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Superspec steering shaft


AndyW
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Does anyone know where I can get a steering shaft to fit a RH Superspec?  Or maybe one from a 2B would also fit.

I’ve had to replace the lower universal joint on the Escort steering rack, but the new forged UJ won’t clamp tight enough on the original splined steering shaft. Looks like the splines are too worn (or not cut well in the first place). The shaft and UJ are both supposed to be 9/16” but it’s a very loose fit and rotates easily.

I’ve tried to close the pinch gap on the new UJ in a vise, but the forged steel is just too hard, and I’ve stripped one high tensile bolt trying to get it clamped tightly.

The shaft is 880 or maybe 900 mm long (can’t measure it accurately in the car), 5/8” diameter, with 9/16” x 36 splines and bolt groove machined on one end, and cut to a V shape on the other end. Top end fits into a V-clamp on the steering column UJ above the pedals.

Alternatively is there any engineering method of “packing out” splines to fill the gap and enabling the UJ to clamp tightly?

Any other ideas? I don’t have any welding options.

Cheers Andy

Edited by AndyW
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Wonder how strong that stuff is and whether it can really remake splines? I’m not sure I want to risk my safety with the steering failing while driving.

I think I’d rather have a mechanical fix with a new splined shaft.

 

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How about using a pressed steel type joint, it might tighten up better on your splines.

https://www.burtonpower.com/steering-coupling-gp4-ford-escort-mk1-mk2-pressed-steel-type-mp207.html

Alternatively, you could try drilling out the hole on the clamp by say 2mm to take a wider bolt and then carefully filing a groove in the splined shaft end so that the bolt only just slips through, this could both prevent the shaft pulling out and stop it slipping round.

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Good suggestions thanks. I did think about getting a pressed steel UJ as less rigid. Would giive better clamping especially if I also used a larger high tensile bolt.

As you can see, the splines on the inner end of the shaft are well worn, but I might also be able to cut them a bit deeper with a triangular file to help the UJ grip.

 

IMG_8170 - Copy.JPG

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That would be my preference Richy. I've searched and no-one sells splined shafts as long as the 875mm needed for the Superspec, so I would have to cut it and weld a new short spline length onto my shaft, and probably weld a sleeve over as well.

Trying to find someone locally that is willing to do that sort of welding is proving difficult. Companies I've found so far only do car body repairs, panel fabrication, or large scale industrial stuff. I'm still trying to track down a proper engineering company that could handle one-off work.

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Richy, did you mean cut my existing shaft and weld a new splined shaft on the end? Or weld a new UJ directly onto the worn splines of my shaft? And wouldn’t the heat cause damage to the UJ bearings?

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Andy, I don't know exactly what major components were used on a Superspec, but on the 2B it used Sierra steering column with a modified Metro (or later Escort mk2?) steering rack. The lower steering shaft was therefore a RH fabrication to join a Sierra compatible UJ at the column end to a Metro compatible UJ at the rack end.

I think the Superspec used a Mondeo column and Escort Mk2 rack?

In any case, if I understand your issue the lower spline is now worn out so you need a dummy end from the donor vehicle steering shaft to suit the steering rack UJ, and have that welded into your steering shaft in place of the current worn out end.

I am using a Mazda steering column on my 2B so I dissected the RH lower shaft, which was simply welded in a ring around the shaft at the back of the UJ. There was then an inch or so of the original shaft spigoted into tube, so you may be able to do something similar to unpick your splined stub from the RH shaft.

Edited by RallyChris
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Update - looks like you are not the first to suffer an issue with wear of the RH steering shaft:


https://www.rhocar.org/index.php?/forums/topic/44206-superspec-steering-shaft/#comment-358668

Given that a compatible replacement UJ is stated in that thread as coming from a LR Discovery I would be looking for any compatible steering shaft from either a mk2 Escort (actually the inner steering column?) or a Discovery, then chop the end off and have it welded onto your existing shaft with a tube over the outside.

 

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Thanks Chris, yes I’m aware of those previous issues. The Superspec steering shaft was made by RH to fit between the Escort Mk1/2 rack and the Mondeo column, with 9/16 x36 splines at the bottom and Ford triangle at the top.

It’s 875mm long and spares are no longer available, but I can get a 250mm shaft with splines from CBS. I’ve already got a replacement UJ, so now need to get the old shaft cut down and the short end welded on together with a strengthening tube.

There’s lots of conflicting information on the internet! Some say steering columns shouldn’t be repaired or welded and others give differing methods, roll pins, bolts, plug welds etc. Difficult to know what’s right and wrong sometimes!

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