Collapsible steering column, R10
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Thread: Collapsible steering column, R10

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Collapsible steering column, R10

    I'm getting my column sorted out, I want to finish all the welding on the floor before I paint the bottom.

    I'm currently experimenting with a Falcon column, a useable length if I don't use a u-joint. The pic shows the attachment method, obviously the final one won't be plywood but a piece of aluminium instead. I also think it needs to be slightly thicker.

    What have others retro fitted? The bmw column is a bit hard to get, I have a bmw lower uni rag joint but it's a different spline. The Falcon one is the common 36 spline, Renault something different again.

    I think a Prado may have a suitable uni rag joint, I'll need to measure one.

    I'm also not a fan of the Falcon ignition key. A Subaru column may also be an option.

    My column holding/alignment method is patented.

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! R8 Dream's Avatar
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    Default Steering Column

    If the intent is to fit a collapsible column, then this suggestion wont suit.
    I was aiming to reduce the lock-lock turning of the 4:1 steering box, so fitted a 1:1.5 Pro-Lite Quickener.
    The kit (from the USA) had all splines etc to work with, but did require cutting the column to suit.
    Some precision welding was also required.
    I now have 1:2.7 steering (similar to Gordini)
    This way you can keep the standard ignition key barrel and position to bolt to the dash.
    I have attached some pics below.
    Also Mecaparts sells a replacement rubber rag joint.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Unfortunately to meet NSW engineering certification requirements as Christian and I intend to do, we need to install a collapsible column. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to get the cars registered legally. I don't have the answer either, but following thread intently. My only lead previously was Alan Moore who told me he used an early BMW column in his 4CV up in QLD but couldn't remember exactly what model it was out of from memory. The shaft and uni's can't be modified and still pass certification (easily - read that as don't bother trying).

    KB
    KB


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    As Kevin has stated it's a NSW requirement. As much as I'd like to use a steering quickener I don't think I'll be able to. I did check and they are legal but there is no welding allowed, cutting a new spline is allowed but then you'll need to find a short collapsible column. As far as I can see a lot of small cars rely on there being multiple u-joints so the column folds up to collapse, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Cars like Falcons have long straight sections that can collapse, Commodores do not. Another possibility is a Subaru column, I would need to get to a wrecker and have a look at one. My issue with the Falcon column is there is no head light switch, only wipers and indicators on the column, one with everything would look neater.

    I have identified another possible u-joint from a Camry, I didn't know where to look for this one when I was at the wrecker last, it's in the intermediate shaft, I'm attempting to chase one down.

    I have thought the ignition barrel in the dash is an option, you just don't get a steering lock, not the end of the world.

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    COL
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    Have you fellas thought about a steering column from an R12, they have a uni joint at the bottom and also have the ignition key and all the switch gear on the column.
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    Regards Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Have you fellas thought about a steering column from an R12, they have a uni joint at the bottom and also have the ignition key and all the switch gear on the column.
    Is the R12 column collapsible? Does anyone know the length? Or have a picture of one.

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    hi Christian,
    I seemto remember doing a dauphine 1.4 conversion in my workshop about twenty years ago and used late Peugeot 504 column and switches etc.and also wiper motor,just a thought... jim

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    My 4CV has an E21 BMW steering column, (approx 1982) with all the switch gear in place onto an R10 steering rack. The rubber disc that is fitted to the R10 rack has the same bolt centres as the BMW one. Length worked out well in the case of the 4CV. The hole in the floor for the original column, which I think was 30mm, was the same diameter as the BMW outer sheath on its steering column. It did just simply slot straight in with only a top mount needed to sort to secure it in place. As I remember it, I did just make a simple bracket that connected to the original top mounting bolts of the column and onto the underside of the dash.

    I just read that you found a BMW column hard to get. I haven't been there for a while, but it is possible Eagle Wrecking at Stapylton in QLD near Beeneigh would have an E21 or two lying around.
    Last edited by alan moore; 10th August 2016 at 10:20 PM.
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  9. #9
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    The bmw columns I looked at didn't look like they had a collapsible upper section, but looked like they relied on the lower shaft collapsing .

    Does the dauphine have the same length column as a R10?

    Has anyone got a 504 column they can take a photo off and measure the length?

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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Without looking at mine more closely I think it had the bottom shaft inside a top sleeve with small welds on it that break to allow the one shaft to slide up inside the other. Or it has an extruded metal section main shaft inside the outer tube that crushed. It is definately a collapsible column, as of course it had to be to pass ADRs at the time, but I looked at so many back then I have forgotten what it had. It has been nearly 20 years since I installed it.


    ADR 10A collapsible steering columns was introduced in January 1971. What year of ADRs do you have to comply to compliance your mods?
    '56 Renault 750 (16TS Power)
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    Last time I was at dapto I didn't grab the bmw column as I would have needed a saw to get it out, which I didn't have. Next time, unless someone beats me to it. It also is missing the controls.

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    Alan,
    The primary document for assessment initially is VSI 6 (Vehicle Standards Information) which is a NSW document that determines if a modified vehicle requires engineering certification or not; much like your "Mod plate" in QLD as I understand it. Once a vehicle is deemed to require certification (as will c.lees and mine), they then have to meet VSB 14 which is a national code. A vehicle requiring certification must then meet ADRs (even if old enough to not originally require compliance to them). There is a reference to Schedule 2 of the Road Transport regulation of 2007 which includes compliance to "the applicable ADRs" it doesn't specify year for those ADRs that I can see, but the guy I intend going through certification with specified an unmodified collapsible steering column that cannot be cut, shortened or welded to meet his requirements.
    KB


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    It looks like a BMW column from a E21, E30, E36, E46, basically any 318 with a fixed column looks to be the same. Now to find a cheap one.

    Which engineer are you using Kevin? The guy I've spoken to has also given me some pointers on brakes.

  14. #14
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    Not a formal contract as yet, but Ben Ruggles from BRM at Chipping Norton. I've known Ben for around 30 yrs so its' all been verbal up until now (I'm still a fair way off). Brakes wise, I'm going to try to replicate BrettR's setup on the front; and R8Dream's for the rear. Ben will do a plate test on the system as part of the certification. I just need to be careful how the hubs and discs mount to ensure they are not unduly modified beyond what he can certify under relevant VSB subsections. He also kyboshed welding on reinforcement plates onto the upper and lower control arms or steering arms a la Mecaparts and BrettR's mods, as that then raises the questions of metal testing and qualifications of the welder.

    We should plan a weekend where I come over or vice versa, pick up those shocks and show you my notes re certification.
    KB


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    Sound like a plan. It's a good thing I have another set of upper A arms that are unmodified, will just need to clean them up. I should have checked that one before I did it, I assumed it would be ok as Brett managed to get it done.

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    leave it standard, register it , then fit whatever you want...? Cut the original column as far up as you can and make up a new shaft using square section tubing - one a tight fit in the other.

    The rack is a long way out front, you'll be wanting a hell of a lot more "collapsability" than is offered by most factory columns.

    Make it neat enough and no inspector will notice or care.

    If you're that interested in the crash "safety" of an R10, don't forget to seriously beef up the dash mounting structure to keep the steering wheel reasonably in place as the front comes in and your collapsable column hopefully collapses.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon View Post
    leave it standard, register it , then fit whatever you want...? Cut the original column as far up as you can and make up a new shaft using square section tubing - one a tight fit in the other.

    The rack is a long way out front, you'll be wanting a hell of a lot more "collapsability" than is offered by most factory columns.

    Make it neat enough and no inspector will notice or care.

    If you're that interested in the crash "safety" of an R10, don't forget to seriously beef up the dash mounting structure to keep the steering wheel reasonably in place as the front comes in and your collapsable column hopefully collapses.
    Wise words regarding safe versus legal in the event of a crash, but some of us would rather not wait til then to discover we are unregistered and uninsured due to our unapproved modifications. Even if it is as we are being carted off to the morgue.
    KB


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    You could kill two birds with one stone and fit a quickener and an electronic steering column from a Holden Barina.

    They are a popular conversion in the UK on rally cars and you can have your nice quick rack and adjustable power steering. The bit under the rubber bellows is the collapsible bit, which may suit your purposes well.

    You can remove the lower shaft at the uni and it very short.

    Might be an option?

    Last edited by mistareno; 11th August 2016 at 03:07 PM.
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  19. #19
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    An update on a bmw column, from my research the e30 column should have been very similar to the e21. Well if it is then the e21 also won't work. Trouble is its not actually collapsible, it must rely on the next shaft bending out of the way.

    I took the e30 shaft apart to check its construction. The Inner shaft looks pretty solid to me. $160 failed purchase, it did come with the controls.

    Back to the drawing board. The Falcon shaft is still looking viable, just need a lower shaft from a Camry as it has a uni rag joint which may be short enough.



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    For what it's worth (perhaps nothing in this particular context) my R8 initially had a combination of R12 & R16 shafts which gave it a Hooke joint in the middle but that perhaps doesn't count as collapsible.

    As far as I know, R8/R10 steering is 3.7 (4CV/Dauphine is 4.2) so the 1.5:1 quickener gives a bit under 2.5. I now have a Prolite one as above-mentioned on each of the R8 & 4CVG. It's quite noticeably quicker than the R8G 3.3 ratio (which I have on my Djet). In my view, it's a wonderful conversion. My 4CVG is, as some might know, rather extensively modified but if I had to pick the modification which has added most to my driving pleasure, then it would be the quick steering. It is delicious at the limit of adhesion.

    If there's any way at all of getting it approved, then I'd suggest that. It has the merit over an R8G rack of not only being quicker but involving a steering rack that is actually available in right hand drive from the nearest R10 corpse if ever another one was needed.

    Basically, the kit involves the quickener itself (basically a housing with two mini shafts: one with an internal toothed ring & the other an external toothed pinion with the relative diameters giving the reduction) & two couplers. One coupler contains a Hooke joint, one doesn't. Each is splined to fit the quickener's shaft ends & has a steering column receiving tube at the other end. The couplers are secured to the shaft by a pinch screw. (Mind you, mine were welded to the shaft as well by decision of the engineer I had fit it - one of the state's conversion approval engineers).

    It's a neat conversion (neater on the R8 than on the 4CVG where it was fiddlier working out just where to mount it).

    An eBay supplier is:

    NEW 1 5 1 Aluminum Quick Steer Steering Quickener KIT | eBay

    A picture of mine in situ in the R8 is below.

    Collapsible steering column, R10-img_1726.jpg

    cheers! Peter

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    I am very sorry that I have led you astray. I admit I fitted the BMW E21 steering column complete without looking at the internals of it, and as it was from a compliant vehicle and unmodified to fit it was deemed to be acceptable by the compliance engineer. As I said I expected it would be like the other steering columns I had pulled apart, having a sleeve inside another.

    After looking at RealOEM I have found that the E21 is similar to the E30 having two uni joints and an offset shaft to give the collapsibility. When I got my E21 column it was lying on the ground with the uni joint section removed and so did not realise this was where BMW made the column "collapsible" or that it even had uni joints beyond the lower section of the column as I was a 2002 person. ( a car with a box not rack) My mate was going to dump the column so I joyfully took it. So after all these years I have only just found that I don't actually have a collapsible column like I thought.

    Perhaps a BMW 2002 column might be right for you, as it is straight, with a rag joint at the bottom going directly onto the steering box, built at a time (up to '76) when they had to be compliant. I will investigate the one in the wreck in the yard, but it is a pre '73 car, maybe a '70 and may not have have a compliant column.
    Last edited by alan moore; 21st August 2016 at 01:20 AM. Reason: More and changed info
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    All very interesting. Had you considered getting the rack modified internally with one of Mecaparts higher ratio pinions? Although they are LHD kits they can be fitted to RHD with a bit of cunning. PM me for details if you aren't familiar.

    I agree completely with 4cvg's comments about having quicker steering on the R8.

    Good luck with the ongoing collapsible column matter!

    Cheers
    JohnW

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  23. #23
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    I've done some more looking and measuring. What I was looking for was a universal to rag joint coupler like the BMW one but in a common spline type, the BMW one is a bit strange. I though I had found one at a wrecker from a Subaru but it didn't fit onto my Falcon column, looked a touch too small. In hindsight it may have been keyed at that is why it wouldn't go on, which means I may need to to go take another look unless someone here has a dismantled Subaru and can check for me.

    Here is what I know so far.

    Stock R10 column from top of the wheel spline to rag joint, ~780mm.
    Falcon column fully extended top of wheel flats to bottom of lower spline ~760mm
    Falcon column with shortest rag joint adapter installed ~775mm

    Now this looks like it will work, here is the problem. Yes, I can space the rag joint out and change the bolt PCD in doing so but if I am to do the conversion to the rack that BrettR did then the pinion in the rack will exit at a different angle. Rag joints are for soaking up vibration, not changing angle so it won't last long. Also I'd have to get it pretty close to dead on straight, that's not unachievable, the original mounting is pretty lose so I don't think Renault was too concerned.

    With my current collection of universal joints the Falcon column comes out at 870mm with the rag adapter on the end, 90mm too long. The column collapses 130mm but it is unclear from the design rules what actually needs to happen. The rules state vertical movement so it may need to collapse enough to slide out of it bolts to be able to drop, to be able to drop you'll need a universal joint. If this is the case then I can't just make a rag adapter anyway. I'll have to get this clarified.

    If it only needs to collapse to clear the bolts then I can push it together a bit to make it the correct length.

    Section 5.6, Steering columns
    Replace subsection 5.6.1 with:5.6.1

    All replica Street Rods and other Street Rods whose the steering column is modified or replaced must be fitted with a collapsible steering column. The steering column angle must not be less than 30º from the vertical; vertical columns must not be fitted. The inner and outer shafts of the steering column must be capable of a minimum vertical displacement of at least 125mm (5 inches).The columns must be fixed to the StreetRod under the dash, and must incorporate a breakaway/sliding system.

  24. #24
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    The plot thickens, according to VSB14 section 4.20
    Couplings designed for use on power steering vehicles only, are not to be used on manual steering vehicles;
    This means that I can't use u-joints from pretty much any modern car.

    4.22 Steering Columns

    Steering columns must be selected and installed as follows:
     Steering column assemblies should be sourced from a vehicle of similar mass and specification as the vehicle being modified and, where ADR 10 applies, the column must have the design features and be suitably mounted to achieve this;
     Steering column shafts may be machined to accept revised splines;
     If it is necessary to weld an alternative coupling flange to the lower end of the steering column shaft, both the shaft and flange materials must be suitable for the welding process used and successfully undergo appropriate non-destructive testing;
     The modified steering column must achieve the torsional strength to withstand an applied torque of 200Nm;
     All steering column shafts must be adequately supported, particularly where universal joints are used;
     Angles on universal joints in multi-column assemblies (sometimes fitted to clear other components) must not be greater than the universal joint manufacturer’s specifications.Generally, the maximum angle is 30 to avoid excessive stress on the unit; and Flexible couplings within steering column systems, otherwise known as rag, fabric or rubber steering dampers, must not be used for direction change in the steering column shaft. Any change of direction must be made by the use of suitable steel universal or constant velocity joints.
    So to use a universal joint it'll need to be one made for the application which is going to cost $$$ if I can find something suitable. It looks as you can weld the bottom part but it will need to be tested, that sounds like it's not with the pain.

    To get around the steering ratio/pinion mod/exit angle problem I could look into getting one cut that exits at the correct angle, how much could gear cutting in China possibly cost.

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts bowie's Avatar
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    Geees they make things difficult for you up there

    Say you did. and just ensure you have a "set car on fire switch" if you ever wreck it and need to make it difficult to inspect.

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