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
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.
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
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.