2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2, Page #39[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
How To Upgrade Steering For Heavy-Duty Use
“OEM type shafts are usually done with low bidder mentality,” explains Jeff Grantmeyer, sales manager, Borgeson Universal Co. “Stampings and bearings are not always made to last the life of vehicles, especially if they get heavy use and travel rough roads. All that vibration feeds back to the shaft and creates play in the bearings.”
Borgeson has been in business since 1914, specializing in universal joints. Grantmeyer explains that when the company owners got involved in street rodding, they heard from fellow street rodders about poor quality steering shafts.
“We adapted our process for machining universal joints out of 1.5-in. billet steel,” says Grantmeyer. “It makes a stronger universal joint, and we can tolerance our yokes to bearings down to 1/1000 of an inch for radial play. We couple two universal joints to a heavy-duty, telescopic shaft assembly. The telescoping meets safety requirements for collapsibility plus it offers a point to absorb chassis flex.”
Grantmeyer says attention to detail “builds a better mousetrap”. The assemblies are treated for 350 ft./lb. of torque.
The company also heard about problems 1994 to 2002 Dodge truck owners had with steering box distortion. The distorted casting would allow the shaft to “walk around” in the bottom of the box, creating more play. Grantmeyer warns that a remanufactured box has probably only been resealed to eliminate leaks. However, if the distortion remains, the problem will recur.
“We adapted a Delphi 680 steering box, not used for production vehicles until 2006, as a direct bolt-in box,” says Grantmeyer. “This gives us a heavier box with a larger bearing for more support on the shaft.”
Borgeson parts are widely distributed at specialty 4-WD shops as well as specialty chains like Summit Racing. They also sell parts direct.
In addition, Borgeson offers a wide variety of power steering conversion kits and components, as well as Saginaw manual steering gears and gearboxes. Borgeson recently bought Saginaw and all tooling, drawings and manufacturing rights.
“Manual steering gearboxes are largely used for forklifts, airport ground support equipment and some tractors,” says Grantmeyer. “We offer it for classic cars and for Chevy trucks from 1968 to 1978 and for Jeeps from 1972 to 1995.”
Heavy-duty steering shafts range from $198 to $284. Dodge truck steering boxes range from $429 to $509.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Borgeson Universal Co., 91 Technology Park Dr., Torrington, Conn. 06790 (ph 860 482-8283; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.borgeson.com).
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