Installing a Tilt Steering Column in a ’52 Chevy Panel Truck

The bottom of the column was placed through the original steering column opening, and the top lined up perfectly with the original steering column drop location.

Dean Brown was looking for another street rod to build after selling his ’40 pickup truck when he heard about a ’52 Chevy panel delivery for sale. As he’d always been fond of these trucks, he decided to take a look. When he saw the panel delivery he found that it was in reasonable condition and was still running fine with the original six-cylinder engine. The truck’s history showed that it was a Helms Bakery truck in the ’50s and had never been modified.

Using the original column drop, the new steering column was attached to the dash.

Brown didn’t waste any time changing that, because right after he purchased the truck he began collecting the parts he would need. He purchased a hot small-block Chevy engine, a Turbo 350 transmission, a Ford 9-inch differential, a Fat Man Fabrications independent front suspension and an updated rear suspension. Brown generally does most of the work on his cars himself, but since he’s working offshore and his time is limited, he decided to have a local shop do the work.
Before the steering was installed, he had Dream Cars install a Fat Man Fabrications independent front suspension, which means that this truck is now running a rack-and-pinion steering system. The original steering box and column assembly was removed, and the new IFS with the rack-and-pinion was installed. Here we find Dream Cars installing a J&I Detroit Iron tilt steering column, and the install also required a pair of U-joints and a steering shaft from Borgeson Universal. The tools required to complete the job include a MIG welder, a chop saw and a variety of normal hand tools.


Article Sources

Borgeson Universal Company



Dream Cars


4265 Apricot Rd., Unit A Simi Valley, CA 93063

J&I Detroit Iron


12718 Longworth Ave. Norwalk, CA 90650

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