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Thread: How To: Install Borgeson vibration dampening u-joints

  1. #1
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    How To: Install Borgeson vibration dampening u-joints

    Perhaps this has been covered elsewhere in this forum but I did not see anything. I know it has been covered on Today by Bill Robertson which I must credit for the part numbers and bar length that you'll read about below.

    I ordered my parts on Amazon. I had the parts saved for later for maybe two years. I was lucky to find the u-joints half price a week or so ago. The parts are:

    154912 - Vibration dampening U-joint
    114912 - Upper U-joint
    409418 - the shaft for the joints, 18"

    You'll need an 10mm allen wrench, 13mm/ 1/2" sockets and open end wrenches, hammer, adjustable wrench and flash light for removal and installation of the u-joints. You'll also need a hack saw and drill / drill press for the 18" shaft. If you're unsure of the health of your steering column bushing, get one of those too.

    Start by spraying a healthy dose of WD or PB blaster on the stock joints and splines both upper and lower.

    Here are the new parts:



    The shaft needs to be 11.5" long, so you'll need to measure, mark and cut it accordingly.







    After the cut and grinding down the rough edges, I installed the vibration dampening U-joint until it bottomed out and cranked down on the allen head screws.



    This made scratch marks on the shaft where the screws would be located:



    I then drilled the shaft with my drill press to get some holes for the screws to position themselves, grinding the rough edges afterwards:



    After this, I installed the vibration dampening u-joint and positioned the upper u-joint on the shaft, measuring the distance between the two at 9 3/4" and again screwed down the allen screws on the upper u-joint to make some marks on shaft for drilling:





    I drilled the other end of the shaft and ground it down like the first side. Once you've done this you're ready to remove the old u-joints and shaft.

    Here is a photo the stock setup along with some PB on them.

    Lower:



    Upper:



    Unscrew the bottom U-joint bolts, pretty simple to do. Once they're out, I drove a screwdriver down the split section to open it up a little bit and make life easier:



    I then used a socket wrench and a hammer to hammer the joint up the shaft releasing it from the rack/pinion, then off shaft.





    Once you've got the bottom shaft off, prepare yourself for the upper u-joint. This was a pain in the ass for me. There is not really much room and I was tackling this alone, it is easier to have a helper. It is also easier to do this from under the car. I used a 13mm socket on the nut and held a open end 13mm on the bolt head. Once you get the bolt out, use the screwdriver/hammer again to open up the split in the u-joint. I then reinstalled the bottom u-joint with a bolt and used the socket wrench/hammer to hammer the shaft off. Depending on the condition of yours, this is easier said than done. Once it is off, it is the perfect time to pull the steering column forward from inside the car and install a new steering column bushing. Mine is worn but I don't have a replacement, that will come later.



    Now that you have the old steering parts out, make sure the wheels are pointed forward, install the lower u-joint making sure the allen screw is located over flat part of the rack&pinion. I then made sure the steering wheel was pointed forward and installed the upper joint, without tightening it down yet. Install the DD shaft and see how far out of line your steering wheel is. Mine was out off line so I removed the shaft, pulled the upper joint off the steering column, moved the steering wheel center without rotating the u-joint in my hand, and then reinstalled it. Took me a few times. Once you have it aligned, I had to slide the u-joint up and down the steering column shaft in order to locate the groove in the shaft for the allen screw. Screw it down. I then installed the DD shaft all the way into the upper joint so it would clear the lower, and then down into the lower. I had to pull on the upper joint to get it to the steering column to move to the correct location. I removed an allen screw on each u-joint to be sure the holes in the bar were located correctly and not out of alignment - hard to see it but here is a photo:



    I screwed everything down and then tightened the nuts on each screw. Be sure you have everything located correctly and everything is tightened! You don't want to have these parts come apart while you're driving. I am even tempted to put some loc-tite on one of the screws each.



    This took me about two hours start to finish including making the bar. The most time was spent removing the stock upper u-joint. I did not test drive the vehicle afterwards yet, it was raining at the time so I will take it out tomorrow and comment on how it feels over stock.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by dn010; 12-03-2018 at 08:55 PM.
    -----Dan B.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Excellent work!

    I just got back from a long drive and wouldn't mind a little dampening from the wheel. You'll have to update us once you take it for a spin!

  3. #3
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    +1

  4. #4
    Senior Member zimvsdib's Avatar
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    Location:  los Šngeles

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    Thanks Dan! Great thread, really nice job with this.
    It will help so much when i get my parts in. Really appreciate it!

  5. #5
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    Just got back from a lengthy drive. Wow! I donít know if my old steering u-joints were worn out but this has been a night and day difference for me. Steering is so smooth now and tight. The added bonus for me was finally having my steering wheel straight when my wheels are straight. Before the wheels were straight and the steering wheel was off center to the right a bit.

    Definitely a recommended upgrade from stock, I only wish I had done this sooner!
    -----Dan B.

  6. #6
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    One thing to clarify: If you're going to replace the column bushing, once you have the top u-joint off, you have to go inside the vehicle, unscrew the steering wheel "adjuster knob" and pull the steering wheel towards you so the whole column goes through the fiberglass. Some owners are still unaware of this adjuster knob.
    -----Dan B.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    My vibration dampening joint came with slop from borgeson.
    I installed these components (used a regular steel steering shaft instead) and did not notice a difference. Fairly disappointed to be honest for the price.
    It seems to me if you are noticing a difference your stock u joints are worn out a scary amount.

  8. #8
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
    Join Date:  Jul 2011

    Location:  Florida: Pinellas County

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    My original u-joints I replaced a decade+ ago were so worn you could turn the steering wheel inches without the tires moving. You could see that the u-joints were worn out and twist them in your hands and see/feel the play in them-very scary. Last night, I took the [replacement] stock set and put one end in a vice, and jammed a screwdriver through the other part to twist it. There was no play. Did I NEED the Borgeson parts? No, I could still drive the car fine. If I had to pay the full price for the Borgeson parts, this thread would not have been created-I wouldn't have purchased them.

    I can tell you that I threw a new pair of tires on the rims without balancing. My alignment is off. These are issues I'm sure the Borgeson unit is now masking and I do plan to handle them this weekend.

    Once upon a time I replaced everything - bearings, u-joints, ball joints, bushings, rack/pinion, tie rod ends- you name it, and my steering was amazing and it was using stock parts. I know these cars can steer quite nice with the stock parts and those who say it doesn't has issues with one of those parts somewhere. But-Comparing it to back then I still think that the Borgeson unit is more smooth at the steering wheel. I'd feel everything through the wheel before and now it just seems like all that has gone away.

    It is unfortunate that you had a bad experience with your components. Hopefully you can reach out to Borgeson so they can make it right for you. I'd be very disappointed as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    My vibration dampening joint came with slop from borgeson.
    I installed these components (used a regular steel steering shaft instead) and did not notice a difference. Fairly disappointed to be honest for the price.
    It seems to me if you are noticing a difference your stock u joints are worn out a scary amount.
    -----Dan B.

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