VW 1303 steering column differences

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TZepeSH
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:55 am

VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by TZepeSH » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:31 am

I bought a rack and pinion steering for my 1303, and I want to change every used part in the steering (bearings, bushings...). I am now confused about the parts I need, as it seems there are different parts used in different years. I gathered some pictures from various sites, and I would like to understand exactly what I need for my car.

Here are two steering column diagrams:
1180542.jpg
1299038.jpg
There is a bearing down near the universal coupler. I found the plastic replacement for it, it seems the bearing itself is NLA. On top, near the steering wheel, there is a bearing (mine has a lot of play) held in the housing by a circlip (I am missing the circlip, any source or dimensions for it?) and an "anti-rattle bushing" (metal bushing of some kind - found new, but with two dimensions, one taller one shorter, before and after '74). Then, there is a plastic spacer which seems not to be used on all models (only before '74?) - I do not have the bushing but I found it new. Then depending on the year model, another circlip.

Here is the difference between the steering wheel ends:
788789.jpg
I have the old model, with circlip and 27mm nut. Does the "new" model shaft, with 24mm nut and tapered end not use the plastic spacer?

I found one more difference, it seems that the shaft for the rack and pinion is a bit longer. This is a big problem, everybody who sell rack and pinion steering boxes do not sell the steering shaft too... Where can I find one? And can I just use the rest of my system (steering shaft tube, bearings, electrics housing from my car)?
RnP51.jpg
So what do I need in the end? Can I use my steering shaft and change the lower bushing, top bearing, anti rattle bushing and plastic spacer, and source somewhere the two missing circlips? Or do I have to find the specific steering shaft for rack and pinion and change only lower bushing, top bearing, anti rattle bushing and source just the electrics housing circlip?

One more part I need is a bolt for tie rod end connection to rack, it is an M10x1x55mm bolt, 10.9 hardness. It seems none of the euro VW parts sites (Hoffmann-Speedster, CSP, Paruzzi, VWHeritage, BBT) have there bolts. I found a source locally, but I have to buy 100.
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TZepeSH
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:55 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by TZepeSH » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:44 am

Small update. I found the missing circlips and tie rod bolt.
It is now clear what I still need: lower bushing, top bearing, anti rattle bushing and plastic spacer, easy to source at any usual source in Europe (CSP, Hoffmann, etc.). I hope the 2cm shorter shaft will not be a big problem mounting the steering. That part I can not find anywhere, and it would force me to change or adapt my steering wheel somehow (Golf 1 GTI, I really like it...).

TZepeSH
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:55 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by TZepeSH » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:15 am

Does anybody have a steering shaft easily available to measure it? The one from steering wheel to the U joint, lower ones in the last picture above. It doesn't matter if it is the short (old version) or long (R&P version), but I need the total length and to specify which one it is. A guy told me he has a shaft, the length is 565mm, but I do not know if this means it is the long or short one... And the only shaft I have is on my car, so not easy to measure it.

H2OSB
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2000 2:01 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by H2OSB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:01 am

I do. I'll measure and post when I get home from work (6am here now...I'm off at noon)

H2OSB

H2OSB
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2000 2:01 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by H2OSB » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:35 pm

I measured approximately 574mm from end to end. IIRC, this is the later steering box shaft

H2OSB

TZepeSH
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:55 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by TZepeSH » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:24 am

Thank you very much, John! So it seems, to be the "new" version for R&P. I remember Joel writing on another forum that the difference between the shafts is 20mm, as it can be seen from the picture above. Would you consider selling the shaft if you do not have plans to use it? Although I think that 10mm I can make up for in some easy way, to use my "old" shaft. I would also need to change the steering wheel or hub to work with the R&P shaft, mine is the one with bigger splines.
Still a bit strange, I used a pixel ruler to measure the shafts in the picture above. If the long one is 574mm, the short one results in 555mm. So now I do not understand what shaft the guy here in Romania has, 565mm is in between.
I'm now thinking, maybe there are three shaft types:
1. oldest would be with larger in diameter splines. In one of the pictures above is the steering wheel spline end difference
2. next version would be tapered end, smaller spline diameter, short shaft for old type of steering box
3. last version is the tapered end, small spline diameter, long shaft for R&P

H2OSB
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2000 2:01 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by H2OSB » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:56 am

I have no use for it. This was the one in my car, however I bought a Momo steering wheel adapter and got the wrong one (I got the larger spline version). Long story, but I had a perfect condition complete early column so I swapped out the steering shaft.

Yours cheap. Make me a lowball offer and it's yours. That said, aren't you in Romania? Shipping may be $$, but I'm willing if you are.

H2OSB

TZepeSH
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:55 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by TZepeSH » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:27 am

Yes, I live in Romania, but if I need a part, I buy it from anywhere in the world. I just received a Micro Cam Sync from CB performance, and the transport was almost same as the part itself.
Problem here is that everybody who sells the R&P off a beetle, at most send the longer U-joints together with the R&P, but not the shaft. I guess most people do not realize that it is different.
That being said, I would not change my steering shaft if not needed, for the same reason you had: my steering wheel (VW Golf1 GTI) has the large diameter splines. So, you say you just swapped the 1303 steering shaft for R&P to the older version and had no issues? If that is the case, it shall work the same for me, too. I guess 20mm is easy to make up for if needed.

H2OSB
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2000 2:01 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by H2OSB » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:41 am

No I have the steering box, NOT r&p. We did not get r&p in the States until 1975. So the steering shaft I have available is the same as the early steering shaft but with smaller splines.

Regardless, if you want it, it's yours.

H2OSB

TZepeSH
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:55 am

Re: VW 1303 steering column differences

Post by TZepeSH » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:04 pm

Oh, in this case it is of no use to me, either. I thought you were refering to R&P when you said "later steering box shaft", especially that it is longer than the one the guy from my country said he has (565mm). So this is the short shaft, it means that the long shaft is ~595mm.
As a conclusion, the three types of steering shafts are:
1. Oldest version, steering box, large diameter splines, 574mm
2. Newer version, steering box, small diameter splines and tapered end, same length 574mm
3. R&P box shaft, ~595mm
In Europe it was the same, after August '74 they started to install R&P in SuperBeetles. But that was just for one year, because the 1303 was not produced anymore after 1975. Just the cabrios remained in production until 1978 I think.

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