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Steering Column Installation – One Good Turn … Bringing A Longtime-Modified F-100 Up To Date

Written by Staff. Posted in Hot Right Now, Technical Articles

Published on April 26, 2016 with No Comments

Plenty of modified cars and trucks are out there that have been built for some time, with many having spent more of their lives rodded than as stockers. As time passes, the level of sophistication in our hobby increases, not to mention the skills of most builders. We’ve all heard horror stories and seen downright dangerous vehicles on the road when they have no right to be, and, as well as general maintenance, there’s a time and a place for improvements.

We’re not suggesting in any way that the F-100 shown here was dangerous, but it was definitely time for an improvement, which is why the owner thought it was time for some updating. Already fitted with independent front suspension, the truck could benefit from a new steering column, shaft, and joints, replacing the worn-out components that were used when the truck was first modified.

Ignoring that interesting brake pedal for now (the next improvement that will be made to this F-100), this is how the truck arrived at the shop, with an old unidentified column that was held in place with a U-bolt at the dash and a piece of steel strap at the floor. It also featured a rather attractive collapsible section, too! Note that old shifter; it will be replaced by one on the new column.

In the engine bay matters weren't much better, with what appeared to be the shortened inner section of a Chevy steering column with U-joints welded at either end...

...With none-too-pretty welds at that. Remember your life depends on your steering and braking systems.

The first step was to remove the carpet and old column.

The old lower bearing was nothing more than a nylon bushing, and a very worn and mutilated one at that. Perhaps that accounts for the sloppy feel of the old setup?

With the column and carpeting out of the way, this access panel in the floor was removed, too.

With a template made, a new panel was fabricated from 1/8-inch steel plate. Here it's cut out using a plasma cutter.

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