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1975 Steering Wheel Swap

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by billm006, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Aug 25, 2019
    billm006

    billm006 New Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Honeye Falls, NY
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    Jul 31, 2019
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    I'm too fat and need a smaller steering wheel. Looking at a Grant of some sort but first need to get the bus wheel off. Poked at the horn button a little. Does that just pry off? I've seen all sorts of warnings about pullers etc. Any tips or tricks to know? The 17'" wheel is too big but I'm a little worried about what size would be getting too small. Advice there? Finally- seems like a slight dish in the wheel would help with belly spacing. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Aug 25, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Mmm. I would keep the bus wheel and move the seat back. Lots of posts about this if you search. Try "wheelhouse notch."

    First post - welcome from Boston!
     
    Focker likes this.
  3. Aug 25, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member 2019 Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
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    X2
     
  4. Aug 25, 2019
    Ric-san

    Ric-san New Member

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  5. Aug 25, 2019
    billm006

    billm006 New Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Honeye Falls, NY
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    Thanx for the welcome. My fiberglass tub has me leery. Maybe down the line.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2019
    Oldriginal86

    Oldriginal86 Member

    Pasadena, Md.
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    Fiberglass is even easier. No welding. You can get cloth and resin at most auto parts stores. Good luck and post up pics of the progress.
     
  7. Aug 26, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Note that the intermediates ('72-75) have a more outboard seating position than the earlys. The diagram posted earlier will not work for an intermediate - the notch will need to be wider.
     
  8. Aug 26, 2019
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    ok...there is always a better solution, and doing a wheel well notch is probably the 'better' solution. But I can't say that changing out the steering wheel is a bad solution. Its an easier path and it does work. For less work, you get a less ideal solution, but if you don't need the extra leg room, just the belly room, then it could be viable. There was a small Grant steering wheel on my cj when I got it (I think it was a 13-14" so it gave a couple more inches of belly room)...there was an adapter piece that went between the wheel and the column mount. I believe stock horn button had to be removed - or at least it was made non-functional with the adapter piece, although I think could have been done correctly if the PO had cared ....Its been a lot of years, but I will see if I can find any pics (that would have been before I started keeping photos of everything). looks like grant has a nice technical support: Grant Steering Wheels
    A couple things to note...
    1) if you have manual steering (which is what I had with a Ross box - you will will have Saginaw, either manual or power), the small diameter wheel will make steering extremely difficult (this is the main reason I switched it back to the oem style wheel). If you have power, then the small wheel will work fine, although the steering will feel a bit more sensitive to small movements of the wheel.
    2) The sparton turn singal cancellation wheel did not work with the grant set-up...again it was a POs set-up so maybe it could have been done better.
     
  9. Aug 26, 2019
    Andy Salagaj

    Andy Salagaj Joshua70x7

    Colorado
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    Aug 3, 2016
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    I changed to power steering and a small steering wheel in my 73 CJ5. I'm so glad I did. Room for my belly and it turns with ease even in tight spots and going slow. If you make this change do lots of study online first, especially on this site. Lots of folks have done this and most really love the change. PS - I also did a wheelhouse notch. Gives you even more room.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  10. Aug 26, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member 2019 Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
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    Good, I thought this was going to be a diet ad.
     
    47v6 likes this.
  11. Aug 26, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    JMO - If I had to have a different wheel, I'd likely go with an aftermarket column that has a self-cancelling turn signal switch built-in. Flaming River and IDidIt are a couple brands to check out. The original column and switch are in demand as both replacement and conversion parts, so you could make back some of your parts cost for the hot rod column. The GM column from a '76-up CJ might be another option. Either will require some adapting/fab work.

    As mentioned, the large diameter wheel helps a lot with leverage if you have standard steering. It's not as critical with the Saginaw steering in a '75; still, most want to run big tires today, and the combo of manual steering, small steering wheel and big tires will make maneuvering at low speed difficult.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    mike starck likes this.
  12. Aug 26, 2019
    mike starck

    mike starck Member 2019 Sponsor

    salem,oregon
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    I agree with the idea of going to a aftermarket column and then choosing a steering wheel that works for you.I have found that a 14" wheel just doesn't feel right to me. The larger diameter wheels 15" to 15 1/2" are available but costly. I changed the wheel on my classic truck from a grant 14" to a Billet Specialties 15 1/2" .The feel and handling is like night and day. Just something to consider. mike
     
  13. Aug 26, 2019
    billm006

    billm006 New Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Honeye Falls, NY
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    Good point on the loss of leverage. Forgot about that! Back to the drawing board.
     
  14. Aug 27, 2019
    Chilly

    Chilly Active Member 2019 Sponsor

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    Stock wheel has no offset. Most sporty small wheels have offset, AND an adapter ring, which moves the wheel back toward you. Depending on the girth of your paunch, and the protrusion/sag proportions, a smaller wheel may be better or worse.
     
  15. Aug 28, 2019
    neohic

    neohic Gentleman Jeepist

    Woodland Park, CO
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    Mar 29, 2018
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    Here’s my solution in my ‘75...

    While I didn’t need the “belly room” I did want the steering wheel out of my lap. I moved the whole steering column up on the dash. Starting with pulling the column, I cut and added about 3/4” just above the bottom of the dash mount.

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut the same radius that was in the dash behind the column up the same 3/4”.

    [​IMG]

    Finish up with drilling four new holes and then give the firewall support a little tweak to match the new angle.

    [​IMG]

    Most CJ people don’t even notice but it made a HUGE difference.
     
    sterlclan, 3b a runnin and Twin2 like this.
  16. Aug 30, 2019
    jeepstar

    jeepstar Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor

    Sheboygan
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    Did that change any driving components?
     
  17. Aug 30, 2019
    neohic

    neohic Gentleman Jeepist

    Woodland Park, CO
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    Nope. All stock throughout.
     
  18. Aug 30, 2019
    billm006

    billm006 New Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Honeye Falls, NY
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    Can you post a picture under the hood where you added some support?
     
  19. Aug 30, 2019
    neohic

    neohic Gentleman Jeepist

    Woodland Park, CO
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    Nothing more than the factory put there.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Aug 30, 2019
    billm006

    billm006 New Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Honeye Falls, NY
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