1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

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1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby UglyViking » Mon May 03, 2021 6:59 pm

My 66 is a pretty massive project, but I'm eager to get it on the road. My first set of tasks is to get her running, driving and somewhat "working" before I start a full teardown and resto/rebuild. To that end I needed to get the blinkers working which meant rebuilding the turn signal switch actuator and the switch itself.

I had previously posted some questions/updates in Nick's thread on his 67 tilt wheel rebuild, thinking they would be similar enough, but now I know they are two very different animals so I'm starting a new thread here.

I got the first phase complete but I've found the steering is far more sloppy than I'd like, additionally I've noticed that it sometimes comes out of park! I need to dig into that a bit more but I plan to treat this as a full rebuild for steering column and all the items down the line (up to the power steering pump anyway, past that I'll treat as suspension).

More updates/questions to follow but the first one is "did the 66 have a "turn signal return" where the signal will return to it's neutral/off position once a turn has been completed? If so mine seems to not be working, so either I put it together wrong or something is sticking.
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Re: 1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby action » Mon May 03, 2021 7:26 pm

Transmission shift lever coming out of park especially on older vehicles.

Besides lining up the shifter, there can be worn grommets in the mix.
On the C-6 for an LTD I have, the shift linkage grommet down by the transmission was squashed. It accounted for a lot of play.
It was made of nylon I believe. Was oil soaked from years of leaking oil.
Generally a mess.

Something you might take a look at.
Once worn pieces are replaced, making a linkage adjustment may be in order.
Knowing that the shifter places the valve body main valve in the correct position helps.

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Re: 1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby Dan Szwarc » Mon May 03, 2021 8:17 pm

I can confirm that 1966 tilt columns have turn signal cancel. At this age, there's probably some lubrication required.

And the transmission level popping out of Park is ENTIRELY controlled by the transmission, or more correctly, there are no detents in the column. Any resistance is in the transmission.

You have to inspect the bellcrank and its bushings. It's Probably sagging, and putting extra weight on the shift level.
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Re: 1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby frasern » Tue May 04, 2021 10:14 am

There should be a cam on the back of the steering wheel, which engages the two small wire springs inside the column. In your photo, those springs are in place, so the cam is likely broken or missing. Going on memory, the saginaw may use a roll pin, but Ford uses a "clip on" type, which could be metal or plastic, and I don't know what the case is here. Also, if the wheel is not fully installed, the cam can bypass the springs. Inspect the back of the wheel's hub for any kind of projection.
Edit, '67 is plastic, and unlike anything else, anywhere, and mine is broken! Lincoln's are so much fun.
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Re: 1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby TonyC » Tue May 04, 2021 12:16 pm

You should be very afraid when your transmission slips out of PARK without direct control from you. I'm not going to say it never happens with a C6, but I will say that it's far less likely to happen than with a "PCA" in a '64 or '65. You could be missing a bushing in the linkage, which is causing that very dangerous Anton-Yelchin symptom. There is a bushing that connects the physical transmission shift linkage to the shift tube. Being made of nylon, it will wear with age, break up, and vanish; when it does, shifting gets very sloppy and shifting to PARK without using the parking brake becomes dangerous for everyone in the car's potential path of escape.

Unlike the shift-tube bushings used in '64 and '65, the bushings for '66 and later are smaller, much easier to replace, and readily available in "HELP!" sections of parts stores. Address that concern now, above all else, before your new-old car kills you or someone else.

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Re: 1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby UglyViking » Wed May 05, 2021 9:00 am

Well the good news is that I found out my parking brake doesn't lock into position. Time to take that apart and see what's up there.
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Re: 1966 Tilt column and steering rebuild

Postby frasern » Wed May 05, 2021 10:23 am

When you say it wont lock, is it correctly functioning otherwise? The vacuum signal may be out of sync., or bypassed. See if brake holds with the vac. disconnected. The orange thing on the column, just below the turn sig switch is the adjustment. Otherwise, dirt or rust on the pawl, but check the easier thing first.
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