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Steering Column Question

Interior and Electrical

  1. Leizurtime

    Leizurtime Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I have a 77 Volare Wagon and it has a non tilt column. I was considering getting a tilt column as I've seen a few on ebay. My question, is there any differences between a coupe column and a 4 door? Should I be looking out for a column from a specific body style and year? I know that Volare's and Aspens body lengths changed between 1977 & 1978 and that this did affect some interchangeability between the cars. Thank you for your help.
     
  2. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    There is some differences between the years (electrical connectors, mainly, as well as dimmer switch on floor vs. column).

    The main difference is if it is floor shift and/or manual shift or not.

    J-bodies are different.

    If you don’t mind playing with some electrical connector differences, you can get an ’88 M-body to fit (maybe even an ’89 if you want to work around the air bag) - for physically, the F & M body columns are mostly the same.

    Currently, my wife will not fit behind the wheel of my ’77 wagon – so a Tilt column upgrade is on my “sometime down the road project” list.
    20160528_171142.jpg

    Other Chrysler steering columns can fit but will require a LOT more modifications to fit (B-bodies, etc.)

    ’76-89 F & M bodies, automatic on the column. With that, minor differences between years on electrical, some can be carried over, and most can’t - but can be adapted.
     
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  3. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Any F-body column (depending on floor or column shift as mentioned) will fit from '76-'79. On the 1980 F's the dimmer switch moved to the signal stalk which could be adapted with some fairly simple wiring modifications.

    Aspen/Volare from '76 to '80 are the same length and wheelbase within the body style (2 door, 4 door or wagon). The 1980 might be a tad longer due to the bumper change(?) At any rate, the differences are behind the front seats.
     
  4. DCAspen

    DCAspen Well-Known Member

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    I would look for a 76-77 column,The wire harness is different than the 78-79,80 is totally different due to the wipers on the stalk.
     
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  5. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    The column attachments (to floor, to dash and surrounding components) are the same on ’76-89 F & M bodies.
    The floor attachment is same as J-bodies but believe (could be wrong) the dash attachment is different and as well as the gear shift indicator is at different (J closer to floor, F/M closer to wheel) location.

    The electrical connectors changed a number of times over the years.

    There is NO OTHER Chrysler vehicle that shares the same floor bracket (FMJ only) or dash attachment (F & M only).

    The upper portion of column (the part that sticks out from dash) shares components with most every other Chrysler vehicle (including some trucks) - like tilt mechanism, turn signal switches, etc. as long as you keep tilt columns separate from non-tilt columns. Also keep in mind the differences between the years.

    Also the steering wheels will interchange from 1960 something to 1989 – with two exceptions. One is air bag cars have different wheels. Also the diameter of column where it meets the wheel – there are three different diameters that I know of ('69 and down is the third size). Mostly this won’t mater, but if you stick and older wheel in place of one with newer tilt column (which has larger diameter column at wheel) then there is a bit of gap that you can see into the column (is not easy on the eyes – but can work in a pinch).

    I have a ’70 woodgrain 3 spoke steering wheel that will fit on my ’77 Volare (non-tilt) just fine – but the chrome/woodgrain looks a bit out of place.

    Look at my earlier post Steering Wheel . Note, my daughter is the one modeling the wheel.