View Full Version : Donor Steering Column Modifications

04-03-12, 09:21 AM
Hello all! :)

Hit a bit of a brick wall with my build and hoping someone will have some helpful advice. At the stage of getting my steering column sorted, I have a escort Mk1 Column all ready to go, but i'm told it needs shortening and the lower and upper mounts sourced.

I have spoken to Cheng and he has says he can carry out the work and supply the upper and lower mounts but his quote is incredibly high at well over £300 which I will pay if I need to and happy to support those in the know, but not if a local engineering firm could do it for £50. Does anyone have any information on the modifications required? At the moment I am assuming the bottom end remains the same and the wheel end outer section is cut back and the inner section cut back to length and a new splined section welded on? I am planning on going for a standard after market wheel on mine with a normal 6 bolt 70mm PCD on the wheel, not the motolita. So really I could just weld a boss straight on, just the total length I'm struggling with :/

Am I right in thinking the lower column mount is escort Mk1 and the upper is early mini or MGB? These are getting hard to find, any idea of alternatives?

ref photo
http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj284/adampalmer001/Cobra V8/DSC_0115.jpg

Any help would be great, cheers guys :)

04-03-12, 09:51 AM
I know nothing about RAM Cobras but would imagine that he's allowing for the purchaser to drop off grimy unit, he's got to split it all down and do the work, re-assemble and then source the mounts whilst earning a living. Being a lazy beggar myself these days I would go for it and at least you know it's done right.

However, in my tighter days, I would have sourced another and had a play, involved me dad (because he's an ace welder) and done it myself. And then I would have discovered that all the time elapsed in doing myself could have been saved by giving handing it over to the man in the know and getting on with my build.

Hope you get sorted mate but remember it's not a cheap hobby and sometimes doing it once the right way is better than twice the wrong way for the same cost. Not to mention that the round thing maybe the only thing that keeps you on the road.:shock: W

04-03-12, 02:56 PM
Oh I'm all too aware of that, I've spent a long time like anyone spending decent money in the right places, I will pay it if I have to but I am slightly concerned the price may be unreasonable. Not being cheap but I'm not a fan of over paying for anything ;). Don't want to mess him around either, but last time I wanted to refurb my rear hubs and he wanted double the price of Ward Engineering. Just a pain as there doesn't seem to be a competitor with these custom items to keep prices sensible :/

Same applies to the handbrake cable, as only he seems to know the spec... almost £100 for something I know if I had a pattern I could get made for a quarter of that :(

hmm, I'm tempted to measure it up myself and get a local firm to cut and weld a standard boss onto it, then ask Cheng for just the mounts and cable as the cable is too much guess work and is guaranteed to go wrong!


l'spa ram driver
04-03-12, 09:53 PM
The middle part of the steering system is a TR7 extension shaft and knuckles (shaft part no TKC1084 & Knuckle part no UKC2449 I recall from my build notes) - I got a local engineering firm to re-lathe aned shorten the column and cut new splines into it - they were not keen to cut and re weld it, mentioning the alleged problems that that caused Ayrton Senna at San Marino.. I seem to remember stripping down the column was not that difficult. I would ask realm engineering if they can give you the dimension of the column reduction - thats the route I went. Sadly I cant read the now faded fax they sent me of the details. I remember the lathe option was half the price of LR's price at the time. I recently had a new handbrake cable made up for £18 from a local 'cable guy' that did classic cars and bikes - I found their number in a classic car magazine. The lower mount I used was an Mk1 escort lower steering column bush.

Hope that helps.

l'spa ram driver
04-03-12, 09:55 PM
From my notes it says I used the upper mount from the escort Mk 1 as well as the lower support bush

05-03-12, 05:50 PM
Thank you for that, really helpful.

I have the middle section and UJs and the column mates up no problem. I'll speak to realm and a local firm and see if I can get the column sorted myself and get the mounts off Cheng.

Do you happen to have the details of the person who made up your cable? Or happen to have a old one or a spec that I can get one made up to?

l'spa ram driver
12-03-12, 04:51 PM
The option is to go with an electrically assisted column form the vauxhal corsa - there are threads on the Ram forum about that. The columns can be bought on e-bay for ~£120 - I dont know what connects the different column to the rack though ...