the tilt columns are found in the Camper Specials, Trailer Specials and other
1973-1979 Ford pickup steering steering columns will bolt into a '67-'72 pickup
with some wiring changes. Plus they came with a plastic shroud around the column
to the dash. However, 1978 and 1979 are the only years from this era in which a
tilt column was available, and mostly on pickups equipped with an automatic
transmission and power steering. There is a tilt column for a floor-shift
manual transmission truck...but they're extremely rare. If you ever find one in
a salvage lot, GRAB IT!
Source1: the spline count and taper is the same on Ford columns
from the 50's to the 90's so wheels will interchange just fine.
Source2: the '73-'78 steering wheel will not fit '79 column.
Different spline at hub to shaft fit. 79's take '79 & later (the smaller wheels
of 80's & 90's), while '78s take '78-earlier (back into 40's)
don't work without modifications after '73. (the late model trucks ('78-newer)
use a two-wire horn contact. Up to 1977 the horn was a single wire grounded in
the wheel. On a '78-'79 they went to a two-wire through circuit. In order to
make this work one of the wires needs to be grounded.)
The Ford part number for the tilt turn
signal switch is D8TZ-13341-A with a list price of $100.87.
They are identical to any 1970-1979 Ford
car with a tilt except the car versions have different length wires and an extra
wire for the key buzzer. Go get a switch for a Lincoln, it works fine. The
Ford pickup tilt column shares the same bearings as the Ford van tilt columns
(which are longer and do not work well in a truck...but the van columns are
great for parts!)
To get the '78-'79 units to fit, you will have to do some wiring changes. The
hazard lights are integrated into the column. You might also have to rewire the
neutral safety switch...it changed in '78 from the column to the transmission.
The '78-'79 columns themselves are the same with auto tranny...the difference is
how it hooks up at the end of the column. The 4WDs have a knuckle shaft & rag
joint, whereas the 2WDs just have a rag joint. All automatic columns are the
same and all standard columns are the same, each fitting F100 through F350.
you get a 4X4 column it will not have the 2WD coupler but you can use one from a
'78-'79 van tilt.
To have the ignition switch in the column you can get
parts from a van or a Lincoln. The tilt part is all the same. Just swap the top
part of the column that tilts with the key to the other column. But if you want
the wheel to lock you must use the wheel from the locking column, because it has
holes drilled in it for the pin to lock the wheel. Also, the van and pickup tilt
column turn-signal switches all the way to '86 (and possibly up through '88)
will fit the '78-'79 tilt columns. The wires may not be the same, but it's not
too hard to figure out.
Used tilt columns
normally go for about $150 (plus shipping) on E-bay.
Some say the
1980-up steering columns would take more serious modification to work. However,
others have reportedly used the tilt column from a '80-'86 Ford truck. They say
it fits like the factory column. You will obviously have to rewire the blinkers
and flashers, and wire in the ignition switch to it so you'll have a locking
steering column. (The forums have conflicting info in this department.
Aside from the obvious wiring changes, some say that the columns are physically
a bolt-in and others say they won't fit.)
This is a '73-'79 non-tilt turn-signal cam for visual reference.
(by 67f100hd) I found an outfit that sells '65-'79 F-100 steering columns
for either automatic (column shift only) or floor shift (manual or auto). They
supposedly come primed for paint, brushed or polished. Also they TILT! Has
signals and flashers. Try
www.hotrodssuperstore.com According to the web site, this column sets you
back about $600
Or if you want to
spend $500 for a new column try this place:
finished wiring up my 79 tilt column in my 71 F100. The only reason I'm finished
is because the inspection is up and my horn hasn't worked since I did the
switch. Now all is working.
I saw the post on the 67 wiring, well the 71 wiring is even easier. My column
doesn't have cruise. Just tilt.
79 white red is hazard switch. I didn't use this one. I kept the hazard switch
on my dash. You could easily wire the 79 column switch in if you like.
79 Blue/red is the indicator light. I didn't hook it up. If you want to hook it
up, just splice in to your dash lights. No big deal.
79 yellow = ground for the horn. The 78/79 horn has two wires. The yellow is the
ground, so ground it out.
79 dark Blue to 71 Blue yellow
79 light green to 71 light green
79 orange blue to 71 orange blue
79 light blue to 71 light blue
79 green white to 71 green white
79 green orange to 71 green orange
79 white blue to 71 white blue
Thats it. No big deal. Just took me a while to figure out the horn thing. All
the other wires match up color wise.
78/79 Tilt Column Wiring
(taken from a forum thread)
LBell101: I'm putting a '79 tilt into
my '67. I have the '67 wiring all figured out but I'm not sure of the original
wiring placement on the '79 column. The column has cruise control that I plan on
using at some point and I think that is what is throwing me off some. It has the
curved connector with wires as follows:
Yellow with blue dots
White with red trapezoids
Green with red stripe
Orange with blue stripe
Blue with red stripe
White with blue stripe
Green with white stripe
Does anyone know where each of these wires goes or what it
operates? Also, I did do a search and found some info but nothing for a cruise
tilt column. Thanks!
The major change between the two era's of columns is the hazard light switch,
which is on the column of the '78-79 column and on the dash or in the glovebox
on the earlier trucks. The '78-'79 non-tilt column's wiring and harness is the
same as the tilt version, except for the horn circuit. When you plug the column
harness into the main harness, what was the horn circuit would now control the
cruise control. The main control box for the cruise control is located inside
the cab on the firewall. The horn would then (still going through the
cruise control circuits) be operated through a relay which is attached to a dash
brace behind the instrument panel.
In addition to the cruise control's control box, there is one for the brakes.
To add cruise control to your truck, and utilize the cruise features built into
the column, there are several parts required:
main cruise control box and wiring, both of which are under the dash
main underhood cruise control components, like the chain which links
to the carburetor, vacuum pod and all necessary brackets
horn relay and harness
older-style brake light switch with the metal case, which mounts on
the vacuum booster actuating rod
special brake light switch wiring harness
speedometer cable and speed sensor
brake pedal assembly
brake booster (FT-38 or FT-43)
harness for the vacuum actuation device
switch on the brake pedal which disconnects the cruise control
(non-cruise trucks have the brake light switch mounted onto the side
of the brake pedal, but will be substituted for the style that
mounts on the vacuum booster pushrod. The cruise shutoff switch will
then mount in it's place on the brake pedal)
LBell101: I've been gathering parts and I believe I
have a cruise control system worked out. I could not find a '78-'79 donor for cruise control,
so I took a system out of an '85. So, what I will have when done is a '79 tilt
column with '85 cruise control in my '67 F-100.
After pouring over many schematics and cutting apart an '85 wiring harness, I
think it will work just fine. I had to use the '85 button pad as it has the
resume button. That fits perfectly in the '79 steering wheel. While at first
look the '67, '79, and '85 circuits look vastly different, they are not. As a
matter of fact, after you whittle down all the circuits it's surprisingly
simple. Here's a diagram I made up:
Everything does work. It did bolt in directly with no extra switches. The only
part that needed to be modified in my case was the plastic collar that fills the
column down to the dash. You don't need it but it looks better with them.
According to the
the '73 wiring diagrams:
stripes to brake light switch
green/white stripes to LH front turn signal
white/orange stripes to emergency flasher
yellow/brown stripe (I could only find yellow/black stripe to LH rear turn
stripe to RH front turn signal
- blue to
turn signal flasher
stripe to "PRNDL" lights (you wont need the wire to the "PRNDL" light
since you have a manual shift.)
- green to
RH rear turn signal
yellow/blue to horn relay
- White /
Blue to Front Right Turn Signal & Indicator Light
- Green /
White to Front Left Turn Signal & Indicator Light
- Black /
Red to Stop light switch
Yellow/Black to Rear Left Turn Signal Light & Brake Light
Green to Rear Right Turn Signal Light& Brake Light
- Blue to
Turn Signal Flasher
- White/red stripe is for the Hazard
- Blue/Red stripe - Gear selector courtesy
- Lg.Yellow/green dots --Horn
*Note. Wiring code changes if cruise
control is used.
information is great as a starting point when researching a tilt-column swap,
but there is a lot of misinformation and contradictions in the various
discussion threads, so I'm trying to nail down the specifics on what will work.
Using the information presented above, here is a list of questions I've come up
with, and welcome any help or input anyone can offer. Please....anything you
contribute must be based on personal experience so it can be verified,
and not "well, I heard from Joe's mom's uncle's cousin that...."
discussed in the '67-'72 forums that the '73-'79 columns will physically bolt
in the earlier trucks with no modifications necessary, and it's been discussed
in the '73-'79 forums that the NEXT generation of columns will also physically
bolt in. (At this point I'm not concerned with wiring modifications necessary,
just the physical mounting of the column assembly.) Therefore one would assume
that any of these columns will also bolt into a '67-'72 pickup as well.
So...what is the last year that will fit the '67-'72 pickups with no mods
necessary to mounting points at the dash, firewall or steering box?
It is possible that an '80 or newer column would bolt in. But
they have the ignition switch built into the column. The switch itself is near
the bottom of the column and the key is integral to it. That's why no one uses
them for the swap. If it does bolt in, I'm sure you could use the new style
switch after figuring out the wiring and blocking off the old dash switch
What years are the
steering wheels interchangeable? One source says everything from the '50s
through the '90s has the same shaft taper and spline count and another source
says the spline count changed in '78, meaning there are two variations:
'79-earlier and '80-later. Which is correct, verified by personal experience?
Answers to these questions will be posted here as they become available.
Thanks for your help!