Borgeson solves steering issues we lived with for far too long
Words & Photos by Shawn Brereton
They say, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” and no truer words could describe the steering on my ’55 Chevy. I’ve been living with slightly sloppy steering and a poor fit installation for a decade. It’s not that the steering was dangerous or iffy, it just wasn’t 100 percent, so I just “lived with it.”
My ’55 has a Fatman front stub, with a power rack and pinion, so it rides great, but two things needed to be addressed: The wheel had about 1/2 inch of excessive play, and the column position was not where it needed to be.
When I happened by the Borgeson booth during the NSRA Nats last year, Sales Manager Jeff Grantmeyer schooled me on different U-joints and basic steering design. He pointed out the steering wheel connects you to the road surface, and there are varying degrees of linkage quality that affect that connection.
I knew I had a problem, so I checked it when I got back and found the U-joints were worn and the long linkage shaft was too short. Grantmeyer assured me the problem could easily be solved and recommended the parts to make things right.
With an understanding of what I needed to measure, I determined the ’55 would need a floor mount, three U-joints, and two 7/8-inch splined shafts. One would be 3 inches, and the top shaft would have to be determined once the column was moved into the proper position. Grantmeyer recommended I use one of their vibration-reducing U-joints to connect to the column. I also decided to spring for polished stainless to better match my engine bay.
My friend, Chris Johnston, and I assembled the new steering linkage and repositioned the steering column. Not only does the car drive and steer much better, but the Borgeson stainless steel components look outstanding under the hood.
The results were immediate, and I’m nearly embarrassed it took only about two hours to correct a steering issue I had been living with for years. The steering is so much tighter — no more little corrections going down the road — and the vibration-reducing U-joint removes all those little annoying bumps you expect from a 62-year-old car. It is like a new car all over again.
It’s true you really don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone — and I’m glad it’s gone!
SOURCE: Borgeson, borgeson.com