How to install Borgeson Shaft 87-91 Ford Bronco/F150.
I tried to find a walk through or a video on installing this. I found people discussing it but no pictures and no measurements. The directions were pretty useless to me since I had a 90. The directions are impossible to follow. So, I took some pictures and measurements while doing it. This is only for 87-91 models. Don't go cutting anything before verifying fitment. There are two methods of doing this. (DISCLAIMER: Always measure to verify measurements before cutting. Don't blame me if you hack your shaft up and can't get it extended enough to make it work.) Images 8, 9, and 10 are in the second post.
Method 1:Just to cut 11" off the hollow end, drill a single hole to install the u joint back on and install. Straight forward and very quick. However, you lose about 2" or so of collapsibility. I don't personally think 2" would matter but if you sit right against the steering it could. You never know who might buy it after you. There is a one in 100 million chance that 2" might save your life. You probably have a better odds of winning the lottery. *My truck doesn't have a body lift, if yours does then I assume you would have to cut less of.
Method 2: Cut the 11" off, install the upper joint, and put it into the vehicle, extend the shaft and mark the bottom solid bar appropriately to fit the steering box, cut the solid shaft piece, install the joint on the solid piece, and rest assured that you have the maximum collapsibility.
Having said that, here is what I did.
1. Read the directions, realize the shaft can't be fitted and marked as in the directions and that they were not very helpful. ( I did fold it up and use it as an oil funnel later, so not completely useless.) If you try to follow them you end up at picture 3 with no way to proceed since the shaft is so long collapsed that it won't even come close to fitting in. Go in and tell your wife that your shaft is too big extended and weighs like 20 lbs then get back to work.
2. Remove the old shaft. It was 3/8 at the bottom and 9/16 on the top from what I recall. It old shaft came out very easy. If yours is stiff, use a prybar/extension/heavy screwdriver to slide into the joint near the steering box and use a hammer to tap it. You can also put the tip of the screwdriver on the center of the steering box shaft and use that to lever it against the u joint. (Turn your steering wheel to the point where you can take the bolts out and then lock your steering wheel. You will probably have to turn it to get the bolts out.)
3. Remove the u joint from the new shaft and extend both your old shaft and the new shaft fully out as in picture 5. The shaft goes into the u joint an inch or two on the new shaft, so lay your new u joint on the bar with that in mind. It doesn't have to be a perfect and measured mark. Don't stress over this. Mark it so you know this is fully extended. To be clear, you are marking where the shaft where it would end inside the u joint. Picture number 7 shows my mark. The one my finger is pointing to inside the parenthesis. Measure where you marked, you should be around 11" of shaft that you would be cutting off.
4. Cut it off at that mark but MAKE SURE THAT THE SHAFT IS FULLY EXTENDED WHEN YOU CUT IT OFF. You couldn't want to accidentally cut the end off the solid bar inside, right? I doubt that would be a great thing. A suggestion here, put a papertowel or something down inside the hollow part of the shaft as far as you can push it in, that way when you finish cutting you can just collapse the shaft and it will push all the metal cuttings out of there.
5. Put the u joint back on and use the short set screw to hold it in place temporarily. Tighten the long set screw so it leaves a mark. (Personally, I would make sure my set screws were all on the same sides just to make it easier to uninstall in the future. You will be cutting the solid shaft and flipping the lower u-joint so the set screw contacts solid material since there is a groove on the other side. This is in picture 6. The set screw will contact inside the groove though but is all the way tight to do so)
6. Drill a hole where the mark from the large set screw was. You only drill through one side of the shaft. Make sure you don't drill though both sides. Reinstall the U joint.
7. The shafts should roughly the same length extended now. Collapse them down completely. At this point, it would fit and work but you should be 1"-2" bigger than what the factory shaft is. You can't just cut more off of the hollow piece of shaft because if you notice, the inner shaft contacts the set screw in the u joint and that wouldn't help with the collapsing any. (Picture 4 is how far my shaft would collapse vs the original when cut to the extended length in picture 5, yours will be installed at this point on the shaft if you cut the 11" off already.) Collapsed fully, measure how much difference you have. This is how much you would need to cut off of the solid end to make them collapse to the same length.
8. Install the shaft on the truck on the column shaft.(Picture 2+8) Extend the shaft fully out at the bottom and see how much extra room you have. You should have a good amount of wiggle room. I cut 1" off the solid end and that got me real close to the original but I had to flip the u joint because I didn't want the set screw in the groove of the solid shaft) Installing it is just to verify that you won't be cutting off length that you need. Nobody wants to turn a $200 shaft into scrap, right? The point where is to mark sure if your shaft was 1" difference when you measured in step 7 that you would be making sure you have have enough room fully extended to cut 1" off.
10. Remove the shaft. Remove the lower u joint, cut the solid shaft and then reinstall the u joint. Be sure not to push the u joint too far onto the shaft. It should be like in picture 1, you want to make sure the joint can freely turn and doesn't hit the shaft. Compare the collapsed length to the original shaft's collapsed length. If you want it to collapse more than it does at this point, you need to remember that if you cut 1" from the hollow end that you would need to cut 1" from the solid end for it to collapse 1". This would lower your extended length by 2" and your collapsed length by 1".
11. Reinstall the shaft, install and tighten all the set screws on the top u joint. Install the lower, but don't tighten it yet.
12. Get in the truck, unlock the steering, and verify that the steering wheel is straight. Because the lower part of the shaft isn't indexed, you can adjust your steering wheel to make it straight if it was crooked before. Adjust it a tooth left or right at a time to make sure it is straight.
13. The lower shaft is super tight on mine and there is no way it is coming off. You could just use the set screw to hold it. It isn't going anywhere. The directions show grinding a flat spot, that's fine if you want to do that. What I did was this: I removed my set screw, used a punch to leave a mark through the hole, and then pulled the lower joint back off the steering box. I made a small indent with a drill where the mark was. No point in grinding it flat. I made it big enough that the top of the set screw went into the indent. Make sure when you mark it to do this that your u joint is installed properly as in pictures 1 and 9.
14. Double check that you tightened every set screw and their retaining nut.
15. Take it for a spin. Mine definitely made the steering feel better.
1990 Eddie Bauer Bronco 4x4. 302 with AOD. Long tube headers, new exhaust, 6" Rough Country Lift, 33" BF all terrain tires, 8.8 rear end (I think), and Dana 44 front axle.