Steering Column Replacement - 10/01/2006

The steering column in the car was busted pretty badly. I needed a new one. I located a guy on the internet selling his tilt column out of a '78 Firebird and he only wanted $15 for it, so I jumped on the deal. This job sucked. It was up there on the list of un-fun things to do on the car. The retaining sheet metal screws to the firewall are apparently hardened steel and when they blow out it's a bear to get them out (drill bit, VERY slow progress).

It's pretty bad.

I really don't know what they were trying to do other than ruin it...

Nice new shiny column!

Of note, the ignition switch in the '78 and the '75 were the exact same pinout, except that the case and mounting brackets are upside down on one. I re-used the '75 switch but saved the '78 one just in case. Adjustment is good now.

The neutral safety switch and backup light controls for '78.

Yeah, it's different in 1975 than 1978. The '75 has a third set of prongs for another switch...

'75 NSS is installed and ready to use on the new column.

Steering column dressed up and ready to go!

Column installed! It took the better half of 3 hours to get the old one out due to a blown screw on the plate that mounts to the firewall. VERY frustrating...

Installed with old wheel!

The morons broke the collar to this wheel (which is NOT reproduced). They also messed up the formula wheel adapter for the horn switch, but thankfully that guy is reproduced. The steering wheel is also reproduced as well as is the horn button and center emblem. Sure, it's not correct for a show car but this is going to be a driver at best. If I wanted a show car, I would have just bought one. Lots of work still to be done. I disassembled the driver's door and discovered why the door doesn't latch. Apparently tons of junk has gotten into the latch assembly and caused the retaining lever for the striker latch to freeze into place. It is soaking in the parts washer now and hopefully will return to working condition soon!

On a side note, Dana told me that if I took the motor and transmission out of his '78 Camaro, I could have the rest of the car. That's a bonus. I can get body fabrication pieces for the rotten door jam light switch area and trim\clips for the glass and windshield (when I get around to removing them and crying at the damage underneath).

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Last updated October 1st, 2006