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Copyright 2013 by
Randy Pflanzer
Technology Professionals Consortium
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   What's New?
 
  02/01/13 - Reformatted web page.

 

Steering Column

In mounting the steering column, the placement is important.  At the suggestion of fellow builders on the Lone Star forum, I drilled small holes and used a long piece of threaded rod to find the right placement.  On the panel, I picked the center of the opening about 5" up from the bottom. 

I had to guess at the location on the firewall because I couldn't find any mark per the instructions.  I drilled a couple of holes here because it is important to position the steering column so that the connecting rod to the steering rack misses the frame, engine, etc.

After I was satisfied with the locations, I drilled a 4" hole in the panel.

Per the instructions, I used the skew function of MS Word and skewed a 2 1/8" hole about 38 degrees to come up with this opening.

In order to test the fit the column, I protected it with some tape otherwise the fiberglass will scratch the chrome.  I also applied the steering joints while I had the column on the bench.  I had to insert the column multiple times in order to trim the holes to the right size and to make sure they were not touching the column anywhere.

Here is the final install on the firewall.  This took a lot of cutting and fiddling to get correct.  I also used a piece of foam rubber to cushion the clamp around the column.  On my build, this entire area will be covered by a panel so no one will see the clamp.  More on that later.

Here is all the metal I trimmed of the angle mounting bracket on the firewall.  Sure glad I have a port-a-band saw.

Here is s shot of the clamp up under the panel.  Notice that I had to make a clamp bar out of threaded rod as the original was too short to install lock washers on the nuts.

With the column in it's final position, I trimmed and installed the steering rod to the rack.  It clears everything perfectly.

Here's a picture of the column with the Grant steering wheel and spacer installed.  The spacer can be cut back if the wheel needs to be closer.  Also, the rack and move in about another inch if need be.  For now, it fells about right for me so I'll keep it this way until I drive it for awhile.

I like the flame design on the wheel which will match part of my paint job.

UPDATE:

I was never very happy with the way the column is secured to the firewall.  This is the way the plans call for but it's not very "finished", so I've decided to re-work this area.

I first removed the old mounting hardware and filled all the old holes.  My plan of attack is to fabricate a mount that will bolt to the front face of the foot box extension.  To that, I will bolt on a polished mount that I bought from Ididit that is really an under dash mount.  I'll have to modify it but it should work out okay.

After playing around with some cardboard templates, I fabricated this steel mount.  The critical step was getting the angle of the top mounting plate accurate because the column mount fits very tight around the column so there's not much room for it to be twisted.  On the polished column mount, I trimmed off mounting ears that extended from the base.  I also had to drill and tap two blind mounting holes in the bottom.

This is how it mounts to the firewall.  I think this is a much cleaner installation.

Here's the finished product.  I will either powder coat or plate the bracket later when the car is de-constructed.  I like this look much better than the first one.  Mission accomplished.

That finishes up the steering column installation.  Next is the hood installation and those pictures begin on the next page.