Removing the rag joint - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old January 11th, 2018, 09:48 AM   #1  
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Question Removing the rag joint

Hello gents! Hope everyone is doing well. I have a 66 Dynamic 88, and I'm in the process of replacing the steering gear. Last night I got the pitman arm off easily enough, but I stopped at the rag joint. Here are a couple of quick questions:

1) Is removal of the rag joint simply a matter of removing the 2 bolts that connect it to steering shaft flange? Do I have to get someone to hold the steering wheel steady, or can I use vice grips to put the shaft in a fixed position so it doesn't rate while I'm trying to remove the bolts?

2) There is a small clamp attached to the immediate shaft, a couple of inches above the rag joint. Does this clamp need to come off?

My plan is to disconnect the rag joint, disconnect the power steering hoses, drain fluid, and unscrew the bolts that mount the steering gear to the frame. If anybody has words of wisdom, please let me know. Thanks a million.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 10:02 AM   #2  
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Might be easier to unbolt the steering column and pull it out just enough.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 10:17 AM   #3  
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Or taking the bolts out of the steering box after loosening both clamps on the steering shaft. To loosen bolts on the steering shaft I just wedge a screwdriver into the hollow of the rag joint.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 10:19 AM   #4  
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I recently swapped the box on my 67 Delta. Just remove the two nuts and pull the box out with the rag joint attached. This is the easiest way to do it. Note that the two studs and mating nuts are two different sizes for clocking purposes, so be sure to pay attention to that. If you are swapping the box and using a later model rag joint, you may need to drill out one of the holes in the rag joint for the different size bolt. I had to do this with the rag joint I got from Dorman when I installed the Monte SS box. Also note that the new rag joint may not have the ground strap that bridges around the non-metallic part. I added one that I made to be sure the horn works.
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Old January 12th, 2018, 08:58 PM   #5  
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A huge thanks to TripDeuces, oldcutlas, and Joe Padavano. Thanks for your advice, gentlemen. The steering box slid right off the shaft once I got the mounting bolts off. I had to rest it on my chest for a moment while I did something else and....wow, those things are pretty heavy. The patient will have new exhaust manifolds, a new steering gear, and long loud exhausts soon. The word 'soon' is relative, of course.


A lot of old iron.....
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