'63 Imperial Steering column installation

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jaycollins05
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:41 pm

'63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by jaycollins05 »

After driving my '63 for 38 years with leaking steering gear, I finally decided to remove and refurbish the entire sector. The shop in Houston did a great job (as they did on my '70 challenger) and I have reinstalled it along with a new drag link. I followed the service manual on how to align the steering box and column jacket, and everything seemed good. However, when I install the steering wheel, the column shaft is no longer projecting out far enough so the steering wheel horn contact actually grounds out on the turn signal switch causing the horn to blow continuously. the column shaft has a slotted connection at the steering box and can be pulled out about 1/2", but the spring at the column bearing (just below the steering wheel) forces the column back into its original position. I have tried multiple realignment attempts of column jacket at the steering box with no luck. Never had this trouble with '64 or '65 due to different design. Anybody had this experience on '63 or maybe '62, and know a solution? Many thanks.

Impkidd
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: '63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by Impkidd »

Did you figure this out yet? Last month I installed one of those new repro steering shaft couplers in my 61. Made a big difference in the steering play! Well, anyway, you will need to compress the column, or in other words draw the shaft upward. There is to be a retaining clip that holds the column in the pulled out mode. Slide that clip on to the steering shaft end, then screw on the steering wheel nut. Take a large flat screwdriver and sort of pry the steering shaft outward. As you are compressing the shaft spring (pulling out the shaft), slide the retaining clip into the groove to keep the shaft outward. Sorry, I didn't take pics of the job, may have been easier to show you what to pry on. But it is the heavy metal part in the column that centers the turn signal switch. Hope this makes some sense. Rob 61.

jaycollins05
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:41 pm

Re: '63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by jaycollins05 »

Thanks for the reply. I took the column apart again and found that the spring had a centering barrel that was not aligned, and was preventing me from compressing the spring so I could install the snap ring on the shaft. It is now reinstalled properly, but not quite. the centering barrel is supposed to fit inside the column bearing inner race, but it won't anymore, so there is side run-out in the shaft now (meaning the steering wheel has side to side play). And even though the shaft in the correct location/projection, the horn still sounds continuously (as if it is ground-shorted). Very frustrating. Where did you get your repro shaft coupler (I might be interested in changing mine if I have to take the column out again to trouble shoot the horn).

Impkidd
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: '63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by Impkidd »

Got it on eBay, 1961 power steering tube insulator $25.
Got a good article on steering column photos that I used for advice, http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forum ... ightmode=1
Try that. Check the horn wire where it rivets to the turn signal switch. The rivets are tender..

Impkidd
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: '63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by Impkidd »

Oh, I had to slide the new hose clamp close to the pinched shaft area for the new horn ground wire Idea. I used a #10 ss screw, I believe 1 1/2” long and lock nut.

jaycollins05
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:41 pm

Re: '63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by jaycollins05 »

thanks for the tips. I and no idea the tube insulator was available, but it is indeed on ebay as you mentioned. I also read the forum on Forward Look, and viewed the pictures. If I had done this before I started my repairs it would have saved so much frustration. I really appreciate your help. Since I will likely have to dismantle some of the column again, I'll go ahead and swap the insulator and install the 'aftermarket' ground wire. Was the snap ring at the column bearing something you replaced too? I'm sure mine will be shot after taking it off for a 4th time (maybe standard size at Autozone?).

Impkidd
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:45 pm

Re: '63 Imperial Steering column installation

Post by Impkidd »

I did not replace the snap ring with a new one. It should be ok, unless it has been stretched from removing it so many times. You may be able to compress the ring slightly in a vise If it is stretched. Try it on the shaft if you do remove the shaft again from the column. Do not stretch it more than necessary to slip it on to the shaft.

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