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  • Steering colum swap question

    So my long term plan for my J-Truck is to swap in a Chevy 5.3/4L60 that's sitting in the garage. Right now I have the 360/727 in it. I know that the 3 speed steering column shifter won't work for the 4 speed 4L60. So I want to start talking options for shifting the trans once it's installed.

    I'm thinking that I basically have 3 options when I go to do this swap:

    1. Keep the stock column and put in an aftermarket floor shifter for the trans.

    Pros: Easiest to accomplish. Probably lowest cost.

    Cons: Unused shifter, even with the handle removed, looks bad.

    2. Swap in a steering column from a manual trans equipped FSJ (i.e. no trans shifter on the column at all) and use an aftermarket floor shifter for the trans.

    Pros: Almost as easy to accomplish as #1 since column swaps from one FSJ to another probably aren't much more than a few bolts and an electrical plug or two. Looks relatively clean without the unused shifter assembly on the column.

    Cons: Costs more than just leaving the original column in there. Availability of a used column in good shape is unknown. Have to buy two parts, the column and the aftermarket floor shifter (which takes up floor space).

    3. Finding a compatible 4 speed shift column and swapping it in.

    Pros: Cleanest install look if it works.

    Cons: Several unknowns: Will just any GM truck steering column swap in? How does the linkage differ and how easy is it to adapt? What about color matching the interior? How much custom fabrication is involved and how much will bolt in with little or no modification?


    So I guess the point of this thread is to start soliciting information from people in the know about the steering column.

    What can you tell me about the factory steering column? Is it really just a GM part like they used in their trucks? Could I just grab a steering column from an automatic equipped late 80's full size Chevy truck and bolt it in? How much of the shift linkage would I need to grab with it? How much would I have to fabricate? Is there a universal column that I could buy from somewhere that I can bolt in and make work?

    Any relevant discussion on the topic would be welcome.
    Try out my gear ratio calculator

    My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

    Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

  • #2
    I was just remembering a company that sells aftermarket replacement steering columns. They have a column for the 78-86 CJ. Are CJ columns interchangable with the FSJ's? If so, I could use this: http://www.ididitinc.com/retrofit_co...j_jeep_fs.html
    Try out my gear ratio calculator

    My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

    Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

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    • #3
      Option # 4? I remember reading that many of the factory console/floor shifters can be adapted to other vehicles because they're cable linkage, I can't give you any specifics, long forgotten, but maybe a search would turn up something, maybe a spiffy new console and a four speed auto stick .
      ?A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it.? Col. Jeff Cooper

      "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." Albert Einstein

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      • #4
        Originally posted by azpackrat
        Option # 4? I remember reading that many of the factory console/floor shifters can be adapted to other vehicles because they're cable linkage, I can't give you any specifics, long forgotten, but maybe a search would turn up something, maybe a spiffy new console and a four speed auto stick .
        If I had a factory console/floor shifter that might work.

        And I've come to be less than thrilled with the search capabilities on this forum. Searching for more than one word at a time gives you any match to any word in your list. There doesn't appear to be a way to search for a phrase or "matching all words" option. So you end up with hundreds of useless posts that have nothing to do with what you're looking for because "steering" and "column" come up more often than you might think. Add in "swap" and you get half the posts on the entire forum in the search result.
        Try out my gear ratio calculator

        My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

        Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was suggesting sourcing one from a wrecking yard, I'm just not sure which one, try Google, say, "junkyard shifter upgrades", also saw somewhere you can use Google to search this forum, I think you add IFSJA.forum after your search parameters, someone will know the correct procedure.
          ?A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it.? Col. Jeff Cooper

          "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by derf
            And I've come to be less than thrilled with the search capabilities on this forum. .

            Read this thread re searching.

            http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ghlight=search
            1962 Willys Station Wagon
            1989 Grand Wagoneer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by grandjeeper
              Thank you for that. That will help imensely.
              Try out my gear ratio calculator

              My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

              Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

              Comment


              • #8
                IIRC the console shifters from the late '70 GM cars had a cable that ran to the column which still carried out the function of shifting. It had a blank on the column that rotated when you shifted. I think its possible to adapt a GM truck column quite easily, but have been unable to find anyone who has tried it. Worst case scenario -parts from column B into column A.
                Mark B. Jones

                Originally posted by GrandWag&Prix
                Actually, now that I think about it, that could be either awesome or really terrible.


                '79 Cherokee Chief "Junaluska"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 710 Burner
                  IIRC the console shifters from the late '70 GM cars had a cable that ran to the column which still carried out the function of shifting. It had a blank on the column that rotated when you shifted. I think its possible to adapt a GM truck column quite easily, but have been unable to find anyone who has tried it. Worst case scenario -parts from column B into column A.
                  Looks like I have an opportunity to do some experimentation and a writeup for everyone else...
                  Try out my gear ratio calculator

                  My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

                  Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why couldn't you use the column you have now. I've swapped 700 R4 s into older chevys and the only problems are that the PRNDL indicator doesn't line up.

                    And yes it should be a GM column depending on your year. What year is your truck? And if you do decide to go with a floor shifter, a column from a manual trans 80's baby cherokee would bolt right in.
                    Last edited by CHICOWAGGY; 02-03-2010, 05:18 PM.
                    1990 Grand Wagoneer
                    Stock 360/727/229
                    Restoration in progress.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CHICOWAGGY
                      Why couldn't you use the column you have now. I've swapped 700 R4 s into older chevys and the only problems are that the PRNDL indicator doesn't line up.

                      And yes it should be a GM column depending on your year. What year is your truck? And if you do decide to go with a floor shifter, a column from a manual trans 80's baby cherokee would bolt right in.
                      Mine's an 86.

                      So when the PRND21 doesn't line up is it just that there is "one more selection" that's past the 1 or is the "spacing" of the shift positions closer?
                      Try out my gear ratio calculator

                      My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

                      Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had to play with the linkage a little for 1st gear to work properly, but it worked fine.
                        1990 Grand Wagoneer
                        Stock 360/727/229
                        Restoration in progress.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CHICOWAGGY
                          I had to play with the linkage a little for 1st gear to work properly, but it worked fine.
                          So all the other gears were pretty much where they were before?
                          Try out my gear ratio calculator

                          My Jeeps: Truck Norris and Grimm Jeeper

                          Truck Norris doesn't need a brow. He has fists.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you keep the column shift with the 4L60, you could replace the shift indicator with a four-speed version from another vehicle. I found a PRND321 indicator from an early-'90s GMC van in the junkyard. If I recall, the dimensions were identical to the factory FSJ piece, except the "Park" lettering was a little narrower to accommodate the extra gear.

                            Or, you could always swap in the steering column head from the same kind of Chevy/GMC van. They're all Saginaw columns, so it ought to work just fine.

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                            • #15
                              You could always use one of these http://www.lokar.com/product-descrip...shift-link.htm and replace the indicator with a GM indicator.
                              The only problem using that shifter is the proximity of the bracket on the column to the firewall. But that isn't anything a hammer can't cure, and the dent will not be an issue due to it's location in the firewall. I'm using that kit for my AW4 swap.
                              Originally posted by Ristow
                              i bet it was Simon....
                              he's such big meanie that way...
                              please don't tell him i said that....

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