Trying to install my Borgeson steering shaft. The bottom went on fine, the top splined shaft doesn't appear to stick out of the column far enough to get the shaft on properly. The column appears to be a 2 piece design, can this be adjusted by loosening the 2 lower pinch bolts on the column under the dash and slide the lower tube into the upper about 1/2 inch for adequate shaft length? Thanks for your time, Mike.
It may be possible to lower the column (including the spline shaft) a little as you described, but not much (certainly not half an inch as you described). I'm not familiar with the Borgeson shafts, but all the intermediate steering shafts I've seen are a telescopic design that is meant to collapse in an accident. Are you sure that your shaft is extended as far as it will go (they can be stiff/difficult to extend/collapse)? How does the overall length of the new shaft compare to the old one?
It's possible your new shaft is partially collapsed (this can happen during shipping). If it is any shorter than the original shaft, try pulling on the ends to extend it fully. This may allow you to reach the spline shaft.
Sometimes the steering shaft gets sloppy over the years, and it will actually move up and down inside the column housing. It's not supposed to do that, but it does, especially on tilt columns. If the column has ever been set down on the ground with the splines on the floor it could shove the shaft up inside the column. Try grabbing the splined end and pulling it downward while jiggling it. Is the steering wheel still on it?
You will not be able to move the column at the bracket.
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I'd also recommend replacing the lower column bearing if you haven't already. You've already done the hard work by removing the intermediate shaft. You may as well replace it while you're in there. The bearing is known to fail due to rust. It's an inexpensive part which can help get rid of some of the slop in your steering.
Just had another thought... Do you know if the steering box has been moved forward? People sometimes do this when making suspension or drivetrain modifications. If it has been moved, you may need a longer than stock steering shaft.
Thanks for the advice and yes I replaced the bushing and the bearing. Any ideas on how to get the shaft to move down without messing up the teeth on the spline? It's been like this for a while because the previous owner had the old shaft clamp barely on the spline also. And no the steering box has not been moved forward. The steering shaft is long enough to reach. I just don't have enough shaft sticking out of the column. Thanks, Mike
Only thing I can think of would be to pullout the lower column bearing and see if you can get some channel locks up in to the hole far enough to grab the shaft above the splines where the bearing would normally seal (also spray some PB Blast up in the hole around the shaft). Have someone turn the wheel a little while you pull. Also, if it's a tilt column, it may help to set it so the upper column with the wheel is in-line with the lower column.
Might also try attaching the upper section of the intermediate shaft before the lower end (at least gravity would be working with you when you are trying to make ends meet).
May help if you could snap a couple of pictures where the spline shaft is sticking out (or not sticking out as it were).