The steering wheel is finally connected to the front wheels.
I’ve used 4off 14x14mm stainless steel universal joints imported from China (OD28 L60). They are available for around £14 if you check the auction sites. They take a while to turn up but they seem just as good as ones I have seen for over a hundred. I’ve also used 14mm stainless tube and 2 supporting rose joints.
I’ve modified the universal joint that connects to the steering rack to have a clamp arrangement and a M8 bolt. Hopefully this should keep the IVA inspectors happy. I’ve heard of people failing the test because they have drilled the splined rack shaft, so I went for a smaller version of the standard connector.
The other joints come with a 6mm hole through them. I inserted 6.4mm roll pins into these joints. Although the universal joints were snug on the shafts, when I passed M6 bolts through them, there was still a small bit of play in the joint, however when I pressed the roll pins through, the joint became utterly solid. As a double safe, I clipped cir-clips around the joints to prevent the roll pins from ever coming out. This is going to be twice as solid as a lock bolt.
With the four universal joints in place and the shaft routed along the top chassis rail the shaft points away from the driver (just), so this should also please the inspectors. With the 4 joints the shaft should collapse anyway, going some way to improve driver safety.
All of the steering rack bolts are only finger tight, so you’d expect things to still be a little loose but when I wedged the road wheel from turning and pulled on the steering wheel harder than you’d ever do whilst steering, nothing seemed to move. If you slightly wobble the steering wheel, it is reflected without lose at the wheel. Which for such a long and complexed routed shaft, it isn’t too bad. I still wait to see what is is like when it is on it wheels.