what is your preferred rag joint replacement part - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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what is your preferred rag joint replacement part

My rag joint is now a pretty loose as I can turn the steering wheel while in park and hear some click/chatter as I'm moving the wheel.

Now I believe the Joint takes 3/4" DD - 3/4" 30 spline is this correct?

Can anyone chime in with the actual part they have used to replace the factory joint and nothing more. I'm not relocating the shaft to clear headers I'm just replacing the worn joint. I'm not against using a flaming river needle pin U-joint but at the same time this is my daily and its not going to be auto crossed. I do like the idea of more steering control but dislike that the wheel would vibrate a lot. I'd like to see actual options such as just finding the replacement rubber ring by itself has been a hassle. Only Borgeson seems to make and sell that part by itself.

I have a headache.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 04:43 PM
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HELP! sells two sizes of rag joint discs, neither of which fits (at least not on the T-Bird rag joints I have seen). They have a different bolt circle, and the T-Bird disc has raised bosses where the studs go through, which the HELP! discs don't. I have been playing around with refurbishing a rag joint myself. You could possibly take two discs and cut them to fit and make new holes, but it's actually pretty annoying to drill out the old studs from the metal halves of the rag joint. Also, the holes don't tightly fit any standard fastener that I could find, so you might have to file them out to 10mm. As far as I can tell, your only good options are a new rag joint from Ford, or from Borgeson, or a U-joint from Borgeson or Flaming River. I don't think the straight cylindrical vibration dampers will work because there is some angle at the rag joint.

By the way, I think that the joint is 3/4" DD to 3/4"-36.

Edit: more info ...

http://www.sccoa.com/forums/showthre...=flaming+river

-------------------

Steve

Owner, 1990 Thunderbird SC, white w/ gray cloth

Last edited by S_Mazza; 09-25-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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OK I'm not into cutting disks either. And its is possible the one end is 3/4" - 36, I just was unsure myself. I know Ford sells the whole shaft with joint and I'm not interested in that. I will keep the flaming river option open if I can't find with 100% certainty a replacement disk that fits without modification.

I like that link and its explains pretty much what I'm looking for. But to buy an 18" shaft and use only 2" of it and have it machined seems a little off the mark. There has got to be a better part to solve that issue of connecting the U-joint and DD shaft.

$30 for the 18" shaft plus the cost of having it machined

$70 for the Needle bearing U-joint

plus the summit S+H charge

= ouch

I have to keep telling myself its not a mustang. This is pretty much 1 solution that will work but not cheaply.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again

Last edited by Splattered; 09-25-2008 at 06:19 PM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-26-2008, 08:42 AM
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I agree with the "ouch." I am kicking it around right now too.

One source of steering clunks that I think is often overlooked is the telescoping shaft itself. Mine has play between the two sections, and it sometimes makes an annoying clunk just off-center. Borgeson sells a really nice telescoping shaft that you can swap for the stock one, which will eliminate that. That part is about $70. One extra benefit of that might be that you can cut up the stock shaft instead of using the new 18" one, so that could save you $30.

-------------------

Steve

Owner, 1990 Thunderbird SC, white w/ gray cloth
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-26-2008, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_Mazza View Post
I agree with the "ouch." I am kicking it around right now too.

One source of steering clunks that I think is often overlooked is the telescoping shaft itself. Mine has play between the two sections, and it sometimes makes an annoying clunk just off-center. Borgeson sells a really nice telescoping shaft that you can swap for the stock one, which will eliminate that. That part is about $70. One extra benefit of that might be that you can cut up the stock shaft instead of using the new 18" one, so that could save you $30.
I can say for sure my steering shaft was a pain just to pull down even 1 inch to connect to the rag joint, no play at all. How fast do you take your turns? I took a few wild ones when the mods began but I calmed down soon after. I guess this is what must have began the slow death of the rag joint. And although your idea sounds good it still hurts $$$-wise. Another inferior factory part unveils itself, although not really if it holds up this long. I'm willing to go with a NOS rag joint or a gently used one at this point. But this info is good for future reference for if and when I kill the next rag joint.

Spinning pies like wheels.

DD driving my 20 year old project

Now with new ball joints...again
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 09:47 AM
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Resurrecting this thread.... I'm looking for options, I'm replacing the motor mounts and found a slight tear in the rubber. Found the following 2 options. That FR u-joint is crazy expensive and I don't want a fancy looking polished one, can the ones on eBay like this be trusted? Also, the factory rag joint is a pint bolt to the rack, these u-joints seem to be a set screw, are they compatible?


Steering Stub & Bolt $29.95
Rag Joint & DD Stub & Bolt $169.95 Ouch

Amazon options:
Shaft
U-Joint

Last edited by Kidd-7; 03-30-2019 at 09:56 AM. Reason: Added Amazon options
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 10:29 AM
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I rebuilt my rag joint with the one in the Help section. I had to get bolts from the hardware store to replace the rivets you have to drill out of the stock joint. Let me see if I can dig up the pics I took. I think I took pics.
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1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
[email protected]@[email protected]
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLOWN38 View Post
I rebuilt my rag joint with the one in the Help section. I had to get bolts from the hardware store to replace the rivets you have to drill out of the stock joint. Let me see if I can dig up the pics I took. I think I took pics.
Can you point me to that help article? I can't seem to find it. Thanks.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 12:21 PM
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type dorman help ragjoint, and look at the pic.

"Help" is the dorman rack at az or advanced.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLOWN38 View Post
I rebuilt my rag joint with the one in the Help section. I had to get bolts from the hardware store to replace the rivets you have to drill out of the stock joint. Let me see if I can dig up the pics I took. I think I took pics.
Part number would be helpful; Dorman lists 14 different steering couplers, and four of them are specifically for Ford products in our vehicle's age range ...

RwP

Fuelly
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 07:34 PM
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Ran to O'Reilly and picked up Dorman 31002. It's about the same diameter, they had another one in stock, but it was a larger diameter. I drilled out the rivets in my old rag joint, I'm going to work on reassembly tomorrow. I'll let ya'll know how it goes.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 08:07 PM
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Pick o f the doorman kit.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 08:20 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
Part number would be helpful; Dorman lists 14 different steering couplers, and four of them are specifically for Ford products in our vehicle's age range ...

RwP
Agreed; but none of them are listed for our cars, and I ain't done it myself, so I ain't posting a recommendation.

I bought a framing river upgrade from dlf, then copied it for the other cars; I think I still have one to do on the red Cougar.

I like the needle bearings, personally.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 08:12 PM
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I swapped to a U joint to clear my headers, but it helped the steering feel out alot.

First: Stacie, 1996 Tbird LX, mild build NPI engine, PI cams and intake, Long tube headers, Jmod.

Second: Ellie, 1989 Tbird SC, r̶e̶s̶t̶o̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶d̶a̶i̶l̶y̶. off the deep end

Third: 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, thirsty daily.

Fourth: 1990 Tbird SC, GT40 5.0 mated to m5r2, BBK long tubes, motor out the hood, drift car.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 11:48 AM
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This is the only photo I found.

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1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
[email protected]@[email protected]
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 03:28 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Good pic.

The og one is riveted in, so you need to go remove it, and go hit AZ or Advanced with the disk, to see which one fits; and then bolt it back together as shown.

Or do the ujoint mod; ujoints start at ~$35 on summit.

Make Sure the steering is Locked before you unbolt it, and mark the Shafts relative to each other, don't depend on marking the joint.
There is much annoyance embedded in that last statement; it took at least 10 tries to get it perfect.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 07:21 PM
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Good pic for sure. It looks like there is a build up on the bolt holes to give you proper spacing. Kit # 31000 includes a disk in which the holes line up, but when assembled it's slightly too short, I have the end mounted in the shaft and can get it to fit onto the rack stud, but not slide near enough to get the pinch bolt through.
I ran around after work today, looking for other rag joint kits & bolts, etc and came up empty handed.
I ordered a U-Joint from Jegs for ~$50 shipped and the stub from TBSC. Thanks for the help.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2019, 12:20 PM
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On the one side I had to use allen head bolts and the other side you can use regular hex head.

All the spacers in there are from the stock joint. Only aftermarket thing I used was the rubber disc.

1995 SC------------------1994 SC----------------1993 LX
Black----------------------Red----------------------Grey
3.8-------------------------3.8w/bent rod---------5.0
4R70W--------------------M5R2--------------------AOD
2.4 AR in works---------2.0 Auto Rotor---------N/A
24psi----------------------15+----------------------none yet
450RWHP----------------322RWHP -------------who knows/who cares
[email protected]@[email protected]
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:23 PM
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Got the u-joint installed, but now my steering wheel is about 15 degrees off center. I placed the set screw on the flat side of the splined shaft from the rack, which made everything line up crooked. I thought about rotating the steering wheel, but looking at the one sitting on my shelf there are flat spots to line it up. If I go the alignment route and adjust the tie rods, that will put the rack off center. Is that an issue? Or can I simply line up the u-joint so the set screw is not on the flat side, is that OK?

I'll get some pics when I can, took her for a drive. The steering is very responsive and I do feel a lot more road in the steering wheel. Seems good so far, we'll see how the trips to work go this week.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:00 PM
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I'll get some pics when I can, took her for a drive. The steering is very responsive and I do feel a lot more road in the steering wheel. Seems good so far, we'll see how the trips to work go this week.
I am interested in doing this upgrade now...
Do you like the more road feel through the wheel? It seems like these cars transmit a lot of road feel through already, almost too much sometimes.

96 Cougar Sport - T45 Swapped
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 08:15 AM
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Very pleased with the performance, the feedback in the steering wheel is nice. It's a little more than the original rag joint. The best part is when you turn the wheel, she responds right away. I need to play with it to get my steering wheel straight, my blinkers won't stay on. Pic attached, the one set screw is a little long, but it doesn't interfere with anything. I'm planing on going to Ace and finding a shorter one.
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