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Author Topic: 3 speed auto column rebuild  (Read 851 times)
green69rt
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« on: August 19, 2018, 04:03:08 PM »

I haven't been able to find a 3 speed column rebuild thread on here, just rebuilds for floor shift cars.  So for those of us doing this setup here is the way I did it.  I hope to save people a little frustration and cussing!

If you want you could follow these steps in reverse to take the column apart.   I did have everything on hand (almost) and had painted everything that needed it.
Here goes....

1.  Slide the floor plate onto the outer tube.  I wrapped some tape around it to prevent scratching.
2. Insert the shift tube.
3. Install the spring washer into the lower collar.
4 & 5. Install the lower collar over the outer tube and slide it down over the shift tube,  it's keyed to the shift tube so you can't get it wrong.  The collar has a set screw that engages a hole on the shift tube.  Tough to get at, but just tighten it down so the collar and tube are locked together.
6.  Install the shifter lever return spring.
7. Install the shift lever and roll pin.  My shift lever and turn signal lever was really ugly but I found that I could clean them up really nicely with some 2000 grit sandpaper.
8. Thread the wiring for the turn signal switch and indicator light down thru the upper collar then the lower collar.  Leave everything hanging.

Next post for the really good stuff!!



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green69rt
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 04:26:53 PM »

Continuing:

1. I installed the lower bearing at this point to get some support between the outer and shift tubes.  Ignore the steering shaft installed, I had that shaft in and out several times before I got everything right.
2. Now for the fun part.   There are two square headed bolts that are used to attach the upper collar (the one with the gear indicator) to the outer tube.  The heads catch on a lip of a cutout on the tube.  You will be flying blind trying to engage these two bolts so this is how I did it.
3. The square heads are drawn up into two square slots on the underside of the upper collar.
4. insert the bolts and thread the nuts on a couple of turns.
5. stand the column up on its end and, with your hand, pull the outer tube up as far as it will go.  You'll probably feel it move a little.  You'll have to try to line up the bolt heads with the slots in the tube by eyeball and keep them aligned as you lower the upper collar.  Now for the luck part.  Start to tighten up the two nuts on the square bolts.  I used a nut driver so I could wiggle the nuts around and try to direct the bolt heads in the right direction.  It might take a few tries but eventually they will both engage and you can pull them up equally.  Don't put a lot of torque on these nuts or it will distort the outer tube.  Sorry I couldn't get better pictures but they wouldn't show much anyway, it's all it the technique.
6.  Look at the gap between the upper and lower collar and make sure it is even buy adjusting on the nuts.  Then tighten both nuts to 50 inchpounds.
7.  Check that the shift lever and tube move freely.  

On to the easy stuff.


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green69rt
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 04:53:57 PM »

Finally to simple stuff:

1. Attach the gear pointer to the tab on the upper collar.
2. Check the bulb in the gear shift indicator light socket (mine had probably been burned out for decades) and run the wire for the light the same as the other wiring.
3. install the coupler seal and cover.  The seal I got in the Y1 kit was orange and broke the first time I tried to stretch it over the shaft, a placement from Y! was $15 plus $7 shipping.  Detroit Muscle Tech gave me the same seal for $8 plus $3 S&H.   Their's was much softer and flexable.  I even got it to stretch over the pin on the end of the shaft.  By the way, I never got that pin out, just left it in place.  I just noticed that you can't see the seal cover in the pic but it is there.
4. Install the lower snap ring on the steering shaft.
5. Install the upper column bearing and the boot it mounts in and slide the steering shaft thru it and install the upper snap ring (hope you have some snap ring pliers!)
6. Install the turn signal switch then the turn switch retainer then the indicator light at the same time with the three little screws.  Be aware the the upper collar has a little pin that sticks up so you get the switch in the right position.
7. In this pin I'm pointing at the hole in the switch that goes over the alignment pin.
8. Install the turn signal lever (cleaned up with 2000 grit sandpaper) using the screw that goes thru the switch.

That about finishes up the top of the column, now on to the bottom.


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green69rt
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 05:13:42 PM »

Now for the rest of the column.

1. Install the wire cover.
2. Now get this right or you may end up with your steering wheel upside down.  Turn the shaft so the spline indicator on the steering wheel end is up!
3. now look at the coupler and turn its indicator so it's up!  Remember to assemble these two in this orientation!
4. Fill the coupling with some general purpose grease.
5. Assemble the shoes to the little spring slip and push the coupling on the shaft. (don't forget those indicators marks!)
6. Mine had a little pin that prevented the coupling from pulling off.
7 & 8.  Wipe off any grease that pushed out and push the seal and retainer down on the coupling and crimp the retainer in place.  I used a set of wide mouth pliers and then used a pin punch to give the tabs one last little tap.

Now just bolt up the mounting bracket and it's ready for the steering wheel.

One last thing to check is that the indicator light is grounded well.  And there is a ground strap from the column to the body of the car.  Make sure that's a good ground.

Hope this helps someone.


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cdr
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 09:41:11 PM »

not that it matters, but that steel flat plate that holds the turn switch with 3 screws should be flipped over & the notch goes around the spring loaded horn contact

Looks AWESOME !!!! great to see progress.

& thanks for the tip on the Year one turn switch, it is perfect. & half the price of the junk OER one I had bought 1st & returned
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green69rt
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 09:49:17 PM »

not that it matters, but that steel flat plate that holds the turn switch with 3 screws should be flipped over & the notch goes around the spring loaded horn contact

Looks AWESOME !!!! great to see progress.

& thanks for the tip on the Year one turn switch, it is perfect. & half the price of the junk OER one I had bought 1st & returned

It may be.  Now I'm going to go back and take the parts apart again to find out!  Thanks Charlie...
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green69rt
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 10:46:55 AM »

not that it matters, but that steel flat plate that holds the turn switch with 3 screws should be flipped over & the notch goes around the spring loaded horn contact

Looks AWESOME !!!! great to see progress.

& thanks for the tip on the Year one turn switch, it is perfect. & half the price of the junk OER one I had bought 1st & returned

It may be.  Now I'm going to go back and take the parts apart again to find out!  Thanks Charlie...

I went out this morning to fix things and found that I had installed it correctly,  the picture, above, must have been when I was test fitting stuff.


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green69rt
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2018, 01:16:42 PM »

I forgot to give credit to Mopar4Don.  He recently posted, in his thread, how to do a floor shift column and I used that to get me going on my rebuild.  Just had to add one for us column shift guys.  So, thanks Don.
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