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We have done several tilt steering column tech articlesover the years but never a comprehensive start-to-finish article that covers all couplers, wiring and steering types. Two of the best upgrades you can make to improve the comfort and drivability of your classic are a tilt steering column and modern power steering. This article will outline this installation in a 1955-56,but the procedures are essenatilly the same for a 1957.

Parts List
1955-56 ididit Column Shift Steel Tilt Column
1955 Tilt Column Adapter Wiring Harness
1956 Tilt Column Wire Adapter
1955-57 Rack & Pinion Steering Shaft With ididit Tilt Column Shift
1955-57 Power Steering Flex Coupler
1955-57 Power Steering Flex Coupler
1955-57 Polished Stainless Steel Lower Steering Column Mount With Automatic Transmission

Tools Needed:
1/2" Wrench
7/16" Socket & Ratchet
5/32" Allen Wrench
Screw Driver

Time Frame
4 hours

Image #1 The original steering column consisted of a mast that surrounded the steering shaft all the way down to the steering box.

Image #2a & 2b: The original steering column is anchored to the dashboard and firewall. The clamp at the dashboard is located under the lower steering column cover. The cover is held in place with a 1/4"-20 clutch head screw.

Image #3a & 3b: Remove the upper steering column cover from the front of the instrument cluster. To remove the cover, pull the steering column to instrument cluster rubber seal up toward the shift collar and pull the cover up from the cluster.

Image #4: If the car has an automatic transmission there is a wire that connects from the steering column to the transmission indicator on the dash. Unhook and remove this wire.

Image #5a & 5b: The original steering column is held to the firewall with a squeeze clamp. Remove the upper 5/16"X 3" bolt and nut that squeezes the bracket around the steering column. Next remove the two 5/16" X l" bolts that hold the bracket to the firewall and slide the bracket down , off the end of the steer ing column.

Image #6: The 55-57 ididit tilt steering columns are 3-1/2" shorter than the stock steering column. When the tilt column is installed in the car, the bottom of the column will be flush with the firewall, leaving plenty of room in the engine compartment for any type of steering conversion.

Image #7: If a column shift ididit steering column is installed, a neutral safety switch is included and mounted to the steering column down close to the firewall. The new column shift tilt column also has a tab on the upper shift tube to allow the shift indicator wire to be reconnected.

Image #8: The shift lever for the transmission linkage is offset to clear the firewall and is bolted on with four 3/32" Allen head screws so that it can be removed during installation.

Image #9: There is a slot cut in the bottom of the new column ('55-'56) for the tab on the lower column clamp at the firewall. The tab on the clamp will keep the column from rotating in the clamp.

Image #10: The neutral safety switch is held to the steering column with two #6 sheet metal screws. The switch must be removed to install the column to instrument cluster seal P/N 05-13.

Image #11: Install the firewall seal and floor seal onto the steering column. For an automatic car the 1955-56 uses PIN 09-07 foam firewall seal and the PIN 05- 49 column to floor rubber seal.

Image #12: Now mount the steering column to the dash. On '55-'56 cars, there is a rubber strap PIN 05-33 that wraps around the steering column to hold the steering column tight in the upper dash clamp.

Image #13: When the new column is installed, the bottom will be flush with the firewall and the stock lower column clamp will no longer work.

Image #14: Our new polished stainless steel lower steering column mount works great to hold the steering column in place and add some chrome to the underhood area. The bracket mounts to the outside of the firewall using the hardware included and the stock two 5/16" nuts that are spot welded to the toeboard. Use PIN 57-164268-1 for the automatic cars and PIN 57-164270-1 for manual transmission cars. You can also mount the lower column using replacement band clamp PIN 57-140799-1.

Image #15: If an automatic column is installed the lower shift lever will need to be removed from the column allowing the lower mount to slide up onto the column.

Image #16: With the column in place, anchor the floor seal to the firewall. Using tool PIN 49-09 drive the PIN 34-39 fasteners through the seal and into the holes in the firewall

Image #17a & 17b: The lower steering column mount has a stem that fits on the top side of the steering column. A band clamp is supp lied with the bracket to secure the stem of the bracket to the s teering column.

Image #18: The column shift linkage for automatic transmissions PIN 19-19 attaches to the shift lever on the steering column using PIN 19-163 shift linkage clevis.

Image #19a & 19b: The ididit tilt column utilizes a late model turn signal switch connector, which does not plug into the stock dash harness. An adapter harness (PIN 57-133752-1 57-133753-1, 57-170171-1, ) is available and plugs directly into the jack from the steering column and into the stock dash harness. In addition, this harness gives you 4-way hazard flashers.

Image #20: There is a red wire in the adapter harness for the 4-way flashers. Plug the female end of the red wire onto the ignition switch terminal marked BAT.

Image #21: With the steering column flush with the firewall there will be plenty of room for a "rag joint" coupler to connect to a 605 or 670 steering box. For ididit column shift columns, use PIN 57-140797-1 coupler, which is 3/4"-36 spline to 3/4"-30 spline. For ididit floor shift columns, use coupler PIN 57-140800-1, which is l " DD to 3/4"-30 s pline. If you are installing the column using an original steering box, use PIN 57-140813-1 solid coupler 3/4"-36 spline to 3/4" smooth bore or PIN 57-140803-1 solid coupler 1/' DD to 3/4" smooth bore for floor shift columns.

Image #22: The tilt column can be connected to the CCI rack and pinion steering, using the new Borgeson U-joints and shaft kit PIN 57-170171-1 for column shift tilt columns and PIN 57-170172-1 for floor shift tilt columns. We also have complete rack and pinion kits available including the shaft and joints to adapt directly to all types of columns. Once your column installation is complete, any type of aftermarket steering wheel will bolt directly to the new tilt column without any adapters needed. If you wish to install an original pre-1969 GM steer ing wheel or one of the smaller diameter reproduction wheels, simply use adapter PIN 57-16078-1 an install!