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Can 1G DSM steering columb/shaft length be changed w/o mods?

Posted by XC92, Nov 30, 2020

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  1. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    I'm just wondering if the steering column or shaft has a mechanism for being lengthened or shortened, NOT by actually cutting into it. There are 2 tubes that slide into each other, held tight with a u-clamp, so I thought that maybe the length can be changed by loosening the clamp, sliding the tubes to make the column or shaft longer or shorter, then retightenng it.

    1G DSM - Steering Column.jpeg

    (H/T to Mech Addict for this photo)

    I know that the entire steering assembly can be moved up or down by loosening the 8 bolts that attach it to the 2 bracket that connect it to the car, but that's not what I'm referring to. I mean the length of the column or shaft itself. This is to close a fairly small gap that still exists between the top of the joint assembly and the bottom of the steering column, even with the column lowered all the way.

    Talon - Steering Column-Joint Assembly Connection.jpg
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  2. pauleyman

    pauleyman DSM Wiseman

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    I don't see a reason you couldn't do this. The reason the columns are designed like this is in the event of a severe collision the column can collapse rather than impale the driver.
    I will add this though. It appears the "adjustment" is in between the two brackets. If the splines are fixed relative to the bracket close to it then I don't see how it would help. The brackets are slotted. If you're at the end of the adjustment of the bracket closest to the splines I think that's all there is. The "adjustment:" between is likely designed in the event of a severe collision the brackets move relative to one another, column collapses, instead of shearing the bolts off the brackets and the column becomes a spear. I'm talking SEVERE head on type collision.
     

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    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  3. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    So the clamp is designed to yield beyond a certain impact? Interesting. The real question is whether it's designed to allow such shortening during normal use or if that's out of spec.

    In any case I suspect that at some point when reinstalling the rack or subframe, something got misaligned and the splined rack "pin" (still don't know what it's officially called) pushed against instead of going into the lower pinch clamp on the joint assembly, and somehow shortened the steering column, most likely by pushing the lower, narrow tube further into the upper, wider tube, and I'd just be correcting this. But I wanted to make sure that they can in fact slide and make the column shorter.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  4. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    Looking at the FSM, it seems possible, though not exactly clear. If the steering shaft is one piece of steel, then I think this will not help. If it is one part or unit comprised of at least two pieces of steel that can lengthen/shorten, then it appears you may be onto something. Somebody must have taken one apart, and knows the answer.
    Not it!
     

    Street Build 671  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  5. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    According to Paulyman it's not a solid shaft for safety reasons, so it doesn't impale you in a head-on accident. Instead it collapses. SO apparently that's that the 2 tubes are for, and I assume the clamp is to secure them during normal driving conditions. If so, then they clearly CAN be compressed a tad to get the splined end to go all the way into the pinch clamp.

    The real question is whether this is ok. I mean, you CAN alter the front wheel camber by bending the control arms, but obviously you should never do that. Maybe I should just remove the column and have a close-up look and decide how to proceed. I know I'm belaboring this issue but steering control is something you don't want to mess with, and there's got to be a reason for why I've been unable to fit both ends of the joint assembly onto the corresponding splined ends properly.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  6. Mech Addict

    Mech Addict Supporting Member

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    Wouldn’t you be expand/ elongating the shaft to make it reach the coupling, not compressing? Either way, it’s not difficult to remove so you can really look it over and fiddle with It. Get some photos!
     

    Street Build 671  6

    1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  7. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    Queens, New York
    Yes, you are correct, expanding, not compressing. Just safely, I hope.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  8. pauleyman

    pauleyman DSM Wiseman

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    the column is relatively easy to remove. Yank it and have a closer look.
     

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    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  9. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    That's what I'll do. I took another look today and I suspect that enough of the column end is being gripped by the joint assembly for safe driving, but this is going to bug me until it's all the way in.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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  10. pauleyman

    pauleyman DSM Wiseman

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    It would bug me too. Im one of those ocd kinda guys. None of my cars have ever had non oem fasteners or missing fasteners anywhere. When stuff is outta whack it bugs me
     

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    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
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  11. XC92

    XC92 Proven Member

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    Queens, New York
    After all the work I did on my Talon, all that was left over was a single medium-sized washer that I never did figure out where it went. Also, whatever drain and fill washers for the trans and t-case where there went missing. I'm going to order some new ones (but I suspect they're still under the car somewhere, I should find out tomorrow as I just got a new battery for it today and tomorrow is shakedown and inspection day). Otherwise, this steering issue is the only real snag I haven't quite figured out. Still lots left to do, but that's a different issue.

    Also, you know who gets to the moon and invents the cell phone? OCD types, that's who.
     

    357  1

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi
    awd · manual · 1G DSM
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