1973 Charger Power Steering Rag Joint and Coupler

1971 - 1974 Mopars

  1. Charger21

    Charger21 Well-Known Member

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    I am having my steering box rebuilt. While it is out of the car I checked my rag joint and no surprise it is pretty rough. The other coupler (highlighted in attached) just up from the rag joint is also in disrepair.

    Any suggestions on whether to try and replace the rubber in the rag joint (only able to find a Dorman Help replacement part number 31002) and rebuild the coupler or go to some other design? I have heard of U joint style replacements or even something about going to a 1974 style which I have no idea what that looks like.

    Thanks!

    20180224_122156.jpg 20180224_122418.jpg 20180224_140748.jpg
     
  2. Nacho-RT74

    Nacho-RT74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    there is a thread about that around.

    looking at the Dorman you meant on the web, No, I don't think that work. That's more to 74s. Pretty much the only replacement available around ( aside an expensive NOS available at BradsNosParts ) is one being sold by Bouchillon Performance, on Poly.

    The steering coupler highlighted gets available a rebuild kit, from Mopar ( 4443436AC ) and also from Dorman ( 425253 ). Detroit Muscle also have them
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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    • Montclaire

      Montclaire Well-Known Member

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      I think the one from Bouchillon is solid aluminum. I didn't realize these were used on many C-bodies over the years - maybe one of the big poly companies would consider producing them if they knew the full application list. Classic Industries?

      Anyway, I seem to recall this coming up in the past, and (don't quote me on this) someone made a new one out of a hockey puck? Maybe it was just a suggestion that something along those lines could/would work.
       
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      • Montclaire

        Montclaire Well-Known Member

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        http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,33354.msg1226782.html#msg1226782

        Someone also posted on another thread that they used a universal rag joint replacement biscuit from the "help" rack at their local auto parts store. It was thinner so they doubled it up and it worked. No part numbers but it had four holes in the same pattern and spacing like the original (could be the 31002 that you mentioned).

        [EDIT] From looking around, it seems like a doubled up 31002 is what a lot of other guys have been using. Of course there are no metal lugs like the original, maybe you can insert a sleeve or something to give it some strength and reduce crushing.
         
        Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
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        • Montclaire

          Montclaire Well-Known Member

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          Something interesting - I ran across this photo as part of a VW thread. They are comparing an original VW biscuit, a replacement and a dorman (31002?). The poster says they all line up when stacked. Notice the VW version has steel inserts. The application is Type 1 beetle up to ~1977 and you can also find them in poly. You will still probably need a double stack but they are $10 or so each, depending on where you shop (including the poly).

          Ragjoints02.jpg

          Ragjoints01.jpg
           
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          • Montclaire

            Montclaire Well-Known Member

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          • Nacho-RT74

            Nacho-RT74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            those are the threads about the "hockey puck" for 73s.

            Still if aluminium are available, would use poly.
             
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            • YY1

              YY1 Well-Known Member

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              Actual regulation hockey puck has worked quite well for about a year.

              They drill like high temp rubber with chips and shards instead of melted curls as the waste.

              I used regular bolts and jamb nuts instead of those incredibly difficult to hold/turn countersunk phillips screws and very thin lock nuts.
               
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              • 73RedRunner

                73RedRunner FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                Rebuilt my column last year. Used the replacement from Bouchilon, it is machined out of solid aluminum. As stated above, those original fasteners are a MAJOR pain to deal with.
                 
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                • Charger21

                  Charger21 Well-Known Member

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                  Thanks for all the recommendations! I appreciate the help!
                   
                • idrivemopar

                  idrivemopar Well-Known Member

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                • YY1

                  YY1 Well-Known Member

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                  That's a great write up in the iDrivemopar link.

                  I didn't even put metal bushings in my puck.

                  The original joint was so deteriorated, it had the most slop possible, w2hich translated to about 1" slop in the steering, which is about the worst that can happen between the bolts, even if the rubber puck comes completely out.
                   
                • idrivemopar

                  idrivemopar Well-Known Member

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                  I do what I can, I cant remember if I got the metal sleeves for the hockey puck at home depot or ace, either way, no cutting was required, just drilled the puck and inserted the sleeves. I didn't measure the slop in my steering but before I started the restoration I could move the steering wheel at least 5 inches each side and the wheels would stay straight!!! It was very dangerous to drive!
                   
                • mopar73dge

                  mopar73dge Well-Known Member

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                  My two cents: The original design was for reducing vibration from the road that is why they used a flexible material. There is very little force needed to turn the shaft of the steering gear on the steering wheel end, so replacing with fresh material would be the ideal way if you want originality, a lot of work though.
                   
                • idrivemopar

                  idrivemopar Well-Known Member

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                  I had someone else tell me it was designed for just reducing vibration, but since I rebuilt and installed my steel one, I don't notice any vibration, and the only reason I did steel is because of the proximity of the joint to my headers, didn't want the rubber one falling apart due to heat, granted that may take some time.
                   
                • YY1

                  YY1 Well-Known Member

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                  I was worried about heat too.

                  That's why I was happy to see the way the puck drilled.

                  Absolutely no melting.
                   
                • Montclaire

                  Montclaire Well-Known Member

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                  I was hesitant about using the hockey puck method due to the possibility of melting, but it sounds like those suckers are pretty heat resistant:

                   
                • ODZKing

                  ODZKing Well-Known Member

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                  A hockey puck is exactly the same size as I replaced mine (73) with one from http://www.bouchillonperformance.com/power_steering_components
                  Since it is solid, every bump the column rattles. At the time I didn't have the option to "look around" and try stuff.
                  If I were to do it all over, I would do away with it and try to use a 72 or 74 column.
                  Just my $.02.
                   
                • Montclaire

                  Montclaire Well-Known Member

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                  Maybe we can cajole someone to do them up in poly. The VW one is thinner than a hockey puck, but greater than half so a double stack will be thicker than stock. I haven't taken mine apart yet so I don't know if using something thicker/thinner would be an issue.
                   
                • Nacho-RT74

                  Nacho-RT74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  use a 72 column will be about the same than use a solid adaptor offered by BPE. I can't tell if the shaft lenght are the same anyway

                  use a 74... well, will need a full shaft change but keep the rest of column parts, since the firewall bracket system is completelly diff

                  SO, it seems these couplers are not anymore in poly and are all aluminium now? bummer
                   
                  Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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