'66 300 Rag Joint. "am I the crazy one?"


Oct 23, 2020
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Kingman, AZ
I'm NOT making a rag joint out of a hockey puck. I'd rather not stack up VW parts either. I'd expect that even the $200 NOS ones have been sitting so long that they rubber would crack and crumble almost immediately too. Does anyone have a non-jury rig solution to this mystery? I never would have predicted this would be a tough one! I cannot find a by-application rag joint or repair kit other than NOS. I cannot and would not use the solid aluminum one offered by Bouchillon, as my steering shaft has to flex a little at that joint as it makes a slight bend there.
Thanks for quick reply. I'm finding Dorman 32002 sometimes looks like an assembled joint with splined end and some just have the disc with trapezoid washers. Many (I'm on ebay) don't have pics. I'm pretty sure the assembly (if that's what I receive) could be disassembled and stacked right? Are the splines the same?
Granted, this is not something I have any personal experience needing or buying. However, a quick check of the parts manual shows the same part number for A, B & C bodies. Check the A & B sites maybe?
You guys have been great. The Rover part really looks good (I like the metal inserts that will lend positive connection in event of total rubber failure...) but I went ahead and ordered two of the Dorman 31002's and hope to make them work.
Wally World had them for like 9 bucks each delivered, and the picture looks like they're real fiber-infused rubber like the old rag joints that virtually never failed for 50 years.
Hi Fellas,
Just out of Curiosity, Has Anyone ever tried making one out of Nolathane?
The Way I figure it, If Nolathane is tough enough to make Suspension Bushes out of, Then It Should be tough enough to be O.K. for this.
I can't see that much Load / Strain, especially with Power Steering !
There are Many Grades / Toughness of Nolathane.
Just a Thought, I will Happily be Told I'm Wrong, But Give me Reasons.
My Humble Opinion is that we should Work this Through as we are All Going to Need a Solution Sooner or Later.
Regards, Tony.M
Nolathane might well be tough enough for suspension bushings, but if those suspension bushings might fracture or similar, they will not become quite as much of a safety concern as that material might be if it had to do with the steering of the vehicle.

The rag joint materials also have some noise/vibration absorption properties, as well as being forgiving for slight mis-alignments, too.

Just some thoughts,
Can anyone else pull the heat shield off their C body (close to '66 as possible) and see how much angle there is there? Mine has like 5 degrees. I don't see any way it could be different and still make it's way to the steering box. Pic is of mine so you can
see the angle.
CBODY67 Forgive Me,
But has Anyone ever measured the "PULL" it takes to turn a Power Steering Wheel.
I Don't Know about American P/S But I have Spent my Life One Finger Parking RHD C Body Dodges.
The Only Complaints I have ever heard were from Other Brand Owners saying it was "TOO LIGHT"
Well, I'm Happy !
I Love being able to Swing a "TANK" around easier than the Little Mazda 626 I have for a Daily.
What I'm saying is that I can't really see the Nolathane "wearing" with the Light Load it would have to handle.
And with Normal Maintenance Checks any wear should be easily & earlyly( I'm sure that's Not a Word But You Get My Point) Detected.
Again, I will Happily be Told I'm Wrong, But Give me Reasons.
I Agree Entirely with the Idea of the Rag Joint if a Satisfactory Substitute / Replacement can be Found.
But Again Please Publicize the Results, They may Not be Suitable for my Application, But it gives Me a Starting Point.
The Vehicle I'm Rebuilding has been sitting 16 Years so I am "Reco-ing" Everything I can Think of.
Sounds Expensive ? Your Darn Tooting it is, BUT I figure 1) It's Better to be Safe & 2) It will Cost More for the Towing Home of a "Broken Vehicle"
I am Rebuilding M/Cyl, Booster, P/S Box, P/S Pump, New Hoses, New Radiator, Brakes Wh/Cyl Seals, New Wheel Bearings.
Fitting Deep Engine Sump, Deep Trans Sump, Trans Cooler, G/Vendors & True Trac W / 3.73 Gears.
I have Purchased All New Suspension Components Etc. Alternator should be O.K. (200 Amp Police Unit)
Wiper Motor has me Scratching.
Can Anyone Think of Anything Else to "Do' Sooner rather Than Later.
I Love Reading about the Different things you Fellas do it Helps me along the Way.
Regards Tony.M
The rag joint is a semi-flexible coupling which might absorb many smaller road shocks before they get to the steering wheel. Possibly even working as a damper for other harmonics in the process.

The poly material with time and heat exposure might work for a while, but could possibly fracture in a similar environment. Which is probably why Mancini sells an aluminum one instead. As noted, if the poly suddenly fractures and separates, steering control could be greatly compromised, much worse that if a suspension bushing might do similar. The failed suspension bushins would still somewhat contain the item which pivots on that failed bushing. Not so for a steering column/steering gear interface, I suspect.

I have used polyurethan sway bar link bolt bushings for decades on my '77 Camaro's front sway bar. I've also had to replace them several times when some failed and "went somewhere".

It's not about the torque the rag joint might see, it's the continued road shocks which might deteriorate it over time. Not to forget its generally close proximity to engine-produced heat. Continued heat from the radiator and other items which tend to also exit the underhood area near the rag joint. Any material in a rag joint would need to be "forgiving" and "durable" in nature.

Just some thoughts,
Make sure with whatever choice of substitution one makes, or factory part replacement, that you DO NOT ditch the heat shield. It's there for a reason. Yes, it's a PITA to remove, but the heat from your exhaust manifold will quickly cook whatever one has in there if the shield is not in place.