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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / 69 steering column mounting (5967 hits)
By Kirt M 1177 Date 2011-09-14 06:12
I just refurbished a 69 (I think) energy-absorbing column with key lock. I want to use it to replace the 66 column I have now. Problem is this...

The bottom of my dash has the small area for the tube to fit up into and the strap to go under it to hold it into place. I have a section of plastic hose jammed into the bottom of the tube because the tube and shaft are electrically isolated from each other for the horn circuit. The bearing behind the steering wheel is insulated in the circuit.

But the key lock column has the sliding column mounting plate. There is not a surface under my dash to mount the head. In a Beetle, the bottom of the tube is aligned over the shaft by the firewall so they do not touch each other. Do I need to do something like that on the fiberglass firewall? The angle is not right for one thing.

And should I just count on the column key lock head clamping onto the tube and the tube strapped under the dash as my only mounting. It seems it would not be as good as the sliding column mounting plate that holds it into the Beetle. What will keep the tube from twisting. And if it can be strapped in tight enough not to twist, will that prevent the energy-absorbing shaft from working (I hope I never need it). The head will likely not clear the dash clamp anyway.

I wonder too will it look tacky with the top of the column head showing the slots that supposed to mate up with the mounting plate.

What is a good way to do this???

By Brad H 1498 Date 2011-09-14 18:23
Unless you can mount the top of the column solid, the energy absorbing column will not work. You will need to mount it to a cross bar mounted SOLID ie front hoop of a cage. The bolts that hold hte head to the body are torqued to a set spec and are designed so the head slides a bit as the bottom of the shaft colapses. Fiberglass isn't a strong enough mount to keep the whole column from coming back. Fiberglass in non-conductive so you don;t have to isolate your column for that reason but you will need to keep the shaft and the column isolated from each other so the horn isn't blowing all the time.......

By Kirt M 1177 Date 2011-09-15 06:30
Thanks Brad. So much for my newly refurbished column. I guess I will have to put the old one back in until I get around to redoing my roll bars. I need to do it anyway so I can put in a real windshield. The prior owner mounted Lexan on the front bar :-P. Can I buy a Berrien Buggy steering column support kit and adapt something onto it to reach the E-A column head? Or will it be too far under the dash? Is the roll bar my only choice?

The only buggies I have seen in person with one of these had a flat custom dash wall to wall and no front bar. Do any of you guys have photos of how you mounted E-A column to the roll bar? (not if it looks ugly)

By Brad H 1498 Date 2011-09-15 14:14
If your not afraid to get itchy anything is possible. I'm not familiar with the Berrien line so hopefully someone else can answer. Another possibility to eliminate the VW javelin column is to use the early one and put in a couple of u-joints and second shaft. Again you will have to securely mount the top part of the column in a couple of spots. but this could be done rather inconspiciously with some planning and an under hood brace. For more security for your buggy you could always install a locking shifter. There is the Berg one $$$$$ ($500+) but also another one that is a copy of the original VW locker that uses the stock shifter.

By jim s 1837 Date 2011-09-15 16:02
I used a Berrien steering column support on my buggy. What I will do is look in my file and see if I still have the paperwork on it with a picture. It worked fine for me. but I had a home made steering column. I dont know how the vw one is. So after work today If I still have it Ill scan it so you can see how it works.

By Kirt M 1177 Date 2011-09-15 17:51
I think my tub is a Glitter Bug. It is a full sized 4 seat. It has that overhanging dash top like cars in the 70's. The left and right sides are swept under with a Glitter Bug shaped gauge panel area in center. So there is a lot of exposed column on this dash.

By jim s 1837 Date 2011-09-16 01:28 Edited 2011-09-16 01:38
This is the only page that comes from Berrien buggy on the steering column support kit. well the scan is to big to post. If you pm or give me a e-mail address I can send it that way. Or send me your address and I will mail it to you. If you think it will help.

Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / 69 steering column mounting (5967 hits)

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