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1973 Mustang
Guy brought his 73 to me to fix some electrical issues and while I'm crawling around underneath working on the neutral safety switch I see that the steering rag joint (between steering shaft and steering box) is almost totally wrecked. One out of four bolts was still holding, it's lucky he didn't kill himself on his way to my house. So he gets a steering coupling disc kit and I proceed to repair the rag joint. The steering column had to be moved forward about 5/8" in order to get everything lined up or the fiber disc would be very distorted which is what I believe destroyed the last one. Plus the posts which are I believe supposed to provide a mechanical safety backup if the disc fails were incapable of doing so with the steering column in the position it was in. The problem now is that the steering wheel is too close to the dash and the dress up collar that goes around the column in front of the dash is too long. What am I missing here? Surely from the factory the rag joint flanges were not supposed to be further apart than the thickness of the fiber disc? Could the steering shaft have somehow been compressed 5/8"? I have never seen the inside of one of these columns but I know on other columns from the 80's the shaft is not a solid piece and can shorten in case of an accident.

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When they went to the crash absorbing column I guess it could compress but I will now say 100%. Even if the rubber is broken everywhere the two studs are the safety to keep the coupling but sloppy. I think if you just pry on the lower end of the shaft it will slide out farther. It is made to telescope together inside a slip joint. Put the column when it needs to be inside and see if the actual shaft does not slip out. I will go look at one in the shop have several around.
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When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Ok just went to garage and looked at a std column and yes the lower part of the shaft does slip on or in the upper part of the shaft. I took a ball joint pickle fork and moved it several inches out, see pic. You should be able to put the steering wheel where it needs to be. Loosen the clamp around the column inside next to the floor and the four bolts under the dash and move steering wheel by pulling on wheel or prizing from under the hood on the upper part of the column. Leave the steering joint hooked up to make the shaft slip.
The old steering shafts that were solid were refereed to as Long Shaft and crushed many a chest. X wife was hit in a VW bug by a 65 chevy and it drove the steering wheel into her pushed her through the back of the front seat and pinned her in the back seat. She died in car and they revived her.
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When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Thanks that did the trick. I figured that must be the case but wanted to be sure. Everything fits now.
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