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Author Topic: Collapsible Steering with Standard/HR Box  (Read 10052 times)
Chuck
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« on: March 11, 2003, 12:14:41 AM »
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Hi All

I'm fitting a 202 in my ute and am required by law to fit a collapsible steering column as the 202 exceeds the 45% limit relating to steering columns when increasing engine capacity.  As far as I know, the largest capacity grey motor was 138 ci which when you add 45% is 200.1 ci, so I missed it by 1.9 ci (BUGGER - unless there is a standard factory grey motor with a capacity larger than 138 ci??).

As I am trying to avoid the cost of converting to a CRS rear mounted rack and pinion, I am trying to retain a recirculating ball steering box setup (although from a HR).  My question is, has anyone converted a recirculating ball steering box to collapsible column?  I'm guessing that I would need to cut a section from the outer tube of the column and weld in a section from a later model vehicle that has the collapsible component in it.  Then for the inner solid shaft, I would need to do something similar (although it is not recommended to cut and weld steering components).

Has anyone got any ideas or recommendations as to what method to use and what later model vehicle components to use?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Chuck
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Ed
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2003, 03:08:50 AM »
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Hi Chuck,

I have an idea, which may be feasible..

the collapsible outer column is no problem as you described.

Th tricky part would be to make a telescopic sliding shaft that would slide in case of the steering box being pushed rearward for any reason.

Could you get a length machined up that would slide over the standard steering shaft.. this would have to be shaped  in a "D" type cross section (or similar) to prevent rotation, and have the lower end machined to fit the steering box.

welding is out, but resplining of shafts is acceptable.

alternatively, find a suitable donor telescopic shaft, that can be resplined to suit the configuration you require, in terms of steeringwheel fit up and steering box..

If u find the answer, i'm sure it would also make a good commercial venture.

As for donor shafts... are there any cars out there with OEM steering boxes mated to a collapsible column?  

Cheers
Ed



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Effie C
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2003, 04:35:06 AM »
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G'Day Chuck
I've been thinking about this myself for awhile and having not done the actual measuring I can not see why a HK to HG series would not fit. They have collapsible column steering box, from pictures looks the same as early models, worth a closer look.
I know the column fits as others have used them when doing R&P conversion.
John M
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Jockster
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2003, 07:55:34 AM »
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Hi all
Sometime back I built an FX  with XU-1 running gear and I decided to fit a collapsible column. In this case I used an original FJ steering box, cut the shaft length coming out of the box to the same length as the shaft on a HT steering box (which would not fit into the car) I then fitted a HT flexible coupling to the box in the same position as it sits on a HT (the shaft size was the same )and drilled through the bolt hole so the locating bolt would lock the coupling to the shaft. I found a seal at CBC Bearings to fit into the top of the box. From there it was pretty straightforward to mount the HT  Collapsible column and couple it to the box. It worked ok be3cause a couple of years later the car had a serious front ender and the column collapsed just like it should have.
Cheers
Jock
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2003, 09:17:22 AM »
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Talking about FX's, one of mine also had a HR 'box with the column removed and a short length of the shaft protruding and turned down to take a uni from an early torana. These have a cotter-pin to fix the uni on so is easier than a spline to make up. from there it should be easy to connect just about any other column?
I've also noticed most/all? collapsable holden shafts are the same size so can be mixed and matched to suit the column or steering wheel you need.
You could probably machine some flats onto a cut FC shaft so it fits into the other half of a collapsable shaft, weld in the collapsable mesh part of an outer column and end up with a "stock" collapsable FC column?
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mcl1959
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2003, 09:30:42 AM »
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Chuck - have you considered running a 186 instead of 202 ?

This would solve the problem wouldn't it ?

Ken
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2003, 09:57:43 AM »
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Fitting HK-HT-HG steering column can be done - one of our members did it, and I recall Tony Tobin's FC Wagon (of SA) had the same mod.  IIRC (and I've never done this) only two of the bolts on the steering box mated up with the holes on the Y-frame of the FC, and some 'massaging' of the inner guard area was required to make it fit.  I think the HR pitman arm was necessary too.

Hope that helps,
RET
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Chuck
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2003, 11:31:28 PM »
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Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies.  Ken I have thought fairly hard about going back to the 186, but I have already sold my 186 and I have assembled my 202 with the EFI and I am keen to see how it will go - besides, I'm a sucker for punishment.

From what I have read I have decided that the best course of action is to:

(a) use a later model steering box with a higher ratio (eg HR has 16.8:1 vs 14:1 for FE/FC) so it should be less effort to steer (thanks Brad).  I know that the HR box will fit without too many hassles, but I'm not sure if a HK-HT-HG box will (or are they the same mounting setup?).

(b) Use Jock and sgo's suggestion of cutting the shaft length from the box to the same as the HT and then fit the HT flexible coupling (this should have the advantage of cutting down road vibration through the wheel - not that I have ever really noticed this before, but it sounds nice anyway Smiley).

(c) fit a seal to the top of the box where the column has been removed.

(d) Weld in the collapsible mesh section from the HT-HK-HG column to my column.  This can be upholstered later so that it looks neat.  Alternatively, is the HT-HK-HG column the same diameter as the early Holden and would it be easier just to modify the top of the column to fit the early column top so that I can use my blinker assembly and wheel?

(e) use the HT-HK-HG collapsible steering shaft in the new column and hope that the spline fits my wheel and that it will also fit into the standard column top - swear if it doesn't.

Does this all sound feasible?  Any further suggestions about whether the HR and HT-HK-HG steering boxes have the same bolt pattern for mounting, or is the HT-HK-HG box more difficult to fit than the HR?  Finally, has anyone actually tried putting a HT-HK-HG steering shaft into an earlier column top, in this case an EK?

All your suggestions are greatly appreciated  -  Chuck
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2003, 08:51:06 AM »
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This is sounding like a major and worthy piece of engineering. For what its worth and if you wind up using one, there are two types of HK-HG steering box. The standard one with a ratio of 20:1 and the GTS version with a ratio of 16.7:1 (so called fast ratio). The 16.7 is stamped on the steering box at the top of the cover plate if you go looking for one.

I would certainly think that there is a commercial op for somebody to do a reproduction collapsing column for FE/FC's as there are no crumple zones and there is a good chance of injury in an accident.

Best regards,

Steve.
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gree
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2003, 05:16:56 AM »
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"just a real quick cheap rebuild".......

he he. it keeps getting bigger chuck! but should be a nice garage you'll have at the end with the fc and ek side by side. how are they both coming by the way/ not getting mine done for a couple of weeks till after i move. i need the damn thing!  Embarrassed
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2003, 10:59:51 AM »
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A suggestion coming from a man playing in multiball mode would be to Keep your eye on the ball chuck that sweet ride is so near to completion it hurts. Wink
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mcl1959
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2003, 02:19:08 AM »
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Bolt pattern for HKTG box is different to HD/HR.  HKTG box is difficult to fit as one of the bolts is outside the chassis rail so needs a piece welding into the chassis.
In my experience the HD/HR box needs a slight drill out or file as the mounting holes are just a bit wider or narrower than the FE/FC, but not too dificult to fit.

Ken

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fcfromscratch
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2003, 11:08:12 AM »
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Ken,

you are right about the HR steering box, I needed to slightly elongate one hole in the chassis to make the bolt go through....and there are only two bolt holes in the HR box, not three like the FE/FC....

(Ken the Guru knows all!!...eh?)

regards....Brad
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kma
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2003, 07:30:00 AM »
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hi chuck
for what its worth I welded a fc outer upper section onto a LC torana outer lower section, its welded at the area hidden buy the U bracket that holds the column to the dash. The LC has the same spline as the FC wheel. I used the LC steering shaft it needed some turning to allow the upper bearing of the FC honey pot ect to travel down the shaft further and dont forget to turn in a groove for the circlip wich stops the bearing popping out of its housing. So there you go, an original wheel on a collapsable column. I think the HT spline is compatable to the FC steering wheel. The spline changed at LJ and HQ, your engineer mey ask what is the column out of, you need to give him an answer that he will aprove of. Alternativly involve him the project after all he is the one who gets you on the road.  
Reguards kevin
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2003, 09:06:15 AM »
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Hi Kevin, Does this mod mean that the steering column is now shorter? & if so, by how much.
Did you retain the gear stick tube & 3 on the tree or are you floor shift?
Gary  
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2003, 10:45:04 AM »
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Quote
I needed to slightly elongate one hole in the chassis to make the bolt go through....and there are only two bolt holes in the HR box, not three like the FE/FC....


I enlarged the holes in the steering box as the holes through the chassis rails have anti-crush tubes fitted inside the rails, not a good idea to elongate the holes in the chassis (This will thin out the sides of anti-crush tubes) and run the risk of the rails collasping when the bolts are tightened or even worse when doing the big swing on the steering wheel and puting huge strain on mounts.
I used a EH box (Approx. 4" shorter than FC) and this has the three mounting holes and it was easy to change the pitman arm over to a HR unit.
John M
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« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2003, 11:10:53 AM »
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Hi Garry, the column is shorter I think about 100mm which is not a bad thing. Mine goes to a rack and pinion so I dont know how far the column would need to protude through the firewall, mine was kept to a minium because of clearance problems with extractors [V8]. I did attempt to make it column auto, I used the torana selector tube, cut it and welded in the section from the fc selector tube [the bit the gear shift mates with] and sat the torana PNRD21 gismo on top and a lot of other mods but in the end after 6 months I had had enough, this would have been much easier with manual, one problem is the wires from the indicators and horn there is not much clearance for them as the torana selector tube is bigger in diameter than the fc unit also I remember shortening the selector tube, it also is collaspable. Ended up with a floor shift and bucket seats. Give it a go, may be use the flat wire looms out of a different model.
Reguards kevin  
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fcfromscratch
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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2003, 04:17:51 PM »
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Quote
not a good idea to elongate the holes in the chassis (This will thin out the sides of anti-crush tubes) and run the risk of the rails collasping when the bolts are tightened or even worse when doing the big swing on the steering wheel and puting huge strain on mounts.


....OOPS!!
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