View Full Version : Steering Column

08-23-2009, 12:32 AM
Hello everybody, this is my first post. I have a 1963 Studebaker Champ that has been sitting in my garage since 1983. My grandson and I decided we would do something with it.So we decided to put a 1998 Dodge 2500 diesel chassis under it. This has become a bigger project than I thought. Ha. So far we had to shorten the frame in the back and slide the front suspension and steering system forward to line the wheels up to the fender wells. Made new body mounts and have the cab and bed bolted down. We welded the bracket for the Studebaker fuel tank and is now ready for fuel. Had to shorten the drive shaft and install.Just nearly finished with new brake lines and hoses. Also hooked up the Studebaker steering column to the Dodge steering box. Now I am having a problem with the transmission shifting.The Dodge is a 4 speed automatic connected to the 3 speed column shifter. I would like to keep it on the column if possible. So far I am only able to get Park,reverse,neutral and drive.
So I was wondering if anyone has torn into a steering column, that might know if there is a way to get more shifting area out of that column. I thought that maybe there is a way to file the limits on the shifter or something like that.If I could get just the third speed that would probably be enough allthough getting all the speeds would be better.

Jim Hickman

Skinnys Garage
08-23-2009, 01:03 AM
From swaps I've done in the past, I would suggest changing the attaching points for the linkage either at the end of the column or at the trans by drilling, bending or adding length if needed. By moving the rods pivot point in or out on the shift levers you can gain different amounts of travel in the linkage without having to change the shift handle travel. Hope this helps with your project.

Watertown, SD

08-23-2009, 01:44 AM
Thanks for your come back. I had done all that you have mentioned. When I first started I could only get park and reverse, so I drilled another hole to shorten the travel to the receiving arm at the column and it didn't seem to change much, so I went to the transmission side and lengthened it and that helped quite a bit.Being that I didn't have enough arm left to go further with it I attached a temporary extension to the arm and drilled it and for some reason it got worse. I scratched my head on that one, so I got disgusted and went into the house for the night. I didn't get to work on it the next day. So that is where I am at right now.

Jim Hickman

08-23-2009, 08:38 AM
Seems like adding length to the steering column would increase travel to the other arm on the trans. Adding length to the trans arm would decrease travel. Maybe?

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

08-23-2009, 09:56 AM
VERY interesting project! Please keep us posted, and can we have some pictures??

Robert (Bob) Andrews- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys)
Parish, central NY 13131

08-23-2009, 11:06 AM
Right on Tim!

08-23-2009, 12:43 PM
You might want to take the column apart, and modify or replace the detent plate, which is a plate of about 1/8" thick steel made with the notches and stops to prevent accidentally engaging Park.

I agree that lengthening the arm at the base of the steering column and/or shortening the arm on the transmission will get you more angular motion at the latter for a given angular motion on the former.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands