Has anyone had experience with shortening their Steering Column to make more room for us larger Fellas? I was thinking no more than a couple of inches. What do you Guys think? How hard could this be?
I have never heard of it and have not done it, but I would suggest that if you do, the outside column could be cut and welded. Perhaps at the upper end where the gear box is attached. Then it could be cut and new holes drilled for the rivits, no welding would be necessary. For the shaft, The lower end should be turned on a lathe with a new taper and a groove cut in it for the key. It should not be welded, because you want the greatest strength so as not to lose control if a weld were to break.
You would have to experiment with it. Have a spare on hand in case you don't like the result. Remember that although you might be big around and have trouble with the wheel hitting your belly, you also need room for your knees when you work the pedals. By shortening the shaft, it will move the wheel lower and the interference with your legs could cause problems. I have known people who moved the seat back, or used foam instead of springs so the cushion would be lowered and the back would be farther from the wheel.
Large fellas bought a Lincoln, Buick or Cadillac.
You could get a sliding steering wheel but they are pricey. I don't know your welding skills so machining the steering shaft would be the only other option. The column would need sectioned too.
I have seen Model T Ford columns shortened on a few sprint cars and racers. So yes it can be done.
Heres a thread on the subject.
I cut a couple of inches off the steering column on the Town Car. I cut the top down and then riveted the quadrant back on and shortened the center shaft at the pitman arm end. When I installed the column, I used blocks to make the column more vertical, like a Mini, opposite of what we do on Speedsters, where we lower the column.
It seems to work well, I have enough room to drive the vehicle even with the drivers seat in the forward position that is typical of the TC.
Ed, now I feel Stupid. I am amused by the number of posters on this site that don't search before they ask a question. I know better but I just did it too.
I shortened a column for my small car. As I remember I removed the shaft, cut out about 4 inches in the middle and welded it back together. Shortened the tube by cutting off the top end and reinstalling the bezel.
Some turn the steering wheel upside down so it dishes up giving a bit more height over a belly.
The new slider steering wheels will be done soon, getting the first sample this week,Bob
Fred: We shortened our steering column for our speedster about ten inches. First we took off the upper portion of the controls. Then we cut the outside column then the inside steering rod along with the timing lever. I think we had to rethread top of steering rod and then slide everthing back together. I remember it was a tight fit but that was good. Also had to modify some at the bottom since we used a Vega steering box. Fits just right and steers like a dream.