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Old 08-27-2003, 07:40 AM
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A steering column question.

I'm heading out for the prize yard this weekend to look for a steering column for my '46 Chevy panel truck. What I need to know is how do you check the length on the columns?? When you mesure them what points do you use?? From the back side of the steering wheel to the end or what?? The stock column was a 30" according to the listings I've found so I'll look for something along that line for a replacement, don't have one now to go by.

Thanks folks

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Old 08-27-2003, 08:09 AM
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The lenght is really not that critical. Chances are you will not find a drop in replacement. The mounting position can be adjusted, and the intermediat shaft, u-joint, and rag joint will all have to be made to fit the new column position.

Vince
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:45 PM
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Lightbulb

I would be looking for a 67 - 72 chevy truck column. They are 2" in diameter and are a solid mast the full length.It won't look out of place in an old truck like most of the newer ones do. They can be had with or without shift levers and, if you attend church, tilt. If it needs to be shortened it's a cake walk and all of the switches and bearings are still available from Chevy
Good luck
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Old 08-27-2003, 06:56 PM
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Another source is 80's Camaros & Firebirds. As above they are straight 2" tubes without shifters. I bought one off the internet from a salvage yard in Houston for $100, and it looks great w/key.

Vince
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:29 PM
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custom column length

If your looking fo a gm column from 70-late 80 you can shorten them easily. the truck and car columns are made to collapse in an accident. all i did was measure all of the tubes and the steering shaft, then collapse them by the exact same amount and put new roll pins back in. It took me a day because i have never taken a tilt column apart. i shortened a 34" column to26" works good too.
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:09 PM
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Aftermarket columns

There are some nice aluminum aftermarket columns that bolt right in and are fully adjustable. Come with signal light switch, horn, and the wires already routed.
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:14 PM
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:06 PM
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Steering Column help....

I'm in the same boat. I already have a tilt auto column from a 71 van ( no key tumbler). I remember reading on this forum somewhere that after you shorten the column you can add a bearing i believe from a Toro lawnmower into the bottom of the now shortened column to add support and maintain a smooth cloumn. Is there any truth to this or just a good idea?? I forgot to mention that sooner or later this will end up in a 54 5 window.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:53 PM
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I shortened my mid 70's tilt column 8 1/4" and reused the original bearing and retainers. I just reproduced the grooves for the retainer. I am still working on it. I decided to remove the shifter, so I am filling in the hole in the cover. (matter of fact I just put a prime coat on it about 1/2 hour ago)
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:21 PM
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I'd agree with several above posts.

67-72 pickup will have a shift indicator on the column, but tilt units are tought to find.

Most of the van columns, also had the indicator on the column.

I used a 77 Monte Carlo tilt floor shift column, in my 49 Chevy truck. Worked out great, considering I didn't need the indictor, or shift lever.
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Old 03-20-2005, 08:17 AM
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Are there any columns from production vehicles(i.e. not a billet/steel shiny after market) that have an automatic shift on the column, but doesn't have a the indicator on the column?

I haven't started looking for one yet, but am keeping an ear to the ground for good donor cars to look for.

This'll be for a late 50's chevy truck.

Oh and does anybody know how difficult it would be to remove a column indicator in case I can't find something i like?
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Old 03-20-2005, 10:10 AM
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Too bad I'm out in the middle of BFE. I've got a 70 chevy pickup auto column, just sitting around, down at my shop.
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