Gday to all,
Now that I have got the steering box installed in my converted RHD 57 Chev, I need to now sort out the steering column. I have a 56 RHD dash installed. I have been advised by the engineer that I need to install a collapsible steering column if I install a 350 Small block which I propose to do. I see that Ididit have a collapsible RHD column with a gear shift which would be ideal. Does anyone have any experience with the installation of these collapsible columns and is there any other suitable and possibly cheaper columns that would do the job?
Don't know the price of the ididit column down here. Aust Rod and Custom Components on the Gold Coast advertise in Cruzin magazine. They list a collapsible column for $799 with column shift. www.partsforhotrods.com.au 0418 675 170. The good thing about the 55/56 dash is you can use a slightly shorter column - harder to shorten the column with the US dash in a 57.
Does it have to be a tilt column? George at Alien Retro Columns in Castlemaine advertises in Aust Street Rodding mag and he will make a collapsible column. 0438 324661 or thru facebook.
Personally I don't know of anyone using either one, just mentioning that they are out there, and both engineer approved.
Would you consider using a 55/56 column ? maybe one modified by George. I have the main parts of a 55/56 auto column here, that needs the tabs up the top repaired, and is just the inner and outer tubes. But that would probably mean leaving the shifter on the right side and maybe using the auto instrument cluster.
Other options could be HK T G columns and falcon around the early 70's - probably getting expensive these days. The Falcon has the shift indicator on the column. A mate has a HK column in his 56 and he has modified the 56 auto cluster to accept the column shift. He also does column shift conversions using rods similar to what GMH here did to the Statesmans with TH400, running a rod under the bellhousing. He did my 56 a while back, taking it back to column shift. You are welcome to have a look under my 56 if you want to.
A local rodder showed me a while back how he made a collapsible column using one from a 65 F100. I have a few pics here of what he used, if you are interested.
BTW, why did the engineer say it was necessary with a 350? I thought they had a rule about how much horsepower increase before they say it's modified too much, and needing a report. Used to be a 10% rule over stock and I think that was increased to 20% recently. And that increase was over the top HP engine available, not what came in the car. I know they seem to change the rules all the time, but I will need to speak with a n engineer soon re my 57.
Thanks for the great info Des. I didn't know about the companies you have suggested. I am not too worried if it is not a tilt column. Interesting that you said the rules have changed and I might not need to go collapsible. I contacted the the engineer a while back. He was based in Braeside Victoria. Cheers Mike