Steering Column

This week has been difficult as I was poorly and wasn’t sure Mustang Maniac was going to happen on Saturday. Being the hero that I am, I talked myself into my weekly homage to Mustang Maniac, it was a very short conversation mind you. With that in mind the duties were going to be a little lighter than normal. Adam was busy moving large mounds of dirt to somewhere that obviously needed the large mounds of dirt. We broke away from the guys to discuss what was going to be the plan for the day. We decided that the steering column is constantly being moved from one side to the other of the car and is just asking for damage and was causing a little concern. So the plan was – fit the column. Not a heavy job but a delicate due to the paint work involved. The parts I had were all there except the mounting screws and some special square ended bolts that cleverly hold the top to the column. Adam send me on a mission to his stash of engines and components where there was a scrap ’67 column still attached to the steering arms. I was allowed to pinch the difficult and rare parts to make mine fit.

The steering column is just a tube that goes over the steering box bar and also holds the steering wheel in place with the turn indicator fittings.

At the steering box end there is a rubber grommet that seals the column from dirt and grime and is just a press fit into the end. This grommet also helps to hold the column in a central position. There is a metal plate and a gasket that fits to the fire wall that is a draft and grime gasket. When the column is slid over the bar and gets to the end make sure that you don’t press the gasket through the firewall, it’s a tight fit. The column also has a rubber gator that sits on top of the firewall sound insulator and presses in place. Simple but an effective idea. Just slide the column over the top of bar. thread the end through the gasket and onto the steering box. There will be resistance here as the box fitting is quite tight too.

The column can only fit in one position which is held in place by a bracket. The bottom part has a key-way to hold the column in position and the top part of the bracket goes between the column and the bottom of the dash. The brackets have a coating of a rubber to protect the column from any damage.

The next part is to fit the business end of the column is in two main parts, a block that fits to the top of the column and a sleeve that fits behind it to hide the wires routing to the bottom. In order to protect the paint I used a sheet of paper that wrapped around the column as I slid the neck over the column.


The top part of the column collar slides over the centre bar and fits inside the column tube, this holds the bar in the centre at the top. Make sure the bearing in the middle has enough grease in place. The two special square retaining bolts are slid from the back into the cut outs at the top of the column. With the bolts showing place the corresponding nuts in place to screw the collar down. The collar will only fit in one place as the indicator stalk fitting is recessed out. Don’t tighten all the way up yet as the centre of the collar has a position ring that sits inside the bearing.


Next part is the fun bit. Threading the turn signal mechanism wires down the inside of the column. To be fair it’s not to bad with the technique I have for it. Inside the column is a separate tube that holds the wires to the side of the column. I take a couple of wire and tape them together, move up an inch or so and tape the next couple. Repeat for the rest of the wires are taped up then thread down the top opening until the wires poke out the bottom. undo the tape and pull the wires through evenly.

With the wires almost pulled out then position the turn indicator onto the collar and gently do up the three screws evenly. Do not over tighten the screws as it will distort the plastic mounting. Ensure that the horn ring connectors are free to move up and down. Slide the bottom part of the collar up and insert the two long screws into the remaining holes and tighten up. Remove the paper from the column to leave no scratch marks on the paint.

With the steering mechanism all in place screw in the indicator stalk. Now you are ready for the steering wheel to be fitted, but more of that at a later date.


It doesn’t look much but I was taking my time to complete this task. A very visual part of the car and an important to get right. The main bean headlight switch from the American AutoWire kit comes out about five inches short to ten inches if you want to have a nice routing. So with the column in place in cut the supplied wires fittings and added around a foot of extra cables colour coded the same as the AAW ones. I attached more correct style fittings and refitted back into the connecting block. That took up the rest of the time I was down there.

Next week we are aiming to fit the door seal rubbers to the door weather strips, that will show some progress on the car with any luck that is a bit more visual.

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Pedals & Pad

Saturday arrived and it was stupid cold on the way to Mustang Maniac, my breath was leaving a mist in front of me as I walked to the car. The sky looked heavy, but I was going to enjoy myself regardless. I arrived after battling through flurries of snow that luckily didn’t settle for too long. As I arrived I was told that a full English breakfast down the local pub was the order of the day to warm us up. Adam kindly treated us all to breakfast. Thank You Adam. We arrived back all warmed up and I was eager to get on with my tasks for the day. Yogi told me what needed to be done, dash pad, brake booster with the brake pedal box fitted inside and throttle link. I was happy apart from the cold.

First job was the dash pad, a thick lining that was attached to the inside of the car to stop the noise of the engine and insulate the inside of the car. The solid pad had cut out holes that were removed depending on the configuration of the car. Things like heater box and heater pipes, wire looms needed to go from the inside to the outside.

The pad had to be tacked in place with large plastic studs and align the holes correctly. You can also stick the pad down, but as I may need to move bits about to fit them, I will leave that sticky bit till last after all the fire wall fittings have been made.

The next job was the brackets for the brake booster that bolted to the inside the of the car. It sort of goes without saying this was really a two-man job to hold in place while the first couple of bolts held it all together. But, I found out that if you put your hand through the steering column hole you can hold the inside pedal box and bolt the brackets on enough to hold them in place while you do them up tight. The throttle pedal link was a simple three screws through the firewall.

My designated jobs were done, but I was eager for more. Adam turned up just at the right time to see how I was getting on. We had a discussion about the next jobs and he decided that the heater box and steering box could be fitted. Both of these were two-man jobs and Adam stayed to help me with it all. We fitted the heater hoses first the heater box so we didn’t have to fiddle around inside the car at a later date.

The end result for the day was a nice looking bit of work so far. The only trouble is that the work took longer than I expected so there aren’t too many pictures to show, but you can see the end results. The photo I forgot to post last week was the shocks fitted in place, so here elusive picture is.


Next week we might be in a position to put the engine in the car!


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Just A Shell

Need I say where I was over the weekend? Yep, Mustang Maniac to take the final parts off the car. The front and rear glass was to come out and I was little nervous about that to be honest in case I cracked one. There are two ways to get the glass out; the easy way and the hard correct way obviously. The hard way is to fold the rubber back a bit at a time and lift the glass out, it takes time, patience and luck not to crack any brittle glass. The principle is the same for the front and the back glass. We looked at the car and decided that the rear rubber was showing signs of age and a few splits in places, this one was going to be the easy way. The front was going to be a pain though. The front has either been replaced or the original put back in. The reason I suspect is that they were trying to find a leak inside the car. This leak was enough to make them take the rubber and glass out and seal it all back in place with copious amounts of mastic. They must have shares or own the company looking at the amount they used. Anyway, due to the mastic there was no way I was going to be able to save the rubbers at the front although they didn’t look to bad. The easy technique is to lift a flap of rubber that is over the top of the glass insert a sharp knife at such an angle to cut the top rubber section of the bezel of as it were. Once the rubber is cut of you can just lift the glass out, but first you have to free it from the rubber by gently tapping it up with your hand. The rear was simple and straight forward and came out without any issues. The front on the other hand was a pig of a job; the mastic was so thick I had to do it small stages and very slowly to avoid putting too much pressure on the glass. Eventually it was all cut away and I had to be just as careful when trying to break the mastic hold on the glass. With a sigh of relief it came free and the glass was lifted out. The worst part of the job was to remove all the old mastic and rubber that had been stuck on the front. The leak by the way didn’t look to be coming from the glass, the vents at the front obviously let the water in and it runs of to the sides were it sits unless it runs out through a drain channel. As a result the cowl will go rusty in the corners so when it rains the channel to drain away is circumvented and goes inside the car. I know I may have to replace the cowl, but that needs to be inspected for repair or replace shortly. The link for the full process of getting the glass out and more pictures can be found here, or the quick links at the bottom.

The rear glass being removed.

The front glass being removed showing the generous usage of mastic.

Today I was cleaning up the steering column. This needs to be stripped back to bare metal in order for it to be painted and coordinated to the interior colours. The column was in a bad way at the bottom end where it goes through the fire wall to the steering box. The grease now gone hard, dirt, grime and anything else had to be cleaned off. POR Strip was used and wire wool to get back to the metal. Inside the column was full of old grease and needed to be cleaned out as well. The steering wheel end has a collar which holds the horn assembly and the indicator lights stalk. The horn section I have thrown out as the wires were brittle and were on an old Grant Steering wheel which I want to replace with a nice wood one. My arms ache but it was a job worth doing. The final part is to coat it from rusting with Gibbs Brand Lubricant until it needs to be painted. I just love that Gibbs Brand, see here for my review and articles. The brackets and plates I will finish them next week.

The exciting news:

Now that my car is a shell with nothing in it or on it apart from the doors that is, we could well be putting her onto a rotisserie soon to allow me access to the underneath  in order to clean it all up and look for the repairs needed. The rear quarter panel needs replacing and lining up with the door, once that is done the doors will come off as well to get to the pillars and work on them too.

Quick Links:

Front and Rear Glass can be found under Photo Menu – Glass Work – Front & Rear Glass or click here.

Steering column work is can be found under Photo Menu – Steering – Steering Gearbox & Column Renovation or click here.

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Bits & Pieces

The weekend arrived and I couldn’t wait to get down to see what the guys had done to my car. I wasn’t disappointed. The car was well and truly in bits and the rear axle was on the leaf springs on a pallet. The engine was out and the front suspension was in bits on the floor, all the smaller parts were all in a large plastic tub ready for me to clean up. The steering rack was out, and all that was left was the steering column and the brake servo in the sparse looking engine bay. When I asked Adam what needed to be done, there was a walk around the car and the list duly flowed forth. The rest of the engine bay to be stripped clean, pipes off, the gas pedal out, steering box out and the servo without saying. All brake pipes underneath and fuel lines, the rear valance, oh and the rear lights out, oh and the gas tank out with the shocks out too, don’t forget the rear valance of as well as that was damaged beyond repair. In fact, if it had a bolt on it, it needs to come out. The day was going to be busy and I had my instructions, I was excited and off I went. I completed my tasks as requested with the guys giving me tips and tricks of the trade as I went along. When I got to a certain part like how do I get the column out, I was shown the parts in question, told the process and off I went again. In fact I have taken lots of pictures of the removal process’ and I will write them all up. But I have some teaser pictures here for you.

Sunday I decided to clean up one of the larger bits I had in my man cave the prop shaft. Last week I explained the process (click here for the link). I took the prop shaft into the garden on the sunny day and I needed to remove the old underseal from it. The rotary wire brush made short work of it attached to the drill until I got to the UV ends. At the diff end there are two cups that are held in place by the U-clamps on the diff. These cups come off but are filled with small needle bearings and need to be treated with care so they don’t all fall out. Once the cups are removed keep them safe out-of-the-way, then it’s de-grease and clean, and clean again, and more cleaning. The grease and grime were so bad that you couldn’t even see the grease nipples. The Marine Clean in a 1:1 mix made a good job of breaking it all down.

With the prop cleaned up and de-rusted it looked a very different part that’s for sure. Off to the man cave.

I retired to the man cave for the POR15 first coat. the problem was how to paint it? I had to make a rack to hold the prop in the air so I could get access all around the prop. The idea worked well if not a little delicate, I think I will spray the prop white, the same colour as the shocks once it’s done. The full process of the painting and clean up can be seen on the quick link below.

I shall be posting the steering box removal process, soon as well as the other little projects and clean ups.  I mentioned the lights earlier!

The process was very simple, four Philips screws hold the lens and trim in place, remove them and pull the housing and the lens off to expose the bulb, remove the bulb as well. Inside the car there are four studs with nuts on for the housing, undo these and the light housing will pull out. Dead simple. I will have to replace the holders as the as reflectors are rusty and no good for anything now unfortunately.

Quick Links:

Photo Menu – Gearbox & Prop Shaft – Prop Shaft Renovation. or click here for the link. This will be updated as the project goes along.

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The Last Wires

I have been very excited this weekend as I have spoken to Adam at Mustang Maniac who tells me that my car could be down there very soon. Then the reality of the bodywork restoration moving on will suddenly start taking shape. However, for personal reasons I have not had a chance to get out to the car as much as I wanted to this weekend, but I did manage to get a few bits done this afternoon though. The main job I wanted to do was the removal of the steering column loom, these wires took me ages to get threaded down to the bottom and only a few seconds to get back out. I also removed the front horns from the car, the battery from the car was taken out and stood on some rubber mats to help protect it from the cold floor, again it was wired up to the solar trickle charger. With the removal of the wires that’s every single wire removed from the car. The car will need to be loaded onto a transporter to get to it’s next journey and chapter in the ol’ girls life. I will be able to post a little more next week with any luck and plenty of pictures of the event.

To remove these fittings from the block is a real pain, but I have made a little tool that removes the fittings without damaging the wires and can be used again. I will post a couple of pictures very soon and how it works.


I have managed to write a review for a drain plug set which can be found under the Tools Review – Neilsen Pro Drain Plug Kit.

Quick Links:

For the quick link click here for the Neilsen Pro Drain Plug Kit.

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