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Are '49-'50 and '51 Ford steering columns the same?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chrisman, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. chrisman
    Joined: Jun 13, 2002
    Posts: 719

    chrisman
    Member

    ...i.e. would a '49-'50 steering wheel look good on a '51 column?

    I got the wheel, and as I look for a column I'd like to know if I should stick to the '49-'50, or if I can expand the search to include the '51 as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,269

    blackout
    Member

    Yes, 48 - 52 are alike, to my knowledge
     
  3. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,824

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Member

    I believe 48 is keyed, neither here nor there with the question tho.

    Yes 49/50/51 Ford columns will interchange wheels.
     
  4. chrisman
    Joined: Jun 13, 2002
    Posts: 719

    chrisman
    Member

    Yeah, the '48 is keyed and '49 and up is splined. My point was not if a '49-'50 wheel will fit a '51 column (it will, technically) but if it will fit well and look good.

    The white one is a '49-'50 steering wheel, and the black one is a '51 wheel. As there are differences in how they are designed I wondered if there also could be differences in the columns as well that would make the earlier wheel look goofy on top of a '51 column.

    I'm sorry for the confusion, a couple of pictures makes it a little easier, I hope. :)
     

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  5. I don't think it would look goofy. My understanding is that Ford "lowered" the arms on the steering wheel in 1951 to accomodate visibility of the "new for '51" instrument panel.
     
  6. SlowandLow63
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 5,953

    SlowandLow63
    Member
    from Central NJ

    Anything would look better than '51 wheel. Ugh! I believe someone once said it looked like a 70s Mustang wheel!
     
  7. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,824

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Member

    I always looked at it as the first glimpse of the 1968 Mustang wheel! :)

    Yes I have seen more than a few 51s w/ 49/50 wheels.
     
  8. papasmurf240
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 209

    papasmurf240
    Member

    So does anybody have pictures of a 49 or 50 steering wheel on a 51 column? I absolutely hate the 51 wheel and I have a great condition 49 wheel that I want to swap out while I am painting the dash.

    I spoke with the guys at shoebox ford and they said the best way to do it is to swap the entire steering box and column from the 49 into the 51 because the columns are different lengths.

    I really want to just swap out the steering wheels, but I don't want it to look out of place on the 51. Also, my car does not have factory turn signals, so I will be using an aftermarket turn signal housing anyways if that makes a difference.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  9. paulie_boy13
    Joined: Mar 1, 2005
    Posts: 269

    paulie_boy13
    Member
    from NC

    The splines on a '51 ARE different than the '49-50 Ford.

    '49-50 is interchangeable.

    If I remember correct the "clocking" spline is wider on the 51.
     
  10. cuznbrucie
    Joined: May 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,567

    cuznbrucie
    Member

    '51 has a different hub than the '49-50........look at the small diameter hub underneath the '49-50 wheel.........'51 hub is much wider diameter.....

    CB
     
  11. shoebox72
    Joined: Jan 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,491

    shoebox72
    Member

    You can put a 49-50 steering wheel on a 51 it will fit..BUT you will see the insides of the turn signal mechanism on the 51 column. To overcome this when I ran a 50 crestliner wheel on my 51,, I took a plastic coffee can lid, cut a hole in the center for the shaft, painted it to match the column used a couple of dabs of epoxy to secure it to the bell & that was that.
     

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