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Later style CAM steering rack in 78 242

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I have been nursing a leaky early style cam rack in my 78 242 and decided to try to find the best looking replacement I could by keeping an eye on my local yards inventories. Ended up pulling a later style cam rack that looks like it had been replaced not long before the car experienced it?s demise from a 91 wagon. I also pulled the newer style bracket and pump while I was at it.

I?m just realizing after doing some research that it appears cars prior to 1979 had a 14mm steering shaft, cars post 79 have a 19mm?

When I pulled the rack out of the 91, I pulled the U joints with it, separating the joints from the shaft at the upper joint. Does this mean that my 78, in theory should have a 14mm male spline on the steering shaft that will not fit into the female u joint on the 91 rack?? Should I have pulled the entire steering shaft from the 91 wagon as well?

Any insight would be very much appreciated
 

bugjam1999

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
My understanding is:

The size of the lower splined male end of the steering column (the section from the steering wheel to just inside the engine bay) is the same across all 240s

The steering column is a different length for the early and late cars

The steering shaft (lower section that connects to the steering column, from the bulkhead to the rack) is different for early/late cars and different for manual/PAS cars

The male splined shaft out of the rack is not always the same

So, since you have removed everything from the parts car from the lower end of the steering column down, you should be fine to fit that into your 1978. Note -the early/late PAS brackets and pumps for B21 vs. B230 engines are not the same, so either expect to do some custom adjustment of the existing bracket to use your new pump, or re-use your existing pump.

I swapped a manual 1978 car to PAS a while back, and didn't have any issues with fitting the later steering column and rack parts, I needed an early PAS pump and bracket to fit to the B21 though.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Sounds like I will have to go back for the rest of the steering shaft on the 91, as I disconnected it at the rack itself, not the bulkhead that connects to the steering column?. Dang
 

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I have pulled everything from the steering column male spline down on the 91 donor car - (upper u joint connected to steering shaft that runs down to lower u joint which connects to steering rack)

Can someone please help me verify at which joint my 78 will properly mate with the 91 parts? Can I connect the entire steering shaft assembly at the upper u joint that connects to the steering column on the firewall? Can I the male spline on my 78 steering shaft to the ujoint that attaches to the top of the 91 steering rack? Sorry for any confusion I?m just a little unclear about the information I?m finding about the 14mm vs 19mm steering shafts? I don?t want to tear the entire thing out without verifying that I have the correct parts and that they will fit..
 

hiperfauto

The Librarian
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Location
So Cal
You should only need to change the lower u-joint. The upper u-joint and steering shaft are the same part numbers for early and late cars.
 

Mylesofsmyles

A Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
With the countless Early 240's I've converted to late model parts, I agree with hiperfauto, you should only need to change lower u-joint.

The sector shafts differ between manual rack and power rack setups, however.
 

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Surprisingly little and conflicting information/photos etc on this matter on the internet. Everyone seems almossssst sure, but not quite. Seems everyone that knows just ripped theirs apart and figured out what worked using a little this and a little that. I don?t really have that luxury. I grabbed this later style rack because it was the best looking and feeling one at the yard and because I had read in several places that the racks were interchangeable with little to no work. I?m willing to do the work, but nobody anywhere has been able to properly explain the differences surrounding these swaps aside from a vague ?oh the shafts are different sizes on earlier cars than later cars.? The only thing the green book has to say on it is ?the dowel pins must be removed if a new steering gear is installed in an older vehicle without dowel pin holes.?
Thanks to those of you who have chimed in so far. I have to replace a tie rod on this new rack before it goes in but I will keep this thread updated as far as what works and how. Surely the amount of searching I?ve done to try to get this information it will be helpful to someone out there at some point in time.
 

2manyturbos

Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Location
Monroe, OR USA
Surprisingly little and conflicting information/photos etc on this matter on the internet. Everyone seems almossssst sure, but not quite. Seems everyone that knows just ripped theirs apart and figured out what worked using a little this and a little that. I don?t really have that luxury. I grabbed this later style rack because it was the best looking and feeling one at the yard and because I had read in several places that the racks were interchangeable with little to no work. I?m willing to do the work, but nobody anywhere has been able to properly explain the differences surrounding these swaps aside from a vague ?oh the shafts are different sizes on earlier cars than later cars.? The only thing the green book has to say on it is ?the dowel pins must be removed if a new steering gear is installed in an older vehicle without dowel pin holes.?
Thanks to those of you who have chimed in so far. I have to replace a tie rod on this new rack before it goes in but I will keep this thread updated as far as what works and how. Surely the amount of searching I?ve done to try to get this information it will be helpful to someone out there at some point in time.

hiperfauto answered your question. Since you already have power steering in your 240 the only thing you need now to go with your later steering rack is the lower u-joint that mates with the larger pinion shaft sized. If your car had a manual steering rack you would need the power steering sector shaft and the u-joint assemblies at each end of the sector shaft.
 

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
hiperfauto answered your question. Since you already have power steering in your 240 the only thing you need now to go with your later steering rack is the lower u-joint that mates with the larger pinion shaft sized. If your car had a manual steering rack you would need the power steering sector shaft and the u-joint assemblies at each end of the sector shaft.

Thanks guys!

Cheers
 

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Hey guys quick update on this - I have been out in the southern California desert on a bit of a getaway and put this swap off for awhile. While back at it today I?ve run into a few hiccups? first off, the steering shaft and both u joints that are attached too and bottom on my 78 are entirely a different design. Every single male to female spline from the rack itself up to the steering column spline on the firewall are definitely different sizes. There is no strait forward swapping here. My 78 has the smaller sized everything compared to the rack and steering shaft that I pulled from the 91. The only possible marriage that could happen here would be if the diameter of the actual steering column shaft at the fire wall is the same between early and later cars? since it?s the only joint I haven?t disassembled on my 78, I would rather not pull the entire steering shaft away from the firewall only to find that the spline at the firewall is also the smaller diameter and won?t fit with any of the parts that I pulled at all. So to recap, maybe it?s different from year to year and 78 was an odd ball year, but everything from the rack up on the 78 appears to be a smaller size and different design entirely - the bottom u joint only disconnects at one spot and that?s at the male spline coming out of the rack itself. The later style 91 parts are larger diameter and disconnect at top and bottom joints on both u joints. Does anyone have the correct information on this? Is the diameter of the steering column shaft that comes out of the firewall indeed the same on the earlier and later car? Will it be possible to swap in the entire rack and steering shaft that sits in the engine bay from the later car?
Not sure if I should just put it all back together with the old leaking rack or literally take my entire steering shaft out of the engine bay just to take a gamble on the later parts
 

2manyturbos

Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Location
Monroe, OR USA
As I said, your question was already answered above. The steering shaft of the steering column is the same. I just sold someone else a late model shaft with both upper and lower u-joints to connect his 1978 steering column to a later model power steering rack. He said everything dropped in and fit perfectly.
 

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
As I said, your question was already answered above. The steering shaft of the steering column is the same. I just sold someone else a late model shaft with both upper and lower u-joints to connect his 1978 steering column to a later model power steering rack. He said everything dropped in and fit perfectly.

Ok cool so this is where I was confused? everything from the firewall/bulkhead down will be swapped, the joint will be made from the actual steering column spline at the firewall, to the top ujoint of the steering shaft on the 91 down to the rack. My understanding is 78 steering column, 91 rack and shaft (everything you can see in the engine bay)
Cheers
 

2manyturbos

Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Location
Monroe, OR USA
Yes. The only part that will remain from your original set up is your steering column with the original splined shaft. Everything else will be from a later model car.
 

soroushrajabnik

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Yes. The only part that will remain from your original set up is your steering column with the original splined shaft. Everything else will be from a later model car.

Great. I?m gonna put it all together tomorrow. Thanks for the clarification, hopefully this thread is helpful to someone down the line.
 

VB242

I.M. Weasel
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Location
Driving the No Malarkey Bus
I just put a '93 rack on my '80 242. I couldn't get it loose at the lower joint at the pick and pull so I guess I lucked out pulling the shaft and the upper joint too. Everything just bolted right up.
 

John242Ti

LH-Jet & Carb Free Zone
Joined
May 19, 2003
Location
Duvall, WA
1975-78 have the smaller u-joints.
1979-93 are all the same with the larger u-joints.

So, the last poster's car already had the late parts.

To the OP, sounds like you'll be fine once you've swapped the later steering shaft over.
 
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