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32 Ford Column Drop Disassembly

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bill Van Dyke, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    Anybody know of a pictorial discussion on the disassembly of a "32 column drop and ignition assembly for rebuilding?
     
  2. Hope like hell it isn't rusty & then pray over it for a few weeks while it soaks in penetrating oil. Then soak it for another month & continue praying. Once this is done...

    Remove the pinch bolt on the bottom of the drop. I've had good luck welding a small nut to the head of this bolt & then backing it out with a wrench.

    Remove the "on/off" plate from front by either gripping the small brass brads with a GOOD pair of pliers or by prying them out with a small screwdriver. You'll be doing good to get this off without damaging the aluminum plate.

    Take the electrical box off the back. 2 screws. Easy. Remove the pin that is in the lock cylinder with a pair of vise grips. Try to rotate it clockwise & counterclockwise to free it. It'll still probably break.

    Remove the set pin that holds the key lock cylinder in place. You'll have to drill it out. Go slowly & don't go too deep. Stop when you get brass shavings. If you've prayed hard enough your drill bit MIGHT grip the pin & twist it out before you hit brass. But probably not.

    Now you have to get the lock cylinder out. Not easy. If you have the original key, resist the temptation to twist on the key to pull the cylinder out. You'll probably just break the key off. Carefully drive it out from the inside out. It is HARD to get to the backside of this cylinder with anything short of a small screwdriver. Use a small brass punch or something relatively soft if possible. If you're not careful you'll damage the brass lock cylinder and/or the rotating cam that operates the column lock itself.

    Getting the column lock out is tough (see a pattern here?). The biggest worry is the on/off lever. It is die cast & will break easily. They aren't reproduced either. You have to press the column lock down to get the on/off switch out. This can be done in a press or bench vise with a small socket used to press in the center of the lock cylinder. At this point, leave the larger outer bung that you can see on top. Just press the small center. The on/off lever has to come out the back.

    Once you've done this, you'll have press the lock cylinder back up & out the top. Again, a bench vise or press will be needed. You'll also probably have to fabricate some kind of device that will slip through the column hole & then allow you to press evenly upward on the lock cylinder. An assortment of shallow & deep sockets will be needed for all this pressing.

    These things are frustrating, intricate & absolutely amazing in the way they work. I've NEVER seen a good, bullet-proof, Ford-recommended method of getting one apart. They look like they would require special tools or at least approved instructions for taking one part with regular tools. There is a lot going on inside these things - in a very small space. I'd bet that if one ever gave trouble, Ford probably just recommend replacing the entire unit.

    I've attempted to photograph this process in the past but I'm too frustrated to worry with it after the first 5 minutes - every time. I have 2 or 3 soaking now with a handful of others waiting their turn. As fascinated as I am with them, even I have a hard time getting excited about working on one. ALSO...... everytime I do one, it seems that I change me procedure at some point to suit my needs, & nothing is ever any easier. The guts of these things are the same for most years but somehow it seems that the procedure for each is different. What I've outlined above should get you close though. Frustrating.

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    It wouldn't hurt to start praying now.

    JH
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  3. Minewithnoshine
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 938

    Minewithnoshine
    Member

    Here's mine disassembled. I pieced mine together from ones that I could get apart. I got lucky to find a just about perfect slider/lock.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    man, I'm screwed...where's Hot Rod Garage's phone number? :rolleyes:
     
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  5. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    Excellent resposes!! Thanks guys for taking the trouble. Sounds like the old saying "I started out to drain the swamp, now I'm up to my ass in alligators!" This is going to take some careful thought before tearing into mine which is operational just to do a cosmatic on off plate and paint.
     
  6. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Try hard to save the plate...the repros are just OK next to the original. The pin that moves the switch is close to impossible to remove intact...in fact, I have never been able to grip one adequately, as the metal is fairly soft and vise grips just move metal around as they slide off...most times, I have been able to loosen up the slider without removing it, and lots of washing with penetrating oil while you move it will flush out the rust eventually. IMHO, Liquid Wrench is the best at floating out crud from tight places.
    Original locks almost always are saveable, again with lots of flushing...key number will be right on the cylinder 90% of the time.
    Switch...repro switches are CRAP, made out of some sort of grainy looking cast goo. People have had serious heat and melting with them caused by poor contacts and soft plastic. Sand down what you have or seek decent plastic...some NOS still exists even. I think my NOS came from Carpenter and C&G.
    Parts and information never existed...Ford got them as a unit from outside supplier, serviced them only as an assembly except for cylinder and switch. I think '32 switch was used through 1935 or so.
    Harrison on here once made a short run of stainless steel levers...
     
  7. jerseyboy
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 634

    jerseyboy
    Member

    I'm going to be switching mine out someday, and rebuilding a replacement. Thanks for the info.:D
     
  8. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    jerseyboy is one of the few on here who knows what the extra hole at top left is for...
     
  9. jerseyboy
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 634

    jerseyboy
    Member

    Hey Bruce, there is one for sale on evilbay!(pull starter). Also saw one on a chassis for sale here on the Hamb.
     
  10. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Yep. 10 feet of clothesline through the little hole, wrappit around the front pulley 4 times, pull to start~!
     
  11. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    Valuable info on the electrics. Thanks Bruce. Hope things are smoothing out for you. Bill
     
  12. OHV DeLuxe
    Joined: May 27, 2005
    Posts: 352

    OHV DeLuxe
    Member
    from Norway

    I have the same problem with a 40`s truck column drop that has the big stainless button, switch lever and lock cylinder on the lower right side of the assembly.
    Someone has allready drilled out the cylinder lock pin and seems to have been successful in freeing everything up. Even the lock cylinder seems to be somewhat free inside its bore. The cylinder is junk though, and when i turn the lock with a screwdriver it forces out the slider maybe half an inch but stops solid.
    Do i need to press the cylinder down to get the lock slider out?
    Will the chrome lever get loose by pulling the slider out? or will i have to push the slider into the coulmn bore to free the lever before pulling it ot the right side again?

    Thanks..
     
  13. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    There's a guy named Trautwien, who I assume is Walter, who rebuilds these puppies. No address. Makes 32 windshield frames. Try Hemmings.
     
  14. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    try this..Walter Trautwein 518 677 3385
     
  15. thewildturkey46
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 746

    thewildturkey46
    Member
    from Rice, MN

    If anyone needs the black bakelite plate or the bakelite rectangle piece with the metal contacts on it,....let me know I have some NOS ones. Dale
     
  16. flatty_
    Joined: Oct 12, 2012
    Posts: 41

    flatty_
    Member
    from TX

    @Harrison or Minewithnoshine
    could you please post some pictures of the disassembly process?
    Would be a great help though
    thanks
     

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