What power drill for this?


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Old 03-17-24, 11:48 AM
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What power drill for this?

This is a steering shaft U-Joint. It's made of steel. But I don't know what grade of steel. I want to drill a hole through the 1/4 inch thick walls of the diameter near the bore entrance. The plan is to insert a cotter pin or similar through the holes. I'm thinking my 7 amp power drill doesn't have enough power.....correct?

If needed, what would be cheaper? $45 all day drill press rental? Or pay labor to a metalworker?



 
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Old 03-17-24, 02:24 PM
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Any corded or cordless drill should be able to drill through the steel. You just need to make sure to have a good drill bit. I really like Cobalt drill bits as they cut very wall and stay sharp for a long time. It is also a good idea to put cutting oil on the bit while drilling.
 
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Old 03-17-24, 04:33 PM
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Hmm........I'm surprised my power drill will handle that. I got both carbide and cobalt drill bits still in the package.
Will it take a long time to penetrate 1/4 inch?
 
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Old 03-17-24, 04:47 PM
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Drilling a hole on a shape in the photo using a hand held drill is difficult.A small metal vise helps in holding round shapes. Have you considered buying a bench top drill press instead of renting one? You will find many more uses one you have one. Since the U joint already has a tapped hole to engage the shaft on a flat, just drill (diameter same as screw) a 1/8 inch deep hole in the shaft located where the screw contacts the shaft flat. Using a longer screw will prevent the shaft and U joint from disengaging. Use can also add a nut on the longer screw before inserting and then turn it to lock the screw in the U joint.
 
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Old 03-17-24, 11:35 PM
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I wanted to save you guys the trouble of reading over the technical background of this, But since Bob offered a suggestion, here are all the facts.

They don't make the lower steering shaft for my make/model anymore.

First of all, the new steering shaft fits. I briefly installed it in the engine bay.
They sell you a 27 inch collapsible shaft, which I cut down to the desired length. The U-Joints you see at both ends are separate parts you buy.

You compress the shaft inward to make it easier to install and remove. When I say shaft...it's really a 2-piece shaft.
There is an inner shaft with flat tension spring which inserts into another tubular shaft. This is how you get the telescoping effect. When you collapse the shaft inward there is a little bead inside the tube that restricts the telescoping movement after a certain distance, when it hits the end of the recessed groove.

Here is the problem. See that wider section of shaft? That is the tubular shaft. See those set screws?
On the left side U-Joint, I'm supposed to drill a hole through the tube. Then the set screw bears against the inside wall of the tube to keep the U-Joint from moving or sliding down the shaft. There is not enough room for the set screw, because that inner compressible shaft won't retract any further and is in the way.

This is why I was thinking of drilling that new hole because there is a little room left at the end of the tube to
insert an additional set screw (or cotter pin) as prescribed by the manufacturer.

By the way......those included set screws come with jam lock nuts (not pictured) I did notice those set screws do a surprisingly good job of anchoring those U-Joints in place. The set screws seem to bite into the surface of the shaft.
There are 3 set screws for each U-Joint.

I can't weld on the U-Joints because if I ever need to remove the steering shaft, I need to loosen the screws and slide the U-Joints inward. This steering shaft I made is ready to use.

I just need to add the 'fail safe' part. The best solutions I can think of is that last drill hole and interlocking U-Bolts
might work too.

I didn't know you can get a drill press for just under $100. Yes.....I will seriously consider purchasing one.

Here is the lower steering shaft.






 
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Old 03-17-24, 11:41 PM
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Hey Bob,
There is something in your response I need clarification on. I'll ask tomorrow. Thanks guys.
 
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Old 03-18-24, 10:03 AM
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Bob,

If I am understanding correctly, you're saying to drill 1/8 inch shallow 'dimples' in the shaft surface to help the set screws bite down? I was actually thinking of doing this in advance.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say, Using a longer screw will prevent the shaft and U joint from disengaging. I can't drill all the way through at the pre-drilled hole positions because it would obstruct the movement of telescoping inner shaft with flat spring. That's why I was thinking of drilling that new hole at the hole and inserting a cotter pin


 
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Old 03-18-24, 11:55 AM
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First, I assumed the steering shaft was solid, not tubular, but I think my approach would still work with a small change. There should be no problem at the U joint on the small diameter end of the steering shaft because there is no telescoping interference. To make sure this works on the other U point, you need to get a dog point set screw the same diameter and pitch as the existing screws. Length should be long enough to add jam nut after installed. Dog point set screws have a tip with a diameter smaller than the screw to engage a groove in a shaft. I am assuming the three shaft securing screws on the U joints are 90 degrees apart with the center one facing flat on shaft. With the u joint on the large end of shaft, mark location of set screw hole on the flat of the shaft. After center punching the mark, drill (diameter of dog point) hole through one side only. With shaft in U joint, thread in dog point set screw until it contacts flat on shaft. If dog point interferes with telescoping, grind/file dog point shorter but not less than thickness of shaft wall. The U joint on the small end of shaft can be attached the same as the large end of shaft or the hole in the flat of shaft can be diameter of regular screw.
 
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Old 03-18-24, 12:16 PM
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Interesting.............You definitely have my attention.
Let me look at the steering shaft assembly tonight after work before I respond.
 
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Old 03-18-24, 06:05 PM
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I got both carbide and cobalt drill bits still in the package.
Carbide-tipped bits are typically used for masonry, brick, or concrete. Go with the cobalt bit.
 
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Old 03-18-24, 11:52 PM
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Yeah. I believe what Bob is suggesting can be done. Those dog point set screws appear to be specialty items which might be hard to find at a local big box store. By the way, the wall of the hollow tube is 1/8 inch thick.

This is a lower end drill press. Can I accomplish much with this model specifications? Doesn't seem to have a lot of power.

https://www.harborfreight.com/10-in-...ght-58782.html
 

Last edited by bluesbreaker; 03-19-24 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 03-19-24, 07:29 AM
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Ok. I'll try the cobalt drill bit first when the time comes.
 
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Old 03-19-24, 08:06 AM
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Drilling, especially at this small size, is not about power. Horsepower becomes an issue when drilling larger diameter holes, but you are far from that. A drill press might can the job easier and more accurate but it's not necessary. A drill press can also be handy when tapping holes.
 
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Old 03-19-24, 11:58 AM
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Ok. I'll start looking around for what I need to finish this. Like I said, the thing is just about ready to install
except for adding the safety feature.
 
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Old 03-21-24, 08:32 AM
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I ordered 5/16-18 dog point set screws off the Internet. I might buy that $169 drill press. Undecided.
 
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Old 04-01-24, 11:55 PM
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I got the dog point sets screws. I ordered a Skil brand drill press off Amazon. But it's not due for delivery until
later this month. It's the only deal I could get $50 off regular price and free shipping.
 
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Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM
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I finally finished and installed this new intermediate steering shaft. I ended up using 3 dog point set screws and 2 regular sets screws all anchored with jam nuts. Here is the picture. It works great. I'm glad to be done with that rag disc setup for good. Thanks again for the advice.

 
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Old Today, 07:48 AM
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Correction. This is the lower steering shaft I replaced.
 
 

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