Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Column Swap, part 1

On Christmas eve I spent several hours out in the garage. I was hoping to get the entire steering column removed, so that I could have a head start when I bring the new column home tomorrow. I probably won't get the new one put in right away, but at least I am ready when I get to it.

This is the turn signal switch that started all of my troubles.
I wanted to swap it out with a $25 part from Auto Zone. So much for this budget repair...

The bunged up threads at the tip of this steering rod are the source of all of my column problems. I can't mount the steering wheel with them like that. So the swap was in order.

Is that what your dash looks like after you rip the column out of your truck? There is a method to my madness, but it would take too long to explain...

Some where in that picture is my nice pretty steering wheel that I spent hours cleaning and now I won't be using. Can you say garage wall art?

There should be a steering shaft and transmission linkages in that picture,
but they are attached to the now missing column.

Where do you keep your column? I keep mine beside the driver's side front wheel.
Thanks for asking.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Parts ordered

I found a complete steering column from a 1968 truck for sale online. I don't really need the whole thing, but it is complete and looks to be in great shape. Plus it is costing me $7 more to have this nice looking part shipped to my door than the only other one I found. That column was pretty junky looking and I would need to make a 4 hour round trip drive to pick it up.

$7 well spent, I think.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Turn signal success - Ultimate failure

I wanted to pull the steering wheel off this morning, to get ready for a swap of the turn signal/hazard signal switch. I assumed that I would have to order the switch, but my local Auto Zone had one in stock.

I picked up the switch and got everything disassembled and cleaned up fairly quickly. It took a while to get the switch positioned properly and to get the wiring run properly through the steering column, but those were the biggest hassles. Up to that point.

When I was ready to reinstall the steering wheel, I noticed that the threads on the column were totally wrecked. I don't know if I trashed them with the wheel puller, or as I was removing the retaining nut. Either way, there is no repairing them, now.

So in the end, I replaced the turn signal switch. but now I can't install the steering wheel until I swap out the steering shaft.

Have I ever told you how much I love working on 40 year old metal?

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Rebirth of Marge, Post 1

Since parking the truck and suspending the insurance coverage, I have not spent any real time out in the garage until tonight. Even that was more planning for the coming work than anything.

I am trying to decide if I should put Marge up on jack stands to get the tires off of the ground. I don't want the tires to get flat-spotted while she is just sitting in the garage, but I want to make things as safe as possible out there, too. As of tonight she still sits on her tires.

I started pulling the steering wheel off tonight. Then I remembered that I do not own a wheel pulling tool. Racecar Man has one and I have borrowed it several times. Guess once more won't hurt. The wheel has to come off so I can install a new turn signal/ hazard signal set-up. While I am in there I want to get everything cleaned up really well, too.