The actual steering column, even on a van only a year from mine, could be way different. I once tried to help someone whose steering gear was apparently way different than my own, and whose steering column was also different, and it was only a year or 2 difference in model years. They were in Europe though, and could have had a different steering column from what comes with north american vans. I do not know and am uncomfortable saying this is for sure that and to do it this way.
I could not just have cut the original DD shaft from column, and gotten it to fit in the flaming river steering coupler that I employed. A little more length would have been required, if my memory serves right.
My steering column needed a new DD shaft to employ the linked coupler. I cannot speak to other model years, but if your steering coupler looks like mine did, it should be able to accept a new ~18$ 3/4" DD steering shaft which should mate easily with the flaming river U joint linked to back in the early days of this thread many years ago.
It has really been a long time since I expended any brain cells on this modification, I reposted the pics after getting a request via PM to do so since photobucket did their moneygrab, and I deleted my account there and told them what I think of them as I imagine many others did, and now I use Picload.org.
I've no regrets from the modification, other than the reman'd loose as a goose Apsco steering gear, but at least it does not leak PSF. My PS pump did start leaking but Lucas powersteering fix stopped it completely and I just now remembered it did once leak. I bought a PS pump rebuilding kit long ago, but it no longer leaks, so that s that, for now.
A few years ago I did eliminate the inline magnetic filter, as it was slowly weeping PSF from the seams, as did the inline transmission filter of the same deisgn. I simply used a butt splice coupler with hose clamps on the return line to eliminate the weeping filter. I meant to replace it but have not. My transmission now has a Derale external filter mount, instead of the Magnefine filter on the Tx cooling lines, and nothing weeps any vital fluid anymore and I have about another quart of ATF+4 in circulation, and the filter I use, a fram Ultra XG16, has some very respectable filtering stats, compared to the rock catcher filter in the Tx pan.
To give the inline magnefine filter a bit of a credit in the weeping department, I did not realize I had plumbed it backwards, as the rear line on the transmission, is the return. When I opened the magnefine filter on my TX, all the debris was on the inside of the filter, and had the filter gotten so stuffed with debris, it could not have gone into bypass as designed as I unintentionally plumbed it backwards.
On The a-500 transmission, and I believe most Chrysler tx's, the rear line, closest to the differential, is the return line, and this is important toknow when plumbing an additional cooler, or inline filter.
Most in warmer climates say to plumb the additional Tx cooler inline after the radiator cooler, some in cooler climates say the opposite is preferable.
Dont know what more I can add but will answer any more questions to the best of my ablility.
So I got a new FR steering coupler last December, and found the DD steering shaft was frozen/rusted in the column when I went to replace it.
I found the some of the slop on the coupler was the set screws. I tightened everything back up, figured it was more than safe enough, then wrapped a rag around the bit where the DD shaft enters the steering column, then covered this with some fat tire bike innertube and hose clamps to form a cup, then soaked the rag with PB blaster, and forgot about it for 10 months, and 2 cross country journeys.
The sloppy ass Apsco reman'd steering gear, which I had already twice tightened to reduce some additional slop within, got it a third time, and this time the adjustment screw went so far until it tightened up. I loosened it 1/4 turn and then it was binding at full lock then backed off 1/4 more turn until it was not.
Rather than risk getting another resealed/reman sloppy ass steering gear, I paid close to 600$ for the redhead delivered, and am eating the 150$ core charge.
My PS pump, has not leaked a drop with all the lucas stop leak in there, but I will likely replace it or reseal it when I redo the gear and coupler. Just kind of bumping this thread to reread it and I will post the original pics and some new ones as well as there has been some PM's regarding this about the missing pictures.
These are pictures from 2009, not quite all of them that no longer show up earlier in the post, but I think these are the most relevant. I am not sure I still have all the original pics, some pic numbers seemed to have disappeared when I moved photos from one laptop to another then to an external hard drive.
I have ordered a new Gates pressure line and am waffling about getting a reman steering pump or just resealing mine, which works fine, just leaks. I did buy some new 3/8 inch magnetic inline filters for the return line.
Magnefine changed their weepy design of thein inline magnetic filters for transmission or power steering, and I bought some clones of the new design magnefine.
I was considering just running one on my existing pump and gear then put a new on on the new gear, but then remembered my PS fluid is at least half, likely more than half, Lucas power steering stop leak, and I'd prefer to not have to use a thicker than necessary power steering fluid and Lucas is thick.
I did put the new FR steering coupler on the Redhead steering gear. The instant I turns the coupler the output shaft also turns. Zero Slop. There's actually more slop in the splined interface.
Well, it is still not installed. I only slid the flaming river coupler onto the splined shaft while it rested in its delivery box, and saw that the output shaft instantly responded to the input rotation, which I think bodes well for steering slop reduction.
Mofo better not leak.....
I'll have more better pictures of new and old soon.