Mustang MonthlyHow To Drivetrain
Tilt Steering Column Conversion
The early Mustang steering system is fairly basic and lends itself to a trouble-free life with maybe a tie-rod end replacement thrown in every decade or so. However, due to the basic no-frills design of the early Mustang, owners wouldn’t benefit from the option of basic tilt steering until the ’70 model year. True, there was the Tilt-a-Way option with built-in tilt (using the turn signal lever to activate) from ’67-’69. This complicated system, derived from the Thunderbird, allowed the upper column and steering wheel to swing up and away from the door for easier ingress/egress but has several support parts that are obsolete, making it a difficult swap for most.
Upgrading to a tilt column used to mean finding the rather rare ’70 option and installing it (which looked out of place in the ’65-’69 models due to the ignition switch on the column) or using an aftermarket street rod part that required an aftermarket steering wheel. That’s fine if you’re looking to install an aftermarket wheel, but what about those that want the stealthy addition of a tilt column but want to keep their stock wheel for appearance sake? If you spent some good money rebuilding your Deluxe Rim-Blow wheel, or perhaps have a Deluxe Interior woodgrain wheel, we can easily see why you’d want to retain it.
The folks at ididit have been building steering columns for nearly three decades, and while their name may sound funny, their work is anything but. Their columns are made from the finest parts and manufactured and assembled right here in the United States. A few years ago, its line of retrofit columns was born. First came the popular GM stuff, but us Mustang owners now have a full line of ’65-’69 tilt column options from the folks at ididit. Every column features self-cancelling turn signals using a Ford turn signal switch, eight-way tilt, hazard flasher switch built in, floor mount bracket, a Ford top shaft to accept your Ford spline original wheel (or aftermarket wheel with Ford adapter), tilt and turn signal knobs/shafts machined like the original Mustang parts, and a choice of three finishes—paintable steel, chrome plated steel, and black powdercoated steel. Check out the installation on this in-progress ’69 convertible to see just how easy the job is. The ’65-’68 Mustang installations are similar, with the long-shaft boxes requiring the most work, but the ididit instructions will show you what you need to do there as well.