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Bob Riding

Automatic Steering Column and gearbox

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Need some advice as I am entering new territory (for me). I am building a "52 Plymouth Suburban and I am mating a 131 Hp P23 flathead with the Power Pack 2bbl carb to a GM TH2004R automatic OD transmission, using a Wilcap adapter. I need an auto steering column, but because the wagon will look stock, I want to re-use the original steering wheel. Also does installing an automatic necessitate a different gearbox, or will my stock gearbox mate up?

The front suspension is stock.  I remember a thread where we discussed a Vega box and GM 525, but we weren't talking about automatics.

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I have seen several people hook up the automatic linkage to one of the stock column shift levers. Have you considered that? 

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28 minutes ago, YukonJack said:

I have seen several people hook up the automatic linkage to one of the stock column shift levers. Have you considered that? 

No, I haven't. Do you have any pics or links?

 

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Tried adding a link to youtube video but can't. Check out Transmission Shift Linkage Kit Installed - Chevy C10. By Gibson63. Same idea but on a truck.  I have seen this done on early Mopars but I couldn't find any pictures.

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I’ve actually considered changing the  steering column in my 52 Suburban to get a cleaner signal direction switch and a way to install Cruise Control. There are numerous  steering column combinations available, most with automatic shifters and tilt wheel options. I believe you can do the same thing with “Bone Yard” parts. I melded the column from a Ross manual steering gear with manual transmission shifter to a Saginaw Gear Power Steering and all I had to do was cut the original to length and add the “Rag Joint”. A ground wire was added later when the horn and turn signals required it. Once you’ve had one of the General’s steering columns apart it’s not a frightening experience. If I did it I’d use the original wheel and steering shaft then the upper GM column should be a slip fit (as in held by a factory clamp). At most you might need to make a bushing. Just pick a simple column with a turn signal switch that is real common.

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On 3/10/2020 at 2:53 PM, Loren said:

I’ve actually considered changing the  steering column in my 52 Suburban to get a cleaner signal direction switch and a way to install Cruise Control. There are numerous  steering column combinations available, most with automatic shifters and tilt wheel options. I believe you can do the same thing with “Bone Yard” parts. I melded the column from a Ross manual steering gear with manual transmission shifter to a Saginaw Gear Power Steering and all I had to do was cut the original to length and add the “Rag Joint”. A ground wire was added later when the horn and turn signals required it. Once you’ve had one of the General’s steering columns apart it’s not a frightening experience. If I did it I’d use the original wheel and steering shaft then the upper GM column should be a slip fit (as in held by a factory clamp). At most you might need to make a bushing. Just pick a simple column with a turn signal switch that is real common.

Excellent info! Of the steering column combinations, how do choose? Based on the length, steering wheel spline configuration? I viewed YukonJack's Youtube on Transmission Shift Kit -C10, which look like a good way to go. Would JEGs Universal Tilt column work with shift kit? Inquiring minds want to know!

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I used the steering column from a GM van, about a '78 in my '39 Plym conv cpe. The length was perfect to hook up to the FatMan rack pinion front end. I used a LaCarra banjo steering wheel, modified to accept a '39 Plym horn button.

I wanted a late model tilt column for all the features incorporated there-in. Turn lights, flashers, high/low beam, wipers, etc. I did not want any thing on the dash that did not come on the car when it was new.

 

39 Plym str whl.1.jpg

Edited by blucarsdn

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4 hours ago, Bob Riding said:

Excellent info! Of the steering column combinations, how do choose? Based on the length, steering wheel spline configuration? I viewed YukonJack's Youtube on Transmission Shift Kit -C10, which look like a good way to go. Would JEGs Universal Tilt column work with shift kit? Inquiring minds want to know!

I my opinion, if your original steer box is in good shape I'd try the modification in the video. If you change the column but use the stock steering box, the shaft would have to be cut, and the remaining shaft coming out of the box would have to be splined  or welded for a u joint or rag joint to attach the new column. I've also never been comfortable with the idea of using a tilt column with manual steering. It seems like it would put too much stress on the tilt mechanism. Just my opinion.

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Before I started cutting, modifying my '39 I looked at a lot of modified DPCD cars at car shows, etc.

The one thing that struck me as being very problematic in a '30-'40 model car was the limited space in the drivers area, which is compounded by the large original front seat and steering wheel.

Another problem is the column mounted shift lever. Going into park is hard on the knuckles when they hit the dash. That is the reason I used a floor mounted shift lever on my AO trans.

I used 325 BMW bucket seats to reduce the seat size, added a consul on the floor to mount a lot of the accessories I did not want on the dash..

The overall effect of the finished area makes the car very comfortable to ride/drive, while at the same time looks very original.. Wm.

Thrntn 39-11.08-12.JPG

39 ebay.7.JPG

DSCF1151.JPG

39 Plym.6-96.6.jpg

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Maybe I should have clarified the pic' I attached:

The first pic is of a '39 Plym Conv with typical modifications to the dash/interior utilizing mainly harvested donor parts/accessories.

Second pic is of a stock '39 Plym conv cpe interior.

Third pic, the unfinished interior in my '39 Plym conv.

Forth pic the interior of my '39, as it was when I found the car sitting in a field in Montana. Wm.

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2 minutes ago, blucarsdn said:

Maybe I should have clarified the pic' I attached:

The first pic is of a '39 Plym Conv with typical modifications to the dash/interior utilizing mainly harvested donor parts/accessories.

Second pic is of a stock '39 Plym conv cpe interior.

Third pic, the unfinished interior in my '39 Plym conv.

Forth pic the interior of my '39, as it was when I found the car sitting in a field in Montana. Wm.

Thanks for the explanation - makes more sense now

 

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Just to muddy the discusion heres my Oz 1940 Dodge interior...the console is a late 60's Oz Valiant one which is same as the US ones......column is the top of an Oz valiant with alloy tube lower ..........andyd 

P1010400.JPG

P1010404.JPG

P1010405.JPG

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16 hours ago, Andydodge said:

Just to muddy the discusion heres my Oz 1940 Dodge interior...the console is a late 60's Oz Valiant one which is same as the US ones......column is the top of an Oz valiant with alloy tube lower ..........andyd 

P1010400.JPG

P1010404.JPG

P1010405.JPG

What tranny are you running?

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Engine & gearbox are from a 1962 Oz Chrysler Royal and is a 313 Plymouth Poly and cast iron push button 3 speed Torqueflite.........I had a shorter cable made up and made a quadrant under the standard Mopar/Valiant quadrant that the cable attaches to........the cable pushes/pulls so I measured the throw needed then worked out where that same measurement appeared on the underneath, above the shifters pivot point then attached a pin, made a bracket to hold the outer cable and .....there it is, a shifter that operates a push button gearbox........only thing I haven't changed is the indicator on the shifter still shows the "P" which these gearboxes don't have, but as the tailshaft handbrake is still used its o/k.........attached is a pic of a 1960-62 Chrysler Royal.........regards, andyd     

1962ChryslerRoyal.png

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