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Steering Rag Joint
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BIGMIKEY
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:56 pm    Post subject: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

How much misalignment is it going to take before it fails? It's not a U-joint.

A stock Beetle, the steering shaft and steering box shaft are all in line. The rag joint serves as vibration damper. It doesn't have to flex to do it's job.

So I say the factory sets them up with no misalignment at all. My thinking is any misalignment from mounting the steering wheel higher or lower flexes the rag joint past it's design.

I think my Deserter will end up with a few degrees of misalignment. I have a universal joint to use in that case.

But the rag joint is rubber and can take a bit of misalignment. How much of an angle do you think is asking for failure?

Mike T
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woodoctr
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

I've seen them set up pretty wonky over the years on both kit cars and dune buggies. If they fail, it doesn't happen overnight....it is usually a gradual tearing. I have seen them fail but that was guys taking a car that had set for a long time and not changing them right away. Rot, not good....
I'd throw it on there and just inspect it regularly. If you get any indication of tearing/deterioration go to the U joint.
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joescoolcustoms Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

The steering box can be "tuned" a little to correct a few degrees is mis-alignment. The two bolts that bolt it to the beam tube can be used for this. Loosen one and tighten the other to twist the box on the beam to catch better alignment. I would not do more than 2 turns out/in so there will still be plenty of threads left engaging in the box for a safe mount.

If you do this, remember, it changes the wheel alignment. That will need to be corrected afterwards.
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Dale M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

DO NOT replace OEM style rag joint with Urethane "joint" they crack and break without warning and can leave you stranded or worse case at speed on freeway with no steering....

No don't even think about it....

Dale
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joemama
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

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BIGMIKEY
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

You know, I had a reference to the red disc of death being a bad idea in the original post but I deleted it because I thought the post was too long. I guess I should have left it in. I am well aware and I know to not use that urethane disc and wasn't trying to say that I was considering it.

It's Good that information is in this thread though.

Mike T
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Wolfgangdieter
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

Late super beetles and VW Porsche 914's used steering column flexible U-joints that could be safely used. Hod rod shops also have them.
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BIGMIKEY
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

Yes. I have a couple Super beetle universal shafts that I picked up a few years ago. I was surprised to see that the I.D. of the ends were too big to clamp down on the beetle steering box stub. Easily enough corrected if you have fabricating capability.

Mike T
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kitcarguy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Rag Joint Reply with quote

I cant even get the damn thing off my car haha
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