Steering column install and mod’s

While working on the steering, I decided to incorporate the self-cancelling turn signal mod.

Update to current design

The kit includes a VW turn signal lever. It has the self-cancelling mechanism built into it, it only needs an actuating cam to make it happen. But whoa, little buddy, it requires a little more attention than that.

The cancelling cam is a 3/4″ shaft collar, with a couple bumps on it. I placed two welds, 180º apart and then sanded the profile. The PDF file shows the finished dimensions. You need to be fairly accurate in making this. Too small and it won’t cancel properly, too large and it will rub, generating noise as you turn the wheel.

The upper steering column bearing on newer kits is a welded assembly that provides a mount for the switch and also a finished appearance to the cockpit. It bolts together fine but is a little sloppy when you try to incorporate the cancelling cam. I found the switch fit and centering is improved dramatically by using a “C” shaped insert of .040″ aluminum. A piece .688 x 4″ formed over a 1½” diameter round (I used a large socket that was almost this diameter) Tweak the size to fit into the receiver area of the switch and clear the little clamp mechanism built into it. If you’ve done everything correctly, it will slip onto the steering bearing and clamp into position. Be careful not to go too far onto the bearing or it will jam up the switch.

Follow the instructions as far as mounting the switch and steering hub. You will have to take it off a number of times to get it set correctly. I found that the distance from the front (outside) of the collar that is pinned to the shaft to the face of the switch should be 1 1/8″. The cancelling cam sits behind that with 3/8″ gap between the two collars. You will have to play with the lower bearing collar, the U-joint and all the spacings to come up with the correct location to lock the shaft at. This lower bearing and its set screws determine the position of the steering wheel and all components fastened to it.

Speaking of the components, before you start fitting all these pieces together, do yourself a favor and tap three of the six mounting holes used for the steering wheel. They are bored just over 1/4″ and can be easily tapped 5/16″-18 so you have an anchor spot for a wheel puller. Trust me, you will be glad you did this. The splines on the shaft and collar are not a 100% slip fit and when it goes on, it doesn’t just slip off. A standard wheel puller makes life a lot simpler. While working on the hub adapter, be real careful. The finish you see is the final finish. Scratches are a no-no

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Posted 10/29/2007 by Paul Proefrock in category "Body", "Build Details", "Mod's