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Raising Steering Column

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by djljeep, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Feb 9, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Been a while since I hung out here, but I still have a unhealthy obsession with my Intermediates, even bought one to be a wheeler a couple years ago while I finish (as if) the other ones.

    Problem: Typical ECJ5 steering column/fat guy interference (although a couple physically fit people refuse to move my jeep because they can't figure out how to get in it)

    I manage just fine most of the year and most of the time it is just a little inconvenient during big events like Jeep Jamboree trail Prep and guiding when I am in and out constantly. But I am finding that if I am wearing my insulated Carhart overalls during winter rides, there is simply not enough room between the seat and steering wheel.

    Seat is factory style low back as far back as it can go. Tub is fiberglass so I don't want to dick around with notching the wheel well. I would really like to keep the bus steering wheel because who doesn't love the bus steering wheels?

    Solution: This leads me to raising the column where it comes through the dash. It seems like this should be as simple as a few cuts and holes in the dash as well as Maybe modifying the pedal/column support bracket, specifically either tweaking it up to match the new column angle or leave it where it is and trim the top of it to allow more clearance for the column?

    I see an olllld thread where DanStew referenced doing this to his, but the pictures are dead. Shorten the steering column or smaller steering wheel? | EarlyCJ5.com
     
  2. Feb 13, 2016
    rejeep

    rejeep Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Rochester, NY
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    I changed the angle, not length of my column by separating it from the dash bracket and re welding... just an option and not that invasive..
     
  3. Feb 13, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Got a picture? Increasing the angle is what I meant.
     
  4. Feb 13, 2016
    rejeep

    rejeep Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Rochester, NY
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  5. Feb 13, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Thanks. So what exactly did re-welding that gain you? I think I'm missing something somewhere.
     
  6. Feb 13, 2016
    rejeep

    rejeep Well-Known Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Rochester, NY
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    its welded at "X" deg angle from the factory..
    I changed it to -/+ "X" to fit my fat thighs and make it easier to get in and out..
     
  7. Feb 13, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Let me re-phrase. did you tweak the angle in the dash bracket up essentially moving the hole in the floor "down" where the column goes through the firewall?
     
  8. Feb 14, 2016
    sterlclan

    sterlclan Member

    exploring the...
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    you could separate the tube from the bracket and raise the tube relative to the bracket with a little fab work on the bracket. the hole in the floor should allow for the increased angle.
     
  9. Feb 18, 2016
    DanStew

    DanStew Incorrigible. Staff Member

    Lexington, South...
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    I have cut the weld at the column and bracket and pushed it closer to the steering wheel. My project was not a stock CJ, it was an m38a1. I also cut the dash so i mount it up higher. Worked out real nice. I cut into the firewall so the colmn output was a little higher on the firewall
     
  10. Feb 18, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Does your a1 have the bracket underneath that supports the hanging pedals? I know a stock M38a1 would not have hanging pedals, but I don't know if that means there is nothing there for a support bracket. That is the biggest interference I see to just cutting the dash and mounting the thing higher.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2016
    uncamonkey

    uncamonkey Member

    Greeley CO
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    The dash mount is different on a 3B. I bent up a few parts and gained an inch at the wheel. I did the unthinkable thing and lost around 90 lbs. No problem now other than my clothes don't fit anymore.
     
  12. Feb 18, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    There are a few 3Bs in the group I wheel with, all with the bus steering wheel, and I don't have any comfort issues driving those. Although I am not "in ideal shape", the problem isn't really being fat, as much as it is my legs (while wearing my coveralls) can't slide under the steering wheel while climbing in. I don't have the "black mark on the light T-shirt" effect from the steering wheel.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2016
    DanStew

    DanStew Incorrigible. Staff Member

    Lexington, South...
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    Here are some pics of what i did with the M38a1. I did use Intermediate pedals.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Feb 18, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Exxxxcellllent. That is what I was looking for. I understand you were deep into modification territory, but did you leave the pedal bracket in the "stock" location where it bolts to the bottom of the dash? If so did you have to clearance the bracket to make the column fit in it? The only reason I ask such detail rather than just figuring it out, is that my dash is pinned by the Previous owners very poorly designed roll bar, and the wiring is "delicate" so if I am going to do this modification, I need to be able to do it without removing the Dash itself. If that Isn't possible, I'll deal with it when I un(badword) the rollcage and wiring at a later date.
     
  15. Feb 18, 2016
    DanStew

    DanStew Incorrigible. Staff Member

    Lexington, South...
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    Honestly i do not remember trimming the pedal bracket. If i did cut the pedal bracket i only brought the center portion the column went through and cut it back further. It would still bolt to the firewall and dash all the same. I was lucky enough to not have to worry about wires when i did it. I had the same setup on my original 63 CJ5 and did the same mod. It did give generous amount of room. My buddy with a bone stock 74 CJ5 was jealous of all the room i had between the wheel and me :)
     
  16. Feb 18, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Thanks, That is what I wanted to read.
     
  17. May 10, 2016
    djljeep

    djljeep Meandering Aimlessly

    Western Maine
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    Soooo a friend observed that I may be making my life way harder than it needs to be. For reference, anyone want to pull a measurement from the center of the bolts that hold the brake master to the firewall to the center of the bolts that hold the lower steering column support bracket to the firewall?
     

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