Photo 1 shows the shifter boss cut off the shift sleeve.
I plugged the hole in the ignition sleeve with Bondo and a piece of dowel (photos 1 & 2). Then using fiberglas resin and mat patched over both holes so they would not print through the final finish (photo 3). Leaving the Bondo patch w/o the 'glas coat will quickly print the joint through the paint. Sand depressions in a fairly wide area around the holse in the sleeves so the mat will have a place to live.
Oh I forgot to show how I pulled those mysterious tilt pins. Didn't need a fancy puller, just a screw and pliers as in photo 4. No big thing, don't be scared off, these columns are really pretty simple.
Now to column mods. Photo 5 shows the new column/ dash bracket mount position. I used the '59 bracket (shown) and drilled new bolt holes in the column. Hou will need to trial fit the column in the car a few times to get everything situated. When you are marking the place to drill the bracket holes be sure to have the '59 column sleeve installed (see next installment). This will properly space the column. The bolts sticking out of the column are at the new locations and you can see the '80 mount boss locations just to the right of the bolts. The '80 mount bosses must be cut and ground flush for reasons discussed later.
The last column modification required is to cut off the sheet metal plug mount as shown in photo 6. Actually, don't cut it off, just drill out the spot welds holding it on.
Once we got the car pretty well finished it became painfully apparent we could not survive the fixed '59 steering column and big Impala wheel. Troy and I are both 6'3" and getting under that wheel with just a couple inches of clearance over the Caddy power seat was almost impossible.
We decided to go the junk yard route and install a Chevy tilt column. We did some research and discovered a 1979-1980 Silverado pickup column would be a good candidate. It had the features we wanted; clean shaft, no wiper or other junk on the turn signal and cheap!
Photo 1 shows what we got. Main drawbacks of this column are the ignition key is in it which we didn't want and it is a column shift and our car is a floor shift.
We started by disassembling the column. I highly recommend you download the photo essay
After we get the heads back from the machine shop (bent the intake valves by not checking cam timing!!) should be ready to run. Get it registered, A/C charged, Wheels aligned, Troy gets his license and he will be driving it the rest of his senior year. Great HS ride!!
A piece of really dumb engineering for '59 Chevies is that blasted front bumper support bar. The only way to get it in or out is to deform the chrome bumper most of an inch which is next to impossible w/o scratching the chrome.
Here is my solution; just hack off one end of the bar! When putting it back in, simply run a bead of 7018 and good as new. That bolt doesn't add any strength to the protecting value of the bumper, just keeps the bumper end from bending into the sheet metal if bumped from the side. Welded end will do that just fine.