69 Firebird
77 Trans Am
54 Pickup
52 Chieftain
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Metalwork: Steering
When we acquired the S-10 frame, we also took the booster, master cylinder, brake pedal, steering column, and the brake pedal/steering column underdash bracket. In order to start mounting the new brake/steering setup, we determined the proper location on the firewall for the center of the booster and drilled holes for the booster.
We welded in a piece of 10 guage plate on the inside of the firewall behind the new location for the booster to help increase strength and rigidity.
Since the firewall on the '54 has raised ridges, it would interfere with the flush mount of the booster against the fireall in the position located it in. So, to compensate for these raised ridges that were moulded into the firewall, we added some spacers around the 4 mounting holes to bring the booster out about 3/8".
On the inside, between the firewall and the dash, we modified and installed a brake pedal/steering column bracket assembly from the '91 S-10.
For added support and rigidity we re-used the original support braces that go from the dash to the upper firewall. Instead of using the old bolts, we welded the support braces into place and then welded them to the new brake pedal bracket.
Next up was the tilt steering column from the '91 S-10. The mounting location of the steering column in the '54 cab was farther forward than the original bracket location in the S-10. We had an extra bracket lying around the garage from another donor vehicle; and by chance we flipped it backwards and laid it against the original bracket and it fit perfectly. So, we welded the two brackets back-to-back. Right after we took this picture we cut the ears off the lower bracket to remove excessive weight.
After numerous attempts to get all the brackets modified, we finally got the steering column installed correctly. The gear shift lever is not correctly positioned about 3/8" in front of the dash gauge bezels.
To secure the lower steering column in place we simply used a 2" exhaust clamp welded to a piece of 1" square tubing flush against the firewall.
Since we decided to run a Pontiac engine, and it is considerably wider than the "standard" Chevy small block 350 that most folks put into their project vehicles, we needed more width around the engine. In order to get the proper clearance, we had to move the lower steering column mount and hole 1" to the outside of the cab. We did this by cutting out a 1" piece from the outside of the steering column hole, cutting out the hole itself and sliding it down, and then moving the 1" piece of steel to the inside edge.
To get the steering shaft around the larger Pontiac engine, we had to install a split shaft that would bend around the heads and the headers. We needed a center anchor point for the necessary shaft support, but we were having trouble finding a good place to locate it. Finally we determined that we could locate the support right next to the upper shock bolt hole. After grinding a small indention into the upper control arm, it now clears the shaft support during full suspension travel.
Here is the completed steering setup. It clears the engine, heads, headers...
...And it even clears the custom spark plug wiring looms that we are going to use.