Here is all the killer stuff we picked up from Flaming River. For the column we went with a paintable, floor shift, tilt unit. We also picked up a column installation kit that included a wiring harness with hazards, column mount (that we didn't end up using), horn relay, and a 1-inch DD x 3/4-inch smooth shaft U-joint. The final parts needed for the install were a 13/16-36 x 1-inch DD joint to hook to the factory steering box and a collapsible shaft to connect the column to the box. Here is all the killer stuff we picked up from Flaming River. For the column we went with The steering column is the main connection between the car and driver. While most of the time we don't think about the column and what it does, there are times when it's all we can focus on. Like in our situation with a '66 Chevelle we picked up. This car was just a shell and was missing everything in the interior, including the column. The simple task of just moving the car around the shop was made more difficult because we had to do the kick-the-tire shuffle to get the thing moved around. It didn't take long for that to become a real pain, so now is the time to put some steering in the project. At first we went on the swap-meet hunt for a factory tilt/floor-shift column, and let us tell you that is not something that's in abundance. Yes, there were some out there, but the owners were either way too proud of what they had or the columns were so trashed the restoration work out weighed the end result. Since this isn't a rebuilt junkyard column, every component is brand new and is made in the USA. It even comes with the horn button contact and steering wheel nut. Since this isn't a rebuilt junkyard column, every component is brand new and is made in th We were looking for an easier option on getting the steering right on this car so we looked to the aftermarket. Flaming River has been building columns for years and had exactly what we needed. As a matter of fact, it has just about anything your mind can dream up. Tilt, keyed, and column shift-they have it. Tilt, no key, and floor shift-they have that as well. Not only do they have the columns in three finish options, they also have all the other stuff needed to get those wheels a turnin' like steering shafts, U-joints, floor mounts, and even quick ration steering boxes. The 304 grade stainless steel columns can be ordered in paintable, polished, or black powdercoat. The column from Flaming River is all new, made in the USA and features multiple improvements over an OE piece. Inside you will find upgraded wiring, a later-model turn signal canceling cam, and a GM 4 1/4-inch connector. Also, the tilt mechanism has been redesigned and now features a tapered, threaded shaft and pre-loaded bearing set up that minimizes deflection. Before slipping the column in the car, we installed the included billet dress-up kit. The tilt lever just threads in while the turn signal and hazard components needed hardware (which is included) to be installed. You can use a stock turn signal lever, but you will need to be careful using a stock tilt lever. Some of those have longer threads that can dive too deep into the column and cause damage. So be very cautious and make sure the lever matches the billet one provided, or just use the billet one. Before slipping the column in the car, we installed the included billet dress-up kit. The Installation of the column and hooking it to the steering box was pretty straightforward and didn't require any cutting of the car itself. We had the job done for the most part in an afternoon with fairly basic tools; OK, we used a chop saw to speed the shaft cutting process. So if you have been wondering how hard it is to install one of these aftermarket columns, wonder no more. Before sliding the column in the car a few things need to be done. You can use the stock strap to hold the column in the car, but a small tab hanging off needs to be removed or flattened out... Before sliding the column in the car a few things need to be done. You can use the stock s ...We used a bench grinder to remove said tab. The other thing to install before the column is the floor mount. Since the stock ones are just a stamped piece of steel and usually rusted, the new aluminum piece from Flaming River is a welcome upgrade. There are two small setscrews that need to be loosened just a bit to let the insert articulate. The other thing to install before the column is the floor mount. Since the stock ones are Now the floor mount can be loosely installed on the firewall with the stock hardware. Next, install the tilt column in the car. The column is just the right length, allowing for about 3-inches of adjustment. You can either pull it away from the dash if you are of the shorter persuasion, or push it all the way down if you are one of those taller folks. We prefer to drive with a straight arm, so we pushed ours all the way down before locking it in place by tightening the strap and hardware on the floor mount. Next, install the tilt column in the car. The column is just the right length, allowing fo Now we could slip on the two billet joints: one on the column and one on the steering box. With those on, we measured the distance between the two to determine what length we needed to make the steering shaft. Our measurement was 13 3/8 inches. Now we could slip on the two billet joints: one on the column and one on the steering box. The shaft from Flaming River is a collapsible design to cut down on wear and tear on the column and keep the steering wheel from impaling you in the event of a front-end collision. We took ours apart just to show what it looks like and allow us to cut each piece independently for cleaner cuts. Since each end of the shaft will engage the joints by one inch we added two inches to our length needed, coming up with a 15 3/8-inch number with the shaft in the middle of the collapse range. The shaft from Flaming River is a collapsible design to cut down on wear and tear on the c There are many ways you can cut the shafts, from a hacksaw to a cut-off wheel. Since we have a chop saw on hand at the shop, we used it. After the cuts, we cleaned and de-burred the ends and reassembled the shaft. There are many ways you can cut the shafts, from a hacksaw to a cut-off wheel. Since we ha Because the shaft is a collapsible design, it went in nice and easy. We tightened up the setscrews so they would dimple the shafts in preparation of the next step. Because the shaft is a collapsible design, it went in nice and easy. We tightened up the s At this point we took the shaft out of the car to drill a few small counter sinks for the setscrews to engage. This gives the setscrews more bite on the shafts for a safer bond. After drilling the shaft it was reinstalled and all the setscrews tightened up. At this point we took the shaft out of the car to drill a few small counter sinks for the With that, we moved back inside to cap off the column with a steering wheel. The new Flaming River column will accept stock, most aftermarket wheels, and of course, one of Flaming River's custom wheels. For now we are just going to run a stock Camaro wheel. Before installing the wheel we needed to remove the wiring from the horn contact by twisting it counter clockwise. Then we rotated the contact so the piece that sticks up engages into this hole in the wheel. With that, we moved back inside to cap off the column with a steering wheel. The new Flami Once the wheel was on and the nut tight we popped the horn contact wiring back in. The Flaming River wire harness is a flat-style plug (right) while the factory features a curved plug (left). For obvious reasons these will not work together, but a new flat plug (center) and terminals are provided in the installation kit. The Flaming River wire harness is a flat-style plug (right) while the factory features a c Following the provided diagram we crimped on the terminals and installed them into the new flat plug and were ready to go in no time. Following the provided diagram we crimped on the terminals and installed them into the new The only thing left to do will be to paint all the components, but we'll do that when we restore the interior. Now we can move it around the shop much easier and it will be more comfortable to drive thanks to the tilt mechanism. We also now have confidence this column will not give us any issues because everything is new and should provide years of problem-free steering. The only thing left to do will be to paint all the components, but we'll do that when we r Parts List and Price Description Part # Price 30-inch paintable tilt column FR20005-30 $345 30-inch slip and collapse shaft FR1856 $115 Installation Kit FRCA100 $199 Floor mount FR20101CH $98.50 Billet joint for steering box FR1758 $69 Total: $826.50 SOURCES Flaming River 800 Poertner Dr. Berea OH 44017 800-648-8022 www.flamingriver.com By Calin Head Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!