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Ripped steering coupler / My steering column is too short!!!

as odd as it may seem I have ripped my steering coupler apart. During re-assembly of my Mach 1, I installed a brand new coupler (the rubber ring).
Deeper looking into the cause of the problem I noticed that the fingers/dowels on the column side DO NOT engage with the notches on the steering gear side (power steering). When I turned the steering wheel without the engine running, it simply ripped the ring apart.

I assume that the dowels/notches are supposed to engage to limit the load on the rubber ring. Right???

If the above is true, it means that my steering column is simply half an inch too short. It sits currently as low as it can because the trim shroud and upper column casting are butt against the dashboard.
Either I installed the dashboard too far from the firewall (which I think is impossible). The other cause I can think off is that the steering column has collapsed half an inch during storrage (it was stored for 14 years and had to undergo several moves).

If the column was collapsed due to careless handling, is it possible to pull it out again?

Any thought and ideas are most welcome!!!

- Manfred (clueless)

there you go.

you can pound out the column it gets collapsed during adjustment and when readjusted the inner column sticks cause of rust.
72HCODE;39055 Wrote:http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-check...t=steering

there you go.

you can pound out the column it gets collapsed during adjustment and when readjusted the inner column sticks cause of rust.

Thanks for the great post and write up in the thread you referenced above. I'm sure it saves some of us fellow mustangers a lot of headache. And hopefully it improves on the safety of at least some of our cars because this detail is very easily overlooked.

Using a large screw driver as a pry bar, it was easy to pull the steering shaft out far enough so that the dowel and notch now engage properly. And ass the saying goes: "there is no dis-advantage without an advantage." Once I understood the construction of the steering column attachment I was able to pull it out fürther and gain 2 cm more legroom!!!

Glad I could help.

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