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Making your own steering column

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Probesport, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. I set out this past week to order a steering column for my car and when I couldn't find what I wanted i decided to make one. I took some tips form here and set to work.

    1.5" tubing, 3/4" steel rod, a plate cut for the wheel and the bearings.

    Here are the bearings I used, from a local tractor supply.

    plate welded to the rod, mounting tab mounted to the tube and the bearings have been greased and tack welded to the tube.

    Mounted up

    Removed and painted

    I didnt like seeing the bearing and rod when it was installed os I added a sleeve to the wheel plate

    Painted and installed


    Attched at the steering box with a 3/4" DD x 3/4" DD,

    The only thing left is to clean up the exit area and make a lower mount at the firewall, works great very happy. Hope thsi helps someone.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  2. Molonewolf
    Joined: Jan 22, 2012
    Posts: 195


    Nice job it's great to see some home built hot rod stuff.
    pecker head likes this.
  3. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    Of couse it will. That and all the other tech posts are a big part of what makes this place so good. Cool
  4. quote''plate welded to the rod, mounting tab mounted to the column and the bearings have been greased and tacked in.''

    did you mean you tack welded the bearing into the tube?
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  5. pug man
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,010

    pug man
    from louisiana

    Damn dude you made that look easy! Thanks for sharing with us......
  6. Yes, that is what I meant - I will go back and clarify that.
  7. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    If you prefer not to tack it in.. You can do sort of what GM did with a coil spring and a locking collar with a set screw. These 2 pieces push up on the lower bearing, and they also pull down on the steering wheel, which presses the top bearing down.

    Both pieces came from the same hardware store as the flange bearings did.

    Attached Files:

  8. electromet
    Joined: Mar 19, 2011
    Posts: 154

    from Tucson, AZ


    You have just made a big light go on in my head. I've been pondering this very project for a while now. Thanks for the write-up and pics. Consider you idea stolen.

  9. I was going to do the shaft collar until I realized I forgot to buy them, I like that setup. I did not think about adding a spring to it.
  10. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    I think GM used the spring for two reasons; One-it holds upwards pressure while maintaing the bearing pre-load on the GM type factory upper bearing, and Two, I think it allows some movement upwards, of the center shaft as the car may twist or whatever, over bumps.

    EDIT; yours will work fine because your inner shaft can move a bit upwards without binding anything. If you did use the collar that you forgot, but did not use a spring, any flex of the chassis components might put too much wear/tear on the lower bearing.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  11. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,805


    looks good, should work fine.
  12. Nice, I will have to remember that if/when I have to service these bearings.
  13. chevy3755
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,035


    good tech ..........
  14. Perfict timing as I am about to do the same. Thank's
  15. Yeh, good tech...:cool: I like it, will save this info for my T "super crew".
  16. 32 hudson
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 695

    32 hudson

    Nice clean instalation. I like that exhaust pipe adapter as a transition sleeve. Can't wait to see the lower mount.
  17. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    I did something simular , although I used a pre existing column for some of my parts
  18. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,341

    from Greeley Co

    cool idea! thanks for posing your tech.
  19. deflaytedwayz
    Joined: Mar 18, 2011
    Posts: 69


  20. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Saw an article once where a guy used an aluminum baseball bat for his column. Looked pretty cool actually
  21. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    Perfect! I was just mocking my steering column up exactly like this post and was wondering how I was going to get an "exact fit"! :cool:
  22. Interesting, I'd like to see how that looked - if you have a link or pics please post 'em.
  23. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,695


    Thanks Probesport, I have had that process explained to me in the past, and you made it look as easy as they made it sounded! Now I'm ready to get rid of that crappy 80's coulmn!
  24. Looks great! Very nice job. I'll save this one.
  25. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 718

    from boron,ca

    i have been making my columns like this for many years. the only difference on mine is, i use chrome exhaust tubing for it.
  26. josh highley
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 405

    josh highley

    I have done the same thing on my last couple cars. Works great! Home built and fairly cheap! Gotta love the HAMB!
  27. mink
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,301

    from CT

    x2 on that
  28. Take this next task in hand. How do you take a piece to make into a tilt piece without making too many complications? How do make it look clean?
    I built my own steering column and appreciate how yours is built and looked at something I didn't do.
    Good build.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  29. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,884

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Like FLATHEADGARY, I used 1-1/2 exhaust tube with one end flared out to match the Le Carra hub with shaft bearing inside tube, then chromed the tube.
    I fabbed my own design steering column holder which splits in two with hidden allen 1/4 inch bolts from behind. This makes a clean appearance.

    Attached Files:

  30. skidsteer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,251


    Nice, neat and looks good.

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