We are a stocking dealer of Borgeson u-joints,
we get a lot of questions regarding u-joints and hear a lot of rumors.
We have discovered there is a lot of incomplete information, people
are told to weld or not to weld but not why etc.. Hopefully, the following
tips will help you understand some of the reasoning behind certain
1. Welding u-joints is not recommended. Aside from the technical
complications of metal stress or risk of boiling the grease, welding your
u-joints can be inconvenient. Welding is permanent and the
u-joints can not be re-used. Many times, as builders, we have had to remove
the columns for later adjustments or last minute decisions on the rack or
box. Safety is another factor, Splined or "D" shafts can not spin inside
the u-joint. If you do make the decision to weld, remember; all your
components must be in the proper phase and alignment (you wouldn't want to
drive with a crooked steering wheel or have your steering bind).
2. U-joints must be "in phase", which is referring to
how they relate to each other. If you do not line up your u-joints properly, they
WILL bind (again another good reason not to weld).
3. Using more than three u-joints is not recommended. Again, this is not only a safety
issue, but it becomes more difficult to keep phase on the u-joints. There
are a variety of options available to handle difficult applications and we
we will be more than happy to help you plan. Also, if more than two
connections are used, you must support one of the shafts to keep the
assembly from swinging. (In our experience, this includes using a solid coupler
for a third support).
4. Do not measure u-joints with a ruler to determine size. Calipers are
the only accurate tool. Not all boxes or racks are alike even within the
same applications. An example is GM columns which could be one of four
different versions. Another example is the ford rack, which comes in
different spline counts.
5. Vibration dampers/reducers are helpful for reducing
road feel, they are not a system requirement nor are they meant to be a
100% cure. Vibration dampers will not take out vibration from other
sources (such as engine or improper installation).
6. Used steering parts are not recommended. The main reason is due to the unknown history
of those parts. Any accident can stress steering components. Time
is a big factor as it affects all components, grease dries, metal rusts and becomes more brittle with lack of use.
What seems like a bargain is usually not.
Our best advice... DON'T CUT CORNERS!! Your life and others depend on
your ability to control your car, so please, be safe.
Compare price, compare price, compare price. I can't say it enough.
This is one area where checking prices and quality really pays off.
Occasionally, you may be the lucky one who really finds a good deal
but more often than not I hear the same story over and over, "I bought a
used column, and found a shop that re-builds them. It will only cost me
$325.00 (and up) and I can pick it up in two weeks!" My response, "Really!
You know a steel Ididit, tilt column is $299.00 and you could take it
today". (This is usually followed by a loud banging noise which happens to
be their head hitting the counter several times). Ididit and Flaming River
columns, they do not install used parts, they even have columns with built-in ignition and they stand behind their