the firewall. Everything there is good for not harpooning me in the chest if I smack a wall. All I have to worry about is inside the car.

bearmtnmartin HalfDork
3/30/14 1:29 p.m.

My car has the standard circle track set up, but I used a piece of round stock for the top half welded into the steering wheel adaptor, and the bottom half is a length of tubing that the round stock slides into. I had a flat surface milled onto the round stock and there are a couple nuts welded to the tubing. So I can adjust the whole thing for length and secure it with bolts against the milled flat surface. Hopefully it will slip if I ever hit the wall hard enough to drive the steering wheel into my chest. I did note that my car as stock (Nissan 240SX) did not have a collapsible column. But the steering shaft meets the rack above it, so in the event of a frontal impact the rack would be torn away from the steering column rather than driving it toward the drivers chest.

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