Tech | Tilt Steering Column Install
We have a nice '67 Fairlane hardtop that we're in the process of getting ready to drive. It's been outfitted with new disc brakes, a fresh coat of Clearwater Aqua paint, and a new interior. Before we can hit the road for the summer cruise scene the biggest hurdle remaining on our project is the steering system. Although the car has newer suspension components and a good alignment, the Fairlane still wanders and is a chore to keep in a lane. The on-center spot in the worn original steering box is cavernous. The OE steering column is beat up and still has the shifter collar from the column shift-long ago eliminated. The school bus-sized steering wheel is also broken and discolored. When we went through the catalog from Flaming River, we realized that it offers everything we would need to get our steering system completely squared away and looking and working its best-like the rest of the Fairlane.
We were interested in upgrading to one of Flaming River's replacement steering boxes, as we have had excellent results with them in the past in our Mustang projects. Our only reservation was that we have a Fairlane instead of a Mustang. Although the two cars share some components, they are also different in many ways. We don't know of anyone who offers a Fairlane replacement steering box of the same quality found in a Flaming River unit, which has all new internal components as well as a brand-new casting for the steering box body itself. Rebuilt boxes with their worn casings aren't as good as an all-new unit and we didn't want to go to the effort of rack-and-pinion steering, which often requires cutting on the Fairlane to install. In fact, we feel that the Flaming River replacement steering boxes are so good that they rival rack-and-pinion for steering precision in our experience.
It was for these reasons that we decided to try a Flaming River '67 Mustang steering box in our '67 Fairlane. Although we knew that there we no guarantees, we suspected that the swap might be possible with a little modification so we decided to give it a try.
Swapping steering boxes is far less involved than going over to a rack-and-pinion system, and for getting our steering right, this was the way we wanted to go. To complement the new steering box we also installed a Flaming River tilt-steering column and steering wheel, ditching the remnants of the old disconnected column shift mechanism and cracked original steering wheel while allowing better driving comfort and easier ingress/egress of the vehicle. Follow along with us and we'll show you how easy it turned out to be to put this fantastic equipment designed for a Mustang into our Fairlane.