Sagging Steering Column

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ArthurB
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Sagging Steering Column

Post by ArthurB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:50 pm

I have a 1927 Roadster Pickup. It had a messed up incorrect dashboard which I replaced with a proper 1926-27 dashboard. Everything fits perfectly except the steering column seems about 1/2" to 1" too low where the dashboard clamp would attach. I would need to pull up on it pretty hard to attach the bracket. It is securely screwed to the firewall, and the firewall brackets all seem to be correct. Steering was operating fine with the old dashboard, but it was a reworked 1925 style dash so the column was sitting a little lower I think. Before I damage it with excessive force thought I would ask the forum for advice. Should I muscle it into place, or are there other things I should check out first?

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Henry K. Lee
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Henry K. Lee » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:32 pm

Arthur,

More than likely your lower firewall flange was bent to accommodate the other dash. Loosen all the bolts and see where the larger gaps are at. This should detect the problem area. Everything is repairable, it's a Model T.

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Hank in Tin-A-See


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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Humblej » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:40 pm

I would try loosening all the steering column mounting bolts at the firewall and lower bracket at the frame to see if you can get it to line up without muscling it. There should be a rubber pad between the dash and column that will take up some space too.

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ArthurB
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by ArthurB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:18 pm

I'll inspect the flange for bends.

I'm not familiar with the rubber pad between the dash and the column. Can someone tell me how thick it should be? Does it go all the way around the column or just on the top?


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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Humblej » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:44 pm

The pad is thin, one on top another on bottom, but that will not take up the gap you are describing.

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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by kmatt » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:57 pm

Does your steering gear have the correct 1926-27 lower bracket, the one at the frame mount at the bottom ? The 1925 and prior style is different, but off hand I don't think this would match your problem, but it is worth a check.


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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Allan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:36 am

I had the same thought about the correct lower bracket on the chassis, but the incorrect bracket would have the column hard up against the dash, rather than well below. There's something else going on.

Allan from down under.

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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by TFan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:03 am

Arthur, Does your steering column have the square mounting plate at the firewall or a round one? It should be square for the improved cars. I don't know if there is a difference in the angle but if there is this could be your problem. Jim
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Shirkwood » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:20 pm

There are a couple of different lower brackets for 26-27 if I remember right. One is a little different angle for the 4 door??? Look at the Ford Parts catalog and check the number on the part. Just a guess...

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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by DanTreace » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:19 pm

Correct. That is a good first check.

The steering frame bracket for the '26-'27 Fordor and the sold car Chassis only is angled different and will have casting number in the part T-933.

The normal bracket for the '26-'27 T's will have casting number T-932C The odd one out is for the TT, that bracket will have casting number TT-932.
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by DanTreace » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:30 pm

Photos show '26-'27 open car dash to column. Note the very small rubber like anti-squeak on the column at the dash bracket.

And the open car cowl/firewall bracket used for the square plate on the base of the '26-'27 steering column.


100_0368 (640x427).jpg
723072.jpg
220328 (2).jpg
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by ArthurB » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:24 pm

Thanks for the pictures and ideas. I checked the casting number for the lower bracket. I would have said it was "T-982C" but since that isn't an option I think it is the correct T-932C. The steering column is the correct square bracket one, but I'm not so sure about the firewall mount and bracket. It look like there may be some "modifications" down there. I've attached photos. I'll poke around some more with fresh eyes in the morning.
IMG_3340.jpg
IMG_3322.jpg
IMG_3324.jpg

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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:32 pm

I noticed that the lower plate under the column is on the wrong side and looks like someone has done some welding around the mounting area. If the bracket is correct, that mounting area would be suspect. I would suggest at this point to unbolt it from the firewall, pull up into place at the dash and see were everything in the flange area lines up. You may need to do some tweaking in that area. Then when done put the plate on the correct side. It could be the plate is what is forcing it down.
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by DanTreace » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:54 pm

Mark

Agree, the firewall is modified and welding in patch may be in wrong spot. The plate holding the steering column is incorrect as no ledge on the compartment side to fit the floorboard upper edge. Factory plate, p/n 3515 (26-27) has flange to mimic the firewall flange to support that upper floorboard.

Original, unmolested '26 runabout firewall and steering column mounting.

26Tdisassem0008.jpg


26 steering col at cowl web.jpg
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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:02 pm

There's only one place for those top two bolts to go and they're in the right place. The only thing that will alter the angle of the steering column is a mislocation of the body on the frame which is unlikely, or an incorrect offset in the made-up firewall plate that the two lower bolts fasten to.

Support the steering wheel so the whole thing doesn't get stressed during the following: I'd unbolt the T932-C casting from the frame, then on firewall, slightly loosen top bolts and really loosen bottom bolts...will the column now lift up and fit the dash? It should. Will the T932-C casting refit to the frame? It should. If you're restoring this car, then fit up the firewall correctly. If not, make two spacers to place between the modified bottom plate and the backside of the bottom two holes on steering flange. Tighten down and move on.
Scott Conger

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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by ArthurB » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:51 pm

Thanks guys, I loosened everything as Scott suggested. The holes in the firewall "patch" seem to leave enough play that I could get the dashboard bracket on with a little lifting of the steering column, which repositioned the square steering column flange a hair but still left the bolts lined up. Nothing seemed too far out of place except the homemade lower firewall bracket, so I tightened everything else up. I see reproduction lower brackets are $30 at Langs, so I'll probably get one of those next time I make an order and install it like the one in Dan's photos

My goal here is a safe driver car. I've already replaced all the steering related bushings, cotter pins, etc., so steering seems nice and tight. Checked camber and caster. Other than looking for play, are there any other steering safety checks recommended?

Meanwhile, back to replacing every bit of wiring. Thanks again!


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Re: Sagging Steering Column

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:45 pm

Good for you, Arthur

best of luck on the rest of your work. Sounds like you're plenty up to the task.
Scott Conger

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