Tilt Column Installation - Continued
The whole idea of a tilt column came to me after a stint out to the
junkyard. I found an old 67-8 power steering Mustang and noticed that
the steering box looked exactly the same as my Falcon's box except for the
use of a rag joint. Marveling at this I continued to look around until
I found an old 67 Lincoln; black on black with the suicide doors. I
noticed the tilt column, and a quick view of the column in the passenger
compartment and under the hood had me thinking "This could work!"
After a bit of research I found the a good idea when looking for a
steering box with the right sector shaft is to either have the steering box
codes on hand, or simply bring a 1 1/8" socket. If the socket fits on
the pitman arm nut, its 1", if its too small, the box has a 1 1/8" sector.
On To The Tilt Column
With the new steering box in place, its time to turn attention to the tilt
column. There were a few issues that needed to be hashed out with the
tilt column to make it work on my car:
Column Shifter: This column had a column shifter for an automatic transmission (well it WAS a Lincoln column). My car had a floor shifter, so not only does the column need to be removed, but replacement or original modified pieces will be needed to modify the column to look correct for my car.
After removing the brackets, I disassembled the column and wire wheeled all of the parts to remove all of the old original paint. Some parts of the column I plain tossed out, like the transmission lever piece that actuates the transmission linkage.
To remove the rest of the transmission shifter components, two column pieces will need to be modified, the shifter column that housed the arm and rotated to allow a gear to be chosen, and the lower collar piece that joined the former piece to the tube part of the column. I started by using a cutting wheel to remove the transmission lever pieces.
My original intention was to simply tack weld the shifter pieces together
and then top top dress them with glazing putty, but ran into a problem: the
column is made of pot metal! Unless I wanted to try my hand at
welding/brazing with an aluminum rod. Double rats!
After waiting the proper cure time, a quick grinding wheel smoothes out the epoxied piece. It came out rather smooth, but not smooth enough for glazing putty to fill in all the imperfections. So the shade tree mechanic's best car body repair item is spread in a thin layer around the shift lever housing.
After some sanding the shifter housing looks much better. Now to get the column back together, and top dress the column and prepare it for paint.
After sanding, top dressing with glazing putty, and finish sanding, a quick
few coats of primer and satin black finished up the column.
Mike in Chicago