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Adam

Convert non tilt column to tilt?

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Long time no chat everyone,

I was wondering if it is possible to convert a non tilt column to a tilt? Can you take a complete non tilt column from a 1970 Mustang and swap out internals to make it a tilt?  I'm 6'3 300 pounds and am currently in the process of installing the column/ pedal support bracket/pedals as well as the column.

 

For some reason The column I have is a NON tilt but has a tilt rag joint and lower shaft in it. Going to assume previous owner may have had the "parts" to try and convert one over???

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I think by the time you round up all the neccessary parts  to convert it to a tilt  column,  you might  as well  install a  Ididit and be done with it.  Also going  with a  14 inch  steering wheel will give you  more  clearance on your  legs. 

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There is almost no parts in common between a tilt and non-tilt column. So if you want to do it, you have 2 choices.  Aftermarket (Ididit) or ebay.  I see 1968 and 1969  tilt columns  on ebay all the time.  Not sure about 1970, but they might be easier to get because they did not have the "break-away" feature the 68 and 69 had.

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5 hours ago, danno said:

There is almost no parts in common between a tilt and non-tilt column. So if you want to do it, you have 2 choices.  Aftermarket (Ididit) or ebay.  I see 1968 and 1969  tilt columns  on ebay all the time.  Not sure about 1970, but they might be easier to get because they did not have the "break-away" feature the 68 and 69 had.

Don't I wish it were easy, one year only makes it like finding a needle in a haystack.  I've had the opportunity to purchase two in about 18 years of looking.  First one needed a lot of parts and was in poor shape, I passed for the asking price.  Second one I had a deal on and it was sold out from under me, was waiting for Christmas break to go on a road trip with my son to pick it up.

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I've seen them on ebay for 1k.  I have EPS and I grafted the upper section of a 87 F150 floor shift column with tilt.  Cost me $125 for the F150 column.

Problem with some of the aftermarket columns is they use a GM key, ick

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Another option is to move the non-tilt column up.  If you have rack and pinion, there is a u-joint at the bottom of the column and you can do this.  There might be spacers holding the column

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17 hours ago, larryc94 said:

I've seen them on ebay for 1k.  I have EPS and I grafted the upper section of a 87 F150 floor shift column with tilt.  Cost me $125 for the F150 column.

Problem with some of the aftermarket columns is they use a GM key, ick

I am curious about the 87 F150 column.  Does it have the same "guts" as a  1969 column?  I am speaking of the knuckle that tilts and the U joint.  I would doubt it does, but one never knows.  I have tilt in my 69, and I keep my eyes open for spare parts.

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last I've checked, aftermarket tilt steering column is only available for a 69, not a 70. So the ididit route will work, if you don't mind changing where your ignition switch is. 

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:59 AM, cavboy78 said:

last I've checked, aftermarket tilt steering column is only available for a 69, not a 70. So the ididit route will work, if you don't mind changing where your ignition switch is. 

That's the direction I think I'm going to end up going. I own a couple dashes and pedal supports so I could always swap things out to make it work. If I ever sell the car the next owner can do what he or she wants with all the extra stuff.

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This is going to sound like a dumb question but is there a easy way to distinguish between a 1970 tilt and no tilt column? I was installing the turn signal lever tonight and noticed I can push forward on it and there is some spring tension. Not knowing what it did I decided to look it up in one of the manuals and  noticed the thing the lever was pushing against is called "wire bail". I have no dash wiring in the car so I'm unable to see what happens if anything. If I push the turn signal lever forward it doesn't do anything.

 

IMG_3992.thumb.JPG.8148afabcaddb9017b2fe2a2fa41cb8a.JPGIMG_3993.thumb.JPG.5ad2e9adf28712dbcba322b2ade5c2c6.JPGIMG_3994.thumb.JPG.098169d0b71291d0d98159dab7165a12.JPGIMG_3995.thumb.JPG.9147e4feaf7ff8e1ab9389379d90d6fe.JPGIMG_3996.thumb.JPG.238a6080b95ed245212f68085c311c11.JPG

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I also want to point out that the turn signal cam in the column looks like this.

 

tsw8.thumb.jpg.d5ad82e7e1c643cbbaff7bc4704099dc.jpg

 

According to CJ Pony Parts the cam is for a tilt column. I don't know if you can install this into any column or not but it's in this column.

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Congratulations, you definitely  have a 1970 tilt column.  What is odd is that the wheel is extended well beyond the usual place.  It looks like it has a bunch of spacers between the wheel and the place it mounts.   I am not sure what is going on with that aftermarket wheel. 

When you push on the turn signal lever towards the instrument panel,  the wheel should tilt.  If it does not, something is wrong with it. 

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:30 AM, danno said:

Congratulations, you definitely  have a 1970 tilt column.  What is odd is that the wheel is extended well beyond the usual place.  It looks like it has a bunch of spacers between the wheel and the place it mounts.   I am not sure what is going on with that aftermarket wheel. 

When you push on the turn signal lever towards the instrument panel,  the wheel should tilt.  If it does not, something is wrong with it. 

The steering wheel has this bracket set up that bolts to  the Grant install kit with three bolt. Then the wheel attaches to the bracket via the 5 or 6 little screws that hold the wheel in place. The "stacked" looking object is a rubber boot that covers the Grant bracket for the wheel. I'll  go snap a pic shortly.

 

As for pushing n the turn signal lever, it doesn't do anything with the column or the wheel. I'm happy to hear it's a tilt column. Actually, the way things have gone with the car I'm ecstatic lol. Only problem now is to figure out why it doesn't tilt and I am certainly not the guy to figure out why because I will probably break something even more knowing my luck

 

Pics added. The wheel isn't bolted down as of now. You can kind of see the bracket and the screws go into that gold colored bracket.

IMG_3999.thumb.JPG.ef3e59b9faf6648268df866990ce4e4b.JPGIMG_4001.thumb.JPG.1a7a2cf46b05a609851d4e883a5e76ec.JPG

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 You need to find out why it is not tilting.  That means taking the whole thing apart.  This starts by removing the wheel and spacers or adapters to get to the turn signal switch.  After you get that single large nut removed, the bracket should pull off, but if often takes a wheel puller to break it loose.  

With a 1969, I know the task can be completed without removing the steering column, but I am quite sure you need to remove the whole column for a 1970.  This is a large job, it will take a couple hours.  You need to remove the steering shaft at the rag joint, and take apart the linkage for the mechanism that locks the tranny in park when the key is off.  

Once you get the wheel off and column removed, then you need to remove the turn signal switch. I think there is a video of that on youtube by west coast classic cougar. 

Check back when you get these tasks done. 

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I take back what I said earlier about removing the steering column.  With the access you have ( based on the photo above) you do not need to.  You need to remove the wheel and turn signal switch.  Do not cut the wires, the wires pull out of the half moon connector, but there are tricks to do that. 

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Did some digging tonight and found a few columns in my shed. I noticed it looks like two or three columns were 70 or later. Hopefully I can get a functional column out of the pieces of the three lol. Maybe I can fix two of them and sell one off, who knows. Still waiting to hear back from a guy about fixing my current column. Looks like it's going to be around $600 to fix it. Ouch.....That's just a quote sight unseen of course.

I was able to get a part number D1AA-3D651-AA  off one knuckle but I can only make out D0AA-3508-E. There may be a number or letter in front of the "3508" but I couldn't see it.

 

IMG_4003.thumb.JPG.f1bb2a78b4c16c388f75cf2bb5bf319c.JPG

 

IMG_4004.thumb.JPG.948e345c4aec03bc090387fc049d3bbd.JPG

IMG_4005.thumb.JPG.7a794c3dd1dfb55d24dca246ac20377e.JPGIMG_4006.thumb.JPG.a247971d3b34340fa42f431680ba4181.JPGIMG_4008.thumb.JPG.cca205d65f0fdeaf792f78a60a6a7368.JPGIMG_4009.thumb.JPG.6a24937d7298569ca079b3b60d799de1.JPGIMG_4011.thumb.JPG.09519a1f774efb7a6dcaad546af95e4b.JPG

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Adam, 

West Coast Classic Cougar fixes columns, and they will also buy the columns with tilt that you do not want.  They typically pay about 25% to 50% of what they sell the parts for.  But maybe  Maybe you could negotiate parts for repairs?  Send them an email or call  and see what they say.  It is certainly worth calling them. 

I can also walk you through it.  It could be a very simple fix. 

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I also see that at least 3 of those columns shown  are column shift cars, so they are not a Mustang or Cougar.     The D0AA is a 1970 Ford Truck, the D1AA is a 1971 Truck. The column lengths , guts, and some parts will be different on those. But the critical parts for the tilt are the same. 

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