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Telescoping Steering Column for the S197

 
Sniper308
New User
Posts: 3
Joined: 11/08
Posted: 01/22/12 11:23 AM

I haven't researched this for about a year but, when I last delved into the matter, there wasn't anyone making them or willing to try it.  I contacted a number of folks in the aftermarket industry and all responses were negative.  Now, with it being 2012, do any of you know someone who might be up to the task of creating a telescoping steering column for the S197?  To date, the problem has apparently been with keeping the integrity of the air bag.

I'm 6'5" tall and would really like to be able to put the seat back so my legs would be comfortable but, as it is, doing so means a less-than-comfortable situation for my arms.  I've been compromising, but it means my knees are only 1/2 inch from the bottom of the dash and I just don't feel good about it.  If I were to get into a front-impact accident that was survivable and would normally allow the driver to walk away... I'm pretty sure my legs would be in bad shape and I would not be walking away.  I'd just like a bit more room for my legs without having to stretch my arms so much.

I'm just wondering if there's a new company I haven't yet heard of who might be able to address the problem AND let the air bag work as it should.

Thanks.

Russ  

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waynep7122
Guru
Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 01/22/12 12:15 PM

thats going to take some serious engineering ...

have you contacted grant steering wheels ???  

as i have not been in one of the newest mustangs...

how many buttons are on the steering wheel

air bag...

horn...

????????

ford also uses the GEM module or the CAN system on new cars... so there needs to be some detailed research on the wiring needs...  just disconnecting something can really mess up the system...

i don't personally have decent free access to the late model service info i would need to look at to give you a decent answer if the wheel can be modified..

there are several other options.... that might or might not work....

does anybody else ever drive your car on a regular basis???

NBA basket ball players get their cars modified someplace...  did you see phil jackson in the audi commercial..    

upholstery shops are removing the seat covers...  modifying the seat frames to lower the seat cushion height and to thin out the seat back to allow you to fit in the car  as they can reinstall the same slightly modified seat covers to keep the interior looking correct..     for the first few years new seat covers are also available in some colors..

duplicate seat covering materials are also available in roll form.. so a talented seat shop can duplicate or repair seats...

do you have an NBA team in your local area....   you might want to call their business office.. ask if they could find out where they get their cars modified...   warning..  NBA players make tons of money.. so they might pay half the price of your car for mods to their car without a blink of an eye...  price you right out of the subject..

you might also want to talk to someone at ford performance...  or at ford customer service.

early in my automotive life.. i ended up working on a rock stars trans am.. he was very tall.. and when i dropped my almost 6 foot body into the drivers seat.. i was so low i could hardly see over the steering wheel..

you might want to also check the lincoln models.. see if ford offered a telescoping column for those but the amount of force that needs to be absorbed to pass the crash tests is probably going to be the limiting factor that prevents anything like this from being done..

you might also want to send an email to sema   o r g  or do some research on their site..  the sema show in los vegas was only a few months back.. the sema news magazine should be coming to release soon covering the show ..  

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waynep7122
Guru
Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 01/22/12 12:38 PM

i have had my mind in old cars .. completely forgot that there are air bags in the seats.. in the headliners.. in the seat belts.. along with the steering wheel..    the seat frames are ALSO probably die cast magnesium ..  going to the riccaro seat

a few images..

Renderillustration

Renderillustration

seems some of the mustang convertibles are available with  Recaro Front Seats as those might give you a LOT more room as there are various ways to mount them.

Renderillustration


this is the riccaro seats.
Renderillustration  

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Sniper308
New User
Posts: 3
Joined: 11/08
Posted: 01/22/12 01:05 PM

Yup, I contacted Grant... they were one of the folks who explained about the air bags.  Yes, I am the only one who drives my Mustang and I don't see that ever changing.  In needing to straighten out my legs, but have the steering wheel "come with me," I don't think much can be done to improve the situation with the seat.  The best I can think of is adding a spacer of some kind... but again, I looked into that, too, and no one makes such a thing.  I really want to keep my steering wheel (I had one from a 2008 Bullitt put in), so it all comes down to either some kind of spacer or a telescoping column.  In either case, I'd want things to look "normal," not "hacked up."

The only other thing I can think of would be to have the floor and foot controls moved forward... and I just don't see that ever happening, at least where engineering is concerned.

I'll see about contacting someone with SEMA as well as someone on the SVT, though, I hadn't thought of that.

Russ  

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waynep7122
Guru
Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 01/22/12 03:40 PM

if this is what the center of your steering wheel looks like..

Bulletsteeringwheel


i could see a few ONE off  ways to create a telescopic adaptor..   but it might add an inch and a half or so to the lowest height..  and it will take some CNC work to machine it..

grant used to be a few miles from my house.. across from pete jackson gear drives..  i will do some drawings and drop them off when i am near there perhaps later this week..   i don't know how friendly they would be to outside ideas..

sometimes...  companies have a NIH attitude..   Not Invented Here.. although...   taking a stock USED steering column to a smart machine shop locally..  seeing if they could engineer up some kind of rotating cuff that uses ball  like a ball worm drive to extend the upper collar evenly..  using some kind of pins and guides to keep it from twisting.

could also be done a thousand different ways...  

oh.. sorry.. when i get problem presented to me.. i can see ways to solve them..    cut 2 tin cans in half... one slightly smaller than the other.. so you have 2 shallow open cans that will fit into each other..  the inner one is the lower one and it has a single groove all the way around close to its base..   the outer one has multiple grooves at an angle..   there are guide pins to keep the 2 halves aligned..   there is another layer around the outside. this has the reverse of the angled grooves and a matching straight groove in a reduced diameter section..   there will be ball bearings trapped in the grooves..  many in the straight groove..  one each in the tapered grooves.. as you rotate the outer collar.. the larger of the two half parts is lifted by the ball bearings in the angled slots..   this would give you a telescopic adaptor..   the wires might need to be lengthened.. ... actually proper connectors and short adaptors made up..




in the picture of the seat frame...   you will see that the seat tracks are fastened to the mounting plates somehow...

examine that connection...   perhaps you could have some tabs made up.. so move the seat tracks backwards on the mounting bracket several inches...    

i have done that several times on Van round post mounted captains chairs..  where i took the upper seat post mounting bracket..   measured the distance where the holes were...  had the local steel fab shop cut 3 inches off the front.. flip it around and weld it on the rear.. then drill 2 new holes where it was cut off at after measuring the distance from the new rear hole location.. this moved the seat back several more inches than it was... i did move the seat belt mounting by having a bent thick strap welded to the back and over the side where i bolted it in to the existing seat belt mount.. but moved the retractor back several inches to stop it from digging in as i slid over it..   i now sit beside the door post in my van..  a much better seating position..   i could have just moved the flange.. but taking out those 4 bolts was just too much work.  

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waynep7122
Guru
Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 01/22/12 03:57 PM

oh.. the reason for moving the seat base back.. so there is more room between the pedals and your hips..  this would allow you to not have to lay the seat back so far that you cannot reach the steering wheel ..  

you don't want to be laid back that far..   you can be ejected right up the seat if you ever got rear ended really hard while laying back so far..  

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MustangMan
Moderator
Posts: 259
Joined: 08/11
Posted: 01/23/12 08:25 AM

I would think the easiest, and safest thing do to in this case is to have a billet spacer made between the column and the wheel, extend the horn/air bag wiring pigtail, and bolt the wheel and spacer down with a longer bolt. We're talking one to two inches thick, powder coat it black or cover it in leather or something and it should blend right into the column...

Because, frankly, you'll never get anyone to engineer a telescoping column for the car.

HTH...
Mark
.  
Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager
Mustang Monthly Magazine

1965 FFR Roadster 427W/TKO-600 5-speed
1966 Mustang 289-4V/C4 Auto
1968 Mustang 4.6L Three-Valve/5R55S Auto
1990 Mustang 306/AOD
2002 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L V-6/5R55 Auto
2005 F-150 4x2 4.2L V-6/4R70W Auto

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MustangMan
Moderator
Posts: 259
Joined: 08/11
Posted: 01/23/12 08:27 AM

BTW, the Recarro seat is actually nothing more than the stock seat frame with Recarro designed foam and material on it. This way Ford didn't have to do new crash tests for these seats. They are only available on the Boss 302 in 2012 and will be in the 2013 Shelby and Boss and as an option in the 2013 GT. Ford Racing also sells them as an upgrade...

Mark  
Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager
Mustang Monthly Magazine

1965 FFR Roadster 427W/TKO-600 5-speed
1966 Mustang 289-4V/C4 Auto
1968 Mustang 4.6L Three-Valve/5R55S Auto
1990 Mustang 306/AOD
2002 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L V-6/5R55 Auto
2005 F-150 4x2 4.2L V-6/4R70W Auto

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Sniper308
New User
Posts: 3
Joined: 11/08
Posted: 01/23/12 05:01 PM

Icon QuoteMustangMan:
I would think the easiest, and safest thing do to in this case is to have a billet spacer made between the column and the wheel, extend the horn/air bag wiring pigtail, and bolt the wheel and spacer down with a longer bolt. We're talking one to two inches thick, powder coat it black or cover it in leather or something and it should blend right into the column...

Because, frankly, you'll never get anyone to engineer a telescoping column for the car.

HTH...
Mark
.


I agree, it's unlikely; if anyone was going to make a telescoping steering column, I would think it'd already have been done by now.

I'm totally open to the billet-spacer idea... but, do you know who might undertake such a project?  Boy, if I could get a couple of inches, that'd be great.  Maybe three would be possible, I don't know.  Can you recommend anyone, Mark?

Thanks for the idea.

Russ  

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MustangMan
Moderator
Posts: 259
Joined: 08/11
Posted: 01/24/12 08:04 AM

Russ, I would start with some machine shops/fabrication/metal shops in your area. You might try some high-end car builders and work through them. Some fab shops might not give you the time of day as a walk in, but will listen to an existing customer (the high-end car shop).

Essentially the spacer needs to have the back face match the back of the steering wheel and the front face match the steering column, this way the spacer will allow the wheel to lock into the spacer and the spacer lock into the column shaft. Then just secure it with a longer bolt (it's metric BTW). Of course, just like a spacer for an aftermarket wheel you'll need to have a pass through hole for the horn/airbag wiring. Luckily there are no contacts on the back of the wheel itself like an older wheel, as the airbag wheels keep the slip ring contacts under the airbag clock spring, which is the plastic assembly at the very top of the steering column with the wiring pigtail.

Good luck, and if you do get one made post up pictures!

Mark
.  
Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager
Mustang Monthly Magazine

1965 FFR Roadster 427W/TKO-600 5-speed
1966 Mustang 289-4V/C4 Auto
1968 Mustang 4.6L Three-Valve/5R55S Auto
1990 Mustang 306/AOD
2002 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L V-6/5R55 Auto
2005 F-150 4x2 4.2L V-6/4R70W Auto

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waynep7122
Guru
Posts: 774
Joined: 01/10
Posted: 01/24/12 01:07 PM

its probably going to have to be a 2 piece adaptor..  as you have to be able to attach it.. to the shaft.. so it will have a properly fastened lid for the wheel to attach to...   a cup with a lid...   the cup mounted to the column.. the lid to mount the wheel to.. not just held with screws.. but several alignment pins..  so the turning force is not just on the screws.. .. they can handle it.. i just like at least two pins ..

one thing before you go through all this adaptor...

please.. see if you can get in and out of the car with the steering wheel 2 or 3 inches closer to you...

do you still have your original steering wheel.. so you might lay it over the current version to see if you can get in and out..

moving the seat slides backwards on the mounting brackets might be the thing to do.. so you can get your leg room and be able to sit up to reach the wheel..  

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maczs
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 11/12
Posted: 11/15/12 12:44 PM

Instead of moving just the steering wheel, why not move the whole column back
putting a spacer further down the line?   Anyone looked into that?  

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