Cheap 67/68 tilt steering column

jhodgson

New member
67/68 GM A-body tilt steering columns are not common. I have been looking for one for my 68 Skylark project for some time. Most of the after market suppliers make them but they are expensive and I am cheap. As I understand it, tilt was a luxury option and most folks who bought A-bodies weren't into luxury. A guy in Cleveland advertized a pile of 68 Riviera and Skyark parts on Craigslist so I took a look. He had a 68 Riviara tilt column which might have been standard on a luxury car. My point is they are more common. Anyway, it is the same length as the A-body column and bolts right up to the A-body adapter plate between the column and the brake bracket. The only significant difference is the arm on the shift tube that connects to the transmission linkage. The a-body arm comes straight out more or less but the Riviera has a bend in it that extends the linkage attach point about 5 inches farther down the column. I disassembled the column, cut the old shift arm off the shift tube, made a new one to match the one on my non-tilt column, brazed it to the shift tube and reassembled the tilt column. I've got $30 in the whole thing. I'm not sure if the Riviera pin-out on the electrical connector is the same as the A-body, but mine was junk so I used the turn signal switch/harness from the non-tilt Skylark column but had to drill a hole in the cover sleeve for the hazard flasher switch.
 
that's the kind of lateral thinking i love to see.

just be certain that the brazing is really strong. steering column is something you REALLY do not want to have fail at highway speeds.
 

jhodgson

New member
The brazing does need to be done well, but remember the braze only holds the shifter arm in place. The steering shaft is unmodified. The original shift arm was only held on with three very small spotwelds. The brazing should be up to the task.
 
That is a great piece of information! Is it too late to take some pictures and show what you did?
 

jhodgson

New member
The brazing does need to be done well, but remember the braze only holds the shifter arm in place. The steering shaft is unmodified. The original shift arm was only held on with three very small spotwelds. The brazing should be up to the task.
Here are some pictures of what I did. I'm sorry I didn't take any in the process of modification and assembly, but there is really not much to it. The third and fourth pictures are the original non-tilt column. The first and second are the modified Riv column showing the homemade shift arm. The Riv bracket is on the Skylark column and the Skylark bracket is on the Riv column.
 

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jhodgson

New member
Update Riv column into 68 Skylark

In the interest of full disclosure, when I did this I did not have the dash in the car. When I tried it with the dash, the lower shroud hit the slot in the dash. So I removed the lower shroud, milled off the spot welds that held the brackets that held the shroud and did a little metal finishing on the column. After that everything fit fine. Pictures attached.
 

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