Ron Pope Motorsports                California Custom Roadsters               

Steerin couplings, trailers, and stuff.

one finger john

Active Member
Good morning gentlemen, Cecc's unfortunate incident brings me to ask the question - how does one safeguard the steering coupler install? It is obvious that everything on the car is top notch, it was assembled with utmost care, and was driven very little before the accident. Did the ride down from Washington (?) in a trailer really cause the lock nut to loosen? If so, how do you prevent it? Do you secure the wheels on the car only (allowing the car's suspension to be active inside the trailer to absorb bumps)? Do you partially compress the suspension (thru tie downs) and allow the trailer suspension to do it's job? Do the two suspension systems work with each other or against/counter each other and set up vibrations that could loosen nuts and bolts?
The other part is, instead of having a set screw/lock nut affair to secure the coupler, could there be a way of drilling thru the shaft and useing a thru bolt/lock nut/safety wire set up? Is this feasible?
I have heard of too many incidents like this. As an example, R/C editor tells of driving along and his car just drifted into the median of the freeway and he was able to stop without any problems (thank the stars). Turned out it was the same thing as Ceec except at 70 mph !!! He was able to do a roadside fix til it could be repaired properly, but that must have been hair raising to say the least.
Or it could have been that Ceec had a lot on his plate to get down here and flat missed the final tightening of all the bolts and nuts on the car. Don made mention of such a routine on his car. It should be called Roadster Maintence 1.0 .
Any way you slice it, it was a bad deal that could have been worse. Wishing Ceec's car (and the two other cars) a speedy recovery.

I guess that I missed a post somewhere along the line. Please enlighten me as to exactly what happened with Cecc's car. As they say "Enquiring minds want to know."

What the Heck did we miss????
If you absolutly have to have a U joint in your steering shaft, they do make rolled pins to lock them in place, at least that beats the heck out of those small set screws... If the box was mounted to the shaft Before the mounting plate was welded, then no U joint is needed, as now the box is at the correct angle, much stronger and safer also... :rolleyes: and as far as a hook up in a suspended trailer, a block under the frame, so the suspension does not work againest the trailer suspension is best, now on a unsprung trailer, just tie the axle down and againest a wheel stop, let the car move on it's own springs.. Worked for all the race cars we towed all over the Country... :lol:
When I did the Willys I used 2 U joints in the steering. I tightened down the set screw and made a good mark on the shafts then took it apart and drilled to make a recess. I bought longer set screws and used locknuts. with locktight. and check after a few miles.
I glad to hear there was only reparable damage to Cec's wonderfull car. I take it this happened in town and he wasn't going vey fast. Those of you that followed the build Jim Rizzo did in SRM will remember when it happened to him at hiway speed and his colorfull piece on his feelings at the time.

I also am a firm believer in NOT using u-joints in steering systems. If you muct use them, follow oldtmans advice. It's also agood idea to put a punch mark on one of the flats on the jam nut with another as a reference point on the body of the u_joint. If you are buying a prefabbed chassis that requires one, give some serious thought to re-mounting the box so you don't have to use one. Please build with safety in mind. Both of our lives might depend on it.

Relying on a jam nut to preserve your steering integrity is way too far into the blind hope country side of the border. If the shafting is the correct length and adequately supported the set screw and jam nut does nothing more than eliminate (if any) radial play, the universal(s) can't go anywhere.
Not good to hear a brother's ride got pranged, and here's wishing a speedy recovery to happy cruzin'!!

     Ron Pope Motorsports                Advertise with Us!