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Ford Bronco Parts - Classic Vintage Early Bronco Parts

1984-1991 F150/F250 Steering Column Swap

Tech article by Revelation and filed under Interior, Steering

Tech article by Bryan Key (Revelation)

ATTENTION: I am in the middle of doing this swap on a stock Bronco. One MAJOR change; the instructions for the bracket will not work. You must fabricate your own bracket.  And it can be done with the dash in BUT would be best done with the dash out. Pay attention to the location of the gauge cluster as it poses clearance issues.

For this install I used the tilt column from a 1989 F-250. The Column from a 1984 to 1991 will work;  they are  round. The newer ones could most likely be adapted, but have larger cover pieces. If you are running an auto with column shift you can use a newer column with the shifter on it, if you are running a manual find a donor with a manual.

If you go with an 84-91 here is how I installed one in my Bronco.  I wanted the column to sit back an inch from stock for comfort when I mount my seat. I am 6’5″ and like to stretch my legs when driving.  You can adjust the location to fit your specific application.

First thing to find is a good used column. You need everything from steering wheel to rag joint at the steering box.  Be sure to get as much of the wiring as you can to ease installation.

Check and make sure the ignition, lock and tilt all work. There is a pot metal piece that can break inside the column and would have to be replaced. The ignition switch is operated by a rod that runs down the top of the shaft. It is visible when the column is removed. I used the factory mount from a 1986, as it was much smaller than the one off the 1989. The smaller one should fit through the stock holes in the dash. I was not concerned as my dash was opened up and an overlay is being used, giving me plenty of  working room. You could also modify the dash and make a larger cover plate to accommodate access better.

This could be done with the dash in place, but if the dash is removed it will make all the fabrication much easier.

First step is to make a plate for the new column to bolt to.  I used 16ga. stainless with a bend in it to add  rigidity. You could add another bend to add even more rigidity if you want, but I feel it is not needed.

F150 Steering Column 1

Next drill it for the factory Bronco holes.  Bolt it in place and get your alignment before drilling the holes for the column mount.

F150 Steering Column 2

Next you will have to have spacers, the size will depend on how deep or shallow you mount the column.

F150 Steering Column 3

The column must be low enough for ignition switch clearance. I have 1/4″ of clearance on mine and seems to be perfect.

F150 Steering Column 4

Route the wiring for the ignition switch through the existing hole in the clutch/brake pedal bracket at this time and plug it in to the ignition switch as access will be limited once bolted into place.

Once bolted into place you can move your attention to the steering shaft. I have the 4x4x2 steering box and the column rag joint was a bolt on. It may also be for other boxes to. Check prior to any modifications of the steering shaft.

The steering shaft must be lengthened. To do this I cut the upper shaft 2 inches from the top U-joint and added a piece of tubing that the shaft would fit snugly in. I made sure I had enough slide left to accommodate installation, welded it into place, added roll pins for added security and it bolted together like it was made for the EB.

F150 Steering Column 5

F150 Steering Column 6

Once that is bolted in you have to turn your attention to the firewall brackets. If you wanted to cut the firewall you could use the stock bracket that came on the newer column. I did not want to use that so I fabricated my own from 16ga stainless and installed it.

F150 Steering Column 7

Next was the wiring. It can be wired to use the newer ignition switch, and was fairly straight forward, as were the turn signals.  I was installing a new harness so it was a little easier. You will need to get the wiring diagram for your Bronco to match up the turn signal wires and the ignition switch wiring. I am omitting the colors on the Bronco side as over the years many have rewired, and colors are no longer uniform.

The Diagram for the plug you will be wiring to. View is from the face with the wires on the backside.

F150 Steering Column 8

And the turn signal wiring you must match up.

F150 Steering Column 9

I soldered all connections and covered with shrink wrap for a clean install.

You will have to fabricate a cover to fill in from the dash to the collar on the column.  I have yet to do this as I am still completing my build.

After installation you now have a tilt column with a locking wheel and the ignition on the column.

F150 Steering Column 10

F150 Steering Column 11

Any other questions you can PM me or e-mail to BryKey@gmail.com

8 Responses to “1984-1991 F150/F250 Steering Column Swap”

  1. msweb Says:

    Thanks for the great write-up! Makes it sound easy enough for me to try and that’s saying something!

  2. PAPITT Says:

    That’s a good looking install I’ve used the 78 /79 ford tr column twice .. I like it but I’d like the tile to come down lower seems like it only has on click down and all go up..Mine will leave the key on the dash but give you a column hazard switch.
    ..What did you use for a ujoint at the top .. I don’t like having to give 75.00 for a ujoint.

  3. Revelation Says:

    I used the complete shaft from the 89 F-250, it has a u-joint at the top, and a rag joint at the bottom. I got the column and shaft for $75, should be able to get just the shaftJust had to extend it. as for the tilt, it goes down to where it hits my legs and up high enough to make entry and exit a breeze.

  4. zahnr Says:

    Im doing the same swap, worked very well. Got the ignition swithch to even work. The problem I am having is the half moon wiring conector. Not sure if it will work? Is the hazzard switch an issue. Can’t get the headlights to work…Please help!!!

  5. Revelation Says:

    i used the connector, both parts of it. and used the ends to connect to the Bronco harness. The headlights I had no issues with at all as they do not pass thru the column. the hazard switch works also. I will have to look tomorrow at how I did it exactly hooking up the turns, hazards and brake light.

  6. fungus Says:

    Awesome! Just the info I was looking for with my newly acquired 84 F-350 donor! I would assume the wheel could be replaced with a new Grant with the correct adapter? Got a beautiful carbon fiber wheel from Tom’s I want to use on this install.

    Thanks for the great writeup!
    Fungus

  7. Revelation Says:

    ATTENTION.
    I am in the middle of doing this swap on a stock Bronco, One MAJOR change, the above instructions for the bracket will not work, you must Fabricate your own bracket. And it can be done with the dash in BUT would be best done with the dash out, pay attention to the location of the gauge cluster as it poses clearance issues.

  8. Galt72 Says:

    I’m doing this conversion and was wondering if you ever came up with a new mounting bracket. I’d like to see what you came up with, and any info on why your origional design didn’t work. Thanks…

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