67 GTA home
I purchased a TCP rack and pinion right before they went bankrupt (or whatever that 'thing' was that happened to them back then), only to find out the one they shipped was the short shaft variety not the long shaft. For the 67 model year FoMoCo used two different shafts, they were changed mid-year, my car being an early one had the long shaft and the TCP kit I had was for a short shaft. TCP made two R&P kits, one for 65-67 and the other for 67-70, clear as mud eh? I had two choices, exchange the part and hope I got mine since I was beginning to hear the horror stories about TCP not answering the phones or shipping product that was paid for, or find a later type steering column. When I began researching the column designs I found that the late-67 style was a crude precursor to the 68 column that was actually collapsible. I also disassembled by factory column and saw the long solid spear shaped shaft that connected to the factory worm-gear box and pointed right at my chest...shudder.
Right then and there I resigned myself to retrofit the TCP kit to a 68 column. As with just about every single aspect of building this car I came across some problems. While the column shafts themselves are nearly identical in size and shape (other than the plastic bellows) the top portion of the 68 column, the bell shaped flare part, is significantly larger in diameter. The 68 steering wheels were a completely different design as well but there was NO FREAKING WAY I was going to use a 68 steering wheel, no offense intended...but in my opinion they were the ugliest wheels used until the Fox Stangs showed up in 79. Plus I had the original 'wood grain' wheel which in my opinion is still the best looking factory wheel FoMoCo ever put in a car. The issue was getting the smaller diameter wheel onto the large diameter bell without having a half-inch gap all the way around it. What I did was jerry-rig a way to connect the 67 bell (two pieces) to the 68 column, it was not straight forward but I got it to work by drilling two holes into the housing and used two small bolts with lock-washers. I took pictures of it but have somehow lost them. There is a barely perceptible gap that is off-center where the lower part of the bell does not fit completely straight, one side has about 3/32 of an inch of space and the other has about 1/16. But even in these pictures I cannot see it.
The completed assembly.
A little closer view, still have to decide how I want to handle the wires.
Closer still, near the base there is the only damaged part. years of exposure to the elements had deteriorated the metal. I POR-15'ed the lower shaft and painted over it.
A close-up view of the original wheel, the metal/chrome is in excellent condition, the "wood" has two small cracks in it, fine for my purposes but I am considering having it refurbished anyhow.
In this picture I cannot perceive the offset.
This was a pre-install mockup, you can see the rusted portion before the end-cap was in place and the POR was applied. The rust was removed with a wire wheel.