Technical Help

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We have created this area to answer FAQs, as well as specific help on our products.
bulletWhere can I find parts ... ?
bulletTips for installing u-joints-Your life depends on them!
bulletNew versus re-built steering columns
bulletHow to tell if you have a long or short water pump.


Where can I find parts ... ?

Here at Dagel's, we manufacture unique products for your chassis including boxing plates and cross member kits. 

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Tips for installing u-joints

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 guidelines.

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.

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New versus re-built steering columns

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 manufacture new columns, they do not install used parts, they even have columns with built-in ignition and they stand behind their product.

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How to tell if you have a long or short water pump.

The quick and dirty way to determine if you have a long or short water pump, is to try and stick your fingers behind the timing cover, you can not with the short pump. A more accurate way is to measure the shaft, a long water pump shaft is 7" and a short is 5 5/8".  

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Last modified: 04/01/10.