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Dirt cheap tilt column flab to fab tech!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by xmlc216x, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    In my never ending search to practice fabbing things and save money at the same time I decided to use the GM tilt steering column that came with the s10 frame and my 54 pickup body. Well I know how you guys feel about tilt columns and it was just down right hideous to begin with. So, I decided to fab my own steering column using the gm column and a few metal pieces I had laying around. Here's what I started with:
    [​IMG]
    And here is an article to help get it apart:
    http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/088020.html

    Using that info I was able to get the shaft out and here's what I'm working with:
    [​IMG]
    On the left is a scrap piece of 1" DOM tubing, in the middle is the steering column shaft that I've already cut into a few pieces, and on the right is actually a galvanized chain link fence post. I think the sticker said 1-5/8" but it may be like 2". I'll have to check on that later and get back.

    So I cut the top of the shaft into a few pieces so I could flip the bearing race around.
    Original order
    [​IMG]
    New order
    [​IMG]
    Then I slid the DOM tubing over the shaft hammered it flat on the sides and welded it all the way around.
    [​IMG]
    Then I flipped the next piece around and slid it into the DOM
    [​IMG]
    Then I welded the splined end back on.
    [​IMG]
    Overall for my application I think i ended up lengthening the shaft 3-4"
    I used a bearing race from the original column that magically fit and I dimpled the tubing under the race so it wouldn't slide down.
    [​IMG]
    Last but not least I sleeved the lower part of the original column over the new tube because it holds a bushing and gives me a flange to mount to the firewall. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the bottom side with the original bushing and clip attached
    [​IMG]
    And here it is mocked up
    [​IMG]
    Once I get a suitable steering wheel, I'll build a trim piece around the top of the column. And once I build floorboards and the lower half of the firewall I'll finish the flange and bolt it in. Tomorrow I'm going to build a hanger for the column under the dash.

    Hope this can help someone! It cost me nothing and it looks a ton better than the tilt column!
     
  2. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290

    94hoghead
    Member

    Looks great to me....
     
  3. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    I love ingenuity...Nice tech.....
     
  4. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    Thanks guys everything just "fit". It was almost too easy ha
     

  5. dt50chev
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 596

    dt50chev
    Member

    Brains, not bucks. Looking good man. At least you have a radio in yours.
     
  6. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    Ha that piece of junk is getting pulled out for sure. Probably will do some hidden iPod thing
     
  7. Did you ever measure the fence post? I have a few late model columns laying around...
     
  8. THE_DUDE
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,601

    THE_DUDE
    Member

    You say it tilts?
     
  9. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    I'll measure the post in a little while.

    No, it doesn't tilt. I guess the title isn't clear. I took and ugly tilt column and made it a clean simple non-tilt column.
     
  10. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    It is in fact 1 5/8" OD
     
  11. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,374

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Lots a work for a straight non tilt column, whats wrong with 2 bearings/bushings, an inside shaft and outside tube? Don't see what you gained with all the work is all except the splines you needed?
     
  12. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    It didn't cost anything. I used what I had available. Kinda like cutting up two cars to make one roadster. Except I did it myself.

    I'm sorry mods can delete my thread since it's obviously no help to anyone since everyone has $300 to spend on a flashy new column.
     
  13. fastrnu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2009
    Posts: 739

    fastrnu
    Member
    from shelton,wa

    Geez settle down.
    your title says:
    Dirt cheap tilt column flab to fab tech!
    Some of us look for meat and potatoes on this board. you gave us more junk food.
    Now you want to call us "check book builders". grow the hell up shame on you
     
  14. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,374

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    After reviewing your post I can see where you saved around $130 not having to buy 1 u-joint @ $65 a pop, a shaft and a couple bearing/bushings and an oustide tube, thats nothing to sneeze about! I have been following your AD build as I am doing an AD S-10 4X4 and a 2 wheel drive, it's looking good!
     
  15. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    Thanks brig I've been watching your roadster build and I love what you have planned. It looks great and I can't wait to see it progress.

    Sorry I just got a little defensive over my first tech thread. I figured I could help someone who already has a tilt column and wants something a little cleaner. I would have rather found something in the junkyard, but they aren't open on the weekends and I don't have much time during the week. Just wanted it to be a simple thing people could do with things they might already have laying around
     
  16. I think it was a pretty cool tech piece. Not building a car from scratch, but shit, better than a sharp stick in the eye.
     
  17. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    Well it only took me a couple hours and now I can use the money I saved for something else. Don't worry I won't waste my time posting any other money saving fabrication tips since most people would rather just get the made in china crap anyways. Oh well I tried
     
  18. english rob
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 39

    english rob
    Member

    keep posting its good to see what people make it's just the sort of thing i would do.
    and if you use longer cable ties you can alter the rake :)
     
  19. blacklist
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 4

    blacklist
    Member
    from Pa

    thats a real cool right up man, I have an old gm column that might see the same fate... I may or may not save a bunch of money but life's about more than money spent and saved.
     
  20. bigdog
    Joined: Oct 30, 2002
    Posts: 651

    bigdog
    Member

    Sorry, but for some of us a hundred bucks is " a major cost savings".
     
  21. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    propwash
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    why would there be a bias against tilt wheels? there were various iterations of a movable steering wheel (fatman version for one) prior to any of our birthdays. I have installed tilt columns of one kind or another (GM always) in most of my builds. Makes them easier to drive long distances and allows other folks of differing heights to drive comfortably.

    dj

    "...just tell your HOODLUM friends outside - you ain't got time to take a ride..."
     
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,165

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You don't have to spend that. Just take a look at a colu^^N out of a 60/72 Chev pickup with a factory four speed.
    [​IMG]
    Out of a 70.
    The original steering shaft would need to be ^^odified though.

    But I a^^ a fir^^ believer in using what you have available within reason too and yours fits the bill.
     
  23. magsnubby
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 486

    magsnubby
    Member
    from Fresno,Ca

    I thought building vs. buying was part of hot rodding. Plus the money can be spent on other parts.
     
  24. swimeasy
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,067

    swimeasy
    Member

    I like your thinking,Man!
     
  25. threeston
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 74

    threeston
    Member

    don't let the naysayers ruin your mood. taking something other people would just cast aside and reworking it back to a purpose is always more rewarding than just buying a new piece.
     
  26. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,126

    Danimal
    Member

    Now work on getting it to tilt! That's pretty much how Ididit got started.

    And to the nay sayers, remember when he said the junkyard was closed on Saturday? What did you make that you couldn't buy today?
     
  27. Hell yes it is! Do that ten times, that's a thousand bucks.
     
  28. Some of us buy---Some of us create!!! Ya did good bunkie.----Brian
     
  29. xmlc216x
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 488

    xmlc216x
    Member
    from MS

    Thanks for the support guys.

    As for tilt, I don't really need it. My daily driver Tacoma doesn't have it and I've never really wished it did. I wanted to make it look more like the original column that came in these trucks but still match up to the s10 steering box. I'm happy with the result so far :)
     
  30. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307

    onlychevrolets
    Member


    I don't have 300 to spend, I like the fact you used your brain and not check book. You gained a needed part.
     

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