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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - V6 or V8 jpegs of extra u-jointed steering rod

My minimally problematic 3800 V6 swap, because I set it way down and back, ends up having the last driver's side spark plug very close to the steering rod that runs from the rack to the firewall knuckle. At MG2007 last week, we saw a dozen V8 conversions, but all had rod clearance, some so very just barely!!
So no help, but absolutely great to be amongst the true at heart: the V8/V6 MGB Swapper. And golly -gee did they sound good when each fired up!.

I'm asking the knowing you-alls for advice then. Jim B or someone have some jpegs of an extra jointed section? It looks like the way to go would be to cut the steering rack rod, right out of the chassis rail, spline and install a coupler/ u-joint assembly, small as possible, then angle off to another coupler/ u-joint assembly about 5 inches up and an inch or so under the existing spark plug, then to the firewall coupler, trying to create the smallest offset angle. Seems any steer rod interrupt requires a minimum of 2 coupler/u-joint assemblies, yes?
Can one of you direct me to articles, tech session, or small u-joint vendors please. Thanx in advance. Cheers, Vem
vem myers

Vic, if you can do it the best solution might be to move the lower end of the steering column downwards. Probably 1/2 to 1" would do it for you and then all you need is to angle the pinion down to match. I realize this means some sheet metal work which isn't easy with the engine in place, but the multi-u-jointed arrangements almost always look a little cobbled together.

The number of u-joints is not critical as long as you try to follow some guidelines. Any single or odd number joint should connect shafts which are as close to parallel and concentric as possible (some angular misalignment is acceptable). Pairs should be clocked to offset each other and connect parallel end shafts. Any intermediate shaft should be supported by pillow blocks in two locations, as close to the ends as possible and mounted to a rigid support such as a frame member. Any variation will introduce more or less degradation of the steering, as will more u-joints. It would be possible to use 3 joints to go around an obstacle but I don't know how that will turn out, nor exactly how they should be clocked.

Try Flaming River or Borgeson for the u-joints and other components.

Jim Blackwood

Hey Jim- So, shim the column so it's new bolted placement is down, in the vertical plane, from original about 1/2 to 1 inch? Sounds doable I guess. Increases the angle minimally, and appears to be dictated by the chassis-rod clearance. The original motor mount bases have been cut out, and notching the rail a smidge to get that little bit of drop down sounds, again, doable.
Have any of you had the rod clear problem on any swap V6 or V8. Sounds like everyone gets by somehow. Cheers, Vic
vem myers

What I found on the Roadmaster is that the pinion will clear the frame rail at any angle so shimming the rack mount is a viable option if there is engine clearance to do so. Moving the column down at the end is more involved and includes enlarging the "cone" downwards and possibly moving the mounting plate forwards or backwards to accommodate shaft length. There should be adequate length in the upper mount slots to accommodate the revision.

Jim Blackwood

Thanx Jim- I'll give it a go and see whats what. Anyone with jpegs having done some? Vic
vem myers

Given my very low and far setback on my Ford 289 installation, I had to do some pretty drastic things to get the steering around the engine. First of all I had to fabricate a new lower steering column cone and moved it over a good 1 1/2" to the left. I then notched out the frame rail and welded in a piece of pipe cut in half lengthwise to form a channel for the new steering shaft to follow. The original u-joint by the column was used, and two new borgeson needle bearing joints were used along with a borgeson support bearing welded to the top of the driver's side chassis rail. Cobbled? Depends on who you ask. This setup is safe, with no backlash, and works perfect. This requires a lot of work, but it goes to show that where there's a will...
Jim's advice is the best. Move your column mount down a little. Actually easier than you might think. I've made a lot of work for myself with my conversion, just for the sake of placing the engine where I wanted it. I'm pretty sure I've taken a road most will not likely follow, but it will allow my conversion to stand out a bit, and at the very least make a good conversation piece, in or out of MG conversion circles. Good luck with your steering problem, I'm sure you'll find an easy solution.
Scott Wooley

Sorry about that. I've never posted a picture here, not sure if it will work or not. Not a good picture for detail either, but it's the only one I can find on my computer at the moment. Most of the pictures I've taken of this conversion are old school 35mm prints that I'm compiling into a photo album, and my scanner doesn't work right since upgrading to Windows Vista.

Scott Wooley

This thread was discussed between 24/07/2007 and 30/07/2007

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