The steering on old Betsy was getting mighty sloppy, so I checked and
the flexible steering coupler is shot. I see I can snag one complete
assembly easily from corvette central or even a rebuild kit to re-use
my hardware and just put in a new flex part. $84 vs $13.
My question is - are there any 'gotcha's' that I am likely to run into
if I try replace this myself? I'm just a DIY mechanic pushed into
action when the situation warrants it, so I'll have to read up on how
to go about it. Definitely not a pro like many others here, so any and
all cautions/advice/tips and methods appreciated.
The patient (or victim depending on point of view) is a '76 350 L-48
smogger.....all original and this has never been apart so it 'could'
be stuck on pretty good.
One way or the other you will have to move a shaft, I'd go with the
steering column. Interesting conversation on this Camaro site.
If you want to cheat you might try -
Let us know what you did and how it came out.
I think on the basis of what I read, I'll go with the complete
assembly. I can get them locally for 85$ (in Canada), and also from
corvettecentral.com for $84 + shipping (someone in a previous post
could not find them). The rebuild kits are only $13, but there is
considerably more work involved and potential risk it seems, depending
on who you believe. Given my age and the fact that the original has
lasted 35 years, I doubt I'll be replacing it ever again anyways. lol.
Any tips on moving the steering shaft (so I do not receive the shaft)?
Do I need the Corvette supertool XYZ mark II, or just regular types of
tools? As I said I am not a pro whatsoever.
Apparently the folks here can get a Dorman part #31011 which appears
to be the part I need?
Reading this thread, it seems I need to undo 2 bolts under the dash
and then another 2 on the firewall to loosen the steering enough to
get the play to exchange parts.
I am assuming it would be good sense to scribe the parts so I can get
it back on the spline in the correct alignment.
I wonder if anyone has done this job at all before to tell me if I am
likely to need some special tool or technique (get a bigger hammer?)
to get the part off the spline?
As usual, thanks for any and all input. Last year I had to replace my
rad support bracket and get my rad re-cored, and also fix my power
steering pump fastening assembly. This group proved invaluable to me
and helped to save me a ton of $$$!
Without that assist, I may have had to relegate old Betsy to the bone
yard because of cost. Instead my son and I are still both driving it
and enjoy it immensely, even if it ain't pretty.....
PS. I have had this thing since Jan of 1977 when I drove it new off
the lot. Who ever would have thought I'd still have it? Say what you
will about Corvettes, for me - everyone should have the luck I have
had with this car over the years. Whenever anyone starts to poo-poo
them - I tell them to go buy one, take the roof out, and go for a
several thousand mile trip somewhere in the summer and come back and
tell me all about it......
There is one part that I'm unsure about and that is how the forward
part of the coupling comes off the gear box. Everything in my assembly
manual show it as part of the gear box. Since I had the '72 out this
week and it has let go somewhere in the tach drive I'll take a look at
it while working on it and let you know if I can be any better help.
As I see it right now that part should not have to be removed from the
gear box to replace the rag joint.
The first car I owned by myself, (3 of us owned the first car I drove)
was a '50 Chevy, It is now getting close to repaint to return it to
the road. Complete chassy is done, including the engine but it then
lost a bearing in first gear. Purchased in March 1956 I'd love to put
an LSX in it but love the old 3 on the tree with the stove bolt six.
Odometer has been over twice and I still have a problem with the state
stating the mileage as unknown on the new title when I moved out of
You might want to take a better look at your rag joint, my '72 has
little or no need to be changed. First off it looks as though it has
nothing to do with sloppy steering. Most likely it was made to isolate
noise with very little, if any, mechanical energy transferred through
the rubber/fiber joint.
I have no power steering on the '72 and the poor steering was
minimized last year by flushing the dried grease out of the gear box,
adjusting the worm gear and refilling it with 80/90 weight gear lube,
leaks like hell. After it quit dripping it has a very smooth motion to
the steering. I need to take it off and repair the lower seal, but
right now that can wait, it works fine.
The real reason for my poor steering control was seen in the lower
ball joints, they will have to be changed and a complete overhaul of
the front suspension will most likely happen this coming winter. Jack
the front up and as you're taking the weight off the front wheel watch
the lower ball joint. As bad as they are on the '72 my guess is that
the upper and the control arms are all in need of attention.
As noted before I found the same problem with my tach, dried lube.
Flushed out the cable and it is working fine.
As I recall when I repaired the rag joints on both my '63 and '64 I
just removed the two column support bolts under the dash, 1 bolt on
the outside of the firewall around the shaft and then remove the 2
bolts in the upper and lower halves of the joint. After an AMPLE
application of a rust breaker on the splines on both ends of joint and
then pull it apart. No need to scribe any marks since you cannot get
the bolts into the joint if it isn't aligned correctly.
I rebuilt one of the joints and replaced complete unit on other and
both worked great. Had to replace the shaft on the 63 because of wear
in the spline. It would not tighten up and felt just like a bad joint
or slack in steering gearbox.
Have fun and enjoy the ride.
NEVER replace that trans and 6 cyl. I would love to find some old Chevys in
that shape. They have all been hotrodded with a 350. Boring...
My 84 year old father has a 55 chevy truck with three on the tree and that
6. He no longer drives it but it sits in his driveway.
He really did drive a 55 truck back in 55 with the 265 V-8 and auto trans.
No way would you be able to find that now. Hense, his midyear crisis
vehicle being the 6 cyl 55 truck he got about 15 years ago.
Are you kidding, have you any idea what I went through to find someone
to pour new bearing in that thing? There are some cars I would put an
LS engine in but not this one, it would be nice but no way. Had one
265 and that was enough, couldn't keep the mains in it. Of all GMs
engines I loved the 283 but the LS will take a back seat to no engine.
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