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Old 09-22-2017, 02:42 PM   #1
Matt_50
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Building a steering column

Project: 1950 Chevy 3100

Donor: 1984 Chevy c10, automatic trans


Ok guys I need some help. As I mentioned in another thread my donor truck will be hauled off soon so I need to take a few last things off so once I pull the motor and trans I can get it gone. Master cylinder, wiring ECT.

I'm going to take the steering column out too, I think I can maybe use some parts from it. The 50's steering and suspension are out. In it's place is the 84's front suspension. Includes power steering gearbox and linkage.

I do not want to use the 84's steering column. I just don't think it looks good. A few weeks ago I cleaned up a steering column from a 55 Belair. It looks right and it has auto shift on the column as well as turn signal. The 50 had a clamped on turn switch...

So the Belair was a straight shaft that went to the gearbox. Someone already cut it, and my shaft extends a few inches past the end of the column. The shaft couldn't move around, just has a spongy thing to keep dirt out.

Do I need a bearing on the end of the column?

Can I use the shaft, or part of shaft from the 84? To extend to the box?

How to connect the two? Weld? Pin it? If it has a joint, I would definitely need a bearing on the column to keep it from moving around right?
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:28 AM   #2
Jesse Z
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Re: Building a steering column

For the lower bearing I have used UHMW plastic. It's easy to work with and is often used for industrial bearings. It can be held in place with set screws or bolts. To connect the shaft you can have a machine shop cut it down to a double D configuration and have your choice of numerous commercially available u-joints, connectors and accessories. Or you can get a U-joint with a round bore and drill a bolt or pin through it and the shaft as a safety.
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Old 10-02-2017, 11:44 AM   #3
Black93GT
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Re: Building a steering column

I cut the original column from the steering box and reused it on my build. I found the column saver bearing kit and used two universal joints with a double d shaft to connect to the new steering box. I ground the end of the column into the double d shape.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:21 PM   #4
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

Awesome kit! What about the bearing that's in it for the shift tube though? Won't it be in the way?
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:55 PM   #5
Black93GT
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Re: Building a steering column

Mine was originally floor shift so I fabricated linkage so the shifter comes through the original hole.

I don't believe there were internal shift bearings. If I remember correctly, the three on the tree linkage was external.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:59 PM   #6
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

Yea I took that one out. I grabbed a auto shift 55 belair column..
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:55 AM   #7
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Re: Building a steering column

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Z View Post
For the lower bearing I have used UHMW plastic. It's easy to work with and is often used for industrial bearings. It can be held in place with set screws or bolts. To connect the shaft you can have a machine shop cut it down to a double D configuration and have your choice of numerous commercially available u-joints, connectors and accessories. Or you can get a U-joint with a round bore and drill a bolt or pin through it and the shaft as a safety.
I ended up in the ER with chest pains when I made a busing out of uhmw for my 51 Merc's steering column after I subframed it. Drove 400 miles one weekend and thought I was having a heart attack but found out that I had strained and inflamed chest muscles. You really want a bearing there as a bushing will cause drag on the steering if it isn't perfectly aligned.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:57 AM   #8
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Re: Building a steering column

Actually, right now if you are scrapping the donor, save anything you think you might use if you have a place to store it. Then you can either figure out how to use it or part of it or just pitch it in the scrap or swap meet pile and go again but you might save a buck down the road if you do use it.
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48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
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Old 11-23-2017, 01:52 AM   #9
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

I still like the idea of making a 55 bel air column work. But I don't want to do this twice. I think I'd like to have tilt. But I want the ignition in the dash.

What columns can I look for? 69ish c10?
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:13 AM   #10
hogfarm
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Re: Building a steering column

Your column will work fine,But I have a milling machine and lathe.Last one I did,I found a shouldered bearing from Amazon that was about the right size,then made a bushing and installed it in the bottom of the column,It is easy to cut the shaft to the DD and then buy a piece of DD shaft as well any U-joints you need
Like Mr48 said I would use a bearing ,not plastic
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:42 AM   #11
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

It may need something added to the end. On the 55 column, on the very end there is a ring or bearing like thing that keeps the jacket in place, but the shaft is still loose.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:49 AM   #12
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Re: Building a steering column

I used an early 80's pickup column in mine. It came from a floor shift truck just like I wanted but I wanted the ignition on the dash and it had tilt. I was able to take it apart and shaved the key switch off the housing and removed the column lock. I sawed off what i could from the key holder then was able mount it in my little lathe and shave the rest down to smooth and made an aluminum plug for the hole and JB'd it in. A bit of grinding and a little bondo and you would never know it was there. While apart i put new bearings top and bottom and a new signal switch in it. Mine had a 48t 1" spline on the bottom and was able to find a u joint from that to DD to complete the hook up. It is a couple inches longer than what I thought I wanted but in the end it worked out very good. My column was bigger than the 2" original, don't remember for sure 2 3/16 maybe so I had to make a new drop from the dash to the column. Got about $60 in parts in it.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:51 PM   #13
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

If I keep this column I'm thinking I can add a section to the end to put a bearing in. Think it would work? I would need to leave the slot for the shift jacket to still come out. In the pics is the ring/bearing that holds the jacket pipe centered. I'm thinking add a section that's identical to the last inch or so of the column.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:09 PM   #14
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

Lightbulb!!!

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/a...waAnFDEALw_wcB

Anyone use one of these before?
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Old 11-23-2017, 10:54 PM   #15
51chevytruck
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Re: Building a steering column

Be careful when ordering your bearing. That bearing is advertised as a .750 inch bearing but has a .757 inch bore. I ran into the same issue when I ordered a Borgeson bearing. They said the plain steel bearings run .007 inch over while the stainless run true at .750 inch. The stainless bearings run more than twice the cost, go figure!
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:36 PM   #16
Matt_50
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Re: Building a steering column

Wow thanks for the input. I don't mind paying a tad extra for right stuff.

So buy borgeson....stainless steel.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:25 AM   #17
hogfarm
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Re: Building a steering column

Do you have any machine tools?looks simple fix to me
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