I needed to maximize the amount of space between my steering wheel and the bottom cushion of my seat for the 1970 mustang project I am working on so off to the junkyard, a local Pick-n-Pull, I went.
After checking numerous cars and trucks for a tilt column setup that I thought would work I finally settled on one from a 1969 continental. I chose this one because my dash area is actually from a 1969 mustang so the ignition was located in the dash and so was the continental, which meant less work for me to retrofit.
Make sure when you pull the steering column from the donor vehicle you get the steering coupler. Depending how you fit the “new” column to your vehicle you may not need it, but better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.
To make the fit I needed to do a couple of things.
1) Removed the original steering column and proceeded to disassemble it and the tilt column.
2) After disassembly I measured the lengths of the steering shafts to see what the difference was and how much I would need to add to the “new” shaft to keep the same distances.
3) After the length was determined I had my father-in-law cut a section from the “old” shaft and weld it to the “new” shaft.
4) Since “new” steering column was from a column shifted vehicle and I had a floor shift vehicle I had some work to do to clean up the pieces. After removing the column shifter I used a grinder and some metal files to remove the shifter “stem” and filled the hole with some QuickSteel, cost around $4.00 at Wal-Mart. Afterwards I sanded and used some metal glaze, tube of Bondo brand cost around $5.00 at Wal-Mart, and more sanding to smooth out the filled portion
5) I also super glued the shifter gear indicator together and proceeded to use a Dremel with a cut off wheel to trim it down for blending into the column. After getting it to the size I wanted I used sand paper and files to smooth it out until I was satisfied with it.
6) To use my existing brackets I had to grind away the nubs, one on each bracket, that helped locked them into place on the “old” column tube.
7) Next I worked with the turn signal switch. After comparing it to the “old” one I determined that there were four wires that did not correlate to anything I had on my existing one.
So I then further determined that, hopefully, it should be fine for me to clip and cap them as they were not needed and had nothing running to them since the “new” column had originally had a turn signal lever that had this extra wiring running to it. The lever was ugly and broken so away it and the wires went. I then proceeded to splice in my original connector on the end of the switch for plugging into the wiring harness. I used bullet connectors just in case I ever have to change the switch and need to reuse the original connector.
When getting the steering column be sure to get a couple of different length and shape turn signal levers that fit the switch because the size and shape of your steering wheel will determine which one you can use.
8) Gave everything a coat of paint and proceeded to reassemble the “new” column.
9) Installed in car and put the steering wheel back and reconnected the turn signal switch with the wire harness.
Tools I Used:
- Wrench/Socket Set
- Dremmel with cut off wheel
- Utility Knife
- Wiring Stripper/Crimper
- Allen Wrentches
- Steering wheel puller
Estimated Cost (no discounts applied)
- Steering Column: 40.00
- Turn Signal Levers: .50 * 4 = 2.00
- QuickSteel: 4.00
- Metal Glaze: 5.00
- Bullet Connectors (male): 3.00
- Bullet Connectors (female): 3.00
- Krylon Spray Paint: 6.00
Total Cost: $63.00
I do not claim that this is the best way to do this, or even if you should do this, but rather that this is what I have done. Your cost, results and satisfaction may vary.