|This will be a rewrite of the title: DON'T GET SHAFTED" I wrote for the WHITE LADY, issue #55, December 1990, pages 8-10. The photos were black & white(before the computer digitized ones, so I will not be posting those--sorry.)
In the fall of 1998, i was traveling with my good friend, Craig Wolfe, in his beautiful almost-concours red '73 J-H up in the north Georgia mountains. About 3 miles frm home, the steering wheel would only turn about 30 degrees--something was wrong. We got safely back to my place, and opened the hood to see that the upper steering knuckle hasd "collapsed" because the splined upper shaft had pushed almost into the firewall, which allowed the 3 pins for the knuckle to "collapse". After removing the wheel and the 4 #2 cross point screws holding the shaft(we had already loosened the pinch clamp for the upper steering knuckle), we removed the 2 piece collapsible shaft. We separated the 2 pieces and saw that injected white plastic(quite a friction fit) had been broken in the 2 hole(either side of the shaft), most likely from changing the exhaust headers which would require removal of the lower shaft.
Sliding the shaft back in to the 2 points where the broken pin was, we determined the correct length to be 29.8". We got some weed-eater nylon, slightly larger than the original hole, drilled entirely through the shaft where the original holes were then pushed the nylon through (about 1 inch?) and then squashed the ends in a vice to keep it in place. This may sound harder than it actually is.
PLEASE NOTE: many of us have removed this shaft to do work on the exhaust, cylinder head, whatever, and have likely "banged" the knuckle off, little realizing you most likely broke the 2 pins. There would still be plenty of friction from the formed internal part so you wouldn't realize this, so i would advise you to do this just in case. Put plenty of grease on the splines and use a chisel/whatever to expand the pinch clamp so you can slide it on by hand. To remove the pinch clamp, use a chisel/wedge shaped tool AT 90 DEGREES TO THE SHAFT AXIS--GENTLY to prevent this potential catastrophe.
safe motoring, bruce