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Old 11-12-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
bg67lwb
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78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

I searched the forum looking for a definitive answer, didn't find one. Have any of you guys shortened the steering column on your truck? I've got the seat all the way back and still have to bend my elbows past 90 degrees to hold the wheel. If I could move the wheel closer to the dash by 3-4 inches, it sure would make it a lot more comfortable. There was a mention of a telescoping Cadillac column but no year model was given for the donor or the truck it was going in. Another post for a '84 said he used a '86 Caprice column. Nothing specific to my '78. Help!!
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:15 PM   #2
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Do you have a tilt? That made a HUGE difference in the comfort on my truck.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:28 PM   #3
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

It is a tilt column and even has a smaller aftermarket wheel but it needs to be closer to the dash.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

i know how you feel im 6' like 270 lbs and it seems tight for me too i have no clue but eagerly wait for an definitive answer myself
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

There is a write up on the 67-72 boards about collapsing the steering column a couple of inches -- but i dont know if it will work on a later model.

You would have to find the thread to get all the details - but basically , you unbolt the colum, take the center section out under the hood and collapse it - move it forward in the cab and re-attach. This was a safety feature years ago - if you got into a hard enough impact , the column would collapse and absorb some of the energy -- so pre-collapsing would negate that feature - so dont drive into any brick walls if it works
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

ive never checked to verify it , but ive heard the columns from full size vans are shorter then trucks
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

next time I go out to LKQ I will measure some for yall that are close to the same kind of build (i.e. chevy vans, trucks, cars), and tell you what their lengths are... Its on my to-do list now, so when I go out there next monday I will return with results
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Thanks, I read the write-up in the 67-72 boards. It is very informative but not specific to my '78 C-10. It's a different beast and I'm hoping someone else has shortened their column or found a shorter replacement that's close to a drop-in.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

I have an 85 ck and I have the same problem. They built the seat too close to the dash for me>. 6 ft and 300+ lbs. But im not giving up my truck!!
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:57 AM   #10
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Is there any update on this? I'm wedged in right now.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Most 77, 78, and 79 Olds 98's (caddy's and big buicks prolly did too) had a tilt and telescoping columns. I have owned two and both had them. I currently have one that is still in the car if interested. It has the key and cruise switch. Let me know
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:26 AM   #12
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

I'm interested. Are you fairly certain that the column will work? Bolt in or much modification necessary? I was considering moving the mounting bracket about 2 inches up the tilt column that I have.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:12 AM   #13
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Have you thought about changing out the seats? My '90 burban had the factory bench seat in it with factory whel and no tilt. Steering wheel was in my belly all the time as well even with the seat all the way back(I'm 5'10" & 320#) put in a Grant wheel w/quick disconnect, still in my belly but not as bad. then I found a set of custom bucket seats with center console/jump seat, got them installed and now I have about a 3 inch gap between wheel and belly. Little more head room too and the seat isn't even back all the way either
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:19 AM   #14
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

what about aftermarket columns? has anybody used them? My 73 dosnt have tilt and Im hating it.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:10 PM   #15
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

man I don't like abandoned threads especially when they were spot on for what I was interested in doing, so resurecting rather than starting a new one
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:41 PM   #16
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Me to. I will be following...
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:29 AM   #17
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

I'm interested in the answer too. I'm working on a crew cab so I may just move the seats back if I can't find the answer.
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Old 01-23-2020, 05:43 AM   #18
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Hello from Germany,
im interested in this too and even though this thread is very old im curious if someone found a solution.
I found that squarebody syndicate sells a new column that is shortened 2" towards the dash.
Now i need one that is shortened in the enginebay to fit a new shaft for a rack and pinion steering setup!
Are there any measurements i can work with?
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:20 AM   #19
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

I wonder if the Camaro columns are any shorter. I have just been suffering through it for 40+ years.
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Old 01-23-2020, 06:36 PM   #20
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

There's always this but it is pricey. I have no experience with it, just came across it a while back.
https://squarebodysyndicate.com/inde...egory=11122134
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:49 AM   #21
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Chip View Post
There's always this but it is pricey. I have no experience with it, just came across it a while back.
https://squarebodysyndicate.com/inde...egory=11122134
I have this one in chrome very nice column well built and looks killer
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:01 PM   #22
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Re: 78 C-10 how to shorten steering column??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bg67lwb View Post
Thanks, I read the write-up in the 67-72 boards. It is very informative but not specific to my '78 C-10. It's a different beast and I'm hoping someone else has shortened their column or found a shorter replacement that's close to a drop-in.
I did this to my old C20.

When you drive the shaft in 2.5 inches. You have to modify a few things.

First measure the column mount bolt centers. This is how much you can easily shorten. If you want custom the welder will be involved.

The amount you shorten you need to move your park neutral safety switch on the front of the column up to match. You will need to cut slots into the outer column, and the inner column to match.

Then get a piece of exhaust pipe to cover the old hole or water can get in. I welded mine on, but you dont really have too.

My column worked fine the way I did it, but my friend had to trim some plastic to work it. Also the PRND21 slider may not work. Mine didnt work before so no change there.

Then reassemble the unit.
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