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Old 11-17-2022, 02:52 AM   #1
soroushrajabnik
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Default Later style CAM steering rack in 78 242

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
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:53 AM   #2
bugjam1999
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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 by bugjam1999; 11-17-2022 at 07:02 AM..
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Old 11-17-2022, 03:07 PM   #3
soroushrajabnik
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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
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:52 PM   #4
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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..
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Old 11-17-2022, 08:46 PM   #5
hiperfauto
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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.
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Old 11-18-2022, 12:39 PM   #6
Mylesofsmyles
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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.
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Old 11-18-2022, 12:57 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-18-2022, 02:41 PM   #8
2manyturbos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soroushrajabnik View Post
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.
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Old 11-18-2022, 04:06 PM   #9
soroushrajabnik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
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
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