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Pre-73 and Post-73 steering column interchange


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8:51 PM
Aug 26, 2021
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I’m parts gathering for a Borgeson steering box swap in my 72 Satellite, and had a question about the 73+ B-body column parts interchange. I have a 79 Magnum floor shift column I was going to cannibalize for the swap (I’m going from column shift to T56 Magnum at the same time).

I’ve read a lot of complaints of ‘Borgeson hiss’ with these boxes that’s apparently made much worse by transmission through the steering column. My thought was switching to the 73+ shaft with the rag joint should go a long way towards solving this.

I compared my 72 and 79 service manuals and see no differences in the columns other than the rag joint (and the different firewall mounting plate). Both are non-tilt columns.

Are there any differences in the steering’s shafts other than the rag joints? Can I pull the 79 shaft with the rag joint out and install it in the 72 Column? Can I just swap the firewall mounting plates and use the entire 79 floorshift column?

Found this photo while digging around last night:

Left to right; 74, 73, 71/72

Looks like the 71/72 column tube is too to take the 74+ shaft.

Now, I’m assuming here, but I’d guess 75-79 is similar to the 74. The base plate looks the same, but the 79 column I have has welded on dash mounting slots instead of the bolt-on bracket that the 71-74 uses.

I’ll likely weld on fittings to the 79 tube to accept the 71-72 dash bracket, and also weld a new plate at the bottom to interface with a 71/72 firewall pattern. Those shouldn’t be hard modifications, and the isolated column should stop any steering gear hiss. We’ll see once I’ve completed the steering box swap if that’s going to be necessary.
73 is a one year only column and shaft assembly, and uses a "puck" vibration damper joint.

For 74, they went to a real "rag joint" that's IIRC the same as a ford part, and located much closer to the firewall.

The flange that bolts to the floor is also different.

If you resolve the flange issue I believe you can use the entire column and all the shaft hardware, and it will mate to the splines on the steering box.