70-300 Steering column swap

CRUZN3C

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Good afternoon all,

Some may recall I'm converting my standard steering wheel to a Rim blow I recently purchased and had refurbished. I searched for a 70 Rim Blow steering column and finally found one out of a 70 New Yorker. However, my 300 has a console shifter and this one I want to purchase (tilt/telescopic) is a column shifter. Although both Rim Blow wheel part numbers match (2996723), I'm concerned about the rest of the steering column. Is there anything I should be more or specifically concerned about before making or during this swap? Can I assume the Lock rod from my console shifter will bolt up to this tilt/telescopic steering column? Thanks .
 

saforwardlook

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The Rim Blow columns are quite different between the column mounted shifters and the console shifters. You should find a rim blow column that is for a console shifter and have it refurbished since there are many very different parts between the two. Also, you will need a different wiring harness to connect the rim blow steering columns up electrically.

Personally, in driving my Chrysler's with the Rim Blow columns, I much prefer the standard columns since they feel more nimble and the circumference of the wheels isn't so large so the standard wheels just make the car feel more sporty. With the larger Rim Blow wheels I feel more like I am driving a bus. The rim blow wheels crack more easily and the rim blow switches are not very reliable and the rubber cover on the horn switch tends to harden up and make blowing the horn more uncertain in panic situations. Restoring a Rim Blow wheel will also set you back a couple thousand $$ whereas the standard wheel would be much less even if the wheel would need rebuilding since they hold up better. The Rim Blow steering columns are much more heavy when taking them in and out as well and just more nuisance.

Chrysler would have been better off just using their standard wheels/columns rather than buying the rim blow wheels from General Motors and save money as well. I would have just kept your original one and saved yourself a lot of problems and expense and enjoyed the drive more............................................
 
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CRUZN3C

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Appreciate the feedback and your experiences, but to clarify, I already have a completely refurbished Rim Blow wheel that in essence is like brand new with all new parts. The cost was a little over a grand, which I thought was reasonable considering the high quality of workmanship. I also live in a climate that's is not harsh on my vehicles and they're stored in a climate control garage. I'm not all that concerned in the deteriation of parts and material at this point in life. Quite frankly, this car will out live me by a long shot without a doubt. It's already outlived the previous owner...and I'm the second one.

Personally, I think the tilt/ telescopic would be a very cool option to have. But it sounds like your saying its nearly close to impossible make this conversion from one to the other considering the different columns. Unfortunately, I think its going to be nearly as impossible to find a console tilt/telescopic column..... Bummer. Again, appreciate the info.
 

saforwardlook

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Appreciate the feedback and your experiences, but to clarify, I already have a completely refurbished Rim Blow wheel that in essence is like brand new with all new parts. The cost was a little over a grand, which I thought was reasonable considering the high quality of workmanship. I also live in a climate that's is not harsh on my vehicles and they're stored in a climate control garage. I'm not all that concerned in the deteriation of parts and material at this point in life. Quite frankly, this car will out live me by a long shot without a doubt. It's already outlived the previous owner...and I'm the second one.

Personally, I think the tilt/ telescopic would be a very cool option to have. But it sounds like your saying its nearly close to impossible make this conversion from one to the other considering the different columns. Unfortunately, I think its going to be nearly as impossible to find a console tilt/telescopic column..... Bummer. Again, appreciate the info.
I would think Murray Park in Tiffin, Ohio would have one of those columns. I would suggest you have the column you get from him for a console car rebuilt in addition to the wheel you have already done. You might also need some console parts from him that allow the adaption to take place and you might even want an electrical harness associated with the tilt column from him. But it would be a fairly difficult changeover but not impossible. If you have someone that can do the labor lined up and would do it well, there is still hope. After having cars with consoles, they are pretty neat and sporty looking but in the end I usually am glad I have a center arm rest to rest my arm on and a not-so-big wheel to turn.

Best wishes........................
 
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saforwardlook

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A hunting I will go... Again appreciate information and reference. Thank you.

Just one additional thought, it seems that Murray Park is in the process of moving his whole yard to another location and this being the middle of winter, his responses might be delayed. But he should have what you need so you can complete your goal.
 

CBODY67

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Other than the issues which @saforwardlook mentioned, plus considering you already have the tilt/tele column for the column shift car, you can disassemble the upper part of the column, remove the shift bowl (where the column shift lever attaches), and have where the shift level attaches "shaved off" and filled in, resulting in a smooth bowl (as the console shift models would have).

A former customer put a tilt column out of a '70s MonteCarlo into his '55 Nomad, having the lock cyl area of the MC column "shaved" so the column looked like the orig '55 column otherwise, using the orig key cyl ign switch in the instrument panel. Past that, you'd need a block-off plate for the orig shift quadrant in the instrument cluster.

You might not be in a "harsh climate" as north TX, where you are, BUT the rubber in the NOS Rim Blow I bought in the later 1970s for my '70 Monaco Brougham, staying in the box many years before installation, the rubber in the switch still got hard and hard to press . . . in the box in the car's trunk. Even in a controlled-temperature environment, the oils in the rubber in the switch will evaporate slowly, with a "hard switch" resulting over time.

I suspect that if Chrysler had not made the Rim Blow wheel a part of ANY tilt wheel option on their cars in those few model years, they could well have had a much more rare/low installation rate option on their hands. There was a reason it vanished for the Formal Years. FWIW.

MY concern is "What would it take to put a '74-'78 C-body tilt steering wheel onto my '70 tilt steering column? The wheel looks similar, but has a conventional horn pad arrangement.

Just some observations,
CBODY67
 

CRUZN3C

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Hi CBODY67,

Bare with me while I try to understand this completely.. But, I was wondering why my existing wiring harness on my current console wouldn't work, is it because it would be a different length? Also, as for the shift bowl, again what inhibits me from using the one on my current console column? It does make more sense to start with a tilt / tele console column, just didn't realize it was this significantly different.

It makes sense that these wheels were problematic based on the things you guys mentioned and therefore eventually discontinued, but I'm hoping it'll out last me and hold up a little longer out here in Tennessee climate. Appreciate the wealth of detailed information you guys have provided.

I left message with Murray Park this morning for a console tilt / tele column and awaiting a call back...with fingers crossed. Thanks.
 

saforwardlook

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Hi CBODY67,

Bare with me while I try to understand this completely.. But, I was wondering why my existing wiring harness on my current console wouldn't work, is it because it would be a different length? Also, as for the shift bowl, again what inhibits me from using the one on my current console column? It does make more sense to start with a tilt / tele console column, just didn't realize it was this significantly different.

It makes sense that these wheels were problematic based on the things you guys mentioned and therefore eventually discontinued, but I'm hoping it'll out last me and hold up a little longer out here in Tennessee climate. Appreciate the wealth of detailed information you guys have provided.

I left message with Murray Park this morning for a console tilt / tele column and awaiting a call back...with fingers crossed. Thanks.

The tilt-telescope columns were made by General Motors and Chrysler had to adapt their wiring harnesses to their starter switch hookups which are relatively complicated on the GM columns and there are a lot of pins relative to that set up that don't exist on regular Chrysler columns (honestly the GM ignition setup is a clumsy mess and accessing the ignition switch inside the column is also an aggravated mess too). Most techs do not want to touch those columns because they are full of plastic parts that are now old and break apart almost by looking at them, and then try to find replacements. To my knowledge there is one company in northern California that I would send my old column to to have anything significant done on them internally - I would just have them restore it to as close to new as possible to minimize problems going forward.

Given that the ignition switch is complex and full of various wires, Chrysler had to design an adaptor harness to enable them to work with the Chrysler electrical systems. The actual wiring harness plastic wiring holders are more complex than those for a driver's door connector for the electric windows where that switch controls all the windows from the driver door switch used by the vehicle operator. The Chrysler wiring adaptor is mounted externally to the GM tilt column and is activated by a metal rod emanating from inside the steering column where the GM switch is located.

At least you already have a console inside your car but I agree that you will probably need some special rods associated with the tilt column to make the linkage work compared to the Chrysler steering columns.

The reason I recommend having your column restored by a company specializing in those columns is that they need to replace a lot of old plastic inside them or you will be having ongoing issues over time that will diminish your fondness of that rim-blow steering wheel and the tilt/telescope feature. They still have those plastic pieces available for your series tilt column last time I talked with them about a year ago but for some of the older or even some newer tilt columns, those parts no longer exist and the likelihood of having them for your tilt column just declines with each passing year.

Its all doable but you have to invest some time in thinking it all through and spend some $$ to have your column gone through even though you seem to be up there in age. Plastic is plastic and is unreliable given its age in these columns.
 
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CRUZN3C

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I used to live in the near the Bay area (Petaluma). Can you share that company contact info? I'm hell bent on finding this console column to refurbish, and probably pass on this Tilt/Tele column shifter I found.... I'm on a mission (just hope it isn't mission impossible). I appreciate the detailed information, I'm now much clearer on the hurdles and challenges ahead. I probably should have picked a different project to tackle..... Maybe a trip to Carlise is in order this year(10 hour drive from Tennessee)....Hmmm, its been awhile.
 

saforwardlook

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I used to live in the near the Bay area (Petaluma). Can you share that company contact info? I'm hell bent on finding this console column to refurbish, and probably pass on this Tilt/Tele column shifter I found.... I'm on a mission (just hope it isn't mission impossible). I appreciate the detailed information, I'm now much clearer on the hurdles and challenges ahead. I probably should have picked a different project to tackle..... Maybe a trip to Carlise is in order this year(10 hour drive from Tennessee)....Hmmm, its been awhile.
Here is the company that I called to clarify that they would indeed rebuild the tilt-tel steering columns that Chrysler bought from GM in that timeframe (early 70s) because their listing wasn't all that clear if your column (and mine) would be rebuildable for them but they assured me that these columns are ones they still do have parts for. I thought their prices were well worth it and that is why I am recommending using them even though I have not personally used them yet. But I do have a 1971 Chrysler 300 with a tilt-tel column in it without console that will be going to them:

steering column rebuilding services for ford, gm, dodge, chrysler, jeep, plymouth | Steering Column Services

Its in your old stomping grounds too.........................

Let us know how it works out.

P.S. if you can't find one for a console car I might have one in my stash of steering columns but it would surely need rebuilding but it would be the correct one. I just can't recall whether I let it go in the past or not but I can check if Murray doesn't have one. I suggest trying Murray first because he would have the wiring harness adaptor and any needed column to shifter linkage you might need for the column to connect up correctly to your tilt column and his column would likely be a better one to start with because most of his parts cars come from back East whereas mine come from the Southwest where the higher temperature would likely deteriorate things more inside the column than his would. My cars were parted out some 10 - 15 years ago so I no longer have the body shells any more for space reasons.

Best wishes,

Steve
 
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Dan Scully

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The 70 I have is factory with T/T and console. Iam in the process of doing the interior and have everything out. If there is anything you want a pic of let me know. I, am using a 69 repop top as I like that better than the 70 style.
20230125_154626.jpg
 

saforwardlook

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The 70 I have is factory with T/T and console. Iam in the process of doing the interior and have everything out. If there is anything you want a pic of let me know. I, am using a 69 repop top as I like that better than the 70 style.
View attachment 584643

Are you getting new seat covers from Legendary or are you having your upholstery guy doing them from scratch? I would like to see the results either way if you wouldn't mind. It looks like you are adding sound deadening and using dynamat. Great way to go in making those cars more quiet and luxurious feeling. If you need any new door pulls Bob Baker now reproduces them and they appear exactly as the originals and I have seen no other efforts that came close at all. Even the Chrysler 300 Club International had some reproductions made but they didn't look close enough to the originals for me to go for them. If you do go with Bob Baker, you would need to send him your old parts and he could take it from there. Just FYI.
 

Dan Scully

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Are you getting new seat covers from Legendary or are you having your upholstery guy doing them from scratch? I would like to see the results either way if you wouldn't mind. It looks like you are adding sound deadening and using dynamat. Great way to go in making those cars more quiet and luxurious feeling. If you need any new door pulls Bob Baker now reproduces them and they appear exactly as the originals and I have seen no other efforts that came close at all. Even the Chrysler 300 Club International had some reproductions made but they didn't look close enough to the originals for me to go for them. If you do go with Bob Baker, you would need to send him your old parts and he could take it from there. Just FYI.
Thanks for the info, the car came with legendary covers front and rear. Ready for install once i get the floors done.

20221117_152709.jpg


20221117_152719.jpg
 

saforwardlook

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Thanks for the info, the car came with legendary covers front and rear. Ready for install once i get the floors done.

View attachment 584647

View attachment 584648
Interesting that you got the rear seat covers too. Currently, Legendary no longer carries them. Do you have any idea when yours were originally received?

As a result, I asked Legendary if they would remake them if I supplied a good set of seats to make patterns again and they agreed??? So I sent them on a pallet about 3 months ago now at some expense so they would supply them again. What is Legendary doing when they must apparently throw out patterns and then agree to remake them again??? Wierd.
 

Dan Scully

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Interesting that you got the rear seat covers too. Currently, Legendary no longer carries them. Do you have any idea when yours were originally received?

As a result, I asked Legendary if they would remake them if I supplied a good set of seats to make patterns again and they agreed??? So I sent them on a pallet about 3 months ago now at some expense so they would supply them again. What is Legendary doing when they must apparently throw out patterns and then agree to remake them again??? Wierd.
Friend that I bought the car from had purchased, the front and rear covers, carpet and he had sent his boot cover in as a sample for them to make that also. Was at least 8years ago.
.
 

Big_John

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Friend that I bought the car from had purchased, the front and rear covers, carpet and he had sent his boot cover in as a sample for them to make that also. Was at least 8years ago.
.
That's a little strange... The boot on my '70 300 vert was done by Legendary probably about 15 years ago. I was told by the PO (a good friend) that the original boot from mine was used as a pattern. I replaced it again last year.

I also have Legendary seat covers, front and rear, from the owner before that.. at least 20 years ago... I have the paperwork and I'll dig it out.

Wonder if the '70 300 pattern box got lost.
 

CRUZN3C

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Here is the company that I called to clarify that they would indeed rebuild the tilt-tel steering columns that Chrysler bought from GM in that timeframe (early 70s) because their listing wasn't all that clear if your column (and mine) would be rebuildable for them but they assured me that these columns are ones they still do have parts for. I thought their prices were well worth it and that is why I am recommending using them even though I have not personally used them yet. But I do have a 1971 Chrysler 300 with a tilt-tel column in it without console that will be going to them:

steering column rebuilding services for ford, gm, dodge, chrysler, jeep, plymouth | Steering Column Services

Its in your old stomping grounds too.........................

Let us know how it works out.

P.S. if you can't find one for a console car I might have one in my stash of steering columns but it would surely need rebuilding but it would be the correct one. I just can't recall whether I let it go in the past or not but I can check if Murray doesn't have one. I suggest trying Murray first because he would have the wiring harness adaptor and any needed column to shifter linkage you might need for the column to connect up correctly to your tilt column and his column would likely be a better one to start with because most of his parts cars come from back East whereas mine come from the Southwest where the higher temperature would likely deteriorate things more inside the column than his would. My cars were parted out some 10 - 15 years ago so I no longer have the body shells any more for space reasons.

Best wishes,

Steve
Steve,

I will definitely keep you in mind as a PLAN B if my search hits a wall. I checked out this "Steering Services" website and looks pretty thorough and reasonable.

You guys are a wealth of information and I appreciate the guidance and direction. Ironically I also lived in Tucson AZ for many years and I know what your talking about in reference to deteriorating parts. My 69 SuperBee originally came from Bill Breck Dodge in Tucson.......But thats a whole other story.

Thanks again for the info and referrals. Still waiting on a return call from Murray, but I guess I'll follow up again in the AM.
 

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Steve,

I will definitely keep you in mind as a PLAN B if my search hits a wall. I checked out this "Steering Services" website and looks pretty thorough and reasonable.

You guys are a wealth of information and I appreciate the guidance and direction. Ironically I also lived in Tucson AZ for many years and I know what your talking about in reference to deteriorating parts. My 69 SuperBee originally came from Bill Breck Dodge in Tucson.......But thats a whole other story.

Thanks again for the info and referrals. Still waiting on a return call from Murray, but I guess I'll follow up again in the AM.
Murray’s a busy guy these days, but he’ll pick up the phone eventually- call him again. Many years ago, I pieced together a tilt column for my ‘66 300 (it was my brother’s at the time), I used a ‘65 NY non-console column (all that I could find, pre-internet- obviously I’d rather have tilt/telescope). Anyway, I had to use the non-tilt shifter collar. I thought about shaving the shifter mount off and filling it but I realized that it was a perfect mount for the oil pressure gauge. Works great!
 
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