I'm in the process of rebuilding my steering system from top to bottom on my 1926 Coupe. The steering column that came with my coupe is a diamond shape from the gear case to the firewall, with a seam down the bottom (underneath the horn wire tube).
I acquired a second 1926 (?) column to use in case mine doesn't work out. There are several cracks on mine so I'm hedging my bets with two columns.
This second column is a diamond shape at the gear case and at the firewall, but a cylinder in the center. It has a seam on either side of the diamond.
Which is correct, or are both correct? Is there a date or reason for the difference in the columns? Both have 5:1 shafts and the same firewall mounting, with identical firewall bracketry.
Can you share photos of the one with a round mid section? That's a new one for me. All Model T steering columns I've seen has had the diamond shape from the gear case to the firewall. The 1926/27 columns has a square mounting plate towards the firewall.
Maybe it was full of water at one time and got frozen? I have seen that before.
Sorry for the delay, here's a comparison.
It's possible one froze up- what do you think?
Yes, I would say it was frozen. I would also say that the "seams" you see on either side are also known as cracks.
It's certainly deformed and David's theory sounds plausible. Since the throttle and spark levers goes straight down in the outer edges of the diamond shape, the rounded shape would be in the way - the levers must be bent to fit, and it would be hard to install them.
There is clearly a difference in how the two columns were made, which is why I'm asking in the first place. The second column does not show a single seam down the center, but instead shows a seam on each side. These run the whole length are not cracks.
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter much, since I think I'll use my original column anyway. Just curious.
No, those don't look like cracks. Very interesting. I'm going to have a close look at my '26 column!
Ford did a lot of fine metal pressing, the tube for the column was one. Those 'seams' are likely marks from the forming tools.
The swollen one is from water seepage, freezing and expanding the closed column. Have one similar, just swollen more at the lower end.
It would be interesting to see if you can squeeze it back to shape, although that "crease down the center might not come back.
Ah good point. I hadn't though of the stamping operations. Looks like I'll be fixing up my original column (dressing down those ugly welds)