May 27th, 2003 : Borgeson Steering Components
My steering components were in need of some repair ... between the steering column (a 1975 Cadillac tilt/telescopic) and the steering box, the setup left some problems -- namely, coming out of the column, where the shaft that connects to a U-joint had no teeth -- making for a very dangerous situation!
Allow me to pause here and offer you a horrifying example:
I was driving on Interstate 287 one evening, during rush hour traffic, going about 55 mph ... fortunately, I was traveling in the right hand lane of the 3-lane highway ... cars were all around me, everyone in their usual mad rush to get nowhere fast ... when suddenly it seemed as though the wind had pushed me a bit sideways. A moment later, I realized that there wasn't any wind ... and that my steering felt kind of strange. I played the steering wheel a bit and there was no response! My heart jumped a beat as I realized I had absolutely no steering! "Oh, God!" ... I began praying ... "God! Do something, man! You gotta do something!" Next, I found myself spinning the steering wheel like a top, to the right - while praying with an even greater fervency than before, while visions of my truck making a sudden and sharp left-hand turn into the other two lanes of maniacal traffic began flashing through my head ... I could see, quite vividly, a 30-vehicle pileup -- my truck rolling over, and over again, doing horizontal 360's as cars, RVs, Ice Cream trucks, motorcycles, buses and 18-wheelers all plowed into me in one wild cacophony of murderous intent, orchestrated personally by the devil himself. "Okay ... okay ... get a grip, Alan. There's another plan to orchestrate." I gently applied some brakes, with great care - hoping it wouldn't pull me to the left ... it didn't. I applied more ... the truck kept on straight as an arrow - and as fortune would have it in this charmed life of mine, I was traveling on a very straight stretch of roadway. As I began coming to a stop ... surprised at how courteous the drivers behind me were behaving (there's a whole lot to be said about driving a 1954 Chevy pickup truck) the truck pulled itself off the road and onto the shoulder of the highway. Sigh ... what a relief! I jumped out of the truck, grabbed two open end wrenches -- one to tighten the retainer bolt that was suppose to hold that toothless spline in the steering column, and the other to use as a lever, to push the spline back up into the column ... I did so, got back in the truck and drove to my destination ... safe and sound. I was utterly amazed -- for hours -- at what didn't happen to me on that highway!
Well ... there's a guy I was referred to who has a shop just about ten blocks from my house, who has earned a reputation for building National championship dragsters. I took my truck to him and he has installed some parts from Borgeson that will sure everything up and prevent the above from ever happening again.