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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, here's my set-up: I have a '55 2-door Belair sedan, with the original 265 V8 and manual 3-speed. I have converted to power front disc brakes and will be running 15 x 6" Cragars on the front. I also have the original front-end (currently being re-built), steering box, wheel and column, but I have already converted to a floor shift (column shift no longer worked). The turn signals do not work either and the horn ring and emblem are trash.

Since I have to rebuild the turn signal portion of the column and replace the horn ring and emblem, I thought I would just replace the whole column. I like the original look of the steering wheel, but I want to downsize to the original-looking 15".

I've read good reviews on both the Ididit and Flaming River Tilt-Column Conversions. They are both comparably priced. But which has the easiest installation and the best instructions for a shade-tree-level mechanic?

Should I replace the steering box? It seems to steer pretty easily, even though my bushings were all but gone.

Are the original steering boxes worth hanging onto?

How much harder would it be to convert to power steering?

Main question is what all do I need to just convert the column.

I think I need:
Tilt-column/floor shift (and modify shaft end?)
Coupler
Steering wheel (and adapter?) and horn emblem
4-way flasher kit

Any help would be greatly apprecieated!

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Joe if you go to those columns you will need to either cut the shaft of your original steering box or change over to a PS box. May as well change it all at once.
Terry
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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I like the original look of the steering wheel, but I want to downsize to the original-looking 15".
How much harder would it be to convert to power steering?

Main question is what all do I need to just convert the column.

I think I need:
Tilt-column/floor shift (and modify shaft end?)
Coupler
Steering wheel (and adapter?) and horn emblem
4-way flasher kit
Joe
You'll need a power steering pump and brackets, along with a CPP500 steering box or equivelent, and hoses.
If you keep the original box, you have to cut the shaft, grind double D flats on it, and use a coupler to the new column.
The 15" steering wheel will fit without an adapter and comes with the horn emblem.
4 way flashers are part of the new column.
 

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Columns don't come with rag joints.

You don't have to go to an aftermarket steering wheel when you put in an aftermarket column, unless that's what you want.

The stock wheel or other GM wheel will fit both Ididit and Flaming River columns. Ididit has the gear for making the stock horn switch to work; Flaming River doesn't. I was able to make and modify parts to allow the horn to work normally for my Flaming River column. I'd guess you can put a GM wheel on other aftermarket columns too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the advice y'all. I asked one of the aftermarket dealers about the Belair 15" steering wheel. The ad says not show quality, but the guy told me that's because it's not painted. But I read on another thread that the quality is not that good. Maybe I should consider others or just keep the original.
 

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1957 Belair wagon, 51 HenryJ
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I used a tilt column out of an 84 Monte Carlo and shaved off the shifter and key knobs and use a truck steering wheel, of course I have R&P in the wagon, good day.
 

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I used a tilt column out of an 84 Monte Carlo and shaved off the shifter and key knobs and use a truck steering wheel, of course I have R&P in the wagon, good day.
Nice touch getting rid of the key, nothing looks uglier than a key column in an old car.
 

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Do yourself a favour and go for the IDIDIT column with tilt. A great product and a great company to deal with and aftermarket backup. They do a 'shorty' boss as well to compensate for the extra length of teh tilt, a nice touch if you've got a belly issue !
 
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