’32 Update: Column Drop (article 13, archived)

column drop
Paul gets comfortable with the column in its lowered position. After all, it is his car.  We used a coat hanger to rig it into place.  As long as you can secure it temporarily while you measure, you’ll be fine.

column drop
Next, it’s important to make sure you can actually get out of the car without knee pads. Looks like this will be just fine!

column drop
While holding the column in its proper position, we tried out the drop we thought would be the right length. They are measured from the center of the column to the mounting point of the drop. We’re using a 5″ drop. Since the dash is integrated into the Bear body, all I needed to do for a drop was cut a piece of 3/16″ x 4″ plate (the same width as the drop) that goes from the bottom lip of the dash to the lip on top of the inner firewall.

column drop
Since the front-to-rear plate is on the same angle as the dash (sloping down towards the center), I made another plate that will weld to that plate, and pick up the mounting holes for the column drop. Instead of the aluminum piece that you see in this picture being vertical, it’s going to be bolted horizontally to the plate, as shown. I had to relieve some material from the main column drop plate so that this would be possible (normally it only goes to about 45 degrees instead of the 90 that we require).

column drop
It’s finished- you can see how the top of the billet piece is horizontal, while the main steel plate is on an angle. After it’s painted Super Black, you’ll never know it’s there. And, it’s just as sturdy as a late model. Plenty sturdy for enthusiastic steering wheel drummers. Stay tuned for how we’ll provide the background music…

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