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How difficult to swap column in 73 Ranchero?

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Old 05-08-2005, 04:47 PM
bbtkd bbtkd is offline
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How difficult to swap column in 73 Ranchero?

Hello - I have a decent non-tilt auto shift column that I would like to swap into my 1973 Ranchero (current column has worn out shift collar, bad turn signal switch, and ignition lock won't go to accessory). It came from a Ranchero/Torino and although I am not sure what year, the turn signal plug looks to be wired the same. There is no ignition lock in the new column, but I have a new lock set (actually two sets to be sure I have the right one since they switched designs mid-year). I have a service manual set, but those can be less useful than advice from someone who has done it. I already have the wheel off and turn signal switch out - was going to just switch the turn signal switch - then realized that I had the wrong switch - then duh - remembered I had bought this other column!

Anyway - how much work is it to swap? Sounds like I remove the lower dash trim, remove the bracket, drop the column, release it from the steering box (from under the car?), then reverse the procedure to install? Is this right? What are some of the gotchas to watch for - like even though they look the sime might I get the old one off just to find that the end that connects to the steering box is different? I realize I may be introducing any of a number of other problems - but it looks to be in much better shape than the current column. How much time should I expect this to take? Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:50 PM
grclark351 grclark351 is offline
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to keep your keys a two key set instead of a three key set you can swap the tiny little key readers from your original tumbler that matches your door locks into a new tumbler. i did it on mine AFTER i got tired of having one too many keys. there is a little cover on the tumbler that holds everything in. be careful, there are tiny little springs but nothing thatyou can't handle? as far as the column goes, it's kind of a dig in and get it thing. sounds like you have the idea. the coupler on the end of the shaft is splined with a flat spot to index it. there are differences in the rag joint and clamps for different steering boxes(saginaw and Ford), but if the elec plugs look the same you prolly have a column that will swap. only one way to really find out though...
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