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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 96 4wd Dakota and need a new steering shaft as the u joint is binding/seizing. Long ago discontinued,
Don't see any aftermarket except maybe borgenson.
Anyone have one laying around or know of one from something else that fits and is available?
Being 4wd it doesn't have a rack and pinion, it has a conventional gearbox
(Which I wish they would have put on to the 2wds too)
Truck has 226k on it, it will die with me. Running it into the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tilt. I didn't think that meant anything once you got past the main column and into the intermediate shaft.

I saw that over there, you had replied to my post over there /but thought I'd find some "new blood" so to speak over here.

and I need to take it apart and see what the spline count is... IDK if 2wd nd 4wd are the same since one uses a rack while the other is a conventional gearbox. (which I truly wish that ALL Dakotas and Durangos still had)

I need to get back on my slant 6 build in my 85 1/2 ton.... everything much simpler on that. and more room.
 

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1988 Dodge Dakota LWB RC 3.9V6 3 speed auto
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3/4-36 spline both ends.

Yah, the tilt uses a 3/4-36 spline at the bottom of the column where the intermediate shaft connects; the non-tilt, well, the yoke for the upper U-joint is bradded to the end of the upper column shaft.. That's because the tilt is a Saginaw design; the non-tilt, a Mopar design. (That's why none of the parts except steering wheel swapped for several years.)

I'd get a longer shaft, then trim it to fit, since the overall length MAY be different 2WD/4WD due to 4WD using the old recirc-ball design and the 2WD using the superior rack and pinion design (superior in reducing play and simplifying the front suspension, anyway!)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yeah that's what they say about rack systems, about less parts etc.... but Ive had 3 or 4 2wd square bodys and this is the only 4wd Dakota I have had... and I was an alignment guy for nearly 20 years ending in 2005. but as soon as I drove the 4wd, when I 1st got it, I couldn't believe the difference in "road feel"... before these Ujoints got stiff, anyways. and Dodge trucks have always had the turning radius of "suck" and it seems that the rack equipped ones were no better. in my old 93-down 1/2 tons, seems they took more space than shoulder to shoulder on a typical 2 lane to do a U turn w/o doing a 3 point or going well on the shoulder or partly into the ditch.... and the Dakotas (same wheelbase as a reg cab longbed D/W series truck, at least in long bed or club cab forms) though narrower than the D/W, didn't seem to be as much better in that dept as would be expected.
 

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1988 Dodge Dakota LWB RC 3.9V6 3 speed auto
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I dunno; we may have agree to disagree. This may also be a "carb vis EFI" type thing; the things you see as strengths may be what I really don't like and vice versa ;) .

See, I don't like having a half dozen moving parts when one will do the job (pitman, idler, and drag link vis the rack itself); I don't like how the recirc balls seem to always need to be adjusted; and I don't confuse turning radius with gear box choice. (My 1991 Cougar with the R&P has a smaller turning radius, with a longer wheelbase, than does a Foxbody Mustang ... due to OTHER factors in the front end design!)

Add to that it's easier to fix bump steer on a R&P design for those that like to play with lifting or dropping their vehicles ...

The fact that I have maybe - MAYBE - 1/4" of play after over 140,000 miles (and one swap of tie rod ends!) on my Dakota might affect that some, though; the recirc ball designs always seem to be a bit looser than the Cougar or Dakota is.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #9
With the body style change I didn't think that 96-97 would be the same as each other
 

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That is correct 97 was the the first year of the new body still, thought I was 98.
So far have not found part # for 96.
Good luck, Daddyododge
 
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