96 Corvette Steering Column in a 68

BBShark

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I Wanted to use the later C3 steering column on my car because the position is a little farther away than a 68 column. And 69 and up had the key on the column (not the dash). So a while back I bought a 81 Corvette tilt/tele column and just recently started searching for rebuild info. Lots of info out there but a thought occurred to me, I have a really low mile 96 column that I have had for years. The 96 column is a little shorter but for me that's a bonus. I looked at them side by side and found they both have the same ignition switch layout and turn signal connector. I then investigated the wiring. They both are interchangeable!

The only complication is the mount plates are not the same. But, nothing a donor column and a little weld grinding couldn't fix

81 and 96 side by side

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69 column jacket

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Mount plate removed

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Ready for a little grinding

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Removed

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BBShark

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Yes, wiper delay, washer, VATS, flasher. I considered keeping the wiper delay but don't really think I'll be out on too many rainy days. Its also another project that will slow me down and I'm already at a snails pace.
 

mrvette

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? about ignition lock cylinders......are they the same by chance??

I know/think the keys are different....but the lock cyl on my '72 is about worn the hell OUT, and I would like to update to a larger key head (black plastic) as it's easier to find/handle on my silly key fob setup....
 

BBShark

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I don't know if the lock cylinders are interchangeable. I think you can buy key blanks for a C3 with a plastic head.
 

BBShark

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The 81 column complete is over 17lbs and the C4 is basically identical so it's probably similar.
 

BBShark

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Trying to determine where the bracket needs to be welded to the column. Can anyone tell me what the offset (from mounting flange to wheel) is for a typical Corvette steering wheel is in a C3?

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BBShark

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It's taken a while but I welded the 69 mount plate and the footwell plate to the 96 column.

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69427

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Trying to determine where the bracket needs to be welded to the column. Can anyone tell me what the offset (from mounting flange to wheel) is for a typical Corvette steering wheel is in a C3?

45de7b58ad2370

Sorry, just noticed this thread. Do you still "need" the offset measurement? I've got a later C3 wheel on the car, but I still have the stock wheel on the shelf under a pile of dust.

Let me know if the information is still needed/usable.
 

BBShark

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I measured a stock 1970 car steering wheel depth at 2 3/4". However, I felt like the steering wheel was too close and I understand the steering wheel was moved away in later cars. So I put the seat in my car and loosely mounted the steering column and found an optimal comfortable position for the steering wheel.

However, I have the seat back as far as it will go and it feels like the pedals are too close. I'm thinking I could move them down about 1" but that's probably the limit. Reducing the travel might be a good thing. The clutch pedal has 7" of travel (from pedal to floor) and about 1 7/8" at the push rod. I am using a hydraulic cylinder that has a max travel of 1.4". So, loosing an inch of travel might be a good thing. The brake pedal should be pretty easy as it is limited by the switch which has plenty of adjustment.
 

BBShark

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? about ignition lock cylinders......are they the same by chance??

I know/think the keys are different....but the lock cyl on my '72 is about worn the hell OUT, and I would like to update to a larger key head (black plastic) as it's easier to find/handle on my silly key fob setup....

Gene, Just got a replacement key made for the 96 column. It is different than an earlier key. But they have plastic heads that you can slip over the square key head.
 

SRountree

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Hey BBShark,

Is the 96 column an easy change? Something happened to my original colum which I heard metal break or fall, the tilt is not working now.

I had to collapse my original colum to hook up my Rack n pinion so I'll probably need to do the same on the 96 if I can swap it out.

Thoughts?
 

BBShark

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Swapping to a late C4 column is more of a problem than bolting in a C3 column. Cutting off the brackets, finding a donor C3 mount plate and welding on, cutting off the mount plate on the firewall and making and welding a new one. I ended up using a 1990 steering wheel so I will have to make a filler piece to replace the airbag, However you don’t need to collapse the column because its already shorter than the C3, you can “fit” the position of the steering wheel to you and it seems to be a little more developed column than a C3. Also, I had this in hand.
I have a pretty complete 69 fixed (non tilt/tele) column if you want it. They are pretty easy to rebuild and should be a bolt-in.

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