After seeing an Astro van in a junkyard, and noticing it uses two universal joints in it's steering shaft, I got the idea that it might be able to be used in the Monte. Turns out it can, with some changes, and some machining (required). The upper shaft came from a 1970 Monte Carlo, only because it was long enough to reach the short u-joint assy.
The Astro u-joint also has a rubber isolator built into it, so there is still some reduction of vibration, but it is much tighter than the stock fabric disc.
Here's what the u-joint looks like attached to the steering box. Man, where did all that corrosion come from? The camera really sees more than I do ;)
You can see the whole shaft in there somewhere. The stock pot joint was retained, but the original rubber boot on the '70 Monte upper shaft was in great shape, and is a better design than the later versions. Fit just perfect.
GM should have used these, but we all know how cheap they were with these cars. It's nice to be able to just slightly move the steering wheel to keep the car on track. I didn't notice any increase in noise or harshness, just a lot better feel of what the tires are doing!
The hardest part was the shaft orientation. The u-joint puts the upper shaft 90 degrees from stock. I had a friend (Tony Ortiz) remove and reinstall the pin that fits the pot joint 90 degrees. It is a precision press fit, so a good machinist will be needed. Otherwise, it just slides in like the stock one.
page made 04-14-2002 by Jeff Davidson