Jan. 2015 - Sept 2015. Original, inherited, temporary, and chosen steering wheels.
Shown below is an original steering wheel in a 1947-53 Chevy truck. (Library picture). The diameter is quite large
at 16" with a 6" dish since trucks did not have power steering. With power steering smaller diameter wheels feel better.
When I purchased the truck in 2007 you can see below the steering wheel already fitted. The truck came with a pre- owned
1980s steering column and a pre-owed 1980s steering wheel. The steering wheel was not very attractive. Also shown
below are the after market gauges which also came with the truck. They were replaced with original gauges.
Shown below is a steering wheel which was always meant to be temporary but was purchased for a reason. Purchased
in 2008 was this low cost Grant 836 Classic Series
12 1/2" black foam steering wheel and x3196 adapter kit
this was always a stop gap measure. At the time a compact wheel was chosen. The 47-53 Chevy truck does not have
much front to back space in the cab and so a wheel with a small dish provided more space. One of the earlier mods on
the truck was to provide more driver leg room by "podding" the firewall. This provided an extra 50mm (2-inches) of leg
room. The cabs on the 47-53 truck are short and so using a large dish steering wheel is not a good idea as drive-ability is
not good if the wheel is too close and the seat will not go back any further. Conscious of this problem, a small dish wheel
was chosen. However, the new 10-way power seats did not take up as much front to back room as expected and so
the need for such a small dish in the steering wheel was not as really necessary.
That being the case, more choice became available and a more classic design was possible. The wheel chosen was the
Grant Signature Series 15212. Sprint 3 Model
(Mahogany) 14 3/4". In January 2015 this new steering wheel
was fitted to the 1980s column (which came with the truck). The same x3196 adapter kit
(used with the
"856 Classic" steering wheel above) was also fitted with a Grant 4003 2" wheel extension kit
. See below.
In Sept 2015 a new steering column was fitted. The existing Grant adapter kit was not ideal for the new Ididit column
and a new adapter was ordered from JEGS
. The new Iditit column used a spline (see below) for the
steering wheel attachment and the correct adapters which push onto the spline and fit to the steering wheel are
Grant spline adapter kit 3162
and Grant billet spacer 51961
(this is a shorter spacer).
The shorter billet spacer and the fact the black plastic cover in the installation kit was not needed reduced the length of the
steering wheel adapters by at least an inch. This was useful as the Iditit mechanisms at end of the column are a little
longer than the old 80s column mechanisms which it replaced. The new adapters also looked much better. Sitting in the
seat, both the leg room and distance to the wheel was perfect. This new wheel is shown below while it is being
test fitted. The column will be removed for painting and then re-fitting.
Clearly the new steering wheel does not resemble and original 1947-53 steering wheel at the top of the page.
It is smaller, it is not black, however, it is a classic design, it has a real feel of quality and it looks great.
Update - 2015
Due to the indicator lever being close to the steering wheel, fingers were
catching it while turning and so the longer billet spacer was re-instated.
In 2016 a couple of LEDs were built into the heater / air con controls including small sounders.
This provides a visual and audio notification when the indicators are used.
The sounders came from Maplin Electronics. A series resistor was used to reduce the level until it was the correct volume.