Factory Correct Steering Wheel for 69 GTX

1969VAGTX

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I have finally gotten my GTX road ready after working through a lot of quirky issues. While everything is good for driving, there is one weird issue that still remains. The steering wheel doesn't seem to want to go all the way down on the column, and as a consequence the horn doesn't work and the self-canceling switch doesn't work. That has me wondering if the steering wheel is incorrect or if possibly when the car was built a different steering column was used. I will get some better pics in a couple days, but you can see the steering wheel in the first pic and if you look closely at the second pic you can see the gap.
1969 Plymouth GTX 14.jpg

1969 Plymouth GTX 13 (2).jpg
 

davek

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looks like you have done alot to your GTX,was the steering column restored? Was there a problem with the steering wheel and column when you first got the car?
 

68BabyBlue

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In the 90s, I owned a survivor '69 GTX that had the identical steering wheel to your car, with the full horn ring (even had black interior.) Visually, your steering wheel is absolutely correct. So I am thinking, as Dave K has stated, perhaps an issue with the length of the steering column...I am sure there others on this site who know a lot more than me about interchange issues, and close but not completely correct fitments. Or maybe, if the wheel was restored, the center spline wasn't positioned properly.
 

1969VAGTX

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looks like you have done alot to your GTX,was the steering column restored? Was there a problem with the steering wheel and column when you first got the car?
I admittedly did not do the restoration on this car and am trying to track down some of the paperwork on that, so I cannot say for certain if the column was restored. The horn didn't work and the turn signal switch was acting funny (including not canceling) when I bought the car. We pulled the column out to replace the switch and clean up the steering coupler. The gap that I pointed out was there when I bought the car and is still there after we put the wheel back on.
 

1969VAGTX

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In the 90s, I owned a survivor '69 GTX that had the identical steering wheel to your car, with the full horn ring (even had black interior.) Visually, your steering wheel is absolutely correct. So I am thinking, as Dave K has stated, perhaps an issue with the length of the steering column...I am sure there others on this site who know a lot more than me about interchange issues, and close but not completely correct fitments. Or maybe, if the wheel was restored, the center spline wasn't positioned properly.
Yeah, this strange issue has me thinking the column isn't correct. It steers fine and the turn signal switch works. But the wheel does not seat down far enough to actuate the horn button and the tabs on the canceling switch do not catch to cancel the turn signals. Its certainly driveable, and might be something I troubleshoot next winter. Now I'm finally ready to drive it after almost three months of working through "stuff."
 

1969VAGTX

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I have come to the conclusion that the steering column may be wrong in this car. The switch and horn will not work because of the gap in between the wheel. I am pretty certain the wheel is correct which leads me to believe the column is wrong. Thinking maybe a power steering column (which I believe is slightly shorter than manual) was installed during restoration. I will be posting up in the WTB forum to track down a factory manual steering column for this car. In the meantime, the car drives and handles great.
 

LowBikeMike

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Have you taken the wheel off and looked in the top of the column. Is the top bearing sitting in the correct place with the retainer on top of it?
 

1969VAGTX

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Have you taken the wheel off and looked in the top of the column. Is the top bearing sitting in the correct place with the retainer on top of it?
I admittedly did not but I had it in a shop recently that disassembled and removed the entire column. I trust that the guy doing the work knows what he was looking at since he is a Mopar guy. This is what it looked like inside with the wheel off. The second pic is obviously the full column.
IMG_9589.JPG


IMG_9591.JPG
 

LowBikeMike

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It was posted elsewhere on this site that 68/69 Power Steering shafts are 41.5" long and Manual Steering shafts are 44.5" long, so not likely the issue. If you took the wheel off, you could measure from the top of the bearing c clip to the end of the shaft, that is the measurement that counts in this case. Mine measures 2 1/8". Either the top bearing is not seated properly, there are burrs on the splines or something on the bottom of your wheel holding it up.
 

AR67GTX

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Is it possible the outer column was pushed down too far when mounted and needs to be pulled back along the shaft? But if the shaft won’t slide into the outer column when it’s removed from the car then it must be hanging up somewhere.
 

LowBikeMike

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The column could have slide down but the upper bearing retaining should keep that from happening. The attached photos show where the upper bearing sits. Looking at the shaft there is a c clip, then the upper bearing, then another c clip. This fits into the recess in the upper column bowl, the retainer (sometimes part of the turn signal switch) holds everything in place and properly locates the steering wheel to column distance.

20220531_080832.jpg


20220531_080940.jpg
 

LowBikeMike

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Taking another look at your column, I don't see the crush zone I see on my 69 RR column. Was that a GTX thing or is that a totally different column and could be the cause of your issue?
 

1969VAGTX

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Here’s another pic of the inside of the column when we removed it. Everything seems to look as it should.
8883A08A-7565-4E59-B954-3B1C929A4567.jpeg
 

1969VAGTX

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Taking another look at your column, I don't see the crush zone I see on my 69 RR column. Was that a GTX thing or is that a totally different column and could be the cause of your issue?
Good point. I hadn’t even noticed that part.
 

LowBikeMike

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I'm not sure if the column jacket would make a difference, as the top looks correct and the bowl appears to have the correct casting numbers. I would be interested in distance from top of shaft to c clip on top of the bearing. Got any pictures of the underside of your steering wheel?
 
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