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Old 06-03-2016, 06:02 PM   #1
DaddyOh
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Drag Link Clearance

Doing some changes on a 65 and was wondering about drag link clearance issues. After mocking everything up... and placing steering (pitman arm) in a fore/aft neutral position, the drag link clears the crossmember by 1/16" +/-. Once steering is initiated, the pitman and idler arm move, causing drag link to move away from crossmember. Since I do not have anything to compare to, what is the center/neutral clearance of the drag link on these things?

Thanks for any info


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Old 06-03-2016, 07:09 PM   #2
Bret B
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

I ran into the exact same issue with my center link. When the center link is installed, and torqued in place, the clearance is only about 1/8" ~ 1/4". At first, my center link would make contact with the cross member. It wasn't till a nice old guy walking past said to install it completely, and the clearance would be fine. Sure enough, I ended up with enough clearance. So, if you haven't put the final torque and seated the center link on the idler and pitman, try it out, your clearance will likely increase slightly.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Thanks Bret, everything is only finger tight so it can be pulled for powdercoat, so tightening everything up might just solve the issue. Have ran into multiple issues concerning 'attention to detail' from vendor parts...wanted to get input before sending to powder.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:43 PM   #4
Bret B
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

No worries, hope it helps. You can do a search with my name and it will show you what I was running into. I had a few issues with "kits" I bought (looks the exact same as yours) and have not been overly impressed with fit/finish. The instructions were less than desirable as well...Oh well, live, learn, do, and move on.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:46 PM   #5
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

do you just have spacers welded on behind the steering box mounting holes?
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:40 AM   #6
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

It is the Capt Fab bracket for the power steering box... I just welded it on. So far, it is one of the few items bought that actually fits, has accurate hardware and comes with literate instructions.... can't say the same for most the other stuff purchased.

There is a serious lack of detail in the 60-66 vendor supply chain... at least some, like Capt Fab get it.
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:51 AM   #7
SIXT8LOU
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaddyOh View Post
Doing some changes on a 65 and was wondering about drag link clearance issues. After mocking everything up... and placing steering (pitman arm) in a fore/aft neutral position, the drag link clears the crossmember by 1/16" +/-. Once steering is initiated, the pitman and idler arm move, causing drag link to move away from crossmember. Since I do not have anything to compare to, what is the center/neutral clearance of the drag link on these things?

Thanks for any info


hello, what was the outcome with the draglink hitting the crossmember/ i know this is a old thread but i just came across the same problem with my truck. i have all the bolts tight but no cotter pins yet an no torque on them either, any help much appreciated. thanks
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

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Originally Posted by SIXT8LOU View Post
hello, what was the outcome with the draglink hitting the crossmember/ i know this is a old thread but i just came across the same problem with my truck. i have all the bolts tight but no cotter pins yet an no torque on them either, any help much appreciated. thanks
As Bret said above, tighten everything up and it will net some clearance.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:15 AM   #9
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

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Originally Posted by racecougar View Post
As Bret said above, tighten everything up and it will net some clearance.
thanks will give a try!
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:09 PM   #10
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

A bit of a thread revival....

I have a clearance issue on my 64. One of the POs did the PS install more or less properly and drove around despite a rubbing center link. This is an issue I definitely want to solve.

I attached some photos of the conversion. Any ideas what would be the best/easiest way to increase clearance, besides bending the center link...?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:08 PM   #11
nsb29
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Looks to me like you need to order one of captains conversion what you have there is going to damage your frame if it hasn't already
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:21 PM   #12
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Yup you need a Captnfab mount for your box. That may solve all your issues. The pictures of the pitman arm look fine. That is as far as they pull up. You may want to also check what they did on the other side with the idler arm.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:34 AM   #13
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Thanks for your replies.

As far as I can tell, the passanger side seems to be ok (see below). It looks like the PO used decent parts for the conversion, but (unfortunately) he cut some corners. Not only with the power steering...

My definition of safe modification and proper restoration/fabrication is clearly different.

No can do. The crossmember has some damage (third pic), but it doesn't seem to be too bad. Luckily, GM used pretty thick steel.

Captainfab's adapter looks interesting. How can I tell if it fits the steering box on my truck? I'm kind of worried drilling even more holes through the frame, though. Mine isn't nearly as clean (see previous post) as the one shown on the fourth photo...
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:58 PM   #14
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

My steering box adapter plates are designed to work with all '68-'86 C series and '87-'91 R series steering boxes. Your steering box falls within those parameters. However I see that the lower forward threaded hole is the steering box may have been drilled out, meaning that the bolts that I supply with the plate will not be long enough for that one location.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:44 AM   #15
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

It has a 1/4X20 screw in that location so may not of gotten drilled. May need a tap run through it though.
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Old 01-20-2018, 12:33 PM   #16
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Took the whole box out. As you can see, the PO did a really professional job. The damn frame looks like swiss cheese...

I did a quick mock-up; need to lift it about one centimeter / a half inch to sort the clearance issue. However, I guess some of the holes must be filled first, before I drill new ones. *sigh*

At least the four holes on the box have thread. Anyone know which thread size they have? 7/16-20 perhaps?
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Last edited by nibulus; 01-20-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:21 AM   #17
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

The steering box hole threads are 7/16"-14.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:40 PM   #18
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Re: Drag Link Clearance

Thanks for the info Captainfab.

Now something else: is there a way to figure out if I have '64 or '71-72 tie rod ends?

I've got a later model (aftermarket?) power steering and a 71-72 disc brake conversion.

My tie rod ends are really stiff, so I guess they need to be replaced...or is there perhaps some cheaper/easier way to get them smoother?
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