Have I made the worst mistake of all time?

General Mopar Tech Discussions

  1. Phantom440

    Phantom440 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Hey all. I've been debating posting this for a couple of months (seriously) but just about anything I've tried hasn't worked, except for one last-ditch effort coming in the mail (more on this later)...
    '72 Coronet.
    I was working on swapping my column shift steering column out for a floor shift column. Got it in, managed to index the column/wheel correctly so it's facing the right way up when the wheels are pointed straight ahead, etc.
    I absolutely could not get the tabs of the metal coupler seal cover to crimp properly, but nevermind, I've got that "baling wire" clip thing that fits over the cover and snaps into the holes of the pin in the coupler "box."
    (WHAT I THOUGHT) was the last step! Tapping in the pin to connect the coupler/column to the power steering input.
    (WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED) I suppose I was using a punch one size too small in pushing the pin in, but it managed to get the entire pin in. I thought I'd be able to wiggle the punch out with my fingers, and pull it out of the pin. But no, the punch snapped- inside the pin. Just about flush with the pin and coupler itself. So, in short, now that baling wire thing that snaps over the rubber and steel cover on the back of the coupler doesn't have two holes to snap into.
    So I've got a solid, totally-in-there steering coupler pin with an inch or so of a punch squeezed tight inside. I have tried to hammer the punch through the bottom. I have tried to hammer it all back up from bottom through the top. I have tried drilling it all out (I have a set of cobalt steel drill bits coming in the mail- I'm hoping this will chew through the hardened steel of the punch inside). But so far, my entire build has stalled, because I don't have any clue how I can get this pin-with-a-punch that's stuck in the coupler box out. It's super tight in there. And short of grabbing a cut-off wheel and sawing through the coupler box itself, if these drill bits don't work on grinding that snapped-off-punch out... I'm at a loss of what to do.
    Again, this has been such a stupid mistake that I've been worried of getting flamed for this for the past couple of months asking you guys on here. Trust me, any form of "idiot" you'd call me, I've already called myself over this. I can't believe I did something so catastrophically dumb. But it's time to face the music, welcome any abuse you may throw toward me, and hopefully get some advice on what the hell I can do with this.
    Side note, I do have a couple more steering coupler pins, so I can destroy the one currently in there, no worries.
     
  2. steve340

    steve340 Well-Known Member

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    The pin punch end is what you need to try and drill out. Then use the correct diameter pin punch and drive out the roll pin. Do not try and drill out the roll pin you will just wander in to the softer material of the coupler and ruin the hole.
    Use some wood and perhaps wedges behind the shaft to make it solid when you hit the pin out.
    Sometimes shafts flex and you lose a lot of the punching force - this trick can make all the difference.
     
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    • 66 Sat

      66 Sat Well-Known Member

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      First step is to take a deep breath and stop beating yourself up. A tool broke, it was accident, and despite being on the internet which can bring out the nastiest side of people, this site isn't one where the people will be mean to you.
      If it's all in there safe I would leave it alone, and come up with a new way of securing the metal seal. I've used a small hose clamp on mine, it sits on the column just above the seal and keeps it in place.
       
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      • 70chall440

        70chall440 Well-Known Member

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        If this is the worst thing that happens to you in your car building life you are exceptionally lucky... So the punch tip is wedged inside the roll pin (as I understand it). You should be able to drill it with the cobalt drills, but if you cannot, then go to plan B which the hose clamp idea is one method. If you don't like the idea of a hose clamp down there, then measure the shaft right about the plate and make a clamp that looks better, just use a little imagination. Keep in mind that the plate is there to keep the grease inside, thats it.

        In the grander scheme of car building this is a minor issue and has been said, calm down, take a breath, think through the problem and the options. On a brighter note, you can be pretty sure that coupler isn't coming off the steering box shaft any time soon :lol:
         
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        • Darter6

          Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          Maybe heat might be your friend ?
           
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          • KB9GIB

            KB9GIB Well-Known Member

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            I would just turn your steering Shaft to the other side find a small steel drift that fits inside the roll pin and drive it out. Good luck
             
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            • Dennis H

              Dennis H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Worst mistake ever. Irreversible. OMG.
               
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              • texas69bee

                texas69bee Well-Known Member

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                I would do this but add a little heat and candle wax.
                 
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                • 69L48Z27

                  69L48Z27 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  It sounds like he tried that but it won’t come out?

                  I had the same thought. Even drive out the roll pin and just get another pin to drive in.

                  @Phantom440 - if you can’t drive the pin out from the opposite direction you been a bigger hammer. But seriously, if you have the correct size drift I would knock the pin back out from the opposite direction. I’m sure you have it swelled but it’s gotta come out from the direction you drove it in.
                   
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                  • Montclaire

                    Montclaire Well-Known Member

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                    It sucks but it's not the end of the world. Walk away from it for a few days and then get back after it.
                     
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                    • 70chall440

                      70chall440 Well-Known Member

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                      I think a big part of the problem here is the punch size, the inside of that roll pin is not very big and snapping off a punch in there means you have something like 1/8" bit of pin stuck. Getting another punch from the other side seems logical but that area is so small that you probably end up bending the new punch as well, worse is having the same issue.

                      I would not apply heat there, it is very near the top seal on the steering box as well as all the grease in the joint, I believe it would cause more issues that he already has. Drilling it IMO is the best option at this stage unless you can secure some long hardened punches, then "maybe" you might be able to knock it free.
                       
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                      • Kern Dog

                        Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        WORST mistake of all time?
                        I can name several things worse than that:
                        1) Voting for the wrong candidate despite plenty of good candidates on the ballot that care more about Americans than anyone else.
                        2) Cheating on a loving, supportive wife.
                        3) Trusting a Ford on a dark rainy night.
                        4) Allowing yourself to sneeze while fighting off the shits.
                        5) Taking a piss after handling hot chili peppers.
                        6) Drinking too much then getting behind the wheel.
                        7) Going bareback during that vacation in Thailand.
                        8) Hitting on your own cousin.
                        9) Taking a car completely apart without categorizing every part, even the familiar ones.
                        10) Dropping your guard and adopting a belief that the Government has your best interests at heart.
                         
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                        • Coronet 14

                          Coronet 14 Well-Known Member

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                          I got one of these to keep the lid on 208868-c2147457035ef23b82dd8611ed8205d8.jpg the coupler
                           
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                          • 70chall440

                            70chall440 Well-Known Member

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                            I don't think we want to take this hard right turn.... :poke:
                             
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                            • 70chall440

                              70chall440 Well-Known Member

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                              I think he has one of those but the pins cannot go into the holes bc he has part of a roll pin in one side.
                               
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                              • Coronet 14

                                Coronet 14 Well-Known Member

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                                On mine you can only drive the pin in and out from one side
                                 
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                                • Montclaire

                                  Montclaire Well-Known Member

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                                  Worst case here you have to waste the coupler.
                                   
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                                  • 69 GTX

                                    69 GTX FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                    Get an impact hammer, it'll come right out.
                                     
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                                    • 493 Mike

                                      493 Mike FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                      Kern you left out: Your sister is pregnant and it's yours!
                                      Mike
                                       
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                                      • 65wgn440

                                        65wgn440 Well-Known Member

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                                        Leave it in and get the rubber cover that the company Steer and Gear sells ! It just slides on and seals tightly. Have used them on two cars, although had to replace one after a few years because it developed a small split. Will solve your problem easily.
                                         
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