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Old 12-08-2011, 01:41 PM
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whats first steering or headers???

be gentle all im a novice and building my 1st rod a 36 plymouth coupe. im trying to get my steering figured out b/4 i pull the body back off the chassis. i dont know if i should do the headers first and work the steering around them or the other way around. im going to have difficulties with both. i tried block huggers but it came down on top of my gear box (vega) so ill have to pre-fab headers. the steering shaft will to come through or under the headers which will mean at least 2 u joints. im stuck!! i dont want to order steering parts and find out i wasted money due to wrong size. any help would be appreciated and or pictures

thanks all and merry christmas

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Old 12-08-2011, 03:45 PM
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You will get different answers on this, but I am in the middle of this right now-I just bought my Seats, and have the engine sitting in place (with Headers)-now I am buying the column, and plan to install it next-

btw, I will also be running two shafts-don't forget the support bearing!
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:04 PM
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i would say headers first
because they are going to be harder to move or change
the steering shaft can be made to zig and zag if needed
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:19 PM
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I did my steering first. Main thing was locating my steering box and column. Once the steering was in, then I could figure out what type of headers would work and how much clearance I would have to play with.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:21 PM
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First of all, welcome to the site. Lots of help here as well as some fun.

A couple comments - a '36 Plymouth is kind of an odd ball for many of us, so we will have to give any questions a thought or two. And that frame and installation can't be any more difficult then a narrow Model A with a way set back engine as mine ended up.

This is the way I did my '31 Ford A. Body on, headers on, install the steering column. You may need to change how and where that column was mounted originally to clear headers. A tilt column works well to fix the angle. Install your steering gear - a rack and pinion arrangement is well worth the upgrade, but a conventional will work as well. Get all of your required steering u-joints(Borgeson or Flaming River) and the support bearing. Make up dummy shafts using 3/4" dowels and run them as you would the final steel shafts - trying to make this arrangement up without using the dummy shafts can get real expensive. Make a bracket out of 2x2x1/4" angle iron for the support bearing and fix the final location. If one leg is too long, a hack saw will fix that. I first of all, bolted mine on, then mig welded it after I was 100% happy where it went. I have just about 5/16" clearance, shaft to headers.

Don't try to install the column unless you have your final seats installed for distance and to make sure the tilt will bring the angle to you comfortably. Also, make sure the steering wheel will not be cocked and will have enough clearance to the door and dash.

Mine, and a photo cropped and enlarged for more detail, so quality has suffered:

Irelands child
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:12 AM
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Well, you will get different opinions in here. Ireland has some excellent advice on installing the column and steering, not to mention a clean install on his vehicle. If you already have the headers and engine, then yes, you'll have to do the steering second and work around the configuration of the headers. If you haven't purchased headers, there are so many applications out there for headers that finding a set to fit your application is fairly easy (especially if your installing a GM motor). It is definitely easier and cheaper than finding the right combination of steering boxes, etc. We ran into this exact problem building my friends 35 Ford Humpback and ended up selling the headers we had and just purchasing a set to fit our application. What is very helpful as well, is going to several websites with pictures of the same model car your building and look at what they did, what type of headers they are using, etc. It will give you ideas of how you want to get it done and save yourself a whole lotta time, cash in planning or fabrication.
BTW- I noticed Ireland's distributor is in the proper place on that engine.

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Old 12-09-2011, 02:18 PM
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Mine is none of the mentioned cars but I am doing the steering first then the headers as I want my steering to work well for me and that was the override in making my decision in how to proceed..

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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