Which steering column for swap?

tdm119

Veteran Member
Oct 8, 2009
177
Kansas City Mo.
I'm doing a 6.0 swap and want to find a newer steering column with cruise and wipers. Has anybody used a later model steering column that fit good?
 

Philip

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 30, 2006
1,808
Marana, AZ
The GM columns are all about the same length so there are many choices. The critical dimension is from the dash mount to the steering wheel mount. The floor mount plate is also different but easy to change. In 1979 GM changed from a splined shaft to a double D. It just requires a different intermediate shaft to install.
I installed an 82 Eldorado tilt/telescopic column in my 77 Nova. The shifter nub was removed and filled, the floor plate was changed and then it bolted right in. I like the dimmer on the column and wished I had used one with the wipers too. I have photos if you want to see the install.
 

Philip

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 30, 2006
1,808
Marana, AZ
My install is in a 77 Nova but the columns are all the same shape from 69 - 89 in most GM cars.

This is a comparision of the dash mounting brackets. The mount to the column is the same but the brackets can vary. The wider one is from the Cadillac, but the Nova bracket was a bolt on

P1010004.jpg


The floor plate needs to be changed from the column in your car to the new one. Early ones are clamped on, most later ones are just crimped or spot welded on and are easy to remove. The slot on the column is where the nuetral/back up switch was.

P1010001.jpg


The column I used came from a theft recovery car and had a shifter on it. The shifter handle nub was removed and the hole patched. The shift arm was cut off and tack welded in the park position. This presents one safety issue, accidentally locking the wheel while moving. Just keep this in mind when sneaking in at 3 am, only switch the key to off and not lock.

P1010005.jpg


tilttelecolumn.jpg


tilttelecolumn2.jpg


tilttelecolumn1.jpg


P1010002.jpg


Installed in my car. The instrument cluster went through a couple of modifications too.

P1010071.jpg


Autometerinstallation7.jpg


The telescopic lever

dashupgrade3.jpg
 

Philip

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 30, 2006
1,808
Marana, AZ
Some comparisons. You can see the over all length, and mounting bracket location are the same on these. The Camaro column will be the same as the Nova and Chevelle.
I also have had columns from G bodies and B bodies that measure the same, years ago I installed a 69 Impala column in a 74 GMC. Lots of vehicles to choose from so shop for free or cheap with the features you want ;)

77 Nova and 82 Cadillac

overallwithcadillacextended.jpg


77 Nova and 72 Chevelle

nova-chevelle.jpg


Splined shaft used through 1978

splinedshaft.jpg


pinchbolt.jpg


Double D starting in most GM cars in 1979

Dshaft.jpg


thrubolt.jpg
 

tdm119

Veteran Member
Oct 8, 2009
177
Kansas City Mo.
I am still working on the 99 column. It's taken some work but not too bad. The recent problem I ran into is the factory brake switch won't work. I am going to use a Wilwood porportioning valve with brake switch. The AAW harness is compatible with the 99 column, and I am installing a lq9. I also have a wiper motor from a 99 camaro I will be using. It is all a work in progress.
 

Italstalyon

New Member
Mar 21, 2011
25
San Jose, Ca.
Standard Column to Tilt

Not to change the subject but going verticle... I have a 73 Camaro with a standard column and I am going to try updating it to a tilt from a 71 Camaro and in trying this I notice several differences. 1.) Stock is splined and the tilt has two flats with a hole in the middle. (See picture of tilt shaft) So I looked at the intermediate shaft from the tilt and 2.) the connector to the steering box is smaller and won't fit. Also, the coupling at the Bell connection is different. I am trying to adapt this column by changing the Bell Joint and this might work but the Boot is torn leaving me with a couple of questions;
- Does anyone know where I might get a replacement?
- Is there a better way to do this that I don't see?
Appreciating any guidance here.
Thanks gearheads...
Italstalyon
(Dave)
 

Attachments

  • TlitShaft-1.jpg
    TlitShaft-1.jpg
    86.3 KB · Views: 552
Last edited:

71RS/SS396

Veteran Member
Aug 26, 2008
2,640
Wake Forest NC
Italstalyon said:
Not to change the subject but going verticle... I have a 73 Camaro with a standard column and I am going to try updating it to a tilt from a 71 Camaro and in trying this I notice several differences. 1.) Stock is splined and the tilt has two flats with a hole in the middle. (See picture of tilt shaft) So I looked at the intermediate shaft from the tilt and 2.) the connector to the steering box is smaller and won't fit. Also, the coupling at the Bell connection is different. I am trying to adapt this column by changing the Bell Joint and this might work but the Boot is torn leaving me with a couple of questions;
- Does anyone know where I might get a replacement?
- Is there a better way to do this that I don't see?
Appreciating any guidance here.
Thanks gearheads...
Italstalyon
(Dave)
Part of the problem your having is the column you have pictured is not a 71 column, it looks like a 79 and later column. Read the above posts that Philip posted explaining the differences. 70-78= splined shaft, 79-up = double d shaft.
 

Italstalyon

New Member
Mar 21, 2011
25
San Jose, Ca.
Column Swap - Standard to Tilt

HEY THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP. I CHATTED UP THE GUY I GOT IT FROM AND HE TOLD ME IT CAME OUT OF A 71 SO THAT IS WHY I AM ASKING. Woops, caps on... So now what? Can it be converted to work or better get th right one? Hummm... Anyone got the answer on the Rubber Boot that covers the grease in the bell joint?
 




Top