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Intermediate Steering Shaft blues...

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87 MJ Base, originally 2WD 2.5l 4-speed, no tilt, with power steering. 1987 Parts manuals show same 2 shaft options 52001947, w/out power steering; 52001948 w/power steering for a 4.0 5-speed, so power steering seems to be the differentiator between the 2. The 1947 and 1948 are 570mm. Upper steering shaft for non-tilt columns shows 83502100 for any/ all 1987 applications, power steering or no. At least for 1987. 1986 goes down a deep rabbit hole of shaft combos.


I received a new Crown 4713943 intermediate steering shaft today. This part cross-references with OE part (don’t know- at first thought 52001947). The flat spots on the double-D end and splined end are (almost) perfectly 90* offset from each other. The old one has them maybe 80-82* offset. Uh-oh.


The flat index spot on the steering box input shaft is at 12:00, Pittman arm is perfectly straight, wheels are straight, steering wheel is straight but I don't recall if the splined steering wheel end is indexed on the upper steering shaft. Steering wheel, upper shaft and lower shaft all agree and mate to the steering box with what's there now. However, any or all of these 3 may have come from almost any other MJ/ XJ from 86-94. The column housing even may have come from something else. I suppose I may have a set of some 1986 parts (2 different parts 570mm bolt hole center to center, 580mm bolt hole center to center, each, for w/ PS and w/o PS, for a total of FOUR lower shaft options for '86). The 83502100 upper shaft matches the 570mm lower shaft, 82600223 upper fitting the 580mm lower. Crown makes a reproduction of the 83502100 upper shaft, with the same part number, and specs it for use with the 570mm lower shaft. They do NOT make the 83500223.


1986 no tilt/ floor shift option combos:

Shaft, Steering Column Upper (Item 16 in 1986 catalog)

83500223 SHAFT, Steering Column Upper With a Lower Shaft Length of 580mm (Item 24)

83502100 SHAFT, Steering Column Upper With a Lower Shaft Length of 570mm (Item 24)


Shaft, Steering Column Lower (Item 24 in 1986 catalog)

52001044 SHAFT, Steering Column Lower 580mm Between Centerline of Mounting Holes (With Power Steering)

52001045 SHAFT, Steering Column Lower 580mm Between Centerline of Mounting Holes (Without Power Steering)

52001947 SHAFT, Steering Column Lower 570mm Between Centerline of Mounting Holes (Without Power Steering)

52001948 SHAFT, Steering Column Lower 570mm Between Centerline of Mounting Holes (With Power Steering)


I'm going to go do a side by side comparison and see what I can figure out...

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  • Gojira94 changed the title to Intermediate Steering Shaft blues...

Good news about using the new shaft, whatever else is there. The steering wheel end of the upper shaft isn't indexed. I would have been willing to grind a little V there to get rid of it lol. That would have been the simple fix. Turns out I can just rotate the upper shaft, reinstall the steering wheel and go on with life.


Here's what's going on:


The shaft I have is a 52001948. It's quite different from the 1947. This one says 10 87, though my ride was built in March of 87. So whoever installed this shaft likely just slapped it in, noticed the steering wheel was crooked and re-positioned it.


IMG_6366.JPG.742e0bcdcf18ed59edb8a012529f3926.JPG   IMG_6367.JPG.0999e8008277bad13789e3a5541207bc.JPG


Here they are, side by side, Crown 4713943 bottom/ right, 52001948 top/ left:


Side by side- notice the double-D portion of the shaft is 90* different:




Steering shaft end:




Steering gear input shaft end:




Crown states its shaft is 570mm long measured between the centers of the bolt holes but measure it closer to 560mm (which doesn't present any problems). The 52001948 does measure exactly 570mm between bolt hole centers.


I'm going to conclude that my column is original, the upper shaft is a factory 38532100 unit, and the steering wheel and lower shaft were swapped out (I know the steering wheel is not original).

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With the three-spoke steering wheels, the plastic tube for the horn button contact that goes through the lock plate may not allow you to just move the steering wheel the way you want.

It was 8 years ago so my memory's a little foggy on the details, but my horn contact/turn signal cam was missing when I got my first MJ, and when I got another one and went to put the steering column back together, I had issues putting the steering wheel back on. Something about the way the horn contact, lock plate, and hole in the steering wheel lined up. For some reason I have it in my head that they would only all line up in either two or three positions, 120 or 180° out from each other, or maybe the lock plate only goes on one way and you don't have much wiggle room with where the horn contact goes through into the steering wheel... crazy thinking about how long I've had this MJ, it was early on in my ownership. Mostly I remember that I got real good at pulling and reinstalling the lock plate by the time I had everything installed correctly.

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Oh jeez, that's right, thanks. The horn contact ring locates with 2 cancelling cam nubs in the 10:00 area of the turn signal assembly and the lock plate is indexed one way. So the contact pin stem would need to need to move 8* counter-clockwise (nope) or the contact pin hole in the steering wheel would have to be elongated (absolute LAST resort). Or... break off the stem on the contact ring, attach a wire and move the application of the ground the floating pin provides through the wheel and upper steering shaft somewhere further up behind the horn pad. FML this is insane. Is this whole special steering parts arrangement clusterf__k just a big middle finger to non-tilt owners or what?

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The two-spoke steering wheels used a wire going trough the steering wheel rather than the contact pin thing. Don't know how easy it would be to rig that up to work with the three-spoke horn button tho... might be easier just to elongate the hole for the contact pin if you need to. But it wouldn't surprise me if Crown was making the shafts wrong without realizing. Worth reaching out to them at least.

But the incompatible parts for minor variations is definitely frustrating. GM stuff is definitely pretty bad for that... even into the 2000's seems like every assembly plant had its own set of parts that didn't fit with parts from the other plants, let alone making changes for different feature sets.

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Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I was kind of looking at doing the 2 spoke wire setup if possible with the 3 spoke. I have a 92 C1500 with the wire setup I can look to for reference. Same truck got an XJ steering shaft upgrade a couple years ago, I wonder how it's clocked? I want to say that shaft came from a Renix XJ. I remember that XJ was nice and a real shame it wound up in the boneyard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The XJ shaft I put in my '92 C1500 is the same as the shaft I got from Crown. I'm thinking my way backward in time to when the PO installed a springs/shocks-only 3" front lift and considering possibilities of what it's done to the drag link and tie rod adjustments, if actually anything meaningful. Might be able to finagle the wheel somewhat closer to center. Also, since the axle swap is imminent, everything will be apart anyway. I'll have the opportunity to piece everything back together thoughtfully and may have an epiphany in the process.


Shaft in my 1500- also showing off the rusting tops of my ARP head bolts lol. Brass brush and a rub of anti-seize every few months ought to keep it at bay. IDK.




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