Upgrading Aftermarket Tilt Steering Has Many Advantages

By Brian McCormick


In the past few issues of Truckin' Magazine, we have featured a series of technical articles that have covered the construction of a high-tech '55 Chevy at Classic Performance Products. In November, the series began with the installation of a four-bar rear suspension kit, followed by a trick Ultra-Cruise IFS in December, and an easy-install engine and tranny kit in January. This month, we will wrap things up with the installation of an ididit steering column. Believe it or not, installing a custom steering column like this tilt ididit model is as easy as it gets, especially when you're adding it to the previously installed chassis components. 
The new front suspension not only simplifies the process of dropping in a V-8 and a new tranny. but also makes installing a new steering column just as easy. The location of the steering shaft as it exits the rack-&-pinion was taken into consideration when the engine mounts were designed, which made the installation of the new steering equipment that much more comfortable. Even better, the Borgeson joints used in the kit provide plenty of clearance from the headers. Now, that's what you call design quality! The steering components that Classic Performance Products will be installing this month consist of the previously mentioned ididit steering 
column, an aluminum drop collar, a floor plate, column accessories, two Borgeson joints and a steel steering shaft. As you will see in our step-by-step coverage, the kit is extremely easy to install. The most difficult part, which is still relatively easy, is measuring and shortening the steering shaft, which will be inserted through the Borgeson joints. It's a simple procedure, but one worth the effort if you're rebuilding a classic Chevy truck. Follow along as we wrap up this series of chassis modifications, then give Classic Performance Products a call at 714-522-2000.


In the January issue we left off with the installation of a V-8 over the Ultra Cruise IFS. The next step Is installing the steering column assembly, which will complement the entire customizing process.
The kit from Classic Performance Products consists of an ididit steering column, an aluminum drop collar, a floor plate, aluminum column accessories, two Borgeson joints and a steel steering shaft
To begin, find the column center by marking the underside of the dash vertically in line with the bottom of the "V" gauge cluster opening. Once that is determined, position the drop collar under the dash by centering it with the previously scribed mark, and mark the locations of the mounting studs. These marks will determine where the stud holes will be drilled.


Using a 14-inch bit, drill the holes, then the drop collar the dash.  The nuts will be installed from inside the dash, as you can see through the gauge cluster opening.
A new floor plate comes with the kit to properly position the column and cover the factory hole in the floorboard. Simply slip the plate over the end of the column, as shown.
If your column has a shifter arm (ours did), you'll need to turn the column to get the end through the factory hole.
Positioning the plate and the column is easy; the plate lines up just like the factory one did. All you have to do is bolt it down; the lower portion of the column will be located properly. 


The upper end of the column is then slid through the drop collar and tightened just enough to hold it in place.  At this point, you'll want to determine the exact height where you want the column to sill. Mark the spot on the column, but don't completely tighten the hardware yet. The column will have to slide up and down a little to install the steering shaft.
At this time, the shifter arm and column accessories are installed so that you can center the rotating position.
The two Borgeson joints are now slid onto the rack shaft and steering column.
Insert the steering shaft into the lower joint, and position the upper joint in line with the shaft, just as it will be when it's completely installed. Mark the shaft at the end of the joint, then, when the shaft is removed, add about 1.2 inches more to the length to allow room to insert the shaft.


Cut off the excess shaft material and insert the shaft into the joints, as shown. You'll probably have to loosen the collar a little and raise the column up to get the shaft in. Then the column can be returned to its permanent height and the collar permanently tightened.
With that complete, the joint locking hardware is tightened by first loosening the nuts and screwing the studs into the joints, then tightening the locking nuts. 
It's as simple as that. The shaft is installed and completely clears the motor mounts, frame and headers.
The final step is to weld the column to the floor plate, which will make removing the column easier since it will always be returned to the same location.
That's it. Now you not only have a high-tech suspension and an updated drive train, but improved steering as well.

Classic Performance Products  378 E Orangethorpe Ave.,  Placentia CA 92870  Tech Line 714-522-2000


© Classic Performance Products. This "website" and all contents are property of Classic Performance Products.  Prices subject to change without notice. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Please note that kits & prices may vary between certain applications.