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57 steering column removal

This is a discussion on 57 steering column removal within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; I'm taking out the steering column on my 57 to remove the dash. I have the steering wheel off, horn ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 63.231.75.168
Old 10-26-2015, 11:41 PM
 
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57 steering column removal

I'm taking out the steering column on my 57 to remove the dash. I have the steering wheel off, horn wire disconnected, 6 wires out of the steering column disconnected, screws holding the column to the dash out and clamp off, the steering column collar loosened and the column fully extended, and the clamp at the base of the column going into the steering box is loosened. I've sprayed penetrating oil where the column enters the steering box. But I can't get the steering column to pull out of the steering box (and out of the car).
One source says I have to loosen all necessary fasteners and pull the column AND the box out together and deal with it on the bench.
QUESTIONS:
Did I miss something that is holding the two together, other than 40 years of inattention?
Is there some trick to getting the column out of the steering box?
And if it won't budge, is my above source correct? And if so, is there anything that isn't obvious about pulling the box out with the column?

Jeez, is nothing easy?
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:27 PM
 
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I guess the magic oil worked over night...the steering column came out with minimal fuss this morning. On to the next problem.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:11 AM
 
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Wire sheath in the Steering Column

Valhalla,

Did you encounter a wire down the middle of the column exiting the forward end of the steering box? If so, how did you handle it? Right now, this wire is the only thing that prevents me from removing the entire steering column. I am thinking that this was something that someone added and is not necessary with a new wiring harness on its way. Any thoughts?

There is one wire down the middle for the sheath with a white or yellow insulator. In the steering column, it is contained in what feels like a black rubberized sheath. The exit from the front of the steering box seems very secure and appropriately sealed. Obviously, I can cut it, but is it original and necessary?

Castor120

Last edited by Castor120; 08-17-2017 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:40 AM
 
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The wire down the center of the steering column is for the horn.

There is a connector near the bottom of the column that you have to disconnect and the wire can be pulled out from the top after removing the horn ring.

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Originally Posted by Castor120 View Post
Valhalla,

Did you encounter a wire down the middle of the column exiting the forward end of the steering box? If so, how did you handle it? Right now, this wire is the only thing that prevents me from removing the entire steering column. I am thinking that this was something that someone added and is not necessary with a new wiring harness on its way. Any thoughts?

There is one wire down the middle for the sheath with a white or yellow insulator. In the steering column, it is contained in what feels like a black rubberized sheath. The exit from the front of the steering box seems very secure and appropriately sealed. Obviously, I can cut it, but is it original and necessary?

Castor120
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:53 AM
 
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Horn Wire in Steering Column

Paul,

Thanks for the heads up! I appreciate the response!

Do I understand correctly that there is a connector near the steering box that can be disconnected and then removed with the rest of the steering column?

I have ordered a new wiring harness, but the sealed nature of the junction of this wire and the forward face of the steering box would lead me to NOT remove and replace this section of wire through the box, and instead, simply use the existing connectors exterior to and within the steering column to not disturb this joint. Does that make sense to you, or am I missing something?

Castor120
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:54 PM
 
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Yes - there is a connector located near the bottom of the steering box for the horn wire. If you follow the wire coming out of the steering box you will find where the wire connects to the harness.. If you are not replacing this wire, just leave it in the column when removing the column.

I'm not sure what you mean by the sealed nature of the junction of the horn wire. The horn wire is separate and distinct from the other column wires if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, I don't have my car here to look at (it's a 56) but should be the same

The other wires in the column come out the side of the column. When you see them, it's self explanatory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Castor120 View Post
Paul,

Thanks for the heads up! I appreciate the response!

Do I understand correctly that there is a connector near the steering box that can be disconnected and then removed with the rest of the steering column?

I have ordered a new wiring harness, but the sealed nature of the junction of this wire and the forward face of the steering box would lead me to NOT remove and replace this section of wire through the box, and instead, simply use the existing connectors exterior to and within the steering column to not disturb this joint. Does that make sense to you, or am I missing something?

Castor120
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:13 AM
 
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Thanks for the huge help!

Paul,

As a result of your excellent comments, I have realized that the "sealed nature" of that wire/steering box joint is simply a grommet, and that the wire can be pulled through that grommet to remove the steering wheel assembly.

Is there a particular challenge pushing the wire back through that grommet? I assume that you have to open the steering box in order to push it back through during reassembly?

Castor120
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:43 PM
 
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Once the steering column is in place, run a fairly stiff wire down the tube until it comes out the end. This a a trial and error type thing as the wire may not go down easily (can hang up - just twist and turn the wire until it goes all the way through). Bending back the wire at the end so you don't have a sharp end helps in preventing it from hanging up on something. You can go up from the bottom too.

By some means connect the wire to the horn wire and pull it down. What i prefer doing is using the wire, then attaching a strong string/twine to it, pull down the string and then attach the horn wire to the string and then pull the horn wire through.

If the grommet comes off easily, I suggest removing it while trying to get the wire through. Then put the grommet back on before connecting the horn wire to the harness.

I don't remember a grommet on my car, but I may have forgotten about it or it was missing in the first place and didn't realize that there should be one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Castor120 View Post
Paul,
Is there a particular challenge pushing the wire back through that grommet? I assume that you have to open the steering box in order to push it back through during reassembly?

Castor120
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:02 AM
 
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Many Thanks, on behalf of MANY you have helped!

Paul,

Your ideas are clearly those of an experienced T-Bird'er. I certainly thank you, and on behalf of many future T-Bird'ers that you will help for many years.

My steering column is out, but more importantly, the dash is sitting on the bench, ready to replace the main wiring harness. Your instruction was invaluable!

Castor120
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