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Old 02-21-2006, 12:34 PM   #1
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Shortening Steering column

Well, most of you may have seen recent update photos from the interior of Subtle71's white truck.
Great looking progress....no questions asked.
But yesterday, we made a change that some would never notice if we didn't point it out to you. That is....unless you sat behind the wheel. Surely then you would notice that there is room-o-plenty to stretch out.

What did we do? We moved the steering wheel closer to the dash.
Not with a shallow-dished steering wheel....
Not by relocating the seat....
We moved the column itself. Between 2 & 3 inches to be exact. And the difference really "sits" well with Dean.

Check the before-n-after photos to see the difference.
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

And before anyone points it out....we did correctly attach the pointer to the lens after we were done. (Dean didn't mind, but it was driving me crazy).
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

It took about an hour. Unattached it from the dash, loosened the clamp on the firewall, slid it down to desired length...and marked it.
Then cut a new slot in the column under the dash.
Bolted it all back up and gave it a "belly-clearance test".
It passed with flying colors.

Here is a pic of the new slot. (Since this was a van column, it came with two slots originally, so we simply elongated the top one. Had it been a truck column, we would have just made a second slot alltogether).
If you look closely, the slot that is 1/2 in the shadow was being used in the original position. The new position hit just below the upper slot, so we just made it longer.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:00 PM   #4
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

I could have done it much faster, but I had to get over my fear of scratching Dean's truck. I am not Catholic, but I did a few of those hand movements when he wasn't looking!!!

And he can verify this....I washed my hands every time I went to get inside it. No way was I getting smudges on fabric that cost more than my TRUCK!
If I had access to one of those white jumpsuits that you see when there is a virus outbreak, I would have put it on!!!
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

Quote:
Originally Posted by subtle71
There was a little more involved that listed above! Putter had to drill out a couple pins in the lower sterring column. That allowed the lower column to contract and give a little extra room.
I had to drill the pins to allow his intermediate shaft to collapse. If we had stopped 1/2" sooner, we could have avoided doing that....but no....we want it to TOUCH the dash!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by subtle71
That's about enough of that! I see you censored the pics taken yesterday and opted not to post the pic that George had requested! It must not have turned out all that great!
Okay, okay....here is the stupid photo. GMan was trying to get me back for posting a pic of his & Yank's butts on the board.
Here is Putter's big arse in action!!!
Hey, that dark colored cap makes it look like I have a severe case of bad hair day.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

Here it is lightened up....NOW you can see it REALLY IS a hat!!!

And look...there is a guy standing at the driver's door that wasn't there before!!
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:42 PM   #7
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

Mine does not have the neutral safety switch. The notch is for a tit that hangs down. The elongated notch allows the tit to sit down in the column.
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Old 02-24-2006, 03:30 PM   #8
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

Can someone post a step by step how to so I can move the wheel and colunm closer to the dash? I have read it over and over and I still do not get it. I have a 67 with PS, non tilt auto and the wheel seems to be farther from the dash than normal.
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Old 02-24-2006, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

Here is the short version....

Start by removing the cover that is under the column....held on by two screws (yellow arrows)


Then removed the larger bracket that is now exposed...held on by 4 bolts (green arrow)


With that part removed, you should be able to see a metal strap that curves under the actual column, holding it up. That strap is held in by two bolts. Loosen the left one and remove the right one. This will allow the column to hang in place for a moment without falling while you take care of the under-hood portion.

Now, go under the hood and remove the intermediate shaft (not required in all cases) It is the shaft that I have indicated. It is secured by a clamp-type fastener at the top and two bolts at the gearbox.
You must COMPLETELY REMOVE the bolt in the upper fastener before it will come off.
And depending on how rusty it is, you might have to use a hammer and some lube to get the upper portion off the splined steering column shaft.
NOTE- SINCE THIS PART IS SPLINED, MARK IT WITH SOMETHING SO YOU CAN LINE IT UP CORRECTLY WHEN RE-INSTALLING!!!!!


Next, you will notice that the intermediate shaft is made up of two parts....one goes inside the other. They have a pair of pins that hold them together. You simply drill those pins out slightly larger than their actual size, then spray some lube in any opening you can find, and push them together....making the unit shorter.
NOTE - THIS MAY REQUIRE A HAMMER AND A VICE AND A BUDDY AND A CAN OF PATIENCE!

Now, get back under the hood and loosen the clamp that holds the column to the firewall bracket. Notice, it is the clamp that surrounds the column and secures it to the firewall bracket. Do not remove the bolts that secure the bracket to the firewall.


Now you are ready to start moving the column.
Remember the bracket that you loosened and left hanging by one bolt earlier??
Lift up on the column and rotate that bracket out from under the column...allowing the column to drop out of the dash cavity.
Or, simply finish removing the remaining bolt and remove the bracket completely.
You should see some sort of slot in the column and a tit under the dash that went into the slot....(look closely...it is there...)


Anyway, you need a new slot for the tit to line up with once you relocate the column.
So, slide the column towards the dash the amount you want, and mark the new tit location. Then using your favorite power tool, make a new slot. (I used a Dremel with a fiber cut-off wheel)
(Arrow indicates original slot. New slot is cut closer to the steering wheel)


Once you have that done, start bolting everything back in place and enjoy your new belly-room!!!

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by augie; 04-08-2011 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:37 AM   #10
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

This is my next mod. 6'3" and weighing in at 280lbs I need some gut room.
I'm not so clear on why you need to make a new notch. i've got a standard colum that did have a 3 on the tree, but I've taken that out and have it on the floor. More info?
Sounds almost too easy.
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:51 PM   #11
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Re: Subtle change...BIG IMPACT

Nothing hard about it. Once you get the column dropped down, you can look and see if you have a notch to begin with. Then make a new one if needed. I never paid attention to my manual column, so I don't remember a notch.
Just go out on Saturday, and you will be finished wayyyyy before lunch, with room for seconds & a desert.
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:04 AM   #12
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Shortening Steering column

Just to add my .02, because I couldn't add to the stickey, here’s what I encountered collapsing the column on my 67 GMC with non-tilt and auto on the column.
My lower column didn’t have what I would call “pins”. What was in it was the same plastic that is used in OEM U joints. After I removed the column I put it in a vice and cleaned the paint off the upper section so it would slide into the lower piece easier. Then I heated the areas around the injected plastic and most of it squirted out . Then I went over it again with a wire wheel and let it cool slightly bedore spraying it with some WD40. A few thumps with a plastic dead blow hammer collapsed it all the way.


I installed the column back in the truck and discovered that the neutral safety switch was in the way of the column moving in more than about an inch. So I pulled it back out… Back in the vice I took measurements, put a new blade on the die grinder, and figured it was going to be a pain to relocate the neutral safety switch. Then I had a flash! (even if it was in the seat of my pants) I could move the column in far enough to have the switch on the other side of the firewall!


This should work by trimming the support bracket a little like this.


I put the column back in, set it where I wanted it, then rotated it aganst the protrusion sticking down from the brake hanger to scrape it where I needed a notch for it. Then I pulled it back out again and drilled a hole to fit instead of grinding a piece out .


The rotating piece rubs on the instrument some and I’ll probably have to trim it a little and the indicator may have to be trimmed as well. The only problem this seems to have created is that instruments have to be in place before seating the column.
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Last edited by augie; 04-08-2011 at 01:49 AM.
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