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Race Car Fabrication There is a lot of cool fabriaction going on the race car industry, show us what you got.

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2016, 01:09 PM
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Metric steering shaft hardware

I need to raise the point in the firewall where my steering shaft passes through, but am having difficulty finding metric hardware. I can find plenty of firewall bearings and universal steering joints, but they are all in inch dimensions, the predominant size being 0.75" diameter, but the inner steering shaft measures 18 mm (0.7") in my '76 BMW 2002. Does anyone know of a source for metric steering joints and firewall bearings?
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:56 PM
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Misumi has a lot of metric stuff. You might try digging through this section, but 18mm seems to be an odd size.
http://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/result/?Keyword=Bearing

An alternative that may work for you is to use a spherical rod end. You can definitely get those in 18mm. Check this section:
http://us.misumi-ec.com/vona2/mech/M...sults2category
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:19 AM
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Could you do some combination of sleeving and machining to get to 3/4" OD to use standard parts?

I know Woodward has quite an assortment of available splines for their U-joints. You might take a look to see if they have compatible pieces for your column and steering box that would allow you to replace the steering shaft altogether. More expensive, but you would end up with a better piece when you're done. I'm a big fan of their splined adapters that are welded into 3/4" x 0.120" wall tubing to make a steering shaft that can be disassembled and eliminates all the potential issues of welding U-joints.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:57 AM
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I wonder if I could use some kind of sleeve and butt-weld the metric shaft (0.7") to a standard .75" shaft inside the cockpit. Then I could use standard .75" hardware at the firewall and the universals. For example, a piece of 1" DOM with .188 wall should have an ID of .627. If I could have a friend with a lathe turn the ID to 0.7" on one half, and 0.75" on the other half, would that work?

Last edited by idickers; 08-26-2016 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:08 AM
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Are you using a stock or aftermarket steering column? If it's an aftermarket column, it would make perfect sense to graft aftermarket pieces to the upper half of the steering shaft and leave the lower section stock.

And your idea for an external sleeve should work without issue. Be sure to include a couple plug welds on both sides.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:11 AM
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I'm using the stock steering column, since I want to keep all the turn signals and column lock intact. But I could cut the stock inner shaft and splice the .75" shaft on to the end.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:25 AM
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Check out this link:

http://woodwardsteering.com/PDF/3.%2...Couplers-1.pdf

Is your column possibly the #115 spline on page 5 (ZF, used on BMW, Mercedes, etc.)? It would save some cutting/welding if so.

You can get joints from them in any combination of splines. If your parts on the car mate with that 115 spline, I would get joints as 115/201 (Woodward) splines, a couple of splined stubs, and make up a new intermediate shaft.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:04 PM
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Good tips, thanks! Unfortunately, my splines (17.2 mm diameter, 36 teeth) don't exactly match up any of their examples. The closest would be #114. Woodward close early on Friday, but I'll give them a call next week.
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