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optiontown 02-22-2012 08:15 AM

59 Chevy tilt
the only problem with this conversion.(59 El Camino)the top of the column puts the steering wheel about 3" closer to the driver.this crowds the tight driver compartment more.i have modified a column to add about 1/2 inch to the top of the stock column and have used the dash trim and made it a column shift.i also made a floor shift for 4 speed applications.for more info Bill@231-468-2666 02-22-2012 03:14 PM

I think you are refering to this how-to entry in my photo journal? We didn't measure the wheel spacing but it doesn't seem uncomfortable. It would be easy to knock out an inche or so of intrusion by simply cutting off a like amount from the top of the '59 sleeve and moving the dash mount screw holes up also. I have noticed photos of other cars with a tilt column conversion and custom steering wheel and adapter do stick way farther into the driver's chest. The stock '59 wheel doesn't stick out near as much. Regardless, the lap room is wonderful.

optiontown 02-22-2012 08:57 PM

59 chevy tilt
hi,your right about the sleeve spacing.cutting it off helps.the columns i build have significant machine work to the upper helps to have a friend who's a great machinist.i've been custom building tilts for lots of years now and it gets real interesting when you set these up as column shifts.the neutral/backup switch is on the bottom of the column so it has to be properly located.the rotating shift tube has to be given internal clearance from the mount,s kind of tricky but i've got it figured out.i also found a perfect length lower collapsible shaft.i also have put a weld on stop tab to keep the column in the dash in the event of front impact.these cars impaled and killed more people in the day.i use 59-50 tilt/turn style knobs.your right about the belly comfort and at my age it is really more that just nice.LOL
put a tilt with a power seat and it makes them comfy for long cruises.
one other thing,i noticed you don't have power windows.i have stock sets with original regs and new switches/wiring.
nice job on your Camino! 02-23-2012 08:33 AM

We considered power windows but Troy wasn't excited about it. If we had done it, we would have used the stock '59 riser mechanisms and adapted on Ford power motors (see here).

These Ford motors have the same gear pitch as all old window risers so all it takes is welding on a mounting tab. NO after market riser mechanism can compete with the stock factory ones. I show how I did this on my '53 Chevy pickup. Then all you need to do is wire in a set of junk yard or repro 70s Chevy chrome switches (see here ).

See the master 4-switch in front. single swithch in rear on my pickup.
Results in a much better and cheaper power window than the flimsy Chinese power riser systems.

You are correct, if we had gone the column shifter route, installation would have been much more complicated. I think we will take off the '59 dash mounting bracket and cut out the front of the mounting slots so if a body slams into it the the wheel, th bracket will slide from under the screws and activate the internal collapsing joint. might as well employ all the safety as possible.

optiontown 02-23-2012 09:01 AM

59 chevy power windows
i never thought about the chest= forward impact.your right,good idea.tilt safety was fed mandated in were many other must do items.
i never have been a big fan of aftermarket accessories,i stick as much as i can to stock with all the stuff i sell.the old cars are drying up so the supplies are getting tight.very clever to use the coarse tooth gears.the 53 looks nice.
i do gotta say,the Sun tack brings back the old days.i put a bracket on the dash(73 Cutlass"S") with a square 1/2" socket male and female.i mounted the Sun Super right in front of the steering wheel.when i had to park the car somewhere it might get stolen i would just take it off the dash unplug it and put it in the trunk.the tach went with the car when it sold.i wish i still had it.
what's the craziest engine swap you ever did?i'm a Pontiac guy and had a big thing for putting Pontiac motors in Chevy's.
i was also big on customizing my cars.Ahhhhhhh the good old days.

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