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Tilt Column?

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It seems that acquiring a 1963 -1969 GM (Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Chevrolet) adjustable steering column would be a good place to start if a Studebaker Avanti or "A" series Avanti ll owner wants a FACTORY style 'tilt' steering column in his car......Any thoughts concerning this?.....Anyone attempted this conversion?:huh:

(I'm referring to the 'tilt' column GM used before going to a 'locking' steering column around about 1970)

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If you have a source of a decent one I don't know why not try it but IIWM, I'd opt for a new one with all new parts like one of these. You will probably need to add an extension to the gear end but that should be straight forward with today's options. Old tilt options are not cheap usually when you find a good one. The rag joint would make a natural place to join it.

I search around this site to see what's available. Note it uses the GM style wiring connector so it should be able to be wired into the early system pretty easily.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tilt-Column-Chrome-Floor-Shift-front-suspension-parts-1939-buick-amc-amx/312861517086?hash=item48d7ffe51e:g:2~oAAOSwTpld3F0m

Edited by Avanti83

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Yes Bob, those brand new tilt columns are reasonably priced, and no doubt would be a smart choice......I mentioned the earlier GM columns however, because I believe they are exactly the same column as Studebaker offered     possibly with the exception of the steering wheel 'spline' and the plug-in to the Stude Avanti's wiring harness.

Anyone know if this is true?:huh:

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No, they are not in any way "exact" the length, and mounts are far different. The only thing the same is the tilt mechanism, and the turn signal switch system. Yes, they were both manufactured by Saginaw, but that is where the similarities stop. Lew recently purchased one from an early Buick Riviera. Again it is a Saginaw column, but in no way shape or form will it bolt right in. 

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1 minute ago, brad said:

No, they are not in any way "exact" the length, and mounts are far different. The only thing the same is the tilt mechanism, and the turn signal switch system. Yes, they were both manufactured by Saginaw, but that is where the similarities stop. Lew recently purchased one from an early Buick Riviera. Again it is a Saginaw column, but in no way shape or form will it bolt right in. 

This is good info....Thanks!......So, would shortening the steering shaft, 'chopping' the jacket to the correct length, and installing the mount bracket from the 'non-tilt' Stude column onto the jacket get us 'in the ballpark'?:huh:

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Actually the Buick column was shorter. I still think the universal Flaming River columns in paintable steel is the closest option. You can order them in different lengths, and transferring the bracket is then a simple matter. Also to be taken into consideration is the "bell" on the column. Not all early GM tilts had the smaller area just below the steering wheel. So you would have to use a later Avanti II dash with the larger steering column notch, or modify that.

 

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7 minutes ago, brad said:

Actually the Buick column was shorter. I still think the universal Flaming River columns in paintable steel is the closest option. You can order them in different lengths, and transferring the bracket is then a simple matter. Also to be taken into consideration is the "bell" on the column. Not all early GM tilts had the smaller area just below the steering wheel. So you would have to use a later Avanti II dash with the larger steering column notch, or modify that.

 

Yes, that makes sense!

Also yes, I have seen that some period Cadillac tilt columns have a much larger "bell" under the steering wheel.....Take care,...Ed

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I used a tilt column from a 69 GM panel truck w/column shift in my 70 Avanti.  Had to cut off the lower shift linkage loop and fabricate an under dash mounting bracket.   Length was exact and the spline fit the upper steering box rag joint connector. (~29.5" long . If I remember correctly)  

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2 hours ago, silverstude said:

I used a tilt column from a 69 GM panel truck w/column shift in my 70 Avanti.  Had to cut off the lower shift linkage loop and fabricate an under dash mounting bracket.   Length was exact and the spline fit the upper steering box rag joint connector. (~29.5" long . If I remember correctly)  

VERY interesting!:o...and you say it was the correct length?....That's certainly a big help!.....Did you replace the GM column support bracket with a Studebaker one?

Also.....Did you change the column shift bowl to a non-column bowl?

               Did the GM upper spline match up with the Stude Avanti's steering wheel hub spline?

               How well did the turn signal wiring match up?

               One more thing....can you 'zero in' on exactly what model/series GM panel truck your tilt column came from?

THANKS very much for taking the time to answer these questions!.......Ed:)

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Well, this was done back in the late 90's and I bought the column at a Carlisle Spring Swap Meet. The measurement was from notes I had taken with me.  That figure stayed in my head, so it's pretty accurate. The info I had at the time, I believe mentioned a Camaro and the Panel truck, but they were both the same measurement.  The difference being one had a floor shift and the other a column shift.  Likely I opted for what was available and modified it for my purposes.

The lower shift linkage loop had to be removed and there was no issue, either mechanically or cosmetically.  The upper housing did not have any issues either as it was covered by a secondary fascade of my own design and incidentally mounted an 89' Avanti dashboard and a Momo steering wheel.

The under dash bracket I made/used was more the GM style, as there were some issues with the bolts or spacing.  I believe there are 4 bolts on the Stude version and only 2 on the GM column.  Nothing too difficult to remedy.

The spline may have fit the existing rag joint hardware, but I recall getting a new rag joint and I don't think it came with another metal (upper) fitting, so the probability was that it worked ok.  

 It has the column ignition switch which worked fine once the electrical circuits, including the turn signals  were cross referenced From Mitchells Manuals to connect to the Stude circuit.   Some of the switch circuits were not used.  However during this renovation, I also installed an HEI ignition and a T700R4 trans and shifter quadrant from a Camaro, using some of the circuitry to enable the Neutral safety switch and something else ( parking brake solenoid?).  (I have a manual that I made up, to explain all this)

 I recently (~ 2 years) replaced the started switch with another Delco unit and they're still available, but in 2 flavors of the push/pull rod and you have to be aware which.    I have a lot of pictures of all this but as you might expect, they would take some time to gather.

Hope this was of use.

BobJ

I'll blow my horn a bit.... Here's one picture

 

 

 

 

0381x12052017c.JPG

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Thanks Bob,...and the dashboard area of your Avanti looks B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.....Very nice job!

But what I was really trying to get info on would be the earlier (non-locking) GM column, that Studebaker used a version of as an option for the 1964 Avantis.

The early GM column worked in conjunction with the original Stude Avanti dashboard and steering wheel.....It's quite rare to find one in a Studebaker Avanti....I would guess that only a handful of '64 Avantis were built with the tilt wheel option.

Once again, your "A" series Avanti interior looks real nice......Ed:)

 

 

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I just happen to have a Stude tilt column on my workbench so I measured it to post here. Its exactly 35 1/4 inches in length. I think that was longer then a Riviera column. I  never looked at a Cadillac version. There is some adjustment at the steering box end, maybe an inch. On a side story, I once purchased a nice 64 Steering wheel and when I got it I thought the seller had sawed the wheel of the column. Wrong, it was off a tilt wheel stude and the 40 spline special tilt part unique to the Stude was left in place in the wheel unharmed! I still have that part. It is 1304-9 from the attached picture. Will trade for an 8 grand tach.

Tilt1304-9.jpeg

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Another thing to be aware of , the `63-`64 Avanti had the same spline count as the Ford steering shaft. I thought they were all the same and bought an adapter for a GM shaft after I broke my original steering wheel before I converted to electric power steering. It didn`t take long before it stripped but luckily I was in my driveway when that happened.

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On 2/25/2020 at 9:47 PM, Luma said:

I just happen to have a Stude tilt column on my workbench so I measured it to post here. Its exactly 35 1/4 inches in length. I think that was longer then a Riviera column. I  never looked at a Cadillac version. There is some adjustment at the steering box end, maybe an inch. On a side story, I once purchased a nice 64 Steering wheel and when I got it I thought the seller had sawed the wheel of the column. Wrong, it was off a tilt wheel stude and the 40 spline special tilt part unique to the Stude was left in place in the wheel unharmed! I still have that part. It is 1304-9 from the attached picture. Will trade for an 8 grand tach.

Tilt1304-9.jpeg

Does the Studebaker tilt column you have belong to your Avanti ll?....If it doesn't, is it possibly be for sale?  (Inquiring minds want to know!:D)

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