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1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; ZZ4 w HEI ign; 700r4; 9" rear w/3:50 gears; pwr disc fr w drum rear
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have adjusted the steering column bracket (JJ in attached exploded view) in one direction as far as possible, and still can't get my cluster perfectly centered on the column. The automatic shifter sleeve isn't hitting the cluster bezel, so it's not critical.....but being a perfectionist I'd like to center it better.

http://www.trifive.com/garage/57 Chevy Assembly Manual/302-9.gif

It seems to me that my only course is to adjust the steering column rods that exit into engine compartment (and the other hides under driver side front fender?) I need to move the column 1/4" further to the passenger side.
There are the two bolts under the dash with rubber cushions, but they don't look like they have any adjustment play in them.

Is there any easy adjustment process to get it centered better?

Thanks,
Ace
 

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Don's right on (of course).....I had to shim my CPP 500 box in my '57 to get the column centered.
 

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1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; ZZ4 w HEI ign; 700r4; 9" rear w/3:50 gears; pwr disc fr w drum rear
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
No, the problem is at the dashboard end. When I drop the column to pull out my instrument cluster....and then go to re-attach, I can't get the under-column bracket (part JJ) moved far enough to the right because the under-dash brace assembly isn't centered well enough. The under-dash brace assembly is held in place by the support rods....at least it appears that way. I need to move the brace assembly over 1/4". I can't move the column over even if I shimmed the steering box because the brace assembly blocks movement of the column on right hand side.

There is enough movement/slop in the steering column at dashboard to pick up 1/4".

I'm attaching the diagram posted in library, but there is an even better picture in '57 assembly manual (section 9, sheet 5.0), (but PDF file is too big for me to attach.)

http://www.trifive.com/garage/57 Chevy Assembly Manual/9-5-01.gif

The steering column support rods bolt to top and passenger side of the brace assembly. And on the convertible (only) there is also a support rod going from
driver side of brace to an area under the front fender.
 

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If you move one end in one direction the other end will move in the opposite direction if there is an attachment point between the ends.
Jim
 

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AIRC, the support rods go thru a slotted hole in the dash frame. Have you loosened the nuts on the braces?
If you are 1/4" off, you need only 1/8" to center the column...Should be doable.
 

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1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; ZZ4 w HEI ign; 700r4; 9" rear w/3:50 gears; pwr disc fr w drum rear
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1,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was able to find the assembly manual page I was referring to (in our library) so here it is.

http://www.trifive.com/garage/57 Chevy Assembly Manual/9-5.gif

This is a better picture as it shows brace assembly and position of rods. And rod noted by "10" which runs to area behind kick panel? (convertibles only)

Chuck, I don't see any slotted holes where rods attach to dash brace.(they look like standard holes at diagram at top of page) But I was thinking I could lengthen rod that comes from kick panel and shorten the rods that run to firewall. I just don't see any way to adjust centering of column brace assembly other than playing with support rods.

I think I may just need to "let go" of this....it doesn't appear to be a common adjustment based on this thread....and ****, it's just 1/8" probably more trouble than it's worth.
 

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I just went through this same problem with my new Concept one unit on my 56. I loosened the botttom bracket and still couldn't get what I needed, a 1/4" is all. I took the bracket off of the bottom of the steering column and honed it out just a 1/8" on both sides and got it centered. I also shimed the power steering unit with a 1/8" shim on the bolt hole closest to the firewall. Hope this helps.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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Ace, I just looked at my column mount to the dash. It's not bolted up tight since I haven't painted my cluster the second time yet. If the column is hitting the side of the semi circle of the bracket in view A of this drawing, that you could grind out some of the bracket and elongate the holes in the lower bracket to get enough adjustment to center it. ...http://www.trifive.com/garage/57%20Chevy%20Assembly%20Manual/9-5.gifI think you may get into a can of worms, if you try to move the pedal bracket over.
 

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1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; ZZ4 w HEI ign; 700r4; 9" rear w/3:50 gears; pwr disc fr w drum rear
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don, I guess great minds think alike. That is EXACTLY what I did to get where I'm at right now.....but could still use another 1/8" to get it centered right, and I don't want to file the bracket any more...

I'm still thinking about your "loosening floor mount" and shimming gear box response.....it might help a tiny bit but don't think it would be much. But, there really isn't a floor mount on a '57 is there? The column passes through the firewall.....

Ace
 

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1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; ZZ4 w HEI ign; 700r4; 9" rear w/3:50 gears; pwr disc fr w drum rear
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well, no I didn't loosen that....and by the way I do have a manual steering box.

Don, when I look up at my steering column from the floor.....I see those two bolts that pass through the large rubber cushions/grommets. The bolt and grommet on the driver side are pushed way to the left up against the metal brace....the passenger side has about 1/2 inch space between grommet and metal brace. Do you think there is any play (possibly slotted holes?) in the tightening down of those bolts/grommets? I don't understand why mine isn't centered there....unless they are all that way. If I could center that it would center my column.

What is holding up the steering wheel end of brace assembly? Just the supporting rods bolted to the firewall? (hard to tell from the assembly manual pictures) the firewall end of the brace seems to have the bolts for the brake master cylinder on other side of firewall....which secures it there.

Ace
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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Do you think there is any play (possibly slotted holes?) in the tightening down of those bolts/grommets?
As you know, a convertable is different than my hardtop. There may be some adjustment there.

What is holding up the steering wheel end of brace assembly? Just the supporting rods bolted to the firewall? (hard to tell from the assembly manual pictures) the firewall end of the brace seems to have the bolts for the brake master cylinder on other side of firewall....which secures it there.

Ace
The steering wheel end of the pedal support is bolted to the C channel that stiffens the bottom of the dash, as well as all the rods. ....http://www.trifive.com/garage/57%20Chevy%20Assembly%20Manual/9-5.gif
Is the column actually hitting the side of the brackets semi circle shown in view A of the above drawing?
 
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