73 FJ40 steering column install trouble.

Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
59
Location
Raleigh, NC
When I got my 40, it had already started being stripped down for rebuild. The steering column was in a box in the back....

I was trying to install it today, and I'm running into a problem. When I slide it into position, the end of the steering shaft bottoms out on the input shaft of the gearbox before the sheet metal boot makes contact with the firewall. There's about 3/8" gap all around the boot. I tried taking the rag joint off completely, and it still bottoms out on the end of the shaft with a gap at the bottom. Stock steering column, stock steering box.

I don't want to run the screws down, since it will put a lot of load on the bearing up by the steering wheel.

Has anyone run into this before?

The only thing I could think of is if the body was shifted forward, but nothing looks bent, and the body mounts appear to be in the center of the mounting pads on the frame.

Any ideas???
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
59
Location
Raleigh, NC
We need some pics!
yeah, that probably would have been helpful....if you need to see something specific, let me know, and I’ll get pictures / take measurements.

The close up of the boot is where I just started to tighten the bolts. That’s the point where I can feel resistance on the shaft, where the bearing is getting preloaded. It’s about 1/4” gap. With the rag joint installed, I can’t even get the bolts started, the gap is so big.

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tornadoalleycruiser

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4,703
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KC Mo
 
 
 
Are your fenders on? Reason I'm asking is the tub really aligns with the fenders/hood/bib/body as a whole. If you just set the body on it might need a bit of adjustment.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
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Location
Raleigh, NC
Are your fenders on? Reason I'm asking is the tub really aligns with the fenders/hood/bib/body as a whole. If you just set the body on it might need a bit of adjustment.
Both front fenders are on. The entire front end was on when I got it, but there was a little bit of tweaking needed. The hood didn't want to line up quite right with the drivers side. Didn't look like it would have been that far off though. My next step was to loosen the bolts where the fender attaches to the frame, and see if it could be shifted back any.

I've built cars all my life, but this is my first FJ, so I'm kind of learning as I go.....
 

73FJ40

After another night of rust removal!
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Dec 28, 2006
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1,337
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Western Massachusetts
 
 
@Stubby

Two pictures to help you out.

1. The location of the vent plug on my steering box matches the location on yours. There must be different versions of the vent locaton.

2. I measured the distance from my firewall to one of the bolt heads on my steering box.

I hope these help you figure out what's happening.

Steering box Jan 73 FJ40.jpg
Steering box to firewall.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
59
Location
Raleigh, NC
@Stubby

Two pictures to help you out.

1. The location of the vent plug on my steering box matches the location on yours. There must be different versions of the vent locaton.

2. I measured the distance from my firewall to one of the bolt heads on my steering box.

I hope these help you figure out what's happening.

View attachment 2392948View attachment 2392949

Yeah, my tub is about 3/8" farther forward when I take the same measurement. That could also explain why I was having trouble lining up the hood on the drivers side fender. I'll loosen up the body mount bolts this weekend, and see if I can shift the left side back any.

Judging by how much the rag joint is flexing in your picture, there's still going to be some side load on the bearing....that might just be how it's designed though.
 

73FJ40

After another night of rust removal!
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Dec 28, 2006
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1,337
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Yeah, my tub is about 3/8" farther forward when I take the same measurement. That could also explain why I was having trouble lining up the hood on the drivers side fender. I'll loosen up the body mount bolts this weekend, and see if I can shift the left side back any.

Judging by how much the rag joint is flexing in your picture, there's still going to be some side load on the bearing....that might just be how it's designed though.
You're welcome.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
59
Location
Raleigh, NC
You're welcome.
Yes, the assistance was greatly appreciated.

One other thing about your pictures. Does the left fender make contact with the output shaft on the steering box. Mine touches, but only slightly.

I'm going to check the body mount thicknesses, based on the Energy Suspension installation instructions. The last time the tub was put on, whoever did it may have put the thick vs. the thin mounts in the wrong locations.
 
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