87 Fox 5.0 steering shaft short after rack pulled. Installation trouble now.

Stockride87

New Member
Apr 8, 2019
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mississippi
Pulled the rack and pinion out of my 87 fox. I separated the rack at the rag joint by first removing the pinch bolt and then lightly tapping the rag joint off the rack splines with a punch and hammer. When installing the new rack I realized that because of the tapping, the steering shaft had moved up/collapsed towards the firewall a little and I now have a gap of about an inch so I can't get the rag joint back on the new rack input shaft splines. In the interior, by the foot peddles, I can see how far inward the shaft has moved because of some residue markings on the steering shaft from the firewall boot. I've tried clamping a pair of vice grips on the steering shaft and striking with a hammer to try to get the steering shaft back down so I can reconnect the rag joint but no movement yet. Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks.
 

Rcdgl

Active Member
Feb 19, 2018
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Should be an easy fix. The intermediate shaft should be able to slide up into the upper shaft if the lock bolt is out. If that bolt was missing, the int shaft should just pull down. Make sure you reinstall at the end of the job. If it moved the int shaft and the upper shaft back into the car, you may have to unbolt the whole column at the firewall and remove the wiring connectors, take it out and put it back together on a bench. Also note that manual and power racks have different lengths. Assume you have a power rack issue.
 

Boostedpimp

15 Year Member
May 8, 2003
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NJ
I've been there.. used a ton of pb blaster and allot of words but ended up having to pull the whole thing out of the car and separate it. You may be able to get it out by the rope method mentioned above.
 

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Stockride87

New Member
Apr 8, 2019
4
3
1
47
mississippi
Well, the rope trick worked! First, I removed the intermediate shaft with the u-joint and rag joint and then I threaded a braided nylon rope through the upper bolt hole in the shaft coming out the firewall. Then I got under the car and tied the rope to my slide hammer so that my rope and slide hammer were at the same angle as the steering shaft end coming out the firewall. One strike with the slide hammer and nothing. Second strike and I pulled the whole telescoping shaft out of the steering column into the engine bay. Did not expect that, but hey, at least it's out now and I can slide it back up into the column and adjust it to proper length for reinstallation of the intermediate shaft and my rack. Thanks for everything!
 
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